IAEE recently sat down with Kelly Kilga, CEM, Director of Operations at Graphic Arts Show Co., Inc (GASC) to learn more about her industry experience as a MATSO (Major American Trade Show Organizer) member. Kelly has been a member of IAEE since October 1999 and currently serves on the MATSO Council and IAEE DC Chapter Nominating Committee.
How did you get your start in the exhibitions industry?
I started as an exhibitor. My first trade show was in 1994 at the Hyatt Crystal City and I remember getting yelled at by a union worker for carrying my boxes down the escalator.
What advice would you give a new IAEE member or person joining the exhibitions community?
Attend your local chapter meetings and get involved. Don’t be afraid to call or email people and ask questions. The people in this industry are very eager to share their knowledge, act as mentors, or just answer specific questions.
What is the biggest challenge in running your show?
The biggest challenge to running my show is facing a changing industry – resulting in lower budgets for exhibitors.
Tell us a fun fact or story that most people would not know about you.
I grew up bilingual and I’m fluent in German. I have family in Germany and enjoy visiting them when I can.
Any final thoughts for those involved with IAEE?
IAEE is a great way to find community and support within our industry. Education and networking help me develop my career and IAEE also helps my company in the form of research from CEIR and other information I learn at events and sessions and bring back to the team.