Engagement is the Business … is the Essence … of Tradeshows and Events

By Drew Powers

“Business and human endeavors are systems… we tend to focus on snapshots of isolated parts of the system. And wonder why our deepest problems never get solved.”


How is Starbucks one of the world’s most powerful and recognized brands even if, in comparison to other companies its size, it does very little advertising? How is Mary Kay the sixth largest direct sales company in the world even though it does next to no advertising?

The primary reason that Starbucks and Mary Kay are so successful, and so well known, even though they don’t spend much on advertising, was explained in a keynote address delivered recently by Jack Meyers, Chairman and Media Ecologist at MyersBizNet. Mr. Meyers is among the most in demand media and marketing strategists, and futurists.

Mr. Meyers, an author whose work in film documentaries has been nominated for Academy and Emmy awards, presented his speech in July, in Boston, at E2MA Red Diamond Congress, one of the exhibit and event industry’s premier networking conferences.

“Engagement” was the theme of the conference.

In his talk, Mr. Meyers discussed and provided examples of how the practice and economies of advertising and media are undergoing a sea change, a revolution; he talked about where the opportunities will be in, and the nature of, the future of advertising and marketing.

Mr. Meyers made the case that companies like Starbucks and Mary Kay are able to so cost-effectively connect and communicate with customers, and to sell so much product, on a miniscule advertising budget, because they are all stars in engaging people; they are engagement hall of famers.


In every industry and endeavor, there are strategies and buzzwords and the new thing; they take precedence, for a while … then they retreat in our consciousness and our attention, and in the focus and prevalence and intensity of their application … and, while they don’t go away, soon enough there are other strategies and buzzwords and new things.

“Engagement” is receiving considerable attention lately. It is a hot concept.

Yet, for companies and organizations that have long been winning, engagement has long been more than a concept; it has not been ephemeral – for it has long been fundamental to the way these groups function.

Without a focus on and commitment to engagement, Willwork, Inc. Exhibit Services would not have come close to the growth and success we have achieved.

Willwork has been “doing” engagement since we launched more than 25 years ago, for as long as we have been operating. We understand fully the elements and substance of engagement.

Engagement is holistic, and involves a constellation – a system – of human and organizational connectivity, in which all players and components are networked, in varying degrees of proximity and influence, with each other.

Working and effective engagement confers value and competitive advantage throughout this constellation.

Engagement focuses on strengthening and making more valuable the relationships between a company and its clients – and between a company and its vendors, industry and trade organizations, facility managers, and government.

Engagement involves – and this is necessary for, and paramount to, optimum engagement – internal employee engagement. If employees aren’t engaged, not consulted and listened to, not encouraged to participate, not provided continuous professional development … and if they do not feel invested in the process, then the company for which they are employed will not win, and will not deliver winning products and services.

Engagement is about listening, asking questions, responding – and caring about your job, and feeling that there is worth and importance in doing it.

Engagement is about committing the resources and time to developing and making your organization the best, and making the best readily and easily available to everyone for whom and with whom you work.

It is because engagement is so important, and will continue to be so important, that the future of shows and events is bright, as is the future of job opportunities and job openings for show and event planners.

Engagement Makes Companies More Profitable

Exhibiting, events, and shows are, at their essence, the business of engagement.

Bruce Bolger will tell you this. Promoting and teaching engagement is his business; he strongly believes both in the value of engagement, and that shows and events are venues and paradigms that are particularly hospitable to, and fertile environments for, engagement.

Mr. Bolger, managing director of Enterprise Engagement Alliance, also presented at E2MA Red Diamond Congress. Enterprise Engagement Alliance develops and makes available “open source” engagement strategies, available for free, to all, at the organization’s website.

In his seminar, titled, “Engagement Essentials,” Mr. Bolger said that engagement “is so important it should be a formal business practice and field – and that we should be applying the same rigor and discipline to engaging people that we do to advertising … that we do to a tradeshow exhibition … that we do to an event”

Mr. Bolger full believes that organizations are sacrificing tremendous profits in not embracing and practicing engagement – and that the sacrifice is widespread and deeply institutionalized.

He cited a Gallup poll statistic that 28 percent of U.S. employees do not feel engaged in their work, and a Nielsen survey that revealed 78 percent of U.S. consumers are not loyal to a single brand.

Engagement, Mr. Bolger testifies, is the key to happier and more productive employees, and companies forging a stronger bond with the public, one that facilitates loyalty to a brand,

“ … the whole idea of enterprise engagement … is that everybody is united under a single mission, a single brand,” said Mr. Bolger. “It’s about fostering the proactive involvement of the people who can help you achieve your goals. …. Tradeshows are a magical place to build alignment between your employees, your customers – they’re all there – your vendors, your management,”

He also noted that, “’The new model in business is that you involve your community and your customer in an ongoing conversation about every part of your business. Where can you have that conversation better than at a tradeshow or an event?”

Advertising and Marketing – The Engagement “Sweet Spot”

A primary reason that engagement, when properly applied, will make your company more profitable, is that it is the most cost-effective advertising and marketing-communications programs available to companies.

