George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Former Marine Sets His Sights on Career in Events Management

October 10, 2013

After almost nine years of military service, Frank Ellin, BS Tourism and Events Management ’13, decided to separate, honorably and at the height of his career, from the United States Marine Corps.  In January 2011, he enrolled in George Mason University’s School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism, housed in the College of Education and Human Development, to pursue a new career.

Mason student Frank Ellin (right) interned with the American Sportfishing Association this summer where he worked on their annual trade show with Ken Andres. Photo courtesy of Frank Ellin

Mason student Frank Ellin (right) interned with the American Sportfishing Association this summer where he worked on its annual trade show with Ken Andres. Photo courtesy of Frank Ellin

This past summer, Ellin interned with the American Sportfishing Association (ASA). He was able to participate, observe and assist in the management and production of the organization’s International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST).

ICAST, dubbed “The World’s Largest Fishing Trade Show,” has been recognized by Trade Show Executive magazine as one of the fastest growing trade shows in the United States. This year, the event took place July 9–12, at the Las Vegas Convention Center and attracted approximately 9,500 attendees.

“I am very pleased that I was able to make a contribution to this growing event,” says Ellin. “Working at ASA has given me the opportunity to use my newly developed skills as a tourism and event management professional.”

During the weeks leading up to the event, Ellin and Ken Andres, site supervisor and ASA’s trade show director, discussed the floor plan and exhibitor, vendor and stakeholders’ relationship to the show.

“Ken explained to me the skills necessary to be a successful trade show director or coordinator and told me to always know your show, think fast, and never second-guess your decisions,” says Ellin.

At the show, Ellin’s tasks involved supporting the onsite show management office and using his analytical skills to review the new product showcase — a special area of the 400,000-square-foot show floor where the sportfishing industry displays and highlights its new products and innovations for the upcoming season. At ASA headquarters in Alexandria, Va., Ellin had a plethora of responsibilities, including invoicing more than $200,000 worth of booth space contracts and meeting room space.

“The skills I developed and the positive support I received from my great co-workers are invaluable to my future in event management,” says Ellin. “Working at ASA has been a terrific experience and I look forward to continuing my transition from sergeant in the Marines to trade show and event management professional.”

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