Introducing Expo’s Rising Stars

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Expo went out to look for the young individuals who are new to the industry, yet are having a major impact on their companies and associations in sales, operations, marketing and customer service. We asked for nominations and selected a group of 20 young men and women who have produced growth for their events and companies, created new events and experiences, smashed through target goals and gone beyond what was expected of them.

We are very proud and pleased to recognize this inaugural class of Expo’s Rising Stars.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 9.40.40 AMDANIELLE ALEXANDER

Exhibitor/sponsor development manager, AARP

In her first year, Alexander was the No. 1 salesperson for AARP’s main Life@50+ event and increased sales by 35 percent in her second year. The growth came by focusing on local sponsors and exhibitors in the event’s location, Atlanta, and emphasizing the multicultural themes consistent with its content.

Says Alexander: “I would like to increase more interaction on the exhibit floor by creating more engaging experiences. By focusing on experiences, not just booth space, I think we can dramatically change the future of our events for the attendees and the exhibiting companies.”



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Social media coordinator, Marketplace Events

Boisselle created the Upcycle Challenge at six events in which she used a competition among local interior designers to expand social media interactions. At the Philadelphia Home Show, the project added 20,000 Facebook users and grew Pinterest followers by 30 percent in three months.

Says Boisselle: “With our home shows account getting close to 4,000 followers, it would be great to launch a Pinterest contest that inspires others, introduces our pins to new users, and hopefully grows our follower count. The more our pins are shared, the more website traffic we’ll gain from Pinterest, so why not take advantage of this medium?”



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Tradeshow manager, Canadian Western Agribition

Just two years into his first assignment as a show manager, Hoskins started from scratch with a floorplan that spread out over 12 buildings. He redrew the lines and even reduced the number of exhibitors. The result? The Canadian Western Agribition saw its revenue increase by a whopping 20 percent.

Says Hoskins: “I would like to strengthen the representation of food products at our show. We have some of the best livestock genetics in the world at our show and we feel there is an opportunity to tell a greater food story and showcase the best food products that are available to consumers.”



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Event marketing manager, Boston Wine Expo

Concentrating her marketing campaigns on attracting a younger demographic for the mature 23-year-old wine show, Novick used all the digital tools that were available to her to increase attendance at the Boston Wine Expo by 27 percent and exceed precious budget expectations by as much as 9 percent.

Says Novick: “My goal over the next year is to continues to grow our online platforms and apply new digital tools that will help eliminate duplicated efforts amongst the team, allowing us all to work efficiently.”



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Event operations coordinator, Toy Industry Association

Responsible for operations for all TIA events, Chow created and developed a Freshman Class Program for the more than 250 first-time exhibitors at TIA Toy Fair. The initiative not only led to an increase in re-signs but a number of returning exhibitors took larger booths.

Says Chow: “My most important professional accomplishment over the last year would have to be managing the Toy Fair Freshman Class Advisor Program. With an amazing team of freshman advisors, we were able to assist first-time exhibitors by helping them to navigate through Toy Fair and maximize their investment.”



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Conference manager, electronics, UBM Tech

Following UBM’s acquisition of Design Con, Stern nurtured and grew the “no-frills, low-production” show into one that is creating so much excitement, UBM will have to increase the size of the showfloor next year to accommodate growth in exhibit booths.

Says Stern: “I am most proud of the advocacy work I was able to do on behalf of women in tech in conjunction with DesignCon. In a small way, I was able to support this amazingly talented, yet underrepresented, segment of the tech industry in a very important way.”



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Trade show coordinator, SmithBucklin

Since Pabst took over management of the KeHE Summer Selling Tradeshow in 2010, the natural and organic foods event has seen both the size of the showfloor and the number of exhibitors more than double.

Says Pabst: “I am extremely proud of the passion our team has put behind reaching our strategic goal to promote awareness of its mission and vision. In my role as conference lead, I have been able to facilitate this energy throughout our team.”



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Marketing manager, Penton Media

As marketing manager for Penton’s public infrastructure group— which includes eight brands—Ramatally has overseen IWCE Expo, where 2014 attendance was up 18 percent and revenue from its virtual event rose 50 percent.

Says Ramatally: “Taking this job has provided me with the opportunity to not only take the next step in my career but has the potential for me to continue to grow professionally for years to come. Furthermore, it opened the door for me to work with an amazing team on IWCE.”



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Senior manager, CES Projects, Consumer Electronics Association

Moffitt is responsible for the CES Innovations Awards program, which attracts enormous media attention and drew more than 20,000 attendees to the Innovations Showcase pavilion at International CES last year. In the past two years, Moffitt has grown revenue from the Innovations Awards program by 21 percent.

Says Moffitt: “When I was starting out, I would focus on the day-to-day needs of my program, and how to accomplish them. Now, I’ve transitioned to a way of thinking that’s broader in scope and longer in term for the whole event.”



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Marketing director, AE Ventures

Marketing director, AE Ventures In a highly competitive industry set, Bateman- Moore has been responsible for a multimedia, integrated campaign to persuade exhibitors of the value of the Electronic Security Expo over its competitors.

