TPG is celebrating the 25-year milestone of incorporation as a turnkey trade show and event marketing company. We are proud that we retain top talent who have been the backbone of our company for years and have been responsible for our incredible growth. One such person is Mary Kemmer, CTSM, and TPG Operations Manager. We caught up with Mary to talk about her history with our company and why she loves the trade show world.

Congratulations on 20 years with TPG! How did you meet our Founder, Jan Koveleski, and what role did you first have with TPG, which was originally known as The Presentation Group?

This is unique story. I responded to a job opening in 1998, which was not a good fit for either of us. Jan told me to contact her in a year if I was still looking, and I did just that. Several months later, I was hired in the Operations Department, handling various tasks for the company, which grew and evolved into our Operations Manager.

TPG team members

Mary Kemmer and Jan Kovaleski, circa 2003

When did you obtain your CTSM Certification and what benefits does that bring to the trade show world?

I obtained my certification in 2008. I believe I became equipped with a unique expertise in the rapidly evolving trade show industry in sales and marketing. It’s a graduate level education, and it enhanced my current skills and gave me a new perspective on the industry.

As Operations Manager, you oversee much of what happens with our clients’ exhibit planning and onsite direction. Tell us a little about what that entails?

I manage the booth space layouts, exhibit transportation, property management of what goes in each space, and the budget. I place orders for space and exhibit services and reconcile all invoices in those departments. I also compose post-show metrics reports on attendee demographics and lead generation. The most important function of my job is to make sure our clients are not being overcharged by the contractors on on-site I&D.

Do you have an overarching philosophy about your work with TPG and how that favorably impacts our clients?

As our website explains, “TPG has the experience and expertise to deliver a striking event presence with actionable results. In creating meaningful brand engagements, we combine leading technology with a warm, human connection.”

I could not say it better. We care about our clients, and we are a true extension of them in every aspect. We are right there beside them in this world we call trade shows, and we are accountable for their successful exhibits.

If you could give advice to a company which has never exhibited at a trade show before, what would it be?

Consider all options. There are so many benefits from building strong relationships with alternate vendors and hiring them whenever possible.

Why are trade shows so important to include in a company’s marketing mix?

Trade shows offer your company a platform to market to your customers and then sell your products to those exact same customers. You are hitting your target market face-to-face, building and reinforcing your brand. Trade shows bring together the company and the professional visitors. This provides you with one-on-one dedicated time you don’t get from a commercial, publication ad or direct mail.

Mary, you have seen it all and been with TPG through our amazing growth period. Any last words?

As a solid team, we get it done, no matter what, and we do it right.

Mary Kemmer, CTSM, Operations Manager

Related Article: The TPG Story – An Overnight Success 25 Years in the Making