Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Home / Industry / Business Services / Rochester Chamber Top 100: Company builds its trade show business

Rochester Chamber Top 100: Company builds its trade show business

A trade show booth is typically built with hard wall or fabric panels, graphic displays and video monitors to showcase an exhibitor’s products or sales pitch. 
 
For Mirror Show Management Inc., the booth design is based on more than its construction. It is also about the experience it delivers.
 
“Attendee experiences that hit home in a personal way (are) what forward-thinking companies are demanding,” said Donna Shultz, president of the Webster company. “We’ve developed a proprietary process called ExperiTech that consistently delivers better customer engagements, longer dwell times and far higher booth registration rates.”
 
ExperiTech was trademarked a year ago. Mirror Show introduced it at the ExhibitorLive 2016 show in Las Vegas, one of the largest events for the trade show industry.
 
Shultz founded her company in 1993 with the goal of solving problems she saw her clients struggle with when she was an account executive at another exhibit company. 
 
A major challenge they face, she found, is developing creative exhibits for several trade shows throughout the year while staying on budget. To answer that, Shultz created square-foot pricing, a first for the industry.
 
“Every trade show company charges hourly,” Shultz said, noting most clients contract to have an exhibit designed for a trade show and then the exhibit is reused at several other shows throughout the year.
 
Typical companies charge for the hours the booth is transported, set up and used at those shows, in addition to the original design.
“I came up with a square-foot pricing rate that is based on what it costs to design and build, based on its size,” she said. “It is a differentiator for us, and clients never pay a penny over that cost.”
 
There is no charge for the additional events, and Mirror Show often uses the booth’s existing components to redesign it for a fresh look.
 
A 30-day guarantee is another differentiator, Shultz said. Mirror Show guarantees that final bills from all vendors and suppliers connected to the exhibit, such as audiovisual, electrical and carpet rental, will be submitted within 30 days of the event. 
“That is extremely important so the client knows where their budget stands,” Shultz said. “We promise 10 percent off our bill if we don’t deliver within 30 days. I can tell you that we have never missed a bill in our 25 years.”
 
A client survey found timely billing was their No. 1 issue, she said.
 
Mirror Show services clients, including Fortune 500 companies, across a wide range of industries such as food, medical and internet technology.
 
One of the largest clients is Cisco Systems Inc., based in California. Mirror Show was selected in 2012 to partner on the company’s premier annual event, Cisco Live, and has designed exhibits for Cisco every year since then.
 
“They manage all our tier one trade shows globally. They have become the partner that keeps us going,” said Jeanne Robb, director of global corporate events at Cisco.
 
Mirror Show consistently outshines the competition with creative, cost-effective booths that “sizzle on a dime,” she said.
“With them we are winning awards, too,” Robb said, noting Cisco recently won an award at the International Broadcasters Conference. “We’re a small player there, yet we won best booth design.”
 
In 2012, Mirror Show became an employee stock ownership plan company. 
 
Its revenues grew 21 percent in 2013, 44 percent in 2014 and 22 percent in 2015. The company is finalizing revenue figures for 2016.
“We believe that giving employees a direct financial stake in our company has helped foster that success, energizing each person to bring extra passion to serving our customer every day,” Shultz said.
 
Employment grew from 72 in 2014 to 75 in 2015 to 80 today. Employees are key to the continued growth of Mirror Show, Shultz said, and recruitment of talent is one of her main challenges. 
 
“We have great local people who graduate college, move to New York City to work for a couple years and then want to come back home,” she said.
 
Shultz is proud to be successful in the $25 billion trade show industry, which is recovering from a decline.
“The industry has definitely come back and should be growing over the next five years,” she said.
 
The Rochester Chamber Top 100 program is presented by the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and KPMG LLP. Launched in 1987, it recognizes the fastest-growing private companies in Greater Rochester. The 2017 Rochester Top 100 event is slated to be held Nov. 2. For more information, go to greaterrochesterchamber.com.
 
Mirror Show Management Inc.
 
Trade show exhibit and event 
management company
 
Year Founded: 1993
 
Top executive: Donna Shultz, president
 
Current employment: 80
 
2016 ranking: 8
 
Headquarters: Webster
 
Website: www.mirrorshow.com

2/17/2017 (c) 2017 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email [email protected].

 

x

Check Also

Tricks to sustaining the family trade: Succession planning scenarios to expect (access required)

We all know how a business can feel like our child. You spend many years — even decades — nurturing ...

