T3 Expo Spotlight: Eventgineer and Co-Founder Nate Derby

head shot1. How did you get started in the expo and trade show industry?

After college, I went into a management training program at the Ritz-Carlton in Southern California. During this process, I was introduced to the trade show industry and was recruited to join Champion Expo in 1998. The tradeshow industry really appealed to me due to the diverse nature of the events, and I was also very interested in traveling at the time.

2. What motivated you to start T3 Expo with Chris Young and Chris Valentine?

Many factors went into this decision; however, the main reason was the team. Chris, Chris and I had recently been in a series of presentations at Champion on some high profile events, and we discovered we worked well together. I have the utmost respect for and trust in both Chris and Chris.

In addition to industry experience and knowledge, we all brought different talents to the table. Chris Valentine handles the financial and business aspects, Chris Young leads the charge in design and marketing, I am responsible for growing the top line and keeping our customer happy. We realized if we combined our strengths, we could develop a more effective and innovative way to execute shows. So, with a lot of faith, we joined together to pursue our common vision of T3 Expo.

3. What do you love most about your job? Working at T3?

I am honored to work with a growing group of dedicated and talented professionals that T3 Expo has from coast to coast. One of the things I love most about my job is watching these people succeed. This allows T3 Expo to succeed as a whole, going above, beyond, and exceeding the expectations of our clients. It is also extremely gratifying to be able to give our clients exactly what they want and deserve.

4. Ten years from now, where do you see T3 Expo in the general service contracting space?

T3 Expo is already an industry leader, but I see us continuing to surprise our clients over the next 10 years with even more innovative products and services. We are scaling quickly to handle any size show and believe we should be included in every RFP cycle. We will continue to execute on our mission to create the largest concentration of competence and creativity in the GSC space.

5. How do you spend your “spare” time? Are there any special vacations or places you like to go with your family?

On weekends, you will find me with my kids at their various activities: swim meets, soccer games, baseball games, and basketball games. With all the travel I do from week to week, I try to spend as much time at home with family on the weekends. Our family vacations typically involve finding a nice remote sunny beach and relaxing. For more active vacations, we will head to the mountains for a few days to ski and snowboard.


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