Trade Show TalesBlog

Be a Student of the People Around You

July 19th, 2012 COMMENTS

Lessons Learn by Jen LaBruzza

Lesson #1 — Listen

I’m the new kid at Classic Exhibits, which means I’ve been welcomed and gawked at, and then placed in situations where I feel instantly stupid. That’s what happens when you’re the new kid. No one’s been mean, except for Mel, but I’ve know him for over ten years so I expect it. Fortunately, as former teacher by profession, I am student at heart, whether I’m working with rambunctious 3rd graders or a cranky 42 year old.

Here’s what we all know but tend to forget as we age. One of the biggest components of being a student is listening. If I’m not listening, I’m not learning. On the flip side of that, if I don’t feel like I’m being heard, I’m not listening either.

So what does this have to do with trade shows? If we aren’t listening to our clients, we are probably on the 3rd maybe even the 4th design revision with no end in sight. We’ve made assumptions, or we half heard or half asked. When we listen to our clients, we extract those important details like the ever elusive budget. Let’s be honest. Everyone’s favorite topic is themselves. When we give people a chance to talk and we actually listen, then design, quality, and expectations have a better chance of being met. When the client feels heard, they listen to us and trust us. Let me repeat that . . . when the client feels heard, they listen to us and trust us. That trust serves as the foundation for further conversations and a solid, smart, and successful solution.

As Your Student

So, for me, as I embark on this journey at Classic Exhibits with you, I want to be your student. I will listen and we will learn from each other — Whether it’s a “Can you do this?” or a “Hey, I don’t like it when you do this!” I’m excited that I get to work with Classic Exhibits and learn from you, the distributors that I’ve heard so many positives things about.

If we haven’t had the opportunity to talk yet, I’m working on it. Listening takes time you know. In the meantime, you can always send an email to I’m looking forward to getting some face time with you in the fall as I head out on the road like Reid. Also, don’t forget that fall term for SKU (Shared Knowledge University) is September 24-25.  Send us an email if you would like to join us.

Class dismissed!

Jen LaBruzza, Western Regional Manager


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