Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Published on Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Expertise Needed in Aisle Eight

“Excuse me. Do you work here?”


“Me?” I pointed to myself. I had to juggle the 12-pack of soda and jar of peanut butter I was holding. My shopping trips involve very basic needs.


Jewel name tag“Do you know where the Saran Wrap is?”


I checked to see if I was wearing a blue polo shirt with a store logo and a name tag. Nope.


“I don’t work here, but I’m sure we can find it together.” I said.


Saran WrapI had this conversation with a woman in our local Jewel food store. I actually did know where the Saran Wrap was located, so I guided her to the correct aisle. We met up again in the check-out line and had a laugh. She thanked me for being such a nice “young man” and we went our separate ways.


Walking to the car, I felt happy that I was able to help. What a nice way to start the day. After all, I can’t remember when I was last called a “young man”.


Managing the Professional Service Firm bookWhile going through a bookshelf at home recently, I found a small pad of paper where I jotted down some notes. The book was titled “Managing the Professional Service Firm”. I wrote that there are three benefits a client is looking for: experience, expertise and efficiency. From the condition of the paper and the legibility of the writing, I must have read this book 20 years ago.


These benefits were exactly what the woman in the Jewel was looking for. She needed Saran Wrap but instead of walking around the store for a half hour, she sought someone with experience (lucky me) who had the expertise to guide and efficiently through the shopping experience.


Outdoor event displaysAt Prairie, we get phone calls and emails every day from clients and prospective clients, looking for answers to questions. It might be a question regarding a specific product or service or a more general inquiry about what might work in their unique situation. Many times, we cannot help, but it’s always nice to know we are considered a knowledgeable resource.


Our goal at Prairie is to be as helpful as we can, even if we don’t have the solution or answer.


10 ft trade show displayI like to think we demonstrate a high level of experience. After almost 25 years, we’ve managed thousands of projects, including new properties and updates, graphics, property storage and event program management. We put the expertise gained from our experiences to work every day, whether it’s how to pack or ship certain properties, or which graphic process makes the most sense for a specific application.


And lastly, we try to be as efficient as possible. Efficiency means clients receive their project or answers as quickly as possible. Efficiency also means keeping costs down, allowing us to provide fair and competitive pricing to our clients.


20 ft trade show displayIt may sound like I’m boasting a bit here, but I am very proud of everyone here at Prairie and how we strive to provide experience, expertise and efficiency in all that we do.


And if we can’t help you out, we will always try to point you in the right direction. I also know what aisle the cat food is in.


Steve Moskal









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Author: Steve Moskal

Categories: Best Practices, Trade Show Program


Steve Moskal
Steve Moskal

Steve Moskal

Other posts by Steve Moskal
Contact author Full biography

Full biography

Steve’s journey in the trade show and event world started in 1983 with one of the original Nomadic Display sales organizations in North America. In 1994, he co-founded Prairie Display/Chicago.

Steve was an Allied Board Member of TSEA (Trade Show Exhibitors Association) from 2007 to 2011 and recipient of the TSEA President’s Award in 2009. He also served as Financial Chair of the Midwest Exhibit and Event Professionals (formerly the Chicago chapter of TSEA) and as a commissioner with the Elmhurst Economic Development Commission from 2011 to 2016. Currently he is Vice President of Education for the Addison/Elmhurst, IL Toastmasters Club.

When not working with customers and co-workers at Prairie, you can find him trying to spend more time biking and pursuing other creative endeavors. Steve lives in Oak Brook, IL with his beautiful and equally understanding wife of 26 years, Shelley.

Steve is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, with a B.A. in Journalism and a Fine Arts minor.


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