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This Just In

Meet the 2024 TSE Trailblazers: Lindsey Hall

MADDY RYLEY, MANAGING EDITOR
Lindsey Hall

CHICAGO — This year’s Trade Show Executive (TSE) Trailblazers are a group of innovative, impactful industry professionals, who are making significant contributions to their organizations. TSE caught up with Lindsey Hall, Director, Event Registration at Questex, to learn more about her career journey, lessons she’s learned and what she’s looking forward to for the trade show industry. 

Q: How did you get your start in the trade show industry?  

Before graduating, when choosing my last internship, I wanted to try something I hadn’t yet done. I secured an internship at a thinktank, working in their events department. When looking for a job, I knew I wanted to keep exploring the events space. At that time, I knew what trade shows were, but knew very little about the industry. Searching on LinkedIn, I applied to an open opportunity for an Event Coordinator. It was only in the interview process that I learned it was for a company specializing in trade shows. While not getting the first job I applied for, I did secure another open position at the company. Since that first leap, I’ve been in the industry ever since. 

Q: What appealed most to you then, and what appeals most to you now about your work? 

I wanted to work in events because I loved the planning part of it. There is so much work that goes into executing any event and getting to be a key part in that is rewarding. On top of that, I am a big team player and love getting to be only a small piece that finishes the whole puzzle.  

I think my favorite part about the trade show industry is getting to bring likeminded people together, fostering connections and getting to interact with so many individuals. Each show has a different atmosphere and getting to know the audiences and interacting with them onsite is fulfilling. At the end of the day, we are a people industry, and seeing the direct impact I can have on others is something special that not everyone gets to experience.  

Q: What has been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned in your career? 

The most important lesson I’ve learned is that there is always room to keep learning and growing. You may think you’ve seen and done everything you can, but then you look back and see you’ve come so far from where you were.  

Equally important to that, I’ve also learned to trust your gut. There are so many decisions you will make and so many voices involved. At the end of the day, you know what you think is right and it is important to be confident in your decisions. Even if you end up being wrong, mistakes happen but it is how you carry yourself and learn from them that is what matters. 

Q: What or who inspires you to strive for excellence?  

When it comes down to it, it is my family that inspires me to strive for excellence. I was raised to be strong, independent and to do good for others as they do to you. Each day that is what everyone in my family exudes, and if I can be half of what my parents are, then I would say I’ve done well. 

Q: What has been the proudest moment of your career so far? 

The proudest moment of my career is over the past two years I have been at Questex. Coming into this company, I knew I had a big task ahead of me. From previously working on an average of six shows, I would now be responsible for taking on double the shows, all the meantime creating a brand-new department.  

It was very ground-up work and I feel like a small part of me will always be proud of my legacy at Questex. I have now created a foundation that we can only expand upon and set us up for continued success. To be able to see the monumental change in our shows and the contribution I have made towards our growth is something that is very important to me. 

Related. Meet the 2024 TSE Trailblazers: Laura Feroce

Q: How do you define success? 

Ask five different people in one room for the definition of success and you will get completely different answers. I think it may be one of the most ambiguous words in society. To me, success is setting goals and doing anything in my power to accomplish them. It is the feeling of putting in a good day’s work and knowing you worked hard and gave it your all. It isn’t about the titles or the money, but it comes down to setting out what you want to do in this world and making sure that you are thinking bigger than just yourself.  

Q: What are some things about the future of this industry that excite you? Why? 

I think there are a lot of things on the horizon for this industry. Our industry is one that is reluctant to change but has been forced to adapt. We are seeing the changes of putting more thought into sustainability initiatives and really utilizing technology to our benefit.  

For me, the future is seeing how we can match other industries in utilizing technology — focusing on how we can learn and predict the wants and needs of our audiences, ease of access to get them to our shows, and using the data to really drive decisions and help move us forward. We need to make the attendee experience a personalized one, and I think that is something we are seeing more steps to across the board. 

Q: Advice for other up-and-comers? 

My biggest piece of advice, and maybe the most frustrating one for those who are not there yet, is find a mentor. Find someone who inspires you and ask them questions. Seek their guidance and how they navigate this industry, but also beyond. This always frustrated me as a young professional, thinking how do you even do that? But it really is as simple as seeing someone who is saying something of interest and engaging with them. You never know where one conversation may lead.  

I owe a lot of who I’ve become professionally to my mentor, Molly Witges, who inspired me, gave me the confidence I needed to grow in my role, and is the best sounding board. I also have to thank my boss, Kirstin Lewis, for being one of my biggest supporters. Finding your people isn’t as hard as it seems, and it all starts with a simple hello. It may not be monumental, but it always gets you to where you need to be. 

Nominator Quote: “Since Lindsey has been with Questex, she has been responsible for the full life cycle of registration, including the operational process for 10 trade shows and 11 conferences that range in size from 1,000 to 30,000 visitors, totaling over $10 million in attendee revenue,” said Kirstin Lewis, Vice President, Event Performance at Questex. “Since she has been with Questex, Lindsey has increased efficiency, enhanced technology integration, reduced costs and improved data management among others. She has been recognized by executive leadership for being ‘dedicated, collaborative, detail-oriented, strategic and a joy to work with — the company’s secret weapon.’” 

Find out more about all the Trailblazers in the June edition of TSE. 

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