As Jack Meyers detailed and elaborated on in his speech, engagement is a force shaking up the business of advertising, driving, across many industries, a seismic and cosmic review of advertising and marketing budgets and appropriations.

Mr. Meyers referenced in his talk that ongoing, this past summer, some $30 billion in media budgets were under review in the U.S. That’s a lot of money – 30,000 times $1 million in money. So much media expenditure is under review because, as Mr. Meyers explained with so many new ways for companies to connect with consumers, and build brand loyalty, there are necessarily many unanswered questions about the best, the smartest, way to spend advertising dollars.

Technology, and big data, in the estimation of Mr. Meyers, have not necessarily done much to improve advertising and marketing.

To highlight and support this contention, he presaged his talk with the following quote, which he calls his “favorite of all time,” offered by the English essayist Samuel Johnson in 1759: ‘The trade of advertising is now so near perfection that it is not easy to propose any improvement.”

Reflecting on the Samuel Johnson quote, Mr. Meyers said, “And I think it probably was – and it’s been downhill ever since. How do we deal in a world where technology is not necessarily making advertising any better? In the world of advertising that Samuel Johnson was operating in, it was a world in, it was a world where advertising was making a very personal connection. It was very close … you were communicating with your neighbor through the media or through the choices that they were making, on who they learned about the world, how they learned about business – and they were consuming advertising as something that was meaningful and valuable to them.”

Improvements in technology, and the ever building and growing mountains of data foisted on decision makers and planners, are not, in the estimation of Mr. Meyers, necessarily helping to improve the effectiveness and efficiencies of advertising, buying, and selling.

Brands and customer loyalty are being devalued, said Mr. Meyers, and, he maintains, the antidote to this weakening of brand strength and customer loyalty is for business to become reacquainted with the strong interpersonal and closely and poignantly emotional advertising that predominated in the mid 1700s, in the day of Samuel Johnson.

Mr. Myers, did stress, though, that technology will be an important and critical mover in the improvement of advertising and marketing – especially a category he terms “Emotion Tech, which is populated with devices such as wearables, beacons, and “invisibles” – which connect and transmit the emotions of consumers directly to marketers and sellers.

(Willwork clients benefit from our proprietary mobile and beacon technologies, which we have developed in house, that enable show personnel, on show site, to instantaneously capture a variety of specific and valuable information that allows for smarter, faster, and more targeted marketing, and communications with customers and potential customers.)

Speaking to the show and event professionals, Mr. Meyers said that the future of marketing and advertising is “one that I really believe will be your strength. It will be your sweet spot.”

“Let’s move to the future ahead of everyone else,” continued Mr. Meyers, “because you’re in a business where relationships are at the forefront, and all the legacy media and advertising that we look at, their fundamental core business models are embedded in the past – are embedded in mass; not focused, not individual, not taking advantage of new technology to reinforce what you’ve always done which has been about making connections.”

Kronos Incorporated and Willwork, Inc. Exhibit Services, an Ongoing Exercise and Demonstration in Engagement

Engagement is demonstrated in the Willwork relationship with our client Kronos Incorporated, a world leading management software and services company. Kronos invented the microprocessor based time clock, and was a pioneer in developing PC based time and attendance products.

Our main point of contact at Kronos, and the person who stewards the company’s relationship with Willwork, is Alena McMullen (CTSM), Events Manager for Kronos.

In a note that Alena recently sent to Willwork, she described the system and network of valued support that we deliver to Kronos.

Elucidated in the note is the strong dedication to customer service and client support which is a hallmark of Willwork culture and the way we do business.

Willwork employees cited in the note are Chuck Texeira, Danielle Clark, and Shannon Cushing.

The Kronos and Willwork relationship commenced back in 2012 when Kronos hired us to install & dismantle a series of its custom exhibits. Kronos was, as Alena described, ‘thrilled with the service” we delivered.

Yet Kronos was not aware that Willwork was a full service tradeshow and event company, with a rapidly growing general contracting division operating from coast to coast.

Kronos might have continued to remain unaware of our expansive roster of capabilities if not for an engaged and caring employee, Chuck Texeira. It was during the 2012 Exhibitor Show in Las Vegas that Chuck and Alena talked, and she told Chuck about the corporate events Kronos ran and the company’s event general contracting needs.

Well, at the same time the Exhibitor Show was going on, Willwork was providing the general contracting service for an IBM show at the MGM Grand. Chuck seized the opportunity to take Alena over to the MGM and provide her a tour of the GC work Willwork was performing.

As Alena noted, she was “impressed” with Willwork as a GC, and “grateful that Chuck took the time to leave Exhibitor to go to another hotel and show me around. When I got back to the office I let my team know all about Willwork and what they could do.”

Then there is Danielle Clark.

“Danielle brings something very unique to this business – she cares,” wrote Alena. ‘She cares about the client being happy; she cares about the image of her company in a way that is refreshing.

