ESCA Stages Successful Behind-the-Scenes Workshop

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Boston, MA – A contingent of trade show industry professionals and college students got a first-hand look at the move-in process at an Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA) workshop held at the same time one of Boston’s largest trade shows was setting up.

ESCA and the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) hosted the workshop at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on January 27 at the same time crews were busy moving in the annual Yankee Dental Congress, which drew nearly 28,000 attendees.

The ESCA and MCCA delegation was made up mainly of industry professionals from the service companies that ESCA represents. About 70 such professionals took part and were joined by a field trip of students from the Event Management Program at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island.

“It was a wonderful opportunity whether you are new to the industry or a seasoned veteran,” said Chuck Grouzard, senior vice president of national sales for Global Experience Specialists (GES) and immediate past president of ESCA.

“It covered the gamut from pre-show planning to on-site execution and peeled the onion a little bit for people,” Grouzard said. “It helped clear up misconceptions and answered questions people had.”

The afternoon began with classroom presentations from MCCA Executive Director James Rooney and Director of Facilities Fred Peterson featuring an overview of the events and exhibition climate in Boston and BCEC’s future expansion plans. Grouzard and GES Senior Director of Account management Julie Kagy and ESCA president Bruce Nable of SER Exposition Services then briefed the crowd on what they would see on the show floor and the various components of producing an exhibition.

It was then off to the show floor with Grouzard, Kagy, Nable, Peterson and MCCA staff where the participants got a first-hand look at the evolving dental show from the loading dock to the registration desk. The goal was to give the attendees an idea of the time and skill needed to properly tape off an exhibit floor or distribute a shipment of signs to the right places and in accordance with work rules. “People better understand it when they actually see the marshaling yards or the place where labor checks in for the day,” Grouzard said. Everyone got an up close look at ESCA’s Worker Identification System (WIS 3.0) and the extensive security procedures in place at the BCEC enabled by the ESCA WIS System.

ESCA has held more than six such backstage workshops around the U.S. and is working on future events. Behind the Scenes is a first step for ESCA’s primary 2014 strategic initiative of increasing its educational presence in regional marketplaces and incorporating other industry associations in the process.  Each attendee received an ESCA flash drive with the day’s presentation and information on the event.

Reach Chuck Grouzard at (630) 295-6099 or cgrouzard@ges.com; Larry Arnaudet, ESCA executive director, at (972) 447-8212 or larry@esca.org