What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving, than by giving a shout-out to our amazing colleagues in the USA who absolutely smashed it in 2023. From inspiring leadership and award-winning talent to best-in-class brands and recording-breaking events, they show how it is possible to build business for our customers, while continuing to care for our communities and each other.
Widely respected for his innovation and results-oriented focus on customers and employees, RX Americas President Fernando Fischer shared his vision for success in his keynote for the Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum (ECEF) 2023 in Washington, DC on 31 May.
Passionate about ROE (Return on Expectation), Fernando revealed to a record ECEF crowd how RX is using talent, digital tools and data insights, powered by RX’s Exhibitor Dashboard, to prove and improve exhibitor ROI at RX’s shows. The key to change, said Fernando, is a shift away from discussing price and towards proving value.
Responding to his keynote, Sam Lippman, President of ECEF organiser, Lippman Connects, said: “We are all indebted to Fernando for sharing so much of the details of why and how RX achieved such stunning results.”
Award-winning brands and talent
Our US colleagues were honoured and excited to receive not one, but FOUR Trade Show Executive Gold 100 Awards in September, including ‘Greatest Trade Show of 2022’ for JCK!
JCK, Las Vegas, was honoured for the 2022 edition of the event, having broken 2019 pre-pandemic sales and attendance while delivering one of the most important, valuable, and FUN experiences for the jewellery industry.
PGA Show won the DEI Leadership Award for its ongoing actions to support and increase diversity in golf. For the past three years the PGA show has supported the African American Golf Expo & Forum by sponsoring a ‘Share Your Story’ video contest for AAGEF exhibiting companies, with the winner receiving a complimentary exhibit space at the PGA Show in Orlando each January. The team also worked with diverse community leaders to deliver an expanded Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Forum and reception on the opening day of PGA Show 2023.
Senior Director of Marketing Services, Jacy Barker, was named as one of Trade Show Executive’s 2023 ‘Women to Watch’ which identifies and encourages growth of the next generation of women leaders in the trade show industry. Jacy was selected for her leadership qualities, creativity, problem-solving skills, and high level of excellence in trade show management, and we couldn’t be prouder of her.
The ‘Best Use of Technology Award’ at a 2022 event went G2E (Global Gaming Expo) for its innovative use of interactive technology to maximise visitor engagement and help attendees to ‘Build Your G2E Experience’. “Taking bets is something that comes naturally to us, and exploring advancements in technology allows G2E to stay ahead of the curve,” said a delighted Korbi Carrison, Event Vice President, G2E.
Continuing to ‘build back better and smarter’ after the pandemic, some of our US events set new all-time records! Among them, Bar Convent Brooklyn, the leading beverage industry trade show, was the largest in its five year history, with 198 brands from 51 countries, 121 education speakers, 4,500 professional attendees and 475,000 samples served! The sold-out gathering generated over 8,000 business leads and 4 million+ media impressions. What can we say team, but ‘Cheers!’
JCK, Las Vegas, the most important jewellery industry gathering globally, also sold-out its show floor in June and attracted record attendance levels. “The energy at JCK 2023 was the best we’ve felt in years” said J exhibitor, Morgan Waters, Executive Director of Marketing Services & Events at fine jewellery manufacturer and JCK exhibitor, Stuller.
Functional Fabric Fair, New York, powered by PERFORMANCE DAYS®, made a triumphant return to the Javits Center on July 18-19, uniting outdoor and sports apparel brands with top suppliers showcasing cutting-edge trends and innovations in textile development for the Summer 2024/2025 seasons. With record-breaking participation from over 140 exhibitors, it was New York's largest gathering yet, attracting 2,300 industry professionals and generating over 4,600 sales leads.
Inclusive and friendly communities
We’re so proud of our US colleagues for their commitment to creating inclusive and friendly communities inside and outside RX, where ‘Everyone Belongs’. And boy have they been active this year.
Among several Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) in the US who are committed to shaking things up for the greater good, is RX Pride whose mission is to support and represent the LGBTQIA+ community. The group organised a fun-packed and community-minded programme of activities for Pride Week in June, including volunteering alongside one of our US charitable partners, Kids in Crisis, at Pride in the Park, Norwalk. Among numerous educational events organised for colleagues throughout the year, RX Pride hosted “A Conversation on Supporting your LGBTQ+ Child”, with Polly O’Brien Morrow and “Queerness as a Superpower for Behavior and Change”, with Meghan Crutchley.
The RX African Ancestry Network (AAN) aims to promote diversity, cross-cultural dialogue, and the promotion and inclusion of African Ancestry employees through networking events, guest speakers, shared resources and more. The AAN’s Chair, Milton
Montaque, Senior Director of Innovation and Development, joined us from the US in October to deliver an inspiring panel session at the Black Young Professionals (BYP) London Leadership Conference. Alongside UK colleagues Des Massicott, RX’s Chief Information Security Officer and Jeffrey Asare Boamah, Global Director of Product Analytics, they shared their personal stories, career strategies and insights in an engaging, informative, and fun session, opening delegates eyes to the attractions of RX and the events industry!
Committed to making RX the best place for women to work, the US Women Connected ERG is also dedicated to supporting and empowering women in the community. In September volunteers joined a Career Clinic organised by their local Women’s Mentoring Network, where they reviewed resumes and offered advice to local women to support their job searches.
And highlighting that prioritizing women’s health isn’t just good for women, but is also good for business, global Head of Inclusion and Diversity, Ray Rhodes, joined a panel at the Women in Work Summit on November 9th in NYC to explore how businesses can attract and retain female employees throughout important life stages.
Our US colleagues are incredibly generous people with huge hearts, as is clear from the amount of time and energy they give to support people in their local and event communities.
In May 2023, a group from our US international sales team volunteered at the Bridgeport Rescue Mission in Connecticut which provides vital services to men, women, and children facing hunger, homelessness, and addiction. The team helped in the food pantry, sorting, organising, and distributing food to those in need.
Colleagues from HR, legal and compliance came together in July to spend a day at Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary which promotes compassion and healing through human-animal connection. The team worked to set up for the Sanctuary’s ‘For the Love of Horses’ event, including weeding in the ecotype pollinator garden, which provides shelter and sustenance for insects, butterflies, and pollinators.
New York Comic Con held its annual NYCC Art Auction in September in support of St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. This year’s event raised $125,000, smashing through the $1 million target of total funds raised since the auction was first held in 2011! The ReedPop team also worked with Make-A-Wish and the Marty Lyons Foundation to grant wishes for seven families at NYCC 2023 – the most wishes granted at one event.
RX has been supporting Connecticut-based Kids in Crisis (KIC) for more than a decade through volunteering and direct funding. Earlier this year, the team donated $12,000 to support Kid’s in Crisis ‘Teen Talk’ programme which works with 16 Connecticut public schools to identify and support at risk students. In October, our PGA Show colleagues took part in KIC’s annual charity golf tournament, donating gift cards to Titleist and FootJoy as well as two US Open tickets for their silent and live auction. And this holiday season, RX Pride has reached out to all their colleagues to sponsor a KIC family with four children, gathering donations specific to the family’s needs.
Last but by no means least, a team from finance and accounting spent a day with the Connecticut Foodshare in November, packing and sorting almost 7,000 Ibs of food into boxes for seniors in need!
Way to go RX USA. We can’t wait to see what you have in store for 2024!