Trade Show Leader: Access Intelligence's Don Pazour
Don Pazour has led the strategy and growth of Access Intelligence for 15 years, taking magazine-centric businesses and transforming them into an integrated media, event-driven, web-centric group of market focused product clusters serving the media/marketing, energy/engineering, aerospace and healthcare markets.
Pazour and his team have built the business through countless launches and 20 acquisitions that have been bolted onto and integrated into the Phillips Business Information newsletter and magazine platform that Veronis Suhler Stevenson bought from Tom Phillips in late 2000. Recent acquisitions include Red7 Media, Leadscon, Penton Media’s marketing group and AdMonsters for media/marketing, Exchange Monitor events and information products that span the company’s energy/aerospace groups, and OR Manager for healthcare. Before joining Access Intelligence, Pazour worked at Miller Freeman, a subsidiary of United Business Media for 23 years where he was named CEO in 1997.
TSNN interviewed Pazour about his time in the industry, as well as what he hopes his personal impact will be.
TSNN: How did you get started in the industry?
Don Pazour: I must admit I am not a trade show native … I came in the back door through publishing. I began in editorial, began launching conferences for Miller Freeman, and as I got promoted and the company shifted from publishing-centric to tradeshow-centric, I learned what little I know from some of the greats that were running our shows Galen Poss, Darrell Denny, David Loechner to name a few.
TSNN: How different was the industry when you started, compared with today?
Don Pazour: Tradeshows were seen much more of an extension of either associations or publishing franchises. Over time the shows have become more of the center with associations and media properties wrapped around them.
TSNN: What are some of the lessons you have learned being a part of this industry?
Don Pazour: Great tradeshow franchises are sustainable to the extent they serve a community of attendees. Buying and Selling is critical, but technology or product defined shows are very delicate and frequently not sustainable. I have learned this the hard way too.
TSNN: What is your favorite part of being in the industry?
Don Pazour: My two favorite things are the people that comprise this industry and the buzz and feeling of a truly effective tradeshow.
TSNN: Anything you miss that you wish was still around?
Don Pazour: Tradeshow Week.
TSNN: Anything you are thrilled went away?
Don Pazour: Long registration lines. I probably spent days in lines at COMDEX over the years.
TSNN: What do you hope your personal impact on the industry is?
Don Pazour: Successful and happy careers for the many wonderful people with whom I have had the pleasure to work at Miller Freeman and Access Intelligence.
TSNN: Any wise words about what this industry means to you overall?
Don Pazour: Somehow it attracts really creative unselfish people who deliver great commercial value to the industries they serve. I feel like it is a family I am honored to be a part of.