Meet Our Team: Lauren Van Putten Vink, Sr. Project Manager

Please tell us about yourself and how you got into the trade show industry.

I learned about Nimlok NYC back when I was a student at Berkley College. When I was ready for my design degree internship, I proactively did research on design companies in the New York City area and Nimlok NYC was the first company that showed up during my online browsing. I wasn’t familiar with the tradeshow business but found their website intriguing! I called Nimlok NYC and spoke to the Senior Project Manager at the time and asked if she was interested in having an intern. She immediately was so friendly and I was hired as an intern right away at our initial meeting. After my year-long internship and upon graduating, I transitioned into the Administrative Assistant position full time and was continuing to learn about the trade show business, custom exhibits and various industries. I would assist the Senior Project Manager on her

projects, would place orders and make arrangements on her behalf. With all of the knowledge I had gained, I then transitioned into a Project Manager position. After a few years of being a Project Manager, and with our company’s continuous growth, I then became the Senior Project Manager. I am proud to say that I have been here at Nimlok NYC for 11 years. I truly value being a part of the Company’s continued success and to be able to experience such personal and professional growth!

Can you describe your duties as a project manager?

As Senior Project Manager, I oversee the four other amazing Project Managers and assign client jobs as they come in based on each PMs specialty focus and current workload. A Project Manager is the “hub” of all information and are where various departments go to for project-related issues and information. Additionally, they are the main source of contact for the client to handle all steps of the job from start to finish.

What steps are involved in developing a booth with a client?

When a client first reaches out to us, we gather as much preliminary information as we can. These can include which show, show dates, venue, size of the exhibit space, objectives and budget. We then discuss what exactly they are looking to accomplish in this booth space. What kind of look and feel are they are going for? Particular materials or lighting needed? Once we gather all these details, we meet with our designers to strategize and develop the first design pass for client review and feedback. After a design and cost proposal is approved, our Nimlok NYC team gets to work on collaborating with our various departments for development and execution.

What elements do you look for when working on a strategy for a trade show booth?

As an experienced Project Manager in this industry, I have learned that having full and clear information regarding the booth space is key. Every show has different display regulations for each type of booth space and you want to make sure that you always stay within these regulations. The last thing that you want is to produce a booth for a client and have that client not be able to use the booth designed for a particular booth space. I like to predict any issues that I feel could be a potential problem ahead of time and before I even have a signed-off project with a client. Proper planning and industry knowledge are important.

What has been your most challenging or favorite project?

This is such a difficult question to answer as we have produced some amazing exhibits over the years that I have been here. One exhibit that I feel was truly amazing from the design concept through completion was ZBD (now Display Data). Nimlok NYC was, and still is, ahead of our time with the sleekness and modern approach to exhibit design. 

ZBD

 

How is Nimlok NYC different from other trade show booth design companies?

What I love about this company is not only the amazing booth designs and projects we end up producing, but also the commitment to employee growth within the company. Every employee is given such an amazing opportunity to grow and to show what they are capable of. We are very much a team atmosphere here and everyone’s door is always open! There is a willingness from all departments to want to help each other achieve greatness for each project and I think that is pretty rare and special.

If you could tell your clients one thing about exhibiting at a trade show, what would it be?

Do your research! Booth spaces, themselves, can be quite expensive. Make sure you are able to buy a booth space and then produce a quality booth to put into this booth space. You don’t want to buy an expensive booth space and then not have enough left in your budget to truly portray your company in the special and dynamic way it should be portrayed.