Meet Mark, IMTS Team Member
Category: IMTS • Sep 18, 2019
Composed, confident, and customer-focused, Mark Kennedy, AMT Director – Exhibitions Sales, leads the team that serves more than 2,000 companies exhibiting at IMTS. From the application process to opening day and beyond, Mark shares his secrets to success, career path, and the best parts of his job.
Providing excellent customer service is central to Mark’s work ethic. Active listening, responding quickly, and communicating clearly help his team as they work with more than 2,000 exhibitors to layout a 1.4 million-square-foot floor plan to welcome nearly 130,000 IMTS registrants.
“My job title says ‘sales,’ but really my team focuses on customer service, and it’s the most important thing we do,” says Mark. “Whether we’re helping a new exhibitor understand Custom Block Pricing or listening to a longtime exhibitor explain last-minute changes, we want them to know we care about them.”
“Responding quickly to messages and emails is important to our team. Even if we don’t have the answer right away, we want them to know we will get back to them. We become each exhibitors’ champion.”
“There are so many deadlines and details. We try to communicate exactly what's going on all through the two-year show cycle. We want to make it as easy on the exhibitors as possible so they can focus on their customers. We want the show to be a success for them, so they come back for the next one.”
Mark learned the importance of customer service early on in his career. During one of his first assignments working in registration, he realized that when he stayed calm, the registrants would become less flustered, and the issue would be resolved quickly.
IMTS 2020 will mark Mark’s fifth IMTS while working at AMT, but his 16th since he entered the workforce in 1986. He first attended IMTS at the age 21 as an employee of a registration partner. “I had no idea what IMTS was, but I loved it: the people, the excitement, and the cool technology on display,” says Mark.
Mark moved his way upward in the company, and for 25 years worked on more than 500 shows including IMTS, his biggest client. In 2011, he landed his dream job at AMT and worked on IMTS. “It was the longest job interview in history,” says Mark.
My job title says ‘sales,’ but really my team focuses on customer service, and it’s the most important thing we do.
Appreciates All-Star Team
“I always wanted to work for IMTS, because it's the biggest and the best,” says Mark. “I’ve interacted with dozens of associations. I noticed IMTS was always innovating and working as a team. The leadership and their ability to build teams and loyalty is what sets AMT apart.”
“It's why you see that people have been at AMT 15 and 20 years. I feel like I'm a youngster at eight years with Tom Snyder* at 30 years, Bonnie Gurney† with more than 20 years, and Michelle Edmonson‡, approaching 20 years. It speaks to what Peter§ does. His ability to build a team, like a baseball manager. He builds the right team, puts people in the right positions, and gives them the freedom to make decisions and make it their own.”
“Mark is an All-Star team player. If there were a Customer Service Hall of Fame, Mark would be in it,” says Peter Eelman, AMT VP and Chief Exhibitions Officer. “I’ve always been impressed with his constant calm, confident demeanor while managing numerous details. His sense of humor, exceptional character, and passion for baseball add to the fun and connections we feel in the office. (He is the Commissioner of the AMT Fantasy Baseball League!) Mark understands the perspective of IMTS exhibitors and visitors alike and is a key player on our team.”
Likes Exhibitor Calls Best
“What I like best about my job is the phone calls, and we get dozens of them each day. I’ve been involved with IMTS for more than 30 years, and I feel that I've gained some experience that I can pass on,” says Mark. “It is important to me that exhibitors know that they can ask our team for help and advice on anything. Working day in and day out on IMTS, we have a wealth of knowledge and experience.”
A Family Man
Mark enjoys reading and collecting baseball cards. He relishes spending time with his wife, daughter, and two granddaughters, ages three and nine. He and his wife especially like to take their granddaughters on trips to a variety of amusement parks like Dutch Wonderland and Hershey Park as well as the beach.
To get in touch with Mark, email him at MKennedy@AMTonline.org or call him at 703-827-5220.
*Tom Snyder, AMT Exhibitions Sales Manager. Read more about Tom in Meet the Puzzle Masters.
†Bonnie Gurney, AMT Director of Industry Partnerships. Watch Bonnie’s video, Meet Bonnie.
‡Michelle Edmonson, AMT Senior Director – Exhibitions Operations & Marketing. Look for her story in April 2020!
§Peter Eelman, AMT Vice President and Chief Exhibitions Officer. Follow him at @ShowBoss3