Meet Dave Brull
Vice President, Global Accounts,
It’s amazing how one little action can change your life. In 2008 I was looking for a new job. When I say “job”, I mean a job. I knew I liked working in the event world from experiences I had in previous roles, but I didn’t think I was looking for a career move. I came across an ad for a membership manager at an association and decided to submit my resume. I applied for many jobs that week so that one didn’t stand out at the time, but I thought it was an interesting opportunity.
I received a call the next week that led to an in-person interview. Once I walked in the doors of that association and we started talking I was hooked. The interview was at the Trade Show Exhibitors Association (TSEA) to help build the membership for a trade association. Within a couple days I had an offer and had accepted it. I had no idea at the time that I had just found my career.
My first challenge was to call members who had lapsed to rejoin TSEA. I learned that TSEA had let down some of our membership in the past while others simply had forgotten to renew. The ones we had let down I listened to because I wanted to know how we could serve the community we represented better. This was going to be my long-term challenge to help rebuild the value proposition of TSEA including restarting local chapters, new committees to help drive TSEA forward, new events and educational programs such as the Red Diamond Congress and going back to our roots of why we were founded. The group that just “forgot” to renew I worked with to get them more involved in the association so they would never forget to renew again.
Our annual conference (TS2) was also coming up in a few weeks in Philadelphia and I would be working our booth at the show. It gave me the chance to meet our members face-to-face. To get to know them as individuals and not just a name in our records. I learned why they loved their career and what challenges they were facing. Those few days in Philly changed my life. I met some amazing people at TS2 who would become more than just members to me, I formed the foundation of some incredible friendships along with finding my career.
One of my proudest moments was helping facilitate our members forming the Exhibitor Advocacy Committee. Our members were lacking a forum where they could be comfortable sharing their concerns and challenges. They didn’t want to be labeled a troublemaker by either show managers or the people who work in convention centers. This committee gave them a voice. It enabled meaningful conversations to happen and planted seeds of change.
My time at TSEA gave me a “master’s degree” in experiential marketing, a community of like-minded individuals, a mentor who I owe my career to (Thank you Margit) and enabled my journey that led me to kubik.
Unfortunately, TSEA closed their doors in 2012. It merged into another association but ultimately that partnership did not last. Since 2016 there has not been a formal community for corporate exhibitors to join until last year when the former TSEA Exhibitor Advocacy Committee decided to incorporate into The Exhibitor Advocate! I was honored to be invited to join the board of directors.
The Exhibitor Advocate goal is simple. It amplifies the voice of exhibitors to ensure the enduring success of exhibitions and events by collaborating with all stakeholders to promote and cultivate open communication, consistent standards, and industry best practices.
It is funny how life works out. I remember my first board meeting at TSEA. I kept quiet and just took notes while listening and learning. Today I am part of a leadership team at The Exhibitor Advocate dedicated to growing and supporting our community. I also have the support of kubik as a proud partner and sponsor in that mission.
I want to invite you to become a part of the community. If you use trade shows and events to promote your brand, organize conferences and tradeshows and/or are supplier to those industries, please visit our website to learn more. The Exhibitor Advocate goal is simple. It amplifies the voice of exhibitors to ensure the enduring success of exhibitions and events by collaborating with all stakeholders to promote and cultivate open communication, consistent standards, and industry best practices. I hope you can join us in our mission.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.