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  • Mar 15, 2024
  • Write by Author Name
  • Mar 15, 2024

Trade show display leader succeeds with the power of personality

Sure, Phil Zamloot’s team can make you a great trade show booth at a really good price. But that’s not what makes him and his company, Metro Exhibits, so successful.

The difference is personality. Thanks to Zamloot, Metro Exhibits is informal and fun — but don’t let that fool you. It is also very, very good at creating booths and displays that bring attention, visitors, sales leads and revenue.

This is in part because Belleville, NJ-born Zamloot — a fast-thinking, whir of a guy — generates ideas, friends, and business relationships the way cannolis disappear at a party: quickly. The result is a real experience, not a transaction. It’s a warm, very human effect that makes all the difference. This effect translates exceptionally well to the most face-to-face industry in the world, the trade show industry.

Time to swing for the fences
This year, the global exhibitions market is projected to reach $30 billion, then grow to $32.5 billion by 2025, according to Stax, a global management consulting leader. This renewed enthusiasm in face-to-face is evident in the buzz around the 2024 National Retail Federation’s The Big Show, which kicked off the 2024 trade show season, and which included 12 booths created by Metro Exhibits. This projection is welcome news for companies that rely on booths, displays and exhibits to establish and keep business-building relationships. But as we all remember, not so long ago the picture looked very different.

When the going gets tough …
… the tough pivot. When the pandemic hit and the trade show both business faltered, Zamloot reached out to his vast contact list with keep-the-lights-on fervor. Transferring its skills to different markets, Metro Exhibits found new business by installing Plexiglass screens for offices, restaurants and school systems. The custom millwork division went from creating high-end trade show displays to creating corporate and residential interiors. The MetroPlus division expanded from providing trade show promotional items to supporting clients’ needs to keep their employees connected. The company also sold personal protection equipment and engagement kits for remote workers to help them feel more connected to managers and each other. As a result, the company survived, “grinding away every day,” as Zamloot puts it, while some competitors faded.

Bottom line, when the industry awoke after the pandemic slumber, Metro Exhibits was perfectly positioned to hit the ground sprinting. A few of the shows its booths enhanced in 2023 included Toyfair, CES, KBIS, NRF, SHOT Show, Comic-Con, Fancy Food Show, Global Pet, SuperZoo, and many others.  The company also created custom exhibits for special projects at locations including Louis Vuitton, Advertising Week and the United Nations.

“I don’t want to make myself out to be some kind of genius,” Zamloot says. “Everybody here worked hard to get through the pandemic to make our customers successful. Really, it’s about common sense and a little bit of street smarts and attention to detail. I’m not the smartest guy. I just try to surround myself with good people and keep on developing relationships. That’s the only way to build a business and keep it going in good times and not-so-good.”

Where ya from?

As Zamloot will say, a lot of companies can create good trade show booths. But do yourself a favor. Give Metro Exhibits a call to experience the difference. Better yet, visit one of their three full-service facilities in the NY/NJ metropolitan area, Orlando and Las Vegas. Talk family. Talk hometowns. Tell Zamloot and his people about your company. And, for sure, talk sports, which is a favorite topic, since Metro Exhibits has business development affiliates who include Lawrence Taylor (yes, that one) and Ottis (you know him as OJ) Anderson. Heck, feel free to talk politics. Seriously. At Zamloot’s shop, it’s all in play. Whatever the conversation, you’re guaranteed a lively introduction into how Zamloot and Metro Exhibits have a gift for making relationships happen on and off the trade show floor.

“We were growing fast before the pandemic hit, so when the trade show market dipped, it was a good chance to reset, reflect, and reimagine,” says Zamloot. “It was also great to help clients re-emerge in 2022 and 2023, and we’re excited about what’s shaping up to be a record-breaking 2024 trade show market.”

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