Industry Interview: Hendrik Lenze from Nomadic Display
How long have you been in the trade show industry, and how did you get started?
I started in 1995 with a 3 year college program in Germany that was specifically designed for Business Administration and TradeShow Marketing. While attending College, I worked for the German Exhibit Design and Producer’s Associated and graduated in 1998. As I was looking for a new challenge, I came across one of the association members called Nomadic Display and joined them in 1999.
How long have you been with your current company? Why do you like working with/for them?
I have been with Nomadic now for 15 years. When Nomadic showed me the “pop-up” and their latest “product innovation” (PLATINUM) scheduled to launch in 1999, I was immediately interested. My first job was with the Sales & Distribution Team in Europe and I became the Sales Manager, trainer for the German speaking Distributors, soon thereafter other countries followed and I had a chance to travel all over Europe and to our Headquarter in Washington DC. A dream job right out of college and in the industry that I studied!
After joining the Sales & Distribution Team for North America in 2001 and moving to the United States, I have stayed within that department ever since. I love working with our distribution network and their staff, to be actively involved with their challenges. I get great satisfaction in their success. This job is so unique and it allows me to be many things. To be creative, to be a marketer, to think strategic, to be a salesperson, a trainer and a public speaker and a business consultant. I can't ask for more in a job that is demanding and rewarding all the time.
What is something (or things) you wish exhibitors knew about your product that they don’t seem to know?
Our company was started with one single product in 1975. The Nomadic Instand pop-up revolutionized the industry when our founder Ted Zeigler invented it. It is widely considered one of the 10 events that have truly transformed our industry. Many customers are just amazed that we still produce virtually the same product by hand in our production facility in Springfield, Virginia for almost 40 years. Our legacy has created a very strong brand in our industry for quality portable exhibit solutions but oftentimes clients don’t realize that in 2014, Nomadic also creates amazing custom designed exhibit environments for Fortune 500 to small companies.
What sets your company apart from others who provide similar products?
We refuse to treat our portable product line offerings as “commodities” like so many other manufacturers do. We always focus on what is the best solution for the customer based on their objectives and company structure. Today many clients get “educated” through the internet and make decisions based on price, pretty pictures and misleading information. We don’t just want to sell you a product, we want to help you choose an exhibit solution that truly makes sense for your company.
What do you like about working with Area Design and Build?
Passion is what sets companies apart, specifically in our industry. There are hundreds of choices to an Exhibitor but ultimately sophisticated buyers want to find a home with experts that are humble and who care more about the Exhibitor’s success then just dollars and cents.. The team at Area Design and Build is a seasoned team that treats their clients and vendors with respect and in true partnership.
What’s the best tip or trick you’ve learned to help exhibitors have more successful events?
No matter how big or small the event and the investment, it should always start with a firm set of objectives and goals that drive the project. “We just go to the show because we have always done it and all our competitors are there…” is just not enough in my eyes. The other suggestion I always make in the Design Process is: It is not as important what you as the exhibitor consider “nice, good looking and need to haves” but rather always ask yourself this: What does my target audience need to walk away with to make their attendance successful? Ultimately your customer’s success will drive your tradeshow business.
Anything else you want us to know about you?
With a busy work and travel schedule, my family always comes first. When I can find some time I find balance in three sports. I pretend to play Golf, kick a Soccer ball in an indoor league and chase my son around so that he can't destroy our house.