“Danielle can answer any question..even ones that she shouldn’t have to.  For example, I was trying to come up with new sponsorships this year at our event.  I was having a creative block.  I decided to reach out to Danielle and in about an hour she had a list for me of about 10 different ideas!  That is a true partnership …. There was nothing in it for her but she took the time to help me out.  That to me says a lot about her and her dedication to maintaining a strong relationship with her clients.

‘Danielle feels my pain.  When I am onsite and things aren’t going as fast as I expected (which isn’t often) she doesn’t try and make excuses.  She acknowledges issues and fixes them.  Again, very refreshing.  I trust her completely.  If she says something is going to work, it will.  If she says not to worry about something, I won’t.”

Alena also had laudatory things to say about Shannon Cushing.

Alena wrote, “I have had the pleasure now of working with [Shannon] at two events.  Wow!  Where do you find these amazing people.  My co-worker even said to me, about Shannon, ‘She’s like a Danielle in training.’ You couldn’t get a better complement than that and I agree.  Shannon in my experience goes the extra mile.  No matter what you ask, her answer is, ‘Absolutely, not a problem.’”

In the estimation of Alena, exceptional customer service and high-level and effective engagement are evidenced across Willwork.

“I can’t end this email without mentioning your entire organization.  I don’t know them all by name but everyone I have come in contact with or worked with at Willwork has been fantastic.  Everyone is very good at what they do and seem to complement each other’s skills.”

Engagement and the Future of Shows and Events

There was considerable speculation and prediction that the online world might diminish the importance of shows and events and meetings. In person interaction would decrease in frequency, and become less important.

Easily and instantaneously accessible and available data and other information would nullify a need to meet on site and face to face.

This has not come to pass. Indeed, the meetings and events industry is booming, companies are increasing their meetings and events budgets – and, as mentioned earlier, employment and job prospects in the industry are as strong and sunny as in almost any sector.

It is a time of great change, globally – across all of society, all industries.

The manner and nature of business, of buying and selling, are undergoing as profound and penetrating change as any aspect and element of our civilization.

Those organizations that most intelligently, precisely, and consistently integrate and apply engagement in their operations will be those that will own the future, and seize most of its opportunity.

Drew Powers is Director of Sales for Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services. He has worked in the events industry for 45 years.




Face-to-face meetings are arguably the most cost-efficient form of marketing that exists today. Conventions, trade shows, and private corporate events are unique 3-D environments, combining elements of marketing, advertising, and sales. Meetings bring targeted buyers and sellers together at one place, and at one time. Events facilitate personal interaction, networking, education, branding, and can generate both immediate and deferred sales opportunities.

Meetings are all about business: they develop relationships, generate leads, close deals, and create new customers. More than that, meetings impact local economies. Similar to a sporting event coming to a city (but even more so), meetings draw people to a city. These people spend money: according to the US Travel Association, an average attendee at a trade show spends over $1,000. And that spending creates jobs … lots of jobs! Not just jobs for most of the people reading this article, but think about all the types of jobs created: anyone that works at a convention venue (anyone, in any capacity); anyone in the hospitality business that caters to conventioneers (staffs at hotels, restaurants, and night clubs); taxi drivers; meeting planners; meeting suppliers; transportation companies; exhibit designers and builders; association and show managers; corporate exhibit managers … the list could go on and on, but space is limited.

Trade shows and meetings create an enormous economic impact. In 2012, Boston hosted 245 events at the BCEC and Hynes. 654,119 professional attendees participated in these events. These attendees came to Boston and spent approximately $656 MIL — this number includes $35.75 MIL in direct taxes. (Source: Direct taxes obviously benefit an economy. But the benefit is even greater — because the people whose jobs are impacted by meetings, make more money, spend more money, and pay more taxes. Over time the economic impact multiplies. The BCEC opened in 2004. In the past ten years, the BCEC and Hynes hosted over 2400 conventions, and created an economic impact of $5.3 BIL, which includes $262 MIL in city and state taxes. These events brought people to the city, and put “heads on beds” – 5.2 MIL hotel room nights. Over 1 MIL taxi rides and 5300 jobs have been created. (Source: MCCA. Economic Impact and Annual Report. 10/02/2014). In July, 2014, the Governor of Massachusetts signed legislation authorizing a 1.3 MIL square foot expansion of the BCEC.

Okay. If the economic impact of meetings on a local economy is significant, what is the impact nationwide? It is more than significant; it is impressive. Members of the Convention Industry Council commissioned Pricewaterhouse Coopers to audit meetings that occurred in the US, during 2012. The study, “The Economic Significance of Meetings to the U. S. Economy,” reported:

  • There were 1.83 MIL meetings in 2012.
  • 244.9 MIL participants attended these meetings.
  • 5.3 MIL jobs were created, generating $234.6 BIL in labor income.
  • $280 BIL in direct spending; another $490 BIL in indirect and induced spending.
  • $508 BIL in federal taxes, and $379 BIL in state and local taxes (total= $887 BIL).

