Six high school seniors from The Kinkaid School, a college preparatory school in Houston, recently joined the 2020 Exhibits team as student interns through The Kinkaid School 2013 Career Development Program. With “enrichment through experience” cited as the Career Development program’s primary purpose, 2020 Exhibits challenged the interns throughout the customized three-week internship covering a broad spectrum of the event marketing, collaboration and design process.
The interns dove in, learning about the global impact of the event marketing and exposition industry and the dynamics of face-to-face marketing. In the spirit of healthy competition and to enhance the overall internship experience, 2020 Exhibits focused on delivering an engaging program dividing the interns into two teams, which would ultimately vie to win the hearts, minds and attention the attendees at the final product and brand unveiling, as exhibitors in a mock tradeshow called THE HOME SHOW.
With a focus on delivering an engaging event experience, the interns created and branded two companies; Expandable Innovations and Green Clean, with key messaging and standards established for each. The teams competed at every level including collaboration, design, concepts and the execution of the final product.
2020 Exhibits program mentors from a cross-section of disciplines worked with the intern/business owners on the design, development and execution of program deliverables ranging from company logos and business card to sales collateral, including multimedia presentations, and tradeshow exhibits for which large scale graphics were designed and executed. Projects were managed and the teams worked collaboratively through 2020 Exhibits cloud-based event and project management technology, which directed the project through each stage including tasking internal project members, design reviews and approvals; rendering reviews; exhibit construction and installation and, ultimately, as the means to gather response and feedback from The HOME SHOW.
Each member of the team adapted to several key positions throughout the project process. Understanding different aspects of the project process as well as key roles which ultimately help to support a successful and engaging project led to a richer experience and greater understanding. Ultimately, the teams were able showcase their product brands, companies and new exhibits at their first-ever tradeshow called THE HOME SHOW.
THE HOME SHOW delivered a true face-to-face marketing experience for these business owner/interns. 2020 Exhibits employees donned official show badges posing as tradeshow attendees; either as consumer or wholesale buyers, visiting each exhibit to learn more about their offerings and, in many cases, to gather information about each product, which was instantaneously delivered to the attendee’s e-mail as digital media. Attendees also made on-site purchases, via MEDIA STATION. While a final winning company was selected through the survey process, the 2020 Exhibits team gave high marks to both teams.
“The hallmark of 2020 Exhibits success is nothing more than the dedication, passion and commitment of our employees,” said Bob Babine, president. “Our Kinkaid interns were equally dedicated and passionate throughout the internship. This level of commitment and fighting spirit will serve them well. It was a pleasure to have them working with us.”
As for the student interns, feedback was shared, ranging from “… this internship was simply incredible! These three weeks have flown by because you guys kept us engaged and excited throughout the weeks” to “I learned a lot and it was fun to be able to compete against each other to design and build our own exhibits” and, perhaps this sums the F2F industry best, when one shared, “I loved the final week because we got to see what had come out of our heads actually come together in real life!”