Meeting Newz September / October 2021

Abe Denton [ PROF I LE To start the series we are introducing Abe Denton – though we realise for many of you Abe is already well and truly a familiar face, having been at the ‘coalface’ of builds for events ranging from Home Shows, Food Shows and Gift Fairs through to community and corporate events of all sizes. For Abe Denton, long serving team member and operations manager with Exhibition Hire Services (EHS) in Auckland, exhibitions are in the blood. His father Barry was a well known pioneer in the industry and Abe himself was already working in the industry before he joined EHS, part of The Coast Group. Now his son Finn works for the company as well (in the Wellington branch) and his stepson, Connor, did a stint in the Auckland office before setting up his own media company. Abe himself still clearly gets a buzz out of setting up the skeleton of an exhibition, conference trade show, or other display event before the Show Light and Power (plus the carpeting) teams move in. “It can be stressful at times – for us a deadline really is a deadline – but it’s a hugely stimulating and rewarding industry to be in. “We’re part of a process where everyone depends on everyone else. It starts with the panel team and we’re often the last ones to leave the site once everything is set up.” Abe says the biggest change in the sector over the past couple of decades is the speed in which even a major exhibition can be built. This comes down mainly to the shell scheme panel systems themselves, but he has also seen major improvements in the materials handling equipment and the Cloud-based technology that allows a seamless flow of job information from the initial customer contact through to the crew on the job. He notes that while technology has helped significantly, having experienced and skilled people on the job is also critical when it comes to successfully building a show. “There is always a push to be faster, especially in venues like hotels where you have to go in after a dinner and set up an exhibition for the next day.” Abe struggles to think how many events he has been involved in with EHS but he puts the annual figure at somewhere around 200 major exhibitions and conferences, plus another 200 smaller displays and community activities. “There is always something different, from home and garden shows, gift fairs, and food shows right through to an art fair at a retirement village.” Abe has no doubt that exhibitions and trade fairs have a solid future. “People have been talking for at least 15 years about the internet replacing exhibitions and people doing online shows and virtual tours instead, but it just hasn’t happened. “People still want to go somewhere, touch things and meet face to face. I can’t see that side of things changing a great deal.” OUR PEOPLE ~ THEY’RE THE KEY At Exhibition Hire Services (EHS) we know that it’s our people who hold the key to helping create a successful consumer or trade event for you – our customers and business partners. To celebrate our team and help you to learn more about them, we have launched a series that will focus on the greatest assets of EHS and its parent company Coast Group – our people. C O M P A N Y P R O F I L E [18] meeting newz [sept oct] 2021