So, how big is $508 BIL (the amount of federal taxes generated by the Industry)? Well, written like that, it may not seem so big. $508 BIL is $508,000,000,000. A billion, in the US, is 1,000 million. A billion seconds is 31 years. To count from one to a billion, would take 95 years. If a billion people stood on top of each other, the line would extend past the moon. So a billion would appear to be a pretty big number … except when it isn’t — the federal government in Washington DC spends a billion dollars every 8 hours and 20 minutes. (Source: At the rate of one billion every 8 and 1/3 hours, it would take the government approximately 176.5 days to exhaust the federal tax money generated by the meetings industry.

How large is the meeting industry compared with other industries? It may surprise some to learn that meetings contribute more to the US economy than many other major US industries.

Direct Contribution to GDP of Select Industries

Estimated Value Added to GDP (in billions)



Motion picture and sound recording industries


Information and data processing services

$ 80.0

Air transportation

$ 78.0

Amusement, gambling, and recreation industries

$ 71.0

Rail transportation

$ 40.0

Source: US Bureau of Economic Analysis

Meetings create opportunities for individuals, and for businesses. They are an important economic engine and one of the best kept secrets for anyone outside the industry. It is time, actually past time, to share this secret. The bottom line: Meetings make dollars and sense.



Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is a national leader in installation and dismantle labor, event contracting, permanent installations, and audio visual production.

Companies, and other organizations, that range in size from major multinationals to small enterprises, rely on  our professionalism, highly skilled labor teams, work ethic, personalized service, and ability to innovate and resource to do things right, on time, and on budget.

Among the many types of exhibits, staging, and displays that Willwork installs and builds are those that are large and highly ornate, and in which well designed and creative multimedia powerfully transmit a message and evoke emotion.

We thought, therefore, appropriate for a post here today –- a post during the holiday season – to highlight and give a call out to some impressive and awesome holiday displays and events that annually take place and are located here in America.

The World's Largest Menorah (photo credit: Travelers Today)

The World’s Largest Menorah (photo credit: Travelers Today)

Perhaps the most iconic holiday season display in America is the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree – a tradition launched during the Great Depression.  Almost always a Norway Spruce, the tree ranges in height, from year to year, from between 60 and 70 feet on the low end, to the 100 foot conifer set in 1999, still the tallest.

The lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree – and its 45,000 multicolored LED lights –  is watched in person by tens of thousands, and millions viewing on TV.

The World’s Largest Hanukkah Menorah is installed in New York City, adjacent to Central Park, at the intersection of 5th Avenue and 59th Street.  It weighs 4,000 pounds and was designed by Israeli artist Yaacov Agam.

For almost 25 years, the Trail of Lights Trail of Lights in Branson, MO has provided one of the most spectacular holiday lights displays on the planet.  The centerpiece of the event and presentation is a 2.5 mile roadway alongside which are millions of lights and hundreds of decorations, props, and themed landscapes through which motorists travel.

Of course, a major holiday tradition throughout America are stores decorating their holiday windows.  And no holiday windows are more famed and artfully created than are those in the Macy’s flagship store in New York City.

The Macy’s Holiday Window Display is an American classic.

In terms of spectacular, and historic, uplifting, and heartwarming, First Night Boston – the oldest First Night celebration in America – plays out with cultural and entertainment events across the city, starting early in the afternoon on December 31 and running through to midnight and an awesome show of fireworks over the Charles River.

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services hopes for all the Happiest of Holiday Seasons, and a hopeful and prosperous and healthy 2015.



Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is distinguished for the quality of its labor – and its creativity, ingenuity, work ethic, attention to detail, and professionalism.

Companies and other organizations that range in size from the largest, most established, and most prominent multinationals, to small companies that only recently launched, rely on Willwork for I&D labor, event and show planning and contracting, permanent installation contracting, props, audio-visual production, lead retrieval, data capture … and more.

Willwork has several offices in cities across the U.S.  Its corporate headquarters is in Easton, MA, about 10 miles east of I-95, and about halfway between Boston and Providence.

Actually, and it is whole appropriate and fitting to mention this, here, today, on the cusp of Thanksgiving … our headquarters are approximately 30 miles north of a point on the Atlantic coast where English immigrants arrived on the ship the Mayflower in December of 1620 (after first landing at a place which is present day Cape Cod).

Of the 135 who traveled to the New World, two died at sea, and one child was born, named Oceanus.  Nearly half of those who completed the passage perished in the winter of 1620-21.

In March of 1621, the newly arrived and the first people of the region, the Wampanoag, or Wôpanâak – “People of the First Light” – signed a treaty of mutual protection.

(The town of Easton straddles the ancestral land of the Wampanoag, and many places in Easton and surrounding communities have Wampanoag names.)

Wampanoag wetu, covered in bark for winter (photo credit:  Laura Rulon, Pinterest)

Wampanoag wetu, covered in bark for winter (photo credit: Laura Rulon, Pinterest)

As the weather got better, the settlers (known, then, as “Old Comers,” and who would later – for reasons described in this article – be called Pilgrims) built shelters and a common meeting place, and with the help of the Wampanoag, successfully planted and nurtured and harvested crops.

