Trade shows, expos, conventions. Whatever you wish to call it, every industry has one. If your business provides a product that needs to be sold, you've probably exhibited at a trade show. When DataMax exhibits at a tradeshow, we remember that they require some work (shipping and set-up for booth, printed materials, promotional items, etc.). Imagine how hard it is to plan and manage a show that has over 300 companies exhibiting and over 1,000 companies attending-- all while attempting to make the process smooth and enjoyable for everyone!
We present to you Dana Fuller. This fearless female manages the entire Southwest Fuel and Convenience Expo done by the Texas Food and Fuel Association. The Southwest Fuel and Convenience Expo is the most comprehensive fuel, food, and convenience retailing event in the Southwest United States. DataMax happens to showcase our back office software for convenience stores at this trade show each year, too!
Dana kindly participated in our Women In Convenience blog, and we're here to share her thoughts. She proves that being driven and having a strong work ethic will always sew the seeds for success! Get a glimpse into Dana's thoughts below:
DataMax: How did you come to work in the convenience industry?
DF: I have worked in the association industry since 1987 planning meeting, events, and trade shows. Through my established network of meeting and expo planners, I was approached by one of my peers with the Texas Grocery & Convenience Association (TGCA) to be his replacement as Director of Meetings & Expositions in 2001. It is with the 2012 merger of TGCA and Texas Petroleum Marketers Association (TPCA) that I have transitioned as the Expo Manager for the current organization known as the Texas Food & Fuel Association.
DataMax: What is your favorite aspect of working in the food and fuel industry?
DF: The constant evolution of the industry through market changes and demands, technology, and continued education appeals to me as it always necessitates fresh and revolutionary thinking. I’ve always embraced new ideas, fresh faces, and a progressive business climate.
DataMax: How are trade shows in this industry different from other industries' trade shows?
DF: I personally don’t see much of difference between industries. Trade shows in any industry have a common goal; they provide the most direct form of face to face interaction of any marketing medium. Trade shows are a time efficient and a cost-effective way for sellers to sell and buyers to buy in any market. Though a show only last days, its influence over future sales can last for months.
DataMax: What advice do you have for other women who want to find success in any largely male industry?
DF: I feel taking advantage of any continuing education opportunities allows women to operate on a comparatively similar level to their male peers. My personal experience and success finds that what an individual does with the educational tools we have available will best be realized with a strong and organized work ethic.
DataMax: What keeps you motivated?
DF: First and foremost, my faith and family keeps me motivated. It’s important to me to set a good example for my children and others surrounding me. I have found that failure can be a constructive motivator. I find in retrospect many of my successes were preceded with failure and the drive to overcome failure.
DataMax: Do you predict any big trends in c-store industry in the future?
DF: Technology. Technology. Technology. It is with certainty that any progressive industry including the c-store industry must set their future goals and successes on the horizon of the fast paced changes and impact that technology is making on today's and more importantly tomorrow's advancements.
A drive to succeed paired with a desire to be a good example for your family-- now that's a combo that any woman can be proud of! Thank you, Dana, for your time and insights into your fruitful career. We appreciate you and the Texas Food and Fuel Association!