Wednesday, December 08, 2021




Inspector Gadget Redux

Author: Steve Moskal

To say it's been busy the last few months at Prairie is an understatement. During the show season, Prairie is an “all hands on deck” team. My hands have been on deck more this January and February than I can remember.


Our Store and Ship clients seem to be on heavier and tighter show schedules this year and I have found myself pitching in on display inspections. Each display is set-up and inspected after each show/event to make sure all is good for the next use.


We see display properties come back to our dock in a variety of conditions, from okay to missing or broken parts. Graphics usually need to be cleaned or steamed and refolded, depending on if they are rollable panels or fabric. The trade show floor is probably one of the dustiest and dirtiest places around. That dust and dirt usually ends up on your display and graphics and in your cases.

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Number of views (2562)




Sharing Anniversaries, Surviving Bumps and Looking Forward

Author: Steve Moskal

Twenty-five years ago (1994), Amazon sold its first book and Yahoo! was the go-to search tool (Do you Yahoo!?). There was a Major League Baseball strike, and Prairie Display/Chicago was incorporated as a company.


So the year Forrest Gump and The Lion King came to movie theaters, Prairie launched into the trade show and event world. We started with a vision of providing the best portable/modular display products, services and large format graphics, used at trade shows and other face-to-face marketing events.

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Number of views (2250)




English Ivy and Creating Opportunities

Author: Steve Moskal

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.”

— Henry Ford


The worlds of design, art and graphic production have all evolved very rapidly over the past 20 to 25 years. It has never been easier to create what you can visualize, then produce it at what seems like lightning speed.


Perhaps, though, we are losing the art of creating imagery using paint, pencil and paper.

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Number of views (2812)




Has It Really Been This Long?

Author: Steve Moskal

In January, I will be celebrating 34 years of being involved in the trade show industry. Yep, in January of 1983, I was introduced to the Nomadic Instand. The Instand, according to Exhibitor Magazine was one of the “10 Ideas That Changed the Trade Show Industry”.


If I would’ve known 34 years later I would still be involved with that same product, along with a library of different types of useful tools and services, I would’ve committed myself, right then and there.

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Number of views (1805)




Establishing Budgets and Saving Money in 2016

Author: Steve Moskal

Every year when December rolls around, we generally are talking with customers and prospects about one of three things....


For the first conversation, there is money left in the budget that needs to be spent. Sometimes the funds are used as a deposit for a project that needs to start after the first of the year. Or, there’s a flourish of activity to get artwork or invoices together by a certain date in December, so the project can either be delivered and paid for, or simply paid for by the end of the year. 

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Number of views (1558)




Training Your Exhibit Staff, Easy as 1, 2, 3, 4!

Author: Steve Moskal

What seems like more than a lifetime ago, there were only three sales organizations in the United States for a revolutionary product, the Nomadic Instand. I was fortunate enough to work for one of them.


For those of you who might not know the history of the Instand, it was the first self-locking “pop-up” style display. In fact, Nomadic invented the portable display as we know it today, and was mentioned in Exhibitor Magazine’s “10 Ideas that Changed the Trade Show Industry, in 2007. But that’s a whole other story.

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Number of views (1988)




Still Crazy

Author: Steve Moskal

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.


I 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

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Number of views (2037)




Tech Talk

Author: Steve Moskal

“How do you use technology in your trade show program?”


That was the topic at the last meeting of the Midwest Exhibit and Event Professionals. The panel working through the discussion was comprised of two seasoned trade show coordinators, a consultant and an industry supplier.


There was discussion about using iPads to gather prospect data, the pros and cons of wireless internet on the show floor, and the potential cost saving involved in using large monitors for messaging as opposed to static graphics.

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Number of views (1793)
«December 2021»

Recent Posts

Has It Really Been a Year?
The Spring Cleaning That Moved Into Fall
Trying to Make Sense of All This, or Did the Exhibit Industry Have a Plan B?
Inspector Gadget Redux
Tennis Courts and Trade Shows
North to Alaska - Two Different Experiences
Finding Your Inner Trade Show Self
Taking a Break and Finding New Fears
Sharing Anniversaries, Surviving Bumps and Looking Forward
Eyes on the Skies and Pass the Towels
Drayage is Everywhere
Exhibiting in the United States - a Whole Different World
There Goes the Neighborhood?
English Ivy and Creating Opportunities
Wait! Wait! No, Don't Wait
A Walk in the Woods (does a body and mind good)
Do You Need a Creative Kick?
Accidents and Trade Shows - They Happen. Are You Ready?
Is Your Competition Out-Gaming You?
Do You Know the "Basic 10"?
Expertise Needed in Aisle Eight
Planning Ahead Can Be Easier on the Feet
Has It Really Been This Long?
Wrinkled Fabric and Shipping Labels
Discovery! Is There an App For That?
The Trade Shows of September Come Early
I Got It. Sure You Do.
Viva La Difference
Prepare Yourself
We're Not Just Being Nosy
Is It Getting Too Complicated to Remain Loyal?
Lose Some Weight in the New Year
Establishing Budgets and Saving Money in 2016
It's Cooler by the Lake
Training Your Exhibit Staff, Easy as 1, 2, 3, 4!
Time to Vent! (Or, Put That Linkedin Down)
Still Crazy
I Was Amazoned!
Don't Cut Off Your Nose to Spite Your Face (Or, Don't Let Material Handling Freeze the Sales Process)
The Case for Building a Better Treehouse
It Only Takes Money!
Nickels and Dimes
Kissing Frogs, Finding Princes and Trade Show Success
Tech Talk
Team Prairie
Check This Out
Going Smaller? Stay Realistic!
Captivate Like Elmore Leonard
Pixilated About Pixelation?
Can Event Marketing Be Truly Sustainable? Part Two
Can Event Marketing Be Truly Sustainable? Part One
Unexpected Item in the Bagging Area
Don't Drive Thru Please!
Again and Again, Then One More Time
Winter Blues and Convertibles
My Trade Show With Marilyn
A Must-Read For All Trade Show Exhibitors
It Wasn't Raining When Noah Built the Ark
An Open Letter
First Blog: Baby Steps
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