Is your strategic plan both strategic and a plan? (access required)

There is a lot of discussion about strategic planning in not-for-profit circles lately. Evidently, moving through a global pandemic and ...

What’s so great about the 2022 Great Places to Work? (access required)

It’s my favorite time of year: Great Place to Work just announced the 25th Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work ...

Loyalty programs – what you should know about compliance with the CPPA (access required)

From the straightforward “buy 9 smoothies, get 1 free,” to sophisticated frequent flyer programs, loyalty programs are a staple in ...

Are cover letters really necessary? Hiring professionals have differing opinions (access required)

“I’m a hiring manager at a local company looking to fill several positions. I’ve noticed that about two-thirds of our ...

Investment acumen or inside information? (access required)

If you had known, in early 2020, that you might be working from home during a multi-year, global pandemic, would ...

Opining on Dick Vitale’s courage, more Bills nicknames, stadium names

By the time he finished delivering a motivational speech that would have made Knute Rockne proud, Dick Vitale looked like ...

The importance of female mentorship, leadership, and innovation in banking (access required)

In my 10 years at Tompkins and 35 cumulative years in the banking field, I’ve witnessed the industry undergo several ...

How not to set policy to reduce the price of gasoline (access required)

High gas prices in the U.S. cause a lot of pain for Americans every time they take their vehicles to ...

Highland Hospital Gala (access required)

This year’s casino-themed Highland Hospital Gala raised its second highest amount ever, with more than $650,000 gross net income thanks ...

Inflation: How did we get here and what can be done about it? (access required)

If you’re in your 50s - o.k. early 50s - you probably remember a time when a gallon of gas ...

Reflections on pediatrics, the pandemic, and the Golden Circle (access required)

Imagine this: Your business has been open for only five months and is doing really well. Revenue is higher than ...

Will 2022 be the year of the vacation home? (access required)

With some COVID-19 restrictions relaxing and others already lifted, the smell of tourism is in the air. Demand for leisure ...

Transition services valuable for aging population (access required)

What do you need to stay safe in your family home, even if your home is getting to be too ...

Elder transition planning: Family mediation for older adults & their loved ones (access required)

The journey of aging is rarely a smooth one. As older adults and their families face emotional, financial and health ...

Senior living communities consider how to be more diverse, inclusive, accessible (access required)

The nation’s senior population is the largest and most diverse in history, according to the most recent census data from ...

Why is inflation so scary for my retirement plan? (access required)

Over the past decade, investors experienced a best-case scenario of relatively low inflation and strong investment returns from both stocks ...

A thoroughbred racehorse whose impact was not lost on us

It seemed like a good deal at the time – a rattletrap Ford van with more than 100,000 miles on ...

Ensuring your financial plan can withstand negative conditions  (access required)

Financial plans differ based on individuals’ incomes, future goals, age and tolerance for risk, but often unconsidered in those plans ...

Boomerang employees: tips on how to welcome team members home (access required)

Every manager at every level has experienced it — that awful feeling in the pit of your stomach when one ...

Spring cleaning: Considering program sustainability (access required)

There has never been a better time to consider the sustainability of your program activities and take action to address ...

Financial advisors can guide through tough times (access required)

With the country facing rising inflation and interest rates, as well as the lingering COVID-19 pandemic and the war in ...

Are you discriminating against employees with caregiving responsibilities? (access required)

As the world enters year three of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has issued a warning ...

Rochester accelerates its pace to become top tech hub in America (access required)

Rochester is on its way to becoming a national hub for technology innovation. Experts predict that it has the highest ...

A simple game for investors: How would you play? (access required)

Some years ago, financial author and advisor, Bill Schultheis, devised a simple game to illustrate the difficulty faced by investors ...

You need to improve your technology, but where do you start? (access required)

Technology is advancing at warp speed and certainly some innovations could benefit you and your company, but it’s easy to ...

Innovation advancements on display as Rochester continues to grow its technology ecosystem (access required)

From LIDROTEC, a company with patent-pending wafer dicing laser machines for the semiconductor industry to Stratio, which provides artificial intelligence ...

Milo the Dog has had a golden impact on Red Wings baseball, community

They had trained together five days a week for nearly six months in the backyard solitude of Josh Snyder’s rural ...

M&A middle-market activity: What businesses need to know (access required)

 Understanding the ins and outs, trends and activities going on in M&A markets can help businesses make informed decisions including ...

5 things to consider before deciding to work for yourself (access required)

When people ask me what I do, now that I’m out of television, I simply say, “I have my own ...

