Trade Show Leader: Global Experience Specialists’ Steve Moster
For the past 12-plus years, Steve Moster has moved up the ranks of Global Experience Specialists (GES). Serving currently as president and CEO of Viad since 2014 and as president of GES since 2010, Moster joined Viad in 2004 as vice president of Exhibition Furnishings.
His career evolved to sales and leadership roles with the company, including executive vice president — chief sales & marketing officer and as executive vice president — Products and Services, where he led double-digit revenue growth.
Moster received his bachelor of engineering degree from Vanderbilt University and his master of business administration from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
Moster took some time to talk with TSNN about his love for live events.
TSNN: How did you get started in the industry?
Steve Moster: I was recruited to drive growth in our products and services.
TSNN: How different was the industry when you started, compared with today?
Moster: Technology is playing a bigger role in successful events then when I first started. That has created more efficient events. As an example, electrical distribution and booth layout used to be done by hand and is now by computer.
Organizers are able to capture data about the markets that they are in. Tech has allowed the organizer to be more sophisticated.
Two major trends are consolidation on the organizer side and organizers and meeting planners are interested in a one stop shop – multiple services from one provide, i.e. - official contracting, AV, accommodations, event strategy, registration and data.
TSNN: What are some of the lessons you have learned being a part of this industry?
Moster: The power of connection. Over my career there have been multiple theories on meetings being replaced by technologies. I‘ve learned there is a tremendous amount of power in the connection of people.
TSNN: What is your favorite part of being in the industry?
Moster: The people, hands down. No day is the same.
TSNN: Anything you miss that you wish was still around?
Moster: I’m a big advocate of change, I believe in evolution and learning through it, so rarely do I look back and wish things were the same.
TSNN: Anything you are thrilled went away?
Moster: The industry is making progress in getting into the 21st century. The industry lags behind. I’m thrilled that paper kits have gone away and exhibitors and organizers value the ease of using Expresso, GES’ exhibit planning, ordering and management tool. I’m thrilled to see all the manual work becoming more automated. From graphics production technologies to GES Connect which allows clients to manage their show digitally.
The industry has gotten more sophisticated, but has never lost its central theme around customer services, both for GES and our clients. While we have gotten more efficient, our focus is still on customer service. We use tools to allow our team members to spend more time with customers, and to “chat” in multiple languages. We use Salesforce as our CRM system in our National Servicenter, providing our team members with access to information at the touch of a button. And our National Servicenter has been certified by J.D. Power for providing an outstanding customer service experience for 8 years in a row.
TSNN: What do you hope your personal impact on the industry is?
Moster: I’d like to leave the industry better than when I came in. Create something for the next generation. Improve GES and the industry, and bring in the next generation through programs like our Account Associate mentoring program.
TSNN: Any wise words about what this industry means to you overall?
Moster: There’s no better place for business than live events.