Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Published on Friday, December 13, 2019

Tennis Courts and Trade Shows

cracked courts“Sure. I’ll look into it,” I said.


Those five words took me on a long and involved journey I originally thought was going to be a short trip. Shelley and I volunteered to look into what it would take to fix up the tennis courts that are part of our homeowner’s association. I mean, how hard can that be?


Crack repairI thought we could just go online, check out some local companies and get quotes on filling the cracks, putting on a new layer of asphalt, and painting whatever court lines were needed. That’s what they do in parking lots, right?


After speaking with a few contractors, we were reminded that with our freeze and thaw cycle in the Midwest, the courts will eventually crack again.The contractors would resurface the courts, but there were no guarantees how long the new surface would last.


So we decided to approach this the responsible way and perform a more thorough due diligence. We sat down with a few different companies that specialize in building, rebuilding and maintaining tennis courts. We shared the association’s goals, time frame, expectations and budget. These contractors provided us with solutions featuring current materials and processes to repair and resurface existing courts for years of “uncracked” use.


We bundled up our findings and recommendations, and submitted them to our association board for a final decision.


Tennis court surfaceThe proposals were probably a little more than the board wanted to spend, but going through the cycle of repairing the courts every few years would prove to cost more in the long run. Also, using “tennis court experts” rather than a paving company, added to the bottom line as they would manage the entire process. This is exactly what they do, everyday. Their expertise, advice and experience gave us confidence the job would be done to our expectations, in an area we knew very little about.


Google searchWhen you think about it, investing in trade show display properties, graphics and services, is a similar process. We talk with customers and prospects every day who have limited experience with the ins and outs of trade show and event management. It’s very easy to search online, find a website, read product descriptions and scroll through a few reviews. Next, submit your credit card payment and hold your breath.


Sometimes you get lucky. The product you needed, reviewed and ordered worked out. It does happen. I will be the first to admit, when I’ve ordered products online (usually through Amazon), with very few exceptions, I’ve been satisfied with the outcome. Typically these were items I knew well or had previously ordered. On occasion I’ve been disappointed. It usually involved something I was not familiar with and probably should’ve consulted with someone or simply looked into further.


Needless to say, I was glad we consulted experts regarding the tennis court rebuild. We learned a lot and were able to offer informed recommendations that included current best practices. The finished courts will be a reflection of our association so they should be done right.


Prairie Display logoWhen it comes to purchasing trade show displays and other properties for face-to-face marketing events, your organization’s reputation is on the line. So do us both a favor - contact the experts, whether it’s Prairie or someone else, with the day-to-day industry knowledge and experience. Prairie is starting its 26th year on January 1, 2020 because new and existing customers continue to rely on us for our expertise and reputation for service, before, during and after the sale (or at least I’d like to think so).


We’ve already “looked into it”.


Side Notes and Updates:


Minister's TreehouseNot only does January 1, 2020 mark Prairie’s 26th year in business, on December 28, 2012, my first blog was published. Thank you Marianne McGinn for your amazing editing skills.


The tree house is gone! The famous Minister’s Treehouse in Crossville, Tennessee has burned down. I wrote about the treehouse back in 2014. I'm glad we got out when we did.


Have a great holiday and we will see you again in 2020.



Steve Moskal


Rafael Nadal

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Steve Moskal
Steve Moskal

Steve Moskal

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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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