Inspired by, and thankful for, the bounties and fruits of their first growing season in a new land, the colonists held a three-day harvest celebration (a precursor to the Thanksgiving holiday) – probably in mid-October. The Pilgrims invited members of the Wampanoag to the celebration.  Massasoit, the Wampanoag chief, and 90 of his braves accepted the invitation and attended and participated fully in the event.

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, and with Willwork in the business of – among other focuses and services provided – installing, building, and constructing, we thought it fitting to highlight here today the dwellings of the Wampanog and Pilgrims – what they were composed of, and how they were built.

Interestingly, in those early years living alongside one another, both the Wampanoag, and the Pilgrims, pulled and appropriated their building materials directly from nature, and then fashioned, formed, and placed and connected those materials together to create their shelters.

Yet, for sure, the Wampanoag, again, the first people of the area – and this was evident in their homes – lived more closely and more in harmony with the natural environment.

The Wampanoag constructed round shaped domiciles called wetus that were shaped with tree saplings.  During the warmer months, wetus were covered in cattail mats … and in the cold part of the year, large pieces of tree bark, which afforded better protection from cold, wind, and water than did cattail.  


Sapling frame of a wetu (photo credit: The Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony: 1620)

As well, in the spring and summer and early fall, the Wampanoag lived in their wetus near the ocean, where they farmed and fished.  As the weather cooled, and winter approached, to employ and garner the shelter of woods, the Wampanoag moved inland and built and occupied larger wetus that were more communal. 

The Pilgrims built English style cottages with timber frames and deeply pitched thatch roofs.  These cottages were about 800 square feet in size, had a fireplace, and often a loft for sleeping.    

To learn more about the structures in which the Wampanoag and Pilgrims lived, and how they were built, please click here to be taken to a page at the website of the living museum Plimouth Plantation.

Another educational and interesting source to learn about Wampanoag and Pilgrim dwellings is found at Scholastic, and can be accessed by clicking here.

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services wishes and hopes for everyone a HAPPY THANKSGIVING.


On August 22, workers from Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services and Teamwork Labor Services, Inc. – companies whose corporate headquarters are located in the same commercial building in metropolitan Boston, joined forces to take on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – the worldwide and immensely successful phenomenon that is raising money to support the effort to find a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Click here to view the video.

Of course, as is the standard protocol and procedure with the challenge, prior to members from Willwork and Teamwork taking on the frigid baths, they called out peers of theirs in the tradeshow, events, and installation industries to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Here are some facts about ALS that have been taken from the ALS Association website:

·         Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord. When these cells die, voluntary muscle control and movement dies with them. Patients in the later stages of the disease are totally paralyzed, yet in most cases, their minds remain sharp and alert.

·         Every day, an average of 15 people are newly diagnosed with ALS — more than 5,600 people per year. As many as 30,000 Americans may currently be affected by ALS. Annually, ALS is responsible for two deaths per 100,000 people.

·         The average life expectancy of a person with ALS is two to five years from time of diagnosis. With recent advances in research and improved medical care, many patients are living longer, more productive lives. Half of all those affected live at least three years or more after diagnosis. About 20 percent live five years or more, and up to ten percent will survive more than ten years.

·         ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic boundaries. ALS can strike anyone. Every single American is threatened by this disease.


Those who work in the tradeshow and events industry know well the name “Javits” – as in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center – more commonly called “The Javits Center” or “The Javits.”

Born in 1904 in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Jacob K. Javits grew up to become a successful lawyer before serving in the U.S. Army in World War II. In 1946, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from New York’s 21st District.

Rep. Javits was elected as U.S. senator from New York in 1956. Sen. Javits would serve in the U.S. senate for 24 years.

Sen. Javits was diagnosed with ALS in 1979 while serving his fourth term as senator. This diagnosis, which Sen. Javits made public, led to a primary challenge for his seat in the 1980 election, which Sen. Javits lost.

Jacob Javits, highly admired, served with distinction in the U.S. Congress for 34 years.

Sen. Jacob K. Javits died from ALS on March 7, 1986. He was 81 years old.


In the show and events industry, being able to quickly innovate, adapt, change course, mediate, and bring together and coordinate effective and skilled teams of tradespeople and other workers … to wow and make things happen … is at a premium.

Across America, Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is recognized for its ability to deliver the highest quality while adhering to … and often staying out in front of … the most demanding timelines – and meeting or beating the most demanding deadlines.

In everything we do … every assignment … Willwork clients “Experience the Energy.”

Consider an installation & dismantle we did for Project Frog, a revolutionary and world leading designer of energy efficient component buildings that are used across many sectors of society, primarily in education, healthcare, retail, and private housing.

Project Frog came to Boston to display one its structures at the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the world’s largest event dedicated to green building.

Willwork was contracted to install and dismantle a … well we’ll let the Project Frog people describe the building: a “1,200 sf Net Zero Energy structure … dubbed ‘Frog Zero’” and which “incorporates the ideal learning environment into the greenest, most sustainable commercial building solution available.” Frog Zero “features 75 percent energy demand reduction, abundant natural light and glare control, superior air quality, fungible user technology, microclimate customization and advanced climate controls in an easy to configure package.”

