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A recruitment agency's journey in the experiential marketing industry

Exhibit RecruiterAs the tradeshow exhibit industry evolves, industry supply partners must also change and adapt. Forging ahead in tough economic times has required firms to be inventive. The evolution has been transformative for many firms in the industry.

Borne out of these conditions has been a trend toward experiential marketing. ExhibitRecruiter is no exception to this trend. In fact, when ExhibitRecruiter was launched in 1998, the company focused solely on the U.S. market. Cal Cook, principal at ExhibitRecruiter, the leading recruitment agency for the experiential marketing industry shared, “We realized that in order to truly be a resource partner for our clients, we needed to expand our recruiting reach beyond the tradeshow exhibit industry and the U.S. market.”

Because ExhibitRecruiter’s clients are involved in event marketing, brand environments, broadcast environments, mobile tours, auto shows and corporate museums, the agency has expanded its services to meet the needs of their client base by adding team members to focus on each sector. Effectively, they have doubled in size over the last two years. Their markets now include the U.S., Canada and they are emerging in the European market.

When looking back on the last decade, Cook believes that social media has had one of the biggest impacts on the recruiting industry.

“Social media is here to stay, and we have embraced that fact,” said Cook. “New technologies and social media are now integrated into every aspect in our daily role as recruiters, but nothing takes the place of picking up the phone and speaking with clients and candidates.” 

It is that hands-on approach that has resulted in ExhibitRecruiter’s sustained growth during the rollercoaster ride that the exhibition industry has been experiencing since 2001.

So many recruiters focus on getting a placement and collecting a fee. ExhibitRecruiter’s approach is to listen and understand their clients’ business model and their hiring needs.

“Our most important characteristic is that we listen to both our clients and the candidates that we represent.” said Cook. “We onlyExhibit Peepspresent candidates that are the best fit.”

Frustrations and anxieties are inherent in business. ExhibitRecruiter also faces challenges that are distinctive to their industry. 

Jaynie Ellison, partner at ExhibitRecruiter disclosed, “One of our biggest obstacles is overcoming previous negative experiences that our clients and candidates have had with other recruitment firms. Other recruitment firms often inundate clients with unqualified resumes and share candidate information without their knowledge or approval.”

ExhibitRecruiter counteracts this negative experience by clearly communicating how they work with both the clients and candidates.

“After evaluating every aspect of our business, we identified ways we could offer added value to clients and potential job seekers,” said Ellison. “Not just doing business, but partnering with our clients is the goal of the ExhibitRecruiter team.”

2011 has been a busy year with the expansion of the company’s team, the rebranding of ExhibitRecruiter.com and the launch of ExhibitPeeps.com.

ExhibitRecruiter is now using new features on their website including texting, real-time updates and live chats to be more accessible and improve response time. The launch of ExhibitPeeps.com, an e-recruiting site, offers an online resource for budget-conscience employers interested in expanding their team. Employers can browse through hundreds of candidate profiles and pay a fee only if someone is hired. For job seekers, the site offers market exposure to potential employers while maintaining strict confidentiality.  

ExhibitRecruiter has earned a stellar reputation and achieved success in the live marketing industry by running an ethical business and treating people with respect.

“Both our clients and the candidates that we have represented over the last decade have the assurance that we work to clearly understand their needs and then align our goals with theirs,” said Cook.

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