By Matt Johnson
THE STATE OF THE INDUSTRY
As Vice President of Accounts at Hill & Partners, it had been a personal goal of mine to be more involved in our industry on a national level. An idea sparked for how to pursue this goal at the 2013 EDPA Access conference last December.
The EDPA, Exhibit Designers and Producers Association, began in 1954 with the purpose of providing education, leadership and networking for leading members of the exhibition industry in the areas of design, production and service of exhibits, events and experiential environments.
Although, Hill & Partners has been a member of the EDPA for some time, there hasn’t been a New England chapter for industry leaders to come together and share ideas for many years.
Several other regions have well-established chapters and were flourishing. I began to wonder why this was not occurring in our region, when there are so many companies involved in exhibitions within relatively close geographical proximity.
While attending a “first timer” meet and greet during the 2013 meeting, I found out that there was a enthusiasm in reestablishing an EDPA chapter in the Northeast. I left that meeting feeling inspired by the idea of helping to create value in the community by providing a platform for local industry experts to share their experiences and knowledge, contributing to a more impactful voice for the Northeast in the overall industry.
I was then determined to become an integral component of the process.
After the conference concluded, Dave Flory, Director of National Accounts & Exhibit House Sales with Cort Furniture was instrumental in organizing several conference calls to get all interested parties talking to each other. I then stepped in to organize the first chapter meeting, held in Boston in September. The group held the meeting on a dinner cruise around the Boston Harbor. It was well attended and well received.
On board the cruise was our elected EDPA Northeast Chapter Board: President, Sarah Fantauzzi; Vice President, David Connor; Secretary, Dana Esposito; and myself as Treasurer.
I’m excited to announce that we are currently in the process of setting up our second chapter meeting that will take place during EDPA Access 2014 at the Innisbrook Resort & Spa in December. Our goal looking forward is to build membership and solidify the Northeast as a flourishing chapter of the EDPA and the exhibition industry as a whole.
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