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services definitely wowed and delivered for Project Frog. The structure typically requires two months to construct – Willwork had seven days! Through pre-planning, and some pre-assembly, Willwork worked around the clock, and accomplished the task ahead of schedule and in record time.

Willwork coordinated the warehousing, then shipped and received the components at the build site in front of the Boston Convention & Exposition Center.

In that the job was done outdoors in Boston in late November meant that the weather could vary greatly – and that ended up being the case. (Yes it was Mark Twain who said, “If you don’t like New England weather, wait a minute.”)
For the installation, temperatures were mild and the air was calm. Yet for the dismantle, there were strong and persistent winds blowing in from the Harbor, and bone-chilling temperatures that ranged (on the Fahrenheit scale) from the mid 20s down to single digits – with wind chill temps getting below zero at night. To quote the supervisor from California: “This was bout the coldest I’ve ever been; single digits and a wind that would not quit. (But) Not one of the workers complained or slowed down.”

Willwork employees representing two labor unions – Iron Workers and Teamsters – comprised the crew.

Willwork coordinated and directed all the heavy equipment operations on the site, including cranes which lifted and put in place eight ceiling panels, each weighing 4,500 pounds. As well, on site, certain components had to be customized and retrofitted, with some of that work involving running table saws on top of roofs 14’ off the ground.

Dismantle of Frog Zero also went smoothly and was completed in considerably less time than projected.

Not long after Frog Zero had been dismantled – and its components packed and sent off – and were back in storage on the West Coast – Willwork was highly gratified and heartened to receive from our client a letter that lauded the efforts and abilities of our crew.

In the letter, our client described the Willwork crew as “fantastic,” and that “working around the clock every Willwork worker was focused” – and that they were “extraordinary in every aspect of this difficult project.”

Singled out for praise in the letter – for his leadership, direction, and customer service – was Bob McGlincy, Willwork’s Director of Business Management. Following is an excerpt from the letter:

“Bob McGlincy was on the job from day one … his focus and expertise made for a much easier time. Bob was present at each shift change and on the job most of the time making sure that all went well. From the beginning he made it very clear … he would do what was necessary to make this project come in on time and on budget. Bob did what he promised ….

A big THANK YOU to Bob, Fudge, Billy, and all the Grads of Willwork U.“

On its website, Project Frog designates Frog Zero in Boston to be a “Frog record” in terms of fewest man hours needed to fully assemble one of its buildings.

Project Frog: just one of the thousands of companies and organizations that knows firsthand what it means to “Experience the Energy” of Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services.


Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is a national company, based in the Boston area. We work from coast to coast across this great country … this great republic … the United States of America.

Day in and day out we see, experience, and benefit from, first hand, the spirit, character, diversity, virtue, and work ethic of the people of this nation. Willwork, our employees, and the families of our employees are immeasurably grateful for and rewarded with the opportunities that America makes available.

Anniversaries concentrate the mind and inspire reflection.

Today – the 13th anniversary of the attacks on our homeland – Willwork encourages all to deeply contemplate and remember the unbearable human loss of that day – those killed and injured, and how their loved ones were forever affected.

Willwork also hopes that we take this occasion to be thankful for and appreciate that the United States … while imperfect … while beset with rancor and divisiveness and sins and mistakes … is exceptional … and better and more extensively represents and supports freedom, liberty, and the highest of human aspiration.

And on this day … and every day … we hope all recognize that the United States of America is … indeed … indisputably … as President Abraham Lincoln so correctly described our union – “ … the last best hope of earth.”

Beyond the Convention Halls and Centers, Hotels, and Conference Facilities – Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services Delivers It Expertise and “energy” in Many Other Types of Venues and Places

Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services is distinguished for the quality of its labor – and its creativity, ingenuity, work ethic, attention to detail, and professionalism.

 Fenway Park

In 2011, Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services served as the general contractor for the first tradeshow held inside Fenway Park. Shown here is a portion of the show floor of that event (photo credit: Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services)

Companies and other organizations that range in size from the largest, most established, and most prominent multinationals, to small companies that only recently launched, rely on Willwork for I&D labor, event and show planning and contracting, permanent installation contracting, props, audio-visual production, lead retrieval, data capture … and more.

Willwork knows exhibits, and we know events, and we enjoy a challenge and an opportunity to do what other companies are unable to do – or are even unwilling to take on and attempt to do.

Please click here to be taken to a page at the Willwork site where you can find a roster of the services and products we provide.

And in the more than a quarter of century we have been in business, among our most fun and fulfilling work has been installing and dismantling exhibits and properties exceptional in beauty and creativity of design.

Also integral to the success of an event is the space in which it is held. Of course, Willwork has worked in event halls and convention centers around the world – with most of our operations in the United States.


Willwork has delivered its Energy at the NASCAR Hall of Fame (photo credit: NASCAR Hall of Fame)

We have worked in all of the major halls and convention spaces in this country.

