Assistant News Editor
The Sorrell College of Business’ annual International Trade Show and Competition allowed students hands-on marketing practice as part of GEEKS Week on April 4.
Clint Relyea, an associate professor of management and organizer of the trade show, said the purpose of the show is experiential learning.
“Students who participate in the trade show are able to get hands-on experience of selling and marketing for a country,” Relyea said. “In order to do that, students extensively research their assigned country and contact its embassy to obtain economic and cultural information and insights.”
According to Relyea, the trade show gets bigger and better every year with students capitalizing on networks created by students in previous years.
Students are also able to benchmark their ideas on previous years, which Relyea said motivates to them to exceed expectations.
Carleigh Sherman, a senior global business major from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and a participant in the trade show, said the project was a team effort and a learning experience.
“Perhaps the hardest part about the project is how much we need to learn about each country and breaking that down to turn it into exhibits,” Sherman said. “However, I am glad I did that, because now, I know much more about Romanian culture and economy than I ever did.”
Hunter Hornady, a senior business major from Birmingham and a participant in the trade show, said learning about other countries makes you appreciate diversity of culture while appreciating your own.
“We learned about so much, from food to music to business, and that just makes me appreciate diversity and be more open to trying new things,” Hornady said. “In the global world we live in, it is vital to be able to learn about different countries, especially for business students.”
Lauren Borghini, a senior risk management and insurance major from Panama City Beach, Florida, said the trade show experience is similar to real life trade shows.
“We had many different tasks that we had to delegate from marketing and selling to building and setting up the booth,” Borghini said. “The experience I gained from participating in this project will be very useful to me when I join the workforce soon.”
The team representing Pakistan won the first place award, and the teams representing Ghana and Latvia won second and third place awards, respectively.