Friday, August 31, 2018
Tradeshows Plus ~ Judi Baker-Neufeld & 30 Plus Years of Corporate Event Creativity
As a little girl Judi Baker-Neufeld could not sit still. People commented that if her body was constantly in motion, and it was, her mind moved at an even faster pace. They could not define it really. It was not hyperactivity. It was not ADHD even before that was a term.
It was something different. Young Judi was interested in just about everything around her. As she bounced physically and mentally from one object of interest to another, she would focus on whatever that was with intensity that defied her age.
This manifest itself in Judi asking questions, describing and exaggerating physical characteristics - and telling stories about that given object of interest at the moment.
In other words, creativity on steroids.
Fast forward to college. Earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Philadelphia’s renowned The University of the Arts, Judi let creativity flow exploring illustration, photographic media, screenprinting and more. She trained to be an art director.
Early in her career Judi continued to ask questions and tell stories. Rather than restricting her activity to the museum or institutional world, she found herself exploring creativity in the corporate world. Specifically, the world of corporate conventions, trade shows and special events.
“Happening upon various conferences and meetings in my early professional life, I asked myself, ‘Why are so many of these functions so darn dull?’ I imagined to myself and suggested to event sponsors and participants the many things they could do to make things more, fun, interesting - and memorable.”
Some event performances that Judi witnessed were just plain embarrassing.
Acting on those notions led Judi to a celebrated and award winning career of making corporate events fun, interesting and memorable. Anyone who has ever attended an event that Judi Baker-Neufeld remotely influenced will likely remember a lot or at lease something about being there. And, more than likely, they will remember the company that hired Judi and the message they wanted her to help drive home.
Judi has long theorized, “At any event a company only has one shot to do it right, tell their story well and make it memorable. With a little creativity - or a lot - businesses can reveal their personality and endear themselves to customers by offering or doing something their audience has never seen or experienced before."
In the 1980's Judi was hired as International Program Director for Giltspur, a global leader in trade show exhibit design and production. Her task was to develop and introduce innovative marketing services no other 'display house' offered. Such services included show staff training, show research, lead management and promotions. These were perhaps the first services offered in the industry to enhance and measure a company's return on their events investment.
One of many notable examples was a technical division of a global paint company. Store managers did not know how to sell the division's unfamiliar chemical coatings. Our mission was to hold those managers captive for 10 minutes at the national convention so marketing staff could drill the simplicity and profitability of chemical coatings into latex congested brains.
The solution was to hire 20 caricature artists placed at stations around the exhibit. As the store manager sat for their comical mug shot they had no choice but to hear and heed the chemical coatings gospel.
One could say Judi safely navigated her employer to success in those endeavors.
A decade later Judi founded her owned events marketing and promotions company, Tradeshows Plus. There she enhances event experiences for such clients as GE, Goodyear, Kohler, Kemper,
Pratt & Whitney and Experian.
Judi's modesty makes her uncomfortable talking about recognition, yet we were able to secure the inside scoop via the Freedom of Information Act. Tradeshows Plus awards includes Nobel Prizes, Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys, Pulitzers, Peabodys, ADDYs, Clios, and several AKC Best of Show honors.
Contact Tradeshows Plus today to discover how Judi can make your next function the successful event no one will ever forget.