Insights From The Experts: Larry Grossenbacher

At Jacoby Expo, we value the insight that leading experts in our industry have to offer. That’s why we are excited to announce a feature on our blog we are calling, Insight From The Experts.

Our guests will be sharing their tips and secrets to success in the trade show world with you!









Name: Larry Grossenbacher

Website & Professional Email

Trade show, event and experiential marketing guru leveraging technology and operational efficiency for maximum engagement. 

Digital trade show, event management and brand experience ecosystems expert; 20+ year track record in the creative leveraging of technology to turn challenges into opportunities that generate positive business outcomes and maximized attendee engagement – but always with an eye for bottom-line profitability.

Leading business operations and technology innovator who built systems, procedures and staff to support managing a 1,500 person union event labor force (for the Jacob K. Javits Center) and a $40 million+, 600+ total employee privately owned trade show management company with 8 locations domestically and internationally (Metropolitan Exposition).

Subject matter expert who has developed, produced, priced, presented and even sold leading-edge, experiential technologies including touchscreen, virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality and interactive holograms to C-suites, bringing entirely new revenue for services that hadn’t existed prior.

Highly visible award-winning event management industry leader, board member and lecturer who has produced events for and presented/lead audiences of up to 2000+ on subjects including operational excellence, voice of the customer/customer experience, innovation/collaboration, and analyzing/implementing/training on business operations and systems.

What is the one thing you make sure to do at every show?

Just one? Wear comfortable shoes. I’d say always arrive an hour early every day but once in a while a late night out with a client prevents that from happening. But comfortable shoes are a must. No matter what role you play in a tradeshow – supplier, show manager or attendee – you’re going to be walking. A lot. So proper footwear is always the first thing I tell people to bring. Close seconds are some healthy snacks because you’ll definitely be grabbing junk on the run at some point so it’s good to try to offset that and gum. Long hours, maybe a slice of pizza you grabbed on the run that had a bit too much garlic? Great combo to fend off Dracula but you don’t want your clients keeping their distance from you for that reason.

How do you define or track the success of your show?

You can usually tell how an event was overall at the service desk based on how much exhibitors are arguing about their bill. In the last few years working as a subject matter expert in experiential tech, much of the success is data based. We can really track how many visitors used an experience, how long they stayed at a specific part of an experience, if they sent themselves something digitally and if they viewed it after the event. So we can track individual experience successes not just at the event but surrounding it including pre and post event engagement.

How do you continually improve your show year after year?

Keep up with technology and innovate wherever possible to reduce friction in the attendee experience. Visit museums or events that don’t necessarily have something to do with the industry you are part of to draw inspiration. Keep experiences in mind whenever you’re dealing with someone as a customer (at a hotel or while having a retail experience, in person or online) and make note of thing that stood out as exceptional and see if you can innovation your own space in a smilier fashion to provide that level of exceptional experience to your customers.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned?

You can get in almost anywhere if you have a walkie-talkie and act like you belong there. Also the difference between managing and leading. If you’re in a position with direct reports, learn to lead your team. “Go!” and “Let’s Go!” create very different team cultures when coming from the mouth of a senior team member.

What does the future of trade shows look like to you?

It’s an exciting time in the event industry because we’re capturing so much data and learning how to leverage it more and more each day to provide more value for our customers. But it’s not just the collection and presentation of that data, it’s being able to provide actionable insights based on the data. This can allow for more meaningful experiences and deeper connections between buyers and sellers.