Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Published on Friday, June 15, 2018

Exhibiting in the United States - a Whole Different World

The world has moved a block away from Prairie, right here in Elmhurst.


Willis Tower sculptureWe have a new neighbor in our business park. They’ve constructed a 25’ tall stainless steel sculpture of a globe. Originally it stood outside of Sears (Willis) Tower in Chicago, which is undergoing extensive renovations. Our neighboring business, involved with those renovations, removed the structure and reconstructed it on the front lawn of their production facilities, about 100 yards from Prairie’s front door.


Globe sculpture baseCome and see it. It’s really very cool. While you’re at it, come and see us. We love when visitors stop by to see what’s new and exciting in the exhibit world.


Lately, it seems, the world has also been coming to Prairie’s doors from around the real globe. These visitors are exhibiting in the United States, more specifically Chicago, and many, for the first time.


McCormick PlacePrairie really wants to help them get what they need. We want them to have a positive experience and a successful show whether that means a large quantity of leads, sales orders or just getting their message out. After assisting our U.S. based customers for over 30 years, we know what needs to be done and how to do it.


There are two concerns we try bring up right away to a new international exhibitor:


Trade show floor1) Allow enough time to accomplish what needs to be done. Contact us at least 30 days out for a basic 10’ system and at least two months for a larger configuration. Also, will this be a purchase or rental? Is Prairie managing show services, including installation and dismantle, flooring and electrical?


So many times a prospective client gets in touch with us as late as a week, or even a few days prior to the opening of their event. There is little or nothing that can be done with that time frame.


2) Believe us as we go through the process. We will always recommend best practices when it comes to the planning and implementation of your program. “Best practices” means working within the show guidelines and with reasonable budgetary and logistical parameters.


Exhibiting USA vs EuropeTrade shows (fairs) are very different in North America compared to the rest of the world. The differences are too vast to take on in a single blog but here is a primer.


In addition to the differences in logistics and costs, the exhibitor must consider the host city. What are the major trade show cities in the United States? Chicago, Las Vegas, Orlando, New York, Atlanta, New Orleans, Anaheim, San Francisco and Boston. Then there are second tier cities that are too numerous to mention. They all have different rules and requirements. Even venues within a city can differ.


US-Europe mapComparing your exhibit experience in Europe, Asia, or the Middle East, with the U.S. or Canada will only lead to frustration. Which brings us back around to point #2 above.


The new world structure a block away serves as a reminder that international exhibitors increasingly come to the U.S. these days. Prairie is here to help you manage your exhibit world.


Steve Moskal

World sculpture in Elmhurst IL

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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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