M&A lawyers keep busy despite pandemic barriers (access required)

2021 was a record-breaking year globally and nationally for mergers (combining two separate businesses into one new legal entity) and ...

Ending violent crime requires building trust between police, community (access required)

Rochester has recently been the recipient of many state, federal and private investments that create a true path for transformational ...

Former UR assistant Jay Wright continues working his hoops magic

Mike Neer likes to joke that he doesn’t get enough credit for helping Jay Wright become the best-dressed coach in ...

Four ways to prepare your business for the future of digital payments (access required)

Digital transformation continues to sweep the country — especially as more companies and their customers embrace digital payment technologies.Here are ...

Managing Our Manufacturing Plants in 2022 (access required)

There have been dramatic shifts in both the needs and the realities of manufacturing the United States over the past ...

“Rounding Errors” Can Add Up Quickly (access required)

It’s time to talk about time. For many employees, their lunch break is a time when they can step away ...

Just In Time production method becoming obsolete with supply chain issues (access required)

Just In Time (JIT) is a production method pioneered in the 1930s by Toyota Motor Corporation as a means to ...

Rochester firms embrace 3D printing for multiple purposes (access required)

Firms are using 3D printing to create unique tools, parts and other objects right here in Rochester, allowing for new ...

From mentee to mentor: the benefits mentorship provides for women in business (access required)

March marks Women’s History Month. It is a time to honor the strong, brave women who have broken down barriers, ...

Working across the ages: multigenerational teams offer multiple benefits (access required)

Quick: How long is the average career? If you guessed 40 years, you would’ve been right a few years ago. ...

Energy, dedication drive entrepreneurs at any age (access required)

Younger women who grew up with technology and worked in the gig economy may be more comfortable with the pace ...

Opining on Brandon Beane, SU hoops, a poor investment, baseball’s return

If you pressed me to rank the most indispensable Buffalo Bills of this glorious era, I’d go with quarterback Josh ...

Topics that don’t focus on COVID-19 for nonprofit leaders (access required)

For obvious reasons, COVID-19-19 and the many elements of disruption it has caused continue to dominate conversation at organizations of ...

March worldwide water, climate events are close to home (access required)

March marks two worldwide awareness events for the environment: World Water Day and Earth Hour. In Rochester, New York, these ...

Revisiting Art Schlichter’s sad tale of gambling addiction

Monday’s seismic news that Atlanta Falcons star receiver Calvin Ridley had been suspended for the 2022 season for betting on ...

Mentoring is an art passed from one generation to the next (access required)

Ahhh, what to say about the important art of mentoring? It is certainly an art and, in preparation for this ...

Protect intellectual property from the start (access required)

When it comes to intellectual property (IP), the old English idiom “penny wise and pound foolish” never goes out of ...

A loving team helped Chris Lillis ascend to Winter Olympic gold

Bernie Lillis points with pride to a framed photograph on the mantelpiece above the fireplace of his Fairport home. There ...

Three takeaways from Super Bowl ads to apply to marketing (access required)

Super Bowl ads deliver on a few recurring themes every year, and this year was no different. Whether it’s nostalgia ...

I Bonds: A rare bright spot for the income investor (access required)

Investors have a natural affinity for income-producing investments. A steady stream of investment income is comforting even if it is ...

What AG report on ‘credential stuffing’ hacks mean for your business (access required)

In January, New York Attorney General Letitia James released a report summarizing the findings of a broad investigation into so-called ...

Data privacy and security concerns with rise of online betting, gaming (access required)

As of January 8, 2022, New York State joined the ranks of more than a dozen states that have legalized ...

Potential headwinds are coming — what this means for your business (access required)

An abundance of liquidity and market exuberance in the world’s recovery from COVID-19 have made this a promising time for ...

Rochester’s Roland Williams hoping his Rams do it again

Eric Weddle is one of those feel-good stories that Rochester tight-end-turned-broadcaster Roland Williams has followed closely in recent weeks. Late ...

Excell Partners plant seeds for cash-strapped startups to grow (access required)

Excell Partners’ 2021 technology ventures’ report shows the ever-growing impact the venture capital firm is having on the Finger Lakes ...

West Herr buys Canandaigua Honda dealership (access required)

West Herr Automotive Group has added a ninth deal in the greater Rochester area with the purchase of Victory Honda ...

KORE executives cut ribbon at new operational headquarters in Pittsford   (access required)

KORE celebrated the ribbon cutting of its new location in Pittsford on Tuesday. The move was due to KORE’s need for ...