Home > 6 Questions > The 6 Questions with Chuck Michel, ELITeEXPO

The 6 Questions with Chuck Michel, ELITeEXPO


Chuck and I had lunch a couple weeks ago and we were discussing how important it is for suppliers in our industry to work together continuously on communication, shared efficiencies and more. It was clear we were on the same page. Our industry serves a customer that is faced with unrealistic timelines, budget constraints and high expectations. Exhibitors are chasing one miracle after another – always under pressure to out perform, out style and stand out from the competition. Chuck and I share a lot of the same likes and ideas and it’s a pleasure working with people that are truly deadicated to create face-to-face marketing environments that drive the economy.

This week I asked Chuck Michel, The 6 Questions

1. Tradeshow industry lore is that we all just fell into tradeshow and once you’re in you never leave. For many people that is certainly true. For others, they leave but a part of them remains.  How did you get into the business?

AuthorCM – I was with a large graphic communications firm and we decided to move into the tradeshow / event space, offering creative design and production for large format print applications.

2. What would you be if you were not in Tradeshow?
CM – I would probably still be doing radio and photojournalism work; covering sports, news and rock concerts… preferably the Grateful Dead!

3. Without considering the customers you visit, focusing only on the location, what is your favorite city to hang out in for business travel and why?
CM – Hands down New York and Boston. I was born and raised on Long Island, much of my family is still located there, and I can never get enough of the NE coast vibe. I miss the water and a good cup of real Manhattan clam chowder!

Author4. What experience do you recall as a nightmare when it happened but can sit back and laugh about it now?

CM – Nightmare? Hmmm, I try to block those out. I guess the one that comes to mind is years ago I was working on a project for a major account, the Creative Director on the client side had mis-interpreted how the CEO had wanted the booth orientated at a show. Now mind you, all paper work showing orientation was approved, signed and submitted prior to labor starting. Needless to say, when we took pictures of the set up to share with the client, it became apparent that the floor was 180 degree off what the original plan was. So… up comes the floor, up comes the cat 5 cable, up comes the electrical and we now start over. Fun times had by all, but we still made deadline. Thanks for reminding me Gary… now I will stop my hysterical laughing, and re file that back in the depths of my memory bank… 🙂

5. Do you have any hobbies? How does your hobby influence your industry work and vice versa?

AuthorCM – I would have to say I have three passions- golf, guitar and music in general. Golf is a true gentlemen’s sport, and one where you can do some great bonding and learn a lot about the person during a round of 18. As for the guitar, I have had the pleasure of sharing the music connection with many tradeshow/event peers over the years, and let me tell ya, there are some great musicians within our industry! Those that I have had the pleasure of meeting know that there is one band that would be considered a long time hobby, and that is the Grateful Dead. I only had 45 shows under my belt (I know Dave Brown can run circles around that #) while Jerry (Garcia) was still alive, and I still jump on a tour every year somewhere when one or all of the remaining members are out playing. The July reunion at Soldier Field this past summer was epic and the best ‘Miracle’ ticket I have ever received!

6. If you could send a message to yourself day one of your tradeshow career what advice would you give yourself?

CM – No matter what, no matter where, no matter when… the show must go on so just keep on Rockin! – Cheers…Chuck.

Thanks Chuck! We are often shown the light in the strangest of places…
Have someone that you would like me to ask “The 6 Questions” ?
Send me an email at gcamarato@optimagfx.com

What is The 6 Questions?

A clever friend of mine, we’ll call him Harold Mintz, just to use a name, once hipped me to a trick. Harold explained that whenever he is at a party and the conversation is slow he loosens things up with a question. “What did you go to school for and what are you doing now.” Everybody has a story – Brilliant!

Piggybacking on big H’s idea, I’m running a new blog series titled The 6 Questions. I have some of the icons of our industry, folks you all know, lined up and ready to reveal the how, why and whatever. Our tradeshow industry is packed full of some of the most interesting people. They each have a unique story to share. Thanks for reading!   ~ g

About our Author
Gary Camarato is the Vice President of Marketing & Creative Development at Optima™ and has been in the Trade Show industry since 1992.

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