Willwork also has a broad and long writ of accomplishment in delivering and exercising our “energy” – from coast to coast – in other types venues, including colleges and universities, hospitals and medical centers, parks and stadiums, museums, intermodal facilities, malls and stores, and corporate offices.

Among the thousands of venues in which Willwork has demonstrated its energy are the following:

Wherever … and whenever …. as needed and as our clients request … Willwork organizes, plans, coordinates, designs, installs, sets up, takes down, dismantles, packs, transports, maintains, and refurbishes better and more efficiently, and with more skill and creativity and focus, than any company anywhere. 


“In houses that look toward the south, the sun penetrates the portico in winter.”


Every 15 minutes, the sun releases more energy than all the peoples of the earth use in an entire year.

Through crop rotation and other farming and agricultural practices, people began harvesting and channeling the power of the sun some 10,000 years ago.

In 2013, Willwork Exhibit & Event Services began to enlist the power of the sun to operate our corporate headquarters at 23 Norfolk Avenue in South Easton.

“Transitioning to solar synchs with what Willwork does … for its clients and internally,” said Dave King, General Manager for Willwork. “And that is to deliver increased value, and look for and implement more effective systems and cost savings.

“By installing solar panels, Willwork has significantly lowered its electricity costs – by about 70 percent from what we paid prior to using solar energy; and these savings do not include tax benefits we receive from going solar.”

As for the climate?

“And, yes, we are helping the environment – and this is the case whether or not you believe in man-made climate change, don’t believe in it, kind of believe in it, or are unsure. Solar energy is good for the planet.”

Dave explained that Willwork first looked at solar energy options early in 2012. After research and review was completed, Willwork chose to harness the energy of the sun, and to contract with Independence Solar to design and install the solar power system for the building.

“Independence Solar is a Boston-based company which does business across the nation,” said Dave. “It has a great reputation and track record, including installing the largest rooftop solar energy system – or, in industry terms, a solar array – at the Gloucester Marine Terminal in New Jersey.”

The Willwork rooftop solar array covers 6,000 square feet – formed from 308 panels each 3′ x 6.5′ in size. At peak capacity, the array generates 90 kilowatts of electricity – and will provide the building with 100,000 kilowatt hours of electricity over the course of year, which is about the same amount of electricity three average size homes will use for the same period.

“Winning for Willwork customers – and winning for Willwork – means always improving, working smarter, and upping productivity,” said Dave King. “Drawing more and more energy from the sun to operate our corporate headquarters is a practice consistent with this mindset and commitment.”

In recruiting, when organizations limit themselves to hiring only the candidate with precisely and all the right skills and experience, they often miss out on landing the all star employee unmade

“If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.”




Forces and trends in business are accidentally collaborating to stymie and hamper people and organizations reaching their full potential.

The economy of our country and the economies of households within it are hurting as a result.

Not recognizing and developing potential – not providing opportunity – contributes significantly to unemployment and under-employment remaining high, and record numbers of people dropping out of the work force – even as many jobs remain unfilled.

What is going on?

It is all tied to a widespread lament of managers, and something bemoaned widely, that jobs remain open because companies can’t find or recruit candidates qualified enough to whom a job can be offered. Many enterprises like to blame our schools and education system for not churning out enough candidates with the right education and know-how.

Willwork, Inc. Exhbit Services – a national leader in the tradeshow, meetings, and events industry, with offices across the nation – sees things and operates a bit differently.

Willwork knows that a solution to this problem is for companies to think more creatively, focus more on possibility and potential … and to not be so centered on what a candidate is now, and the lack of skills or experience of that person – and to pay more attention and consideration to the skills and experience that he or she may develop and acquire with the right guidance and mentoring.

All of this is a cultural and operational mindset of Willwork, Inc. Exhibit & Event Services – a company founded 25 years ago that today and throughout our history has consistently built a winning team of people diverse in high-level skills, talents, education, and training – and dedication to providing its customers with increasing value and competitive advantage.

Our people – our most important resource – are renown for the quality and excellence of their services across many areas, including the following:


  • installing and dismantling exhibits
  • handling, from start to finish, all contracting and logistics of meetings and events – ranging in scope from a single room and a single afternoon to several buildings over several days
  • adapting and developing technology to save our customers money, and to improve the return on investment and advantages they receive from participating in a show or event; an example is our premier, next-generation lead retrieval and customer tracking devices and systems
  • designing, engineering, and building award-winning audio-visual and multimedia walls and displays
  • operating road crews that travel from city to city – to museums, stores, malls, recreation areas, and other venues … unloading, building, installing, and monitoring exhibits and displays … then breaking all of it down, packing it all, and shipping all the property to the next place where we begin again.


In recruiting and hiring, Willwork is not constrained by convention, not afraid, … and is open-minded and inspired by possibility. Like every company, we hope to find the perfect candidate – and we are always on the lookout for that person, one with all the right experience and skills – but we don’t spend an inordinate amount of time in that search.

We do place a premium on identifying and training people who are competitive, problem solvers, hard workers, honest, loyal, who will work cooperatively with others, and who are receptive to teaching and coaching.

