Help for an Industry Newbie: My EDPA Test Drive.
By Tom Beard

 Tom Beard

Tom Beard

After coming into the trade show industry in 1994, I was a true beginner who knew nothing about how things really worked. I realized I needed to expand my knowledge as quickly as possible. Although I had good mentors at my company, I understood that my success also depended upon a broader exposure to the industry.

This led me to search out various industry associations so I could gain more knowledge and networking opportunities. Early on I participated in local TSEA meetings, attended Exhibitor Show, TS2 Show and the HCEA annual meeting. These all gave me good insights.

However, once I started attending the local Midwest Chapter meetings of the EDPA, things really took off. I got exposed to how the industry really works by meeting the people who provide services and those who design and built the exhibits themselves.

  • The connections I made proved to be a fantastic and invaluable learning experience
  • Local meetings let me “test drive” the EDPA and helped me sell the value of the EDPA to my company’s ownership
  • That led me to the EDPA’s annual meeting where I became involved on the national level
  • All of which helped me build my personal brand and better promote my company

The EDPA, I learned, is a great organization that truly supports its members. And the local EDPA chapters are the ideal entry point for gaining exposure to the industry.

I highly recommend that any person new to the trade show industry check out the next local EDPA meeting and see for yourself. And as to any seasoned professionals out there who haven’t attended one, why not jump in and start sharing what you know, too?