July 14, 2024 2:01 PM
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As The Saws Turn: The Best Company to Work With

by Jim Obermeyer

Several times in the past I have written about the most influential people in my career.  Some of them were managers and executives at companies where I had worked, and some were peers. But one common thread throughout all of them was the way in which they approached their profession and the company that employed them. All of them enjoyed what they were doing and enjoyed working with the team of people that surrounded them.

When I look back on my decades in the exhibit industry and think about the numerous positions I’ve held at a variety of companies, I could create my own “Best Company to Work For” list. But I’m not sure that’s the way I would approach the issue.

The most challenging and most rewarding times in my career have been when I was part of a very creative, dynamic team focused on achieving our mission. We were driven and succeeded because of the energy within the group of people. I can think of specific periods where this team dynamic was very strong and very successful. 

When I was a tradeshow manager at a large corporation, I was part of a five-person team that produced our largest tradeshows. Team members came from a variety of areas in the company, such as sales, marketing, technical support and product management. But everyone understood the mission: To create a memorable tradeshow marketing experience that delivered our message to the attendees at our shows. This team worked so well together and became so successful that it garnered the company’s prestigious Spirit of Excellence award.

At another company I became involved in the expansion of a satellite office for an exhibit designer-producer. We were able to recruit some of the top people in our market to create a core team that understood its mission: To grow a new exhibit marketing company in a market that hadn’t seen new blood in many years. In three years, the division was able to challenge – and win – against even its biggest competitors.

I relate these stories for no other reason than to make this point: It’s not about who’s the best company to work FOR; it’s about who is the best team of people for you work WITH. And that gets back to what it is that you are trying to achieve in your career.  

What constitutes a best company for one person may not even make the bottom of the list for you. All the best compensation packages, benefits, perks and bonuses won’t mean a whole lot if you are absolutely miserable doing what you’re doing.  

If you know what it is that motivates you to succeed, and what it is that gives you the most satisfaction in your career, however, then those are the attributes of your best company and the characteristics you should be looking for in your work.  

Employers who understand that those motivators are different with each of us and understand what it is to provide the environment for each of us to be a part of the successes will end up building a group of people that in total create the Best Company To Work WITH.

May you succeed in finding your best company!

See you on the show floor.

Jim Obermeyer has been in the exhibits and events industry 40 years, both as a corporate tradeshow manager and exhibit house owner.  He can be reached at jobermeyer903@gmail.com    

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