Working in the trade show industry is not for the faint of heart. It is for the innovative, the driven, the passionate, the energetic…the road warrior. And when you travel from city to city or rather, from airport to [insert trade show or event venue here] and back to the airport, you sometimes need a break from your trade show management duties to have some fun. You also need support from people with local know-how and a shared passion for the industry.
With that in mind, I connected with our City Manager in Atlanta, Mike Beske, to talk about the common questions he gets from clients and how he responds. He’s worked with trade show management and event management pros since 1982. His accomplished career in the industry, coupled with his southern hospitality was the perfect recipe for a great Q&A below. If you’ve ever been to the South, you know we love a good chat - enjoy!
Q: What is a good place to eat that is not a chain (we’re talking local favorites here)?
A: Atlanta is big and widespread, but I have a few areas I tend to favor. I typically guide clients to an area like West Midtown that has a ton of great local restaurants and where shopping and entertainment is plentiful. There are also great bites right near the convention center. Here are a few of me and my team’s top picks around Atlanta:
Best bets near the Congress Center:
Other options just a short drive away:
- Ponce City Market (Unique Indoor/Outdoor Marketplace)
- Kevin Rathbun Steak
- Ormsby’s (Food and Games!)
- JCT Kitchen and Bar
- Fat Matt’s Rib Shack (Featuring blues nightly.)
- South City Kitchen
Q: I need a popular venue with food and drinks that will impress my client/boss/out-of-towners.
A: Atlanta is known for amazing food and stylish venues. Below are some favorite spots to impress.
Q: How was the exhibit installation? Was it smooth or have you had a lot of issues?
A: Usually, I get to respond honestly that it was smooth sailing. But many times I have to explain how things beyond our control impacted the project. As many have experienced, freight is sometimes late, exhibit components can be damaged during transport, flights are delayed and booth staff don’t make it. I’ve learned that anything can and does happen, but we are proactive, we anticipate challenges and we don’t ever make excuses. We simply try to resolve any issue as soon as it happens. I want our clients to know they are in confident, capable hands and that we are prepared for anything and everything.
Q: In this exhibit hall do you think I have a good location? If not, where would the best place to be for heavy traffic?
A: My answer is never the same to this question as every show is different. Yes, there are obvious areas that will have heavy traffic by default, but this is of course, not the only consideration to weigh when it comes to your exhibit marketing.
Editor’s Note: You can’t rely on the “build it and they will come” adage; you have to create a marketing program around your show participation that drives the attendees to your exhibit. As you know, marketing and promotional opportunities like sponsorships, booth packages and media events abound at every trade show and event. And don’t forget pre-show digital promotions, off-site events and social media campaigns. These are all great tools to leverage in order to reach your overall marketing goals, but where to start? This section of EXHIBITOR Online offers some great examples of what other exhibitors have done to capture the attendee’s attention, as well as planning tools and tips, and many resources to help you.
Need more information about Nth Degree's trade show labor operations in Atlanta? Contact Mike Beske.
Mike Beske, City Manager