Stephen Pitt, Senior Vice President of Conventions and Expos with the National Automobile Dealers Association sat down with IAEE to talk about his career as a Major American Trade Show Organizer and his member experience with IAEE. Steve has been an IAEE member since 1976! He produces the NADA/ATD Convention & Expo.
How did you get your start in the exhibitions industry?
I was hired through Sheraton’s first hotel training program. After four years my client, NADA, hired me to manage their trade show. The rest, you could say, is history…
What advice would you give a new IAEE member or person joining the exhibitions community?
Learn, participate, network and get involved where ever you can. IAEE chapters and volunteer opportunities are great ways to make lifelong friends and mentors in this industry.
What is the biggest challenge in running your show? And why?
Staying relevant, on the cutting edge and knowing that you are only as good as your last show. We have to adapt to the rapidly changing technology and integrate that with all of the generations that participate in our convention and show or we will lose them. There is NO room for big mistakes in this fast paced environment.
Tell us a fun fact or story that most people would not know about you.
During the Cold War in the 1960s, I mated nuclear weapons with B-52 Bombers in between serving two tours of Vietnam. After returning, I had to work in a machine shop to make ends meet.
What do you think is the biggest benefit of being an IAEE member?
IAEE is the only true representation of the collective trade show industry. It is the real place for the industry education, networking and has the largest trade show executive managers collectively in this field. IAEE is the true source for all of your trade show needs. Clearly if you want to run a top cutting edge trade show of any size, IAEE is the place to be.