MEET THE SURTEX TEAM: John Erich, Sales Manager - Surtex

On the Surface

MEET THE SURTEX TEAM: John Erich, Sales Manager


He may wield an iPad instead of a baton, but if SURTEX were a symphony, John Erich would be its orchestrator.

In his post as sales manager, John handles all sales efforts for the show, creating sales strategies, building relationships with exhibitors, and — it’s the perfect word — orchestrating the planning of the show floor at the Javits Center. It’s John who makes the executive decisions that, in his words, “provide floor plan synergy and win-win solutions for exhibitors and attendees.”

One of those “win-win solutions” will be making its debut at SURTEX 2016: the new Design District booth package created to offer an economical opportunity for artists to showcase their work. Jumping at the chance to license their art, many for the first time, more than 25 exhibitors have already signed up for the Design District, John reports.

He expects attendees at SURTEX to be equally interested, thanks to a concomitant “more aggressive marketing campaign” aimed at drawing more manufacturers, retailers, and licensee/buyers to the show.

It’s all part of what John calls “the kind of on-going, fresh thinking we have to keep coming up with.” He’s been at just that for some 15 years, handling sales for trade shows in a variety of business categories, including crafts and hobbies, before taking on the top sales spot for SURTEX in 2012.

Artists and their art seem a natural habitat for John. “I enjoy being involved with creative people in an industry that’s all about imagination and art,” John pointed out. “We (wife Deirdre and children, Griffin, l4, and 12-year-old Kathryn) spend a lot of time in museums.” That is, when they’re not enjoying outdoor fun: hiking, cycling…especially cycling. Ask John about his earlier days as a competitive cycler.