The View from Vancouver

Michael Grivas | July 20, 2016

I am back in the office after a whirlwind tour of North America last week that started in beautiful Vancouver, home of the 2016 OSPI Annual Meeting. I couldn’t wait to share my observations of this amazing event and the role we played.

OSPI is Octanorm’s Service Partner International network – a carefully vetted group of people who do a great job supporting this industry so we can provide consistent executions around the world. We use many of these partners for our clients' global services. This membership covers 5 continents so the international community is very well represented.

MG was asked to speak at this conference to over 200+ partners with the goal of helping them understand best practices exhibiting in the US of A. Of course, I brought two key team members to share their expertise with the audience – our design guru and VP of Creative, Rob Majerowski, and our very dynamic and knowledgeable VP of Operations, Kelli Steckbauer. Kelli is a true MG success story. She came to our company as an intern many years ago and has helped grow and transform our business and our clients’ business ever since.

If you weren’t able to attend this great event, let me share just one key takeaway. Showing in the United States is an entirely different animal than anywhere else in the world. Although we are one country, it is a diverse marketplace and every venue presents unique challenges and opportunities. Yes, it’s expensive at times – but you get what you pay for. And if you invest wisely, have a solid plan and partner with a strategic company that really gets it, you’re going to achieve the results you are looking for.

Preparing for this big event was no small endeavor. Many hands from around our company touched this project and the results were phenomenal. Our big punchlines were integrated marketing services and best case design, build and show site execution. We even had a handy dandy pamphlet detailing a broad spectrum of convention halls and their particulars.

Our summation to our OSPI colleagues:

  • Use integrated marketing to extend the experience Beyond the Booth
  • Team up with your American OSPI partner as early as possible to get the best strategic and tactical exhibit to delight your clients!

MG’s presentation provided solid, statistically-based rationale for looking beyond the booth and focusing on building relationships through a well-executed strategic marketing plan. Based on the feedback we received, the OSPI community has a lot of passion for showing in the US and I can’t wait to work with them more in the future.

Many thanks to the OSPI team and our very engaged audience. Here’s to creating great experiences for the people you serve!

Michael W. Grivas is CEO and owner of MG Design. Since 1959, the firm has been dedicated to creating exhibits, events, environments and engagements that unite brands and audiences worldwide. Mike purchased MG in 1988 and has continued to enhance its rich history of design, marketing and service. A no-nonsense visionary, Mike’s focus on the client is his driving force. In addition to establishing the strategic direction for MG, Mike has been a longstanding industry advocate serving on multiple advisory and leadership boards.