Pressure makes diamonds.

We have experienced two years of dealing with circumstances beyond our control and that we could have never imagined. During the uncertainty of this year there have been many bright spots in the event industry and successes to celebrate. This year brought with it several surprises and key learnings. Now, at the end of this year, it is the perfect time for us to reflect on what is important.

We caught up with a few of our team members to get their take on 2021.

Christina Piedlow, TPG President and CEO

Christina, if you could describe 2021 in one word, what would it be, and what has this year represented to you?

Both personally and in business, 2021 has been a year of change. It’s how we choose to adapt to and embrace those changes together that enables us to grow. Our industry is changing, and we too, have been adapting to bring successful programs to our clients. Also, my mantra as of late – Words matter. Kindness counts.

Jean Howard, Director of New Business Development

Jean, you are deeply involved with our clients before, during and after each event. What are your main takeaways from this year?

I look at this year as one of enlightenment – of growth and continuing evolution for our industry.  The joy of meeting again in-person was palpable. The strength of those meetings on the show floor could be measured.  Our knowledge of interacting virtually has deepened.  Now we must have wisdom to apply all that we have learned, and the courage to do it!! Personally, I look forward to being by our clients’ sides every step of the way!

Mary Kemmer, CTSM, Operations Manager

Do you have an overriding philosophy that has become even more apparent to you over this past year?

When you live your personal and professional life with honesty and integrity, there is no losing; only winning.

Kristen Heitman, Director of Experiential Marketing

2021 was the year that in-person trade shows began to slowly reemerge. You’ve attended many of these events with our clients. What did you notice most about being back together?

Since 2020 was the year to ‘pivot’ (as Ross from Friends would say), I think 2021 was the year of connection.  After living in our digital bubble for months, experiencing live events again really highlighted the importance of human connection – both personally and professionally.

Kim Mallery, Organizational Strategist and Project Manager

How about you, Kim? What are your thoughts since trade shows have ramped up, and how have you fared personally this year?

Fortune favors the bold! Although attendance at shows may be down based on past years, we’ve found that the people who choose to attend do tend to be highly motivated. Our clients who forged ahead with in person events have reaped the benefits with quality leads and interactions. Personally, 2021 has been a year full of gratitude. I’m grateful for my family as well as the amazing “family” that I work with every day. Nothing makes a bigger impact than kindness and treating others with respect and dignity. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by a team of people who embrace this attitude.

Mary Bassett, Experiential Program Coordinator

The pandemic upended the trade show industry in so many ways. But in some respects, it has brought goals and objectives in sharper view. Sum up your thoughts for us.

For me, 2021 can be summed up with these three “P’s”:  Patience, Perseverance, & Praiseworthy:  PATIENCE dealing with all the curve balls the pandemic threw our way; PERSEVERANCE and dedication in the stellar work that we do to serve our clients; and, PRAISEWORTHY to describe all of my amazing colleagues at TPG!

Final Thoughts

One thing is abundantly clear from speaking with our team: we love this business and have missed the in-person interactions deeply. We are thankful for our loyal clients and thrilled that most are forging ahead with exhibiting at trade shows. We are enthusiastic about finding new creative and exciting ways to connect with audiences – whether in person or virtual. It has also been a year of personal growth and self-reflection that comes with changing times. 2021 was a year of appreciating life, love, and family more than ever before. Our wish for you is that you have also given thought to successes and achievements that may have previously been overlooked. After all, if you don’t succumb to defeat, pressure does indeed create – diamonds.

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