Says Bateman-Moore: “AE Ventures will be launching a marketing-creative services arm of the business— called Engage—and I’m very much looking forward to playing an integral role. With this new branch, I’ll be able to roll my sleeves up and expand this service we’ll offer to other event management companies.”



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Digital marketing coordinator, Marketplace Events

Caissie produced a video used on the Great Big Home & Garden Show’s website with the goal of increasing e-mail open and click-through rates. Opens grew by almost 25 percent as a result and click-throughs more than doubled.

Says Caissie: “I would consider my greatest accomplishment this year helping to increase our consumer databases to over half a million people. This is key in regard to our pre-show ticket sales.”



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Global web master, GES

Responsible for GES’ digital, mobile and crowdsourcing tools, Kung led a project that enabled GES to track all website leads through the sales pipeline. The initiative ended up providing valuable ROI metrics and generating revenue in the millions of dollars.

Says Kung: “I would like to be able to move the needle forward in terms of online customer interaction. I feel that right now in the exhibition and events industry, there are still many opportunities to use the latest technology so that our customers get the full GES experience, without necessarily having to be in the same room at the same time.”



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Strategic account manager, Interop, UBM Tech

As chief sales executive for Interop Las Vegas and New York, Baikie landed 13 new accounts in 2013 and 2014, which resulted in a 46-percent increase in revenue. She has been able to exceed her previous sales goals for the last three consecutive events.

Says Baikie: “I worked closely with a major telecom company to help them develop an integrated strategy and launch a product at Interop New York. This strategic consultative approach, combined with my commitment and my desire to serve our customers, is what made this experience so rewarding to me.”



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Marketing director, Questex

Soucy created a New Product Showcase program for the Sensors Expo that gives exhibitors a turnkey process to introduce new products. She also oversaw development of the show’s mobile app from scratch to completion.

Says Soucy: “We have seen tremendous success with the connection between live events and digital, social and mobile technologies since launching our first mobile app at ITEX Conference and Expo in 2012, and we’re striving to continually build our events into deeper experiences that provide year-round, end-to-end connections for attendees and exhibitors alike.”




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Senior event manager, MD Events

While routinely han-dling high-end research and development conferences for the pharmaceutical industry, Woodburn was able to launch a custom conference for a client new to the company early last year. The new project involved 115 physicians from three continents and on-site demonstrations with live patients, all in a very tight six-week planning window.

Says Woodburn: “Every meeting I do comes with a unique set of challenges and learning experiences. Seeing something through from start to finish and having a successful meeting for our clients has always been my motivation and achievement, which made this job so rewarding from the very first day.”



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Senior meetings manager, Community Associations Institute

With the Community Associations Institute Annual Conference and Exhibition, which Reid has full responsibility for and typically attracts 1,500 attendees and 170 exhibitors, she sold out the showfloor the past four years and exceeded its revenue goal this past year by 20 percent.

Says Reid: “To date, earning my CAE certification in 2013 has been the highlight of my professional career. It was such an amazing feeling when I got the letter and the first word I read was ‘Congratulations.’ I’ll never forget that feeling of accomplishment—I did it!”




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Content and marketing director, JD Events

Responsible for content and marketing for the company’s three major events, Miller launched an e-media program across all its brands that generated $100,000 in revenue. She also developed a conference program for Content & Communications World that increased attendance by 22 percent and had a 75-percent exhibitor rebook rate.

Says Miller: “This coming year I’m focused on growing the attendance for the Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo by totally overhauling the look of the marketing pieces, grow- ing relationships with associations and developing some new and creative grassroots programs to drive more attendees to our event.”



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Meetings and travel coordinator, GameStop

Handling operations for 50 GameStop-related meetings each year, including its annual conference for 5,000 employee-attendees, last year White reduced overall expenses by 16 percent and hit a 97.5-percent pick-up rate across the board with its room blocks.

Says White: ““Over the next year, I want to grow in my negotiating skills when planning small meetings and continue to find the best opportunity to save costs, while not compromising the experience at our events.”




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Marketing manager, Emerald Expositions

As marketing manager for Surf Expo, Friend brought the show marketing program’s e-mail open rate to 45 percent with click-through and sale upgrade conversion rates of 4 percent. Average marketing up-sale was also $1,200, with an opt-out rate of nearly zero.

Says Friend: “Over the next year my goal is to create a more efficient manner for exhibitors to submit sponsorship and advertising materials, a method that would create automation from the show level to notify the exhibitors about the requirements of the sponsorship-advertisement as their orders are entered and give them specs and deadlines that they need.”



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E-media manager, Messe Frankfurt USA

Responsible for all of Messe Frankfurt North America’s e-media and e-business programs, he developed the first generation of its show’s mobile apps and then found a way to reduce cost of the apps’ next generation by 65 percent over the first one.

Says Pendley: “Over the next year, I will focus on the development of the digital business department to make it a profit center for Messe Frankfurt. The development of the new revenue streams will contribute to the success of our trade fairs as well as the fairs’ bottom lines.”


Posted by Michael Hart

Michael Hart is the executive editor of Expo. Reach him at View all articles by Michael Hart →