About Crates + Rates Trade Show Consultants
My name is Eric Lewis. I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. I have always had a passion for successfully negotiating goods and services. At an early age I learned a very valuable lesson regarding the art of the deal. "Always be prepared" and "Knowledge is your greatest asset."
A little history...When I was in high school, I began buying and selling cars, boats and motorcycles to help pay for college. Unfortunately, I wasted a lot of time and money negotiating with individuals who were much more experienced than me. Eventually I sought out a family member who had worked his entire career in the auto industry. Within a short period of time, he shared a significant amount of his industry knowledge; thereby educating me on how to successfully negotiate fair and equitable transactions. Fortunately these negotiating skills easily cross-pollinated with my career path as a Trade Show Consultant.
In regard to my experience as a Trade Show Consultant...I have worked in the Trade Show and face-to-face marketing industry for over 35 years. Most notably, I worked 25 years for one of the nation’s top tradeshow and face-to-face marketing firms, serving as Divisional Vice President for 17 years.
As DVP, I directly managed sales, design and estimating and oversaw all aspects of the day-to-day operations for the Dallas division. My number one priority was assisting the sales team with their trade show consulting efforts. The majority of my time was spent in customer facing discussions establishing their tradeshow and F2F marketing objectives. Once the design was complete, I remained heavily involved overseeing the pricing and final proposal.
I have always prided myself on being a good listener. It was very important to me that our clients knew they were working with a reliable group of trade show consultants who had their best interests in mind. During my tenure, we retained long standing relationships with many Fortune 500 companies, some for over 20 years.
I was also responsible for leading all RFP (Request for Proposal) responses and customer contract negotiations, including MSA's (Master Services Agreements). Job cost analysis and pricing is an area of expertise for me as I have a very extensive background in estimating and production. That, coupled with managing a division under the strict corporate adherence of financial accountability, has given me the skills to quickly and accurately determine if costs are inline or excessive.
Another huge part of my responsibility was the divisional profit and loss performance, which I was required to report on monthly. Our financial reporting primarily focused on sales revenue, cost of sale, budget to actuals and net profit.
Additionally, I also prepared our annual sales forecast, divisional business plan, market risk analysis, headcount analysis and the divisional operating budget. Bi-annually I attended our corporate stakeholders meeting to present divisional profit and loss performance, as well as, our year-to-date sales revenue, business plan initiatives and budget to actuals. These were live in-person presentations to our executive management team and ownership.
After spending most of my career in the trade show and face-to-face marketing industry, it is still very much a passion for me. I have performed in many roles in the industry throughout my career and have gained an incredible amount of knowledge from those I have worked for and with. I will continue pursuing this passion, but in a different role as an independent Trade Show Consultant providing financial insight to F2F Marketers. My goal is to assist you by analyzing your current program and determining a more cost-effective strategy for all your marketing efforts.