In this most recent economic downturn, exhibit companies have faced tough times and even tougher decisions. Combine customer decisions to reduce tradeshow marketing budgets with a more restricted lending environment and you will see true leadership emerge.
Metro Exhibit Corporation (MEC) has been providing creative solutions to its tradeshow marketing customers for over 30 years.
Many of its clients have been collaborating with MEC for almost 20 years.
“We’ve been very fortunate to build loyalty with such a great group of clients,” said Rick Phebus, owner of MEC. “Even with transition in their ranks, our collaborative and transparent approach has allowed us to partner and grow with our clients. There’s no better base to build upon.”
When a company experiences transition and growth for as long as MEC has, it forces management to continually rethink their future. As MEC expanded its product and service offerings, ownership realized that industry-focused executive guidance would move the company forward.
“From my first day on the job, I have been treated like family,” said Tom Bacha, president of MEC, who joined the company in 2008. “The culture of Metro allows every employee the opportunity to grow personally and professionally. This atmosphere has allowed us to experience growth and attract the industry’s top talent, despite any economic conditions that have affected our competitors.”
Bacha has been a top executive at several leading exhibit houses during his career and is in a position to share his expertise and learn from his team at MEC.
Allowing the industry’s top account executives to run their own business, with MEC’s full operating support is a key factor to the company’s ongoing success.
“Each AE has to be considered for their individual methods that have brought them success,” said Phebus. “We don’t force them into a corporate bureaucracy and hope that their success continues. As a company, we all learn, adapt and create tremendous forward momentum. It’s very exciting.”
When asked how the company has continued to grow in spite of the recent economic downturn, Bacha points toward company culture.
“One thing we reinforce everyday to our employees is to create positive transactions and make our customers feel valued,” he said. “MEC insists that employees provide a great experience for clients and share their experiences with co-workers. MEC trains every employee in proper customer service procedures and ensures they clearly understand the importance of the customer to Metro’s continued growth. In difficult times, companies do not get a second chance to make a good first impression on its customers.”
MEC values its customers, not only for the amount invested in their tradeshow marketing programs, but for whom they are and what they represent. The company makes sure that every employee is capable of addressing the customers’ need and for generating a strong sense of belonging and significance.
Brian Phebus, principal and longtime industry veteran, oversees several of MEC’s operations, including Production. When presented with questions surrounding the economy and cost cutting objectives for the company, he made an important distinction.
“There is a big difference between cutting and managing costs,” Phebus said. “What you never want to do is cut quality. Metro Exhibit, or any company for that matter, lives or dies by its reputation, and quality is at least one-third of its reputation.
“We promise, and more importantly, we deliver on the commitments we make to our customers,” Phebus continued. “We continually manage our costs and our customers benefit from it. It is that simple.”
MEC has created a culture that benefits customers, employees, and ownership. Its success and continual efforts to evolve, adapt and improve will most certainly keep the company thriving for another 30 years.
|People on the Move|