Tradeshow and Exhibit Thoughtleaders
"The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge
and the dissemination of truth."

John F. Kennedy

Meet our Thoughtleaders:
An Interview with
Sofia Troutman
by Gordon Nary


Return to Sofia's Webpage

  When did you graduate from University of Arizona Eller College of Management and what did you study?    
Sofia:   I graduated with my MBA in 2000.  I did my undergraduate at the University of Alaska in Anchorage and received a BA in Economics.     
Gordon:   Eller is very proud of you as evidenced the update on you in Eller Buzz by Sue Kern-Fleischer. Do you ever visit Eller since your graduation?    
Sofia:   I do go back to Tucson from time to time and visit friends but I am sorry to say I have not made it back on campus for quite some time.    
Gordon:   I assume that moving from Anchorage to Tucson meant that you had to buy some new clothes.    
Sofia:   Yes, it was a very sad day when I had to say goodbye to many of my favorite wool sweaters    
Gordon:   What interested you in joining the Skyline team?    
Sofia:   I wanted to work for a company that that had a strong brand presence and a global footprint.   I had worked in brand management before and had really enjoyed being part of the new product development process.  I liked that Skyline is an innovative company that prides itself on its superior customer service.    
Gordon:   What have you learned about the challenges in Industry Relations since you have been at Skyline?    
  Every touch point you have matters.  While client care is always top of mind, I have had to learn to also consider key influencers and partners.  I am not a natural extrovert but I have learned how important it is to take the time to get out and meet new contacts and help when I can. I am still learning how to ask for help.    
Gordon:   How have the challenges of terrorism had an impact on trade show security?    


Well,  visas for business travel  have become more difficult to obtain.   Also, travel is more cumbersome due to security requirements.  I think anytime travel is made more difficult it makes it harder for people to justify the investment in time and money.   They may choose to attend fewer trade shows or stick to regional shows instead of travelling across the country or across the globe.

Gordon:   How do your choose your topics for Skylines' Trade Show Tips and your webinars?    
Sofia:   I try to write articles to address problems or interests that clients may have.   For instance I may consider a common question that is being asked, an industry trend or just anything that I would want to know about if I were in charge of planning business events.    
Gordon:   We always learn from the people that we work with. What are some of the lessons that you have learned from your colleagues since you have been at Skyline?    
  Wow!  There are many.  Mike Thimmesch taught me a lot about social media and how to leverage its power to help educate our clients.   My boss Jon Althoff has taught me a lot about how to communicate internally and externally with key business partners.  I always learn the most from our clients.  I love listening to end users and finding out about their questions and concerns and trying to figure out how we may be able to help.    
Gordon:   Do you plan to continue your education and industry training?      

I am currently trying to learn more about Digital marketing tools as they relate to making events more efficient and measurable and regularly attend conferences and industry events.   I would also love to take more exhibiting courses at ExhibitorLive as they have great instructors with real world experience.


Gordon:   Thank you for a great interview.