170: Be the catalyst of change - with Tim Manion & Kyle Baldwin

About Tim Manion & Kyle Baldwin

Tim Manion - Director of Business Development 

With a team of Account Executives, Tim curates, develops and manages relationships with potential clients, influencers and stakeholders. In his tenure he has had the opportunity to strategize across a diverse scope of industry and business models, ranging from fortune 50 companies to crowdsourced startups. Prior to joining the Catalyst team, Tim worked in medical sales and operations management.  


Kyle Baldwin - Director of Design

As the Director of Design at Catalyst, Kyle is responsible for creating meaningful engagements between people, brands, and places. He employs multi-disciplinary design methods to focus on the intersection of communication design and the built environment. Since joining in 2012, he has led some of the agency’s most unique, engaging, and interactive experiences for national brands such as RSA, FN America, GungHo Entertainment, Intel, CDW, and the Chicago Department of Aviation.


What is Catalyst Exhibits and what do you do?

Tim: “We work with various clients in every industry too, um, in its simplest form, bring them to a trade show.”


Trade shows are built around networking, what kind of thought goes into designing exhibits to foster the most comfortable environment to network within?

Kyle: “So, it's obviously becoming a much younger generation. The millennials are kind of driving a lot of different, uh, ways of selling and engaging with brands. And they're much better, much more educated about their products they're interested in because of the Internet.”


How do networking and social media affect business development and design, and what platforms do you see as the most influential?

Tim: “It's interesting to watch how people use LinkedIn in my day today. Um, I use it as an opportunity to figure out who I'm talking to. A lot of people use it for networking to get in touch with people, but when I step into a room to pitch any sort of deal, I'm looking at who's in the room…”

Kyle:” It’s an opportunity to have a more natural conversation with a company, with a person, with a brand…”

Trade shows are chaotic, what do you do to balance that stress?

Tim: “We get the opportunity to work with a lot of cool clients and they pulled back the curtain. Um, so half of it is just enjoying what you do and the natural curiosity to just figure out…”


Can you share with me your most successful or favorite networking story/experience that you’ve had?

Tim: “I mean, the benefit of a trade show is the entire room is networking. Um, and I think the best experiences I've had is when a plan goes right, um, we put together pre-post-show marketing for any given client, um, and a client that's willing to listen…”


How do you stay in front of or best nurture your network community?

Tim: “It's one thing at its very core on our end, you have to get, uh, a lot of trust from people. We're selling a picture really. Um, so it's being honest, upfront and sincere. Um, and then the follow-through, I'm on the show floor, sleeves rolled up, making sure everything happens…”

Kyle: “I'd say we, we kind of keep up with just what's happening in the organization through obviously the, you know, Internet and social media and things like that. So, we're always…”


What advice do you have for the professional on growing their network?

Tim: “You should value the people you bring into your fold. It shouldn't just be this person linked with me. You don't know what they do. You don't know who they like. If you're going to if I'm going to reach out to someone…”

Kyle: “I would say really like define what you want and what you would like to do. Right. And like find people doing that and kind of echo that career path in some way.”


Digital networking or traditional networking?

Tim: “I'll say that the folks I hire right out of college are the best-suited people in the world at getting a hold of people. Everything is done digitally. Every platform they know, LinkedIn, Instagram, I mean these things are taught in college now. And when I was there…”


If you could go back 20 years, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of regarding your career?

Tim: “Don't get bogged down in the details. Just possible. Yeah. Yeah. That's fun to watch. When you do hire people who do it, it's like managers notice that and they'll help you and they'll give you every nugget along the way. But if you're in there asking for handouts…”


We’ve all heard of the 6 degrees of separation… Now, who would be the one person you’d love to connect with and do you think you could do it within the 6th degree?

Kyle: “I'd say there's probably a few more up there like Polish share and you know, Stefan Sagmeister and things like that I would love the chance to meet...”


Any final words of advice for our listeners?

Tim: “Just be honest.”

Kyle: “I'd say be fearless then in it as well because you have nothing to lose and it's your career and your path and just own it and you know, don't tread lightly on it. Go and attack every opportunity…”


You can get in contact with Tim at:

LinkedIn: Click Here

Email: tmannion@catalystexhibit.com(link sends e-mail)


You can get in contact with Kyle at:

LinkedIn: Click Here