Willwork also places top of mind that it is difficult to too highly estimate the importance of character and determination.

In the fall of 2011, an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal, titled, “Why Companies Aren’t Getting the Employees They Need: The conventional wisdom is that our education system is failing our economy. But our companies deserve a lot of the blame themselves,” received widespread attention and provoked widespread discussion.

Author of the piece was Dr. Peter Cappelli, one of the most sought after thinkers and advisors on human capital, and the George W. Taylor professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources.

When the story ran, the national unemployment rate was at about 9 percent. Yet, still, many jobs remained unfilled.

Here is an excerpt from Mr. Cappelli’s op-ed:

“To get America’s job engine revving again, companies need to stop pinning so much of the blame on our nation’s education system. They need to drop the idea of finding perfect candidates and look for people who could do the job with a bit of training and practice.

“There are plenty of ways to get workers up to speed without investing too much time and money, such as putting new employees on extended probationary periods and relying more on internal hires, who know the ropes better than outsiders would.

“It’s a fundamental change from business as usual. But the way we’re doing things now just isn’t working.”

Please click here to be taken to the full story.

Willwork fully subscribes to the “need to drop the idea of finding the perfect candidates and look for people who could do the job with a bit of training and practice … and relying more on internal hires, who know the ropes better than outsiders would.”

We look for specific, relevant, and applicable experience, of course – but we also look for and evaluate potential, for someone in whom an investment will pay off. We do this whether we are hiring for entry or senior level, for floor labor or office support or management.

Willwork Exhibit & Event Services has found a winning formula in dedicating extra effort and resources to helping the right person acquire the right trade and workplace proficiencies and abilities.

We also appreciate the accuracy of the quote above from John Maxwell – that the essence and nature of growth requires that we become uncomfortable and arrive in areas and meet up with responsibilities with which we are unfamiliar.

Constantly and smartly training and practicing is necessary to become familiar with new territories and to expertly take on and handle new responsibilities. This is a reality whether you are in day one on your first job, or in the twilight of a career in which you sit as CEO.

Olympic gold medalist, Jim Craig, goalie for the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, is today a leading motivational speaker and sales and marketing coach. Among the topics he writes and speaks about are his nine Gold Medal Strategies for business success.

One of the nine strategies is “Great Teams Remain Young in Spirit and Outlook.”

And, as Jim explains, if you aren’t growing, getting uncomfortable, constantly training, learning, and looking for ways to do things better, then you are getting old and complacent – and you have abandoned and left young in spirit and outlook behind.

Willwork Exhibit & Event Services believes that Jim Craig is right on with this reflection, and not just because we share a personal and cosmic connection with him in that he is native of, and grew up in Easton, MA, the same community in which Willwork has its corporate headquarters.

Willwork provides workers individual training and mentoring so they are fully practiced and expert in all requirements, skills, and procedures.

Our veteran and experienced trades personnel and labor organizers mentor and oversee and direct training.

Fifteen years ago, Willwork Exhibit & Event Services pioneered training and education in our industry with the launch of Willwork University, a twice-a-year three-day skills and hands-on learning seminar in which Willwork foreman and senior management teach and demonstrate proper techniques and procedures for all aspects of exhibit installation & dismantle and show general contracting.

One session of Willwork University is held at our corporate offices in the Boston area – and the other session is held at one of our satellite offices in another region of the country. Show and event laborers travel to Willwork University from all parts of America to learn, ask questions, and perform the work and tasks required of a fully qualified and capable exhibit and installation professional.

“Students” successfully completing Willwork University even receive a diploma.

Willwork believes in promoting from within, in helping and assisting people to climb the ladder in our organization, to, as Mr. Cappelli recommends, rely “ … more on internal hires, who know the ropes better than outsiders would ….”

It is a policy that allows for pathways to career advancement and success not commonly seen in the corporate world. Consider that well represented on our operations and management staff are those whose first job at Willwork was on show floor, performing the most noble labor, physically intensive labor, such as rolling out carpet and unpacking freight and installing and dismantling exhibits. And, for sure, the hands-on labor end of things at our company is one that offers steady and high-paying work, and there are those who would never leave the show floor to work in an office or spend more than a minute behind a desk – but, for those, who would choose a different route, it is available to them.

This is also the case with our sales team. We have found that working from the floor up – figuratively and literally – supports a successful transition to selling and taking care of customers. To whatever degree necessary, Willwork abets and supports this transition, training and teaching selling techniques, account management and relationship building (customer and sales management technology best practices), and business writing skills.

Willwork Exhibit & Event Services doesn’t fault a company strategy of looking for just the right candidate – at just the right time. Again, we ourselves hope that we could find a superstar everyday.

But that strategy should only be one recruitment strategy – and it should be pursued with the understanding that too much reliance on that plan of attack frequently contributes to teams that “aren’t deep in talent” and companies that give up ground and lose to the competition.

And weave in to the broader strategy the search for diamonds not yet polished, talent not yet cultivated, potential not yet realized, and all star employee not yet made.