The events and exhibitions industry is continuously evolving and moving to greater heights. If you don’t have a team that’s willing to take the time to innovate and implement current and forecasted trends, then you and your company will stay stuck in the “now,” which quickly changes to the “then.”
I’m proud to work with a team that goes above and beyond to contribute to the growth of the industry. Although there are many in the GES organization who strive towards success, I’d like to highlight two people who have recently been honored for their efforts—GES’ Jack Patronski, Executive Vice President of Industry Development, and Julie Smith, Senior Vice President of National Sales.
Jack Patronski Inducted into CIC Hall of Leaders
Jack Patronski received the great honor of being inducted into the Convention Industry Council’s (CIC) esteemed Hall of Leaders. GES President Steve Moster said, “The Hall of Leaders recognizes forward-thinkers who have made a difference, shaped the industry into what it is today, and acted as a catalyst for what’s possible— Jack embodies all of these characteristics.”
Along with his full-time job, Jack also actively volunteers to improve the industry in a number of ways including: improvement of labor and exhibitor rights in Chicago, Philadelphia and Las Vegas; collaborating with industry clients, labor and facilities to help enact friendly work rule reforms that lower exhibitors’ costs and increase business; he’s served as chairman of the board of Choose Chicago and serves on the board of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.
Learn more about Jack’s induction into the CIC Hall of Leaders in GES’ recent press release.
Julie Smith - One of Top 25 Women in the Meetings Industry
With all the talented women in this industry, being spotlighted as one of Meetings & Convention magazine’s Top 25 Women in the Meetings Industry is truly an honor. With a history of success in the trade show and exhibitions world, Julie has a special interest in mentoring the next generation of our industry. She is passionate about mentoring young women new to the industry. In M&C’s article, Julie states, “We have to continue a dialog about how we can attract and keep the next generation of solutions providers.”
Not willing to see issues like equal pay, flex time, and job sharing pushed aside, Julia makes every effort to address these matters to see them rectified. She is an inspiration and a positive voice in our industry.
Five Tips and Takeaways for Success
Through the years, Jack and Julie have made significant changes to better the events and exhibitions industry. Follow in their footsteps or make your own with these tips and takeaways:
1. Find what makes you passionate about this industry. Answer this question: “What’s the best thing, in your opinion, about this industry?” and then ask: “How can I help move that ‘best thing’ forward to stay relevant in the coming years.”
2. Take on a few industry-focused volunteer jobs. You’ll be amazed with the people you meet and what you can accomplish.
3. Invest time in mentoring the next generation – they’ll be the ones who continue to propel the industry forward long after we’re gone.
4. Take time to learn about issues that are slowing the industry down, then find a way to address them.
5. Think beyond the “now.” What we accomplish shouldn’t just be for today. Get involved in projects that will move the industry closer to tomorrow.
One thing is certain, this industry will continue to change – but we like it that way! It makes for an exciting career and an appropriate place to invest creative ideas, strategies and innovations. Now it’s your turn. What are you going to do to contribute to the advancement of our industry?
About the Author
Chuck Grouzard is Executive Vice President of Exhibition Sales at GES. With over 25 years of industry experience, he is not only a veteran, but knows his stuff. He enjoys leading the exhibition sales team on a day to day basis with new and exciting tactics. He's worked with various types of clients and is always up for a challenge!More Content by Chuck Grouzard