Traveling for Trade Shows: Challenges, Benefits, and Awesome Places

Whether it’s people or tradeshow booths, the exhibiting industry is all about travel. Representatives from companies that are exhibiting, project managers/sales professionals from the exhibit house, and construction workers who’ve brought these fantastic structures into being all have to travel to make this industry the fruitful world that it is. But did anyone ever ask: how does the travel involved in your work make you feel? Eric Troy has. This is what he found out.

We interviewed a few of our friends (BlueHive employees) involved in the myriad aspects of an exhibit program: Jillian Webb, BlueHive Exhibits Account Coordinator; Dawn Marie Raczka, BlueHive Exhibits Director of Business Development; and Justin Walsh, cabinet maker, exhibit fabricator, and tradeshow booth set-up specialist; to see what their favorite parts of traveling for the exhibit business were, how they handle the challenge of personal and work life balance, and their favorite places their tradeshow travels have taken them. Here’s what we found out:

What are your favorite parts of traveling for the job?

Justin Walsh:
“Visiting new places–that’s a given–and seeing the final product. As an exhibit builder, we get to see and set-up the booths at the shop for client preview, but the real satisfaction comes when you set up the booth at the show and see the tradeshow running from start to finish.”

Jillian Webb:
“Seeing new places, working with people I normally wouldn’t get the opportunity to meet, and getting to experience things first hand at the show floor. It’s one thing to organize and coordinate the different aspects of a tradeshow booth, but it’s an entirely different thing to be on the show floor seeing the culmination of your hard work come into fruition.”

Dawn Marie Raczka:
“One of the favorite parts of traveling for my job is attending the opening of the tradeshow and hearing we have been successful for a job well done. Due to the technical components or size of an exhibit, there are shows we plan one year out. There are hundreds of exhibit houses in the domestic United States and when clients elect for BlueHive to become their exhibit house of choice, it is because they trust that we can fulfill their marketing strategy. When I am down working together with my team and my client in the trenches, there is a connection that brings a closeness. For me, what I do is not about the sale, but rather, it is about seeing my client succeed within their company and their program. Thus, an additional component of traveling to a tradeshow is the opportunity to share a few meals together, as well as having the chance to see each other face to face.”

How do you balance professional and personal obligations while traveling?

Justin Walsh:
“Work comes first, as usual, but once you’re done for the day, it’s time to go out and enjoy yourself. Either with clients, business associates, or by yourself, when you’re away from home, you make the best of it.”

Jillian Webb:
“It can be difficult finding the balance between your professional and personal life while juggling work travel. I always try to prioritize my personal life when I’m at home and plan things around my travel schedule.”

Dawn Marie Raczka:
“As a Director of Business Development, I truly do not balance professional and personal obligations very well. I fit my personal obligations around my professional working life. One positive attribute is we receive our client tradeshow schedules typically one year in advance. And, I typically plan my travel six months out, which is very helpful in planning my personal obligations.”

What are some of the coolest places you’ve had the opportunity to travel to for work?

Justin Walsh:
“A few of my favorite places have been San Antonio, TX; New Orleans, LA; and Chicago, Il.”

Jillian Webb:
“I think the coolest place I’ve had the honor of visiting was Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day. To be there with veterans walking the grounds was an amazing and humbling experience.”

Dawn Marie Raczka:
“Wow, some of the coolest places I have traveled for work have to be Portugal, Ireland, the lake region of England (Northern England), and Vancouver, BC. Yet again, truly, for me it is not about the destination, but rather about the people I am with.”
___________________________________________________________________________________

Well, there you have it folks! Although every job in the tradeshow world is different and presents its own unique challenges, we can see from the answers of our friends that at least one thing is certain when traveling for tradeshows: The moment the tradeshow hall’s doors open to the public and an exhibit is successfully displayed to attendees is one of satisfaction and a definitive highlight to everyone involved in the exhibiting process.
Until next time, this is Eric Troy, signing off.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *