Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Issue 60 Editorials: Making trade shows work for you; a customer service story


Making trade shows work for you

Martin Palicki, IPM editor


If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve gotten on a plane in the last 60 days to head to EAS, WWA, ASTC, or SATE….and you’re probably getting ready for IAAPA (or you’re there now).

The fall season of trade shows can be exhausting, but it’s how business gets done and we often take for granted all the work and planning that goes into them. A big thank you to all the associations, leaders, workers and volunteers who help to organize our industry’s many great trade shows and conferences.

InPark reports from all the trade shows we attend, and typically supply an army of photos to match – but usually only online. If you haven’t bookmarked our website ( or liked our Facebook page (facebook. com/inparkmagazine) you’re missing out on the whole experience. You can also join our Top 5 weekly email list at both of those sites, which will have links to our show coverage.

When you’re at shows, especially at IAAPA, I encourage you to use InPark (and the other industry trade publications) as a guide to help you navigate the week. We have been working with companies and planning this issue for months, so we have already done the work of finding the newsmakers and hot projects.

Additionally, you can see who is investing in our industry and the future.

Be sure to grab a copy of InPark issue #60: The IAAPA issue at our booth (#1755) and say hello to both Judy Rubin and me. If you’re reading this post-show, check out our show coverage at the links above.

Finally, on an unrelated note, I wanted to thank Bob Rogers (BRC), Craig Hanna (Thinkwell), and Bucky Elkins (West Coast Training & Development) for helping pull together a spectacular Hollywood auction package for a non-profit fundraiser here in Milwaukee. You are all superstars! Thank you![/twocolumns]

[twocolumns class=”omega”]

There’s always room for a customer service story

Judith Rubin, IPM co-editor


October 11, Kansas City airport. Stepping away from the Southwest kiosk after printing my boarding pass, I saw a long line snaking behind me and heard the announcement that the airline’s systems were down except for the kiosks. Reaching my gate, I received a phone call: family emergency. I needed to alter my plans, fly to a different city and get to the hospital. An agent advised me to wait for the system to come back up, or see if a third party could book it for me. Both options failed.

The minutes ticked by. Now the kiosks were only working intermittently. Southwest agents began fanning through the terminal like nurses on a battlefield, writing paper boarding passes so that people with passes on smartphones could board their flights. My composure faded. I approached another gate agent, who sprang into action. The terminal wasn’t working, but the phone was. She contacted two supervisors, wrote me an emergency boarding pass for my new flight and sent me on my way with a much needed hug.

What I saw and experienced that day were teamwork and responsive customer service. As the crisis deepened, Southwest and its employees adapted. They used available resources. They found a way to let customers do what they’d come to do: travel. Some of those travelers were on their way to and from our visitor destinations, which also has outstanding service at its core. How will you turn a problem into an opportunity when it’s your turn? [/twocolumns]

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Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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