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About Me

Maven: A maven is an accumulator of knowledge or an expert in her field.
Mavens are considered information specialists, dedicated to helping others solve problems with the knowledge they provide.

Trade Show Maven:
Accumulator of trade show knowledge, dedicated to sharing information with other trade show marketers to help them solve their problems with the knowledge she provides.  The  first advocate in the trade show industry who's focused on you, the trade show professional.

Hi, I'm Gail Hernandez, The Trade Show Maven

I attended my first trade show in 1981. I was in charge of bringing the typewriter and typing out name badges for the invited guests to our hospitality suite. In the middle of typing, I ran out of typewriter ribbon. It was my indoctrination to the world of trade shows.

Since that first trade show (I eventually found a replacement cartridge and completed the badges in time for the event), I've managed over 735 exhibits--from tabletop displays to island booths, from Canada to Brazil, in varied indusrtries including the analytic instrument market, and the electric utility industry, automotive, health care, education, government, science and high tech industries. I still love every aspect of trade shows.

In 1994 I became the first woman to earn certification in trade show marketing and to earn the professional designation of Certified Trade Show Marketer or CTSM. The CTSM program is awarded annually by the EXHIBITOR Conference in affiliation with Northern Illinois University Outreach, and is the only university-affiliated professional certification program in the exhibit marketing industry. Less than 1% of all trade show and event marketers have attained this distinction.
Click here to find out more about becoming a CTSM graduate.

What Else Do Mavens Do?

  • I love to read. I set a goal each year, usually from 50-100 books. Click here to see my 2008 reading list (I also have booklists through 2015.)
  • I have a passion for developing and leading women's retreats. None planned right now, but I'm working on a Laughter Retreat. If you're interested, drop me a note at
  • I teach at the EXHIBITORLIVE! Conference serve as a CTSM advisor.


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