How can a company make the standard 10×10 tradeshow booth even bigger?  Three Rosen College alumni entrepreneurs have developed a business that accomplishes just that.

Partners Brian Avery, Andrea Gillman and Jessica Rivers recently launched 10×10 Solutions, a tradeshow marketing, consulting and staffing firm. 10×10 Solutions provides exhibiting companies with personalized strategies to attract quality tradeshow attendees, generate positive buzz on the showroom floor and increase business leads and profitability.

The trio met at Rosen College while Rivers and Gillman pursued their degrees in Event Management.  Avery, an alumnus with his Master’s Degree  in Hospitality and Tourism Management, and pursuing his Ph.D. in Hospitality Education, instructed Rivers and Gillman in his course on Hospitality & Event Risk Management.  Avery quickly became their favorite professor as a result of his industry know-how and applicability of concepts.

After graduating in the midst of an economic slump, Rivers and Gillman hit a wall when applying for jobs as they were either described as ‘overqualified’ or told that companies were only hiring interns.  During this time, they recognized a need in the Orlando market for a company dedicated exclusively to tradeshow marketing services.   Rivers shares, “We were so surprised when we started doing research that there were only secretarial and modeling agencies out there.”  Gillman adds, “Feedback from companies that hired a model for their booth was that although attractive, he/she couldn’t effectively market the company’s services.”  Realizing that paid booth staff could all at once be eye-catching, hospitable and knowledgeable, the two launched a business model and shared it with Avery for professional guidance.

Avery uncovered similar industry needs and instantly jumped on board with the project.  The three shared vision, passion and a background of entrepreneurial-minded homes, so the next step was logical.  They combined their collective 40-year experience with the Central Florida hospitality and events industry to initiate a recipe for success.  As the partners describe, “After several pots of diner coffee, waffles, biscuits and gravy and Tabasco-covered eggs later, 10×10 Solutions was born.”  The company name was easily agreed upon, as it’s understood by industry professionals and will receive top billing in phone books and online searches.

Although sharing a great deal of common ground, they each bring a different attribute to the table: Gillman is organized; Rivers is creative; and Avery possesses a wealth of knowledge.

In reflecting on their Rosen College roots, Rivers and Gillman are particularly indebted to the classes of Art Sims, Dr. David Kwun and Dr. Deborah Breiter, for their practical application to 10×10 Solutions.  Rivers describes “The college as a whole feels like a family and is a professional environment.”  The three hope to cultivate a strong partnership by hiring our students and collaborating with faculty.

Avery calls this “just the beginning” and plans to add additional staffing features in the future.  Promoting heavily through social media such as Facebook and Twitter, unveiling a fresh logo and a new website complete with professional photography, the young company is quickly making strides.

Rivers describes the successful partnership and shares, “We’re completely in synch with one another.”

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