Friday, June 14, 2024

Published on Thursday, September 12, 2013

Captivate Like Elmore Leonard

While things are heating up here at Prairie for the fall 2013 trade show and event season, weather-wise, it has been a surprisingly mild August in the Chicago area. We normally have high temperatures and high humidity. Perfect weather for going home, hiding out in the basement or the part of the house where the air conditioning works best, and cracking open a book. At least this is how I deal with August.


Elmore LeonardWith the weather being so nice, we are eating outside, taking bike rides, getting the resident beagle out for a longer than usual walk and just spending less time brooding about the heat. Also, no time for reading dog-eared paperbacks bought at garage sales and used bookstores. Books written by the likes of Elmore Leonard.


Elmore Leonard passed away recently at 87, in his Michigan home. For those of you who are not familiar with him, Elmore Leonard was one of the most prolific American fiction writers of westerns, crime novels and suspense thrillers, in the last 50 years. He also wrote screenplays, and many of his books were made into movies that you may have heard of or seen like Get Shorty, Jackie Brown and The 3:10 to Yuma.


3:10 to YumaHis novels are easy reading, filled with flawed characters and plots that keep you going. There wasn’t much to think about with his writing. They were and still are, simple escapism at its best.


What also impressed me about the books I did read, were his first few sentences. Right after hearing he had died, I went to the bookshelf and opened my copy of The Moonshine War (1969) and read: "The war began the first Saturday in June 1931, when Mr. Baylor sent a boy up to Son Martin's place to tell him they were coming to raid his still."  Then I picked up Glitz (1985): "The night Vincent was shot he saw it coming."


Check out some of his opening lines. In a few short seconds, Elmore Leonard captures your attention, leading you through his writing, page after page.


Like the first pages of Elmore Leonard’s novels, exhibitors need to engage qualified trade show and event attendees with something that will get and keep their attention, taking them along the sales process.


Maybe it means a new, eye-popping graphic image, a targeted pre-show mail/email campaign or a new look, like taking advantage of a full 10’ backlit backwall. Prairie is here to help you do all that!


Elmore Leonard booksSo, check out one or two of his books. I think you’ll find it is a great way to escape a little before things heat up. It might also inspire you to look at how you’re keeping prospects and customers engaged all the way to the end of sale.



Best Regards,


Steve Moskal


The Moonshine War










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Steve Moskal
Steve Moskal

Steve Moskal

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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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