Friday, June 14, 2024

Published on Thursday, March 12, 2015

Still Crazy

Returning from the Exhibitor Show (ExhibitorLIve 2015) in Las Vegas last week, I sat on my return flight to Chicago, eyes closed, headphones plugged in. Paul Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years” started to play.


Still Crazy albumI met my old lover

On the street last night

She seemed so glad to see me

I just smiled

And we talked about some old times

And we drank ourselves some beers

Still crazy after all these years


I smiled. Even though my primary intentions for attending the show were to experience new products and services, and to identify and discuss trends and best practices with colleagues, it really just did my head and heart good to spend some quality time with customers and industry friends. There is a certain camaraderie within the industry that revolves around being a bit crazy simply to be part of it. If you are in the industry, you get it.


Nomadic Display's anniversaryOutside the show hours, there was a lot to do. Mornings were spent keeping up with emails and phone calls. After hours provided the opportunity to attend a celebration of a major milestone in the industry (Nomadic Display celebrated 40 years in business), enjoy a dinner with two of my favorite exhibit managers, and spend time reconnecting with old friends. Then there was the Portable/Modular Summit and another dinner with fellow business owners. There was an open exchange of ideas, philosophies and opinions and quite a few laughs.


FitBitIt was a hectic pace but one I really enjoyed. I blew away all step goals on my FitBit, probably ate better than I normally would have, and slept well. There was an energy in everything I experienced. And I was reminded that to be in this industry, you have to be a bit crazy. You have to jump into the fray, get your hands dirty and love the organized chaos that is the exhibit/event industry. It was good to know that there were still lots of other crazy people as well.


Exhibitor LiveAt the Portable/Modular Summit, one of the presenters made an all-too-true statement. He said, “All of you here deliver quality products, have quality people working for you and provide quality designs. If you did not, you would not be in business.” He reminded us that we have to determine what makes us truly unique in a very competitive field.


When I returned to the office, Dan Michals, our newest account manager, reminded me what makes Prairie unique and stand out. “We are human beings,” he said. “We answer the phone, we talk to customers and prospects and we just want to extend our experience and expertise to make the customer successful.”


Thanks for reminding me Dan. Truly appreciated. At the end of the day, it’s about taking all of the craziness surrounding a hectic trade show schedule,  making it all work and come together. Like pretty much everyone I met up with in Vegas, that craziness wears off on you.


Nomadic Display colleaguesNow I sit by my window

And I watch the cars

I fear I'll do some damage

One fine day

But I would not be convicted

By a jury of my peers

Still crazy after all these years


Well, it’s been 21 years for Prairie and 33 for me. And the good Lord willing, crazy for many more years for all of us.


Steve Moskal


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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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