Exclusive: Exhibit Partners Founder & CEO Talks About Its Rebrand As Storylink Creative

May 2, 2024

After 20 years in business producing trade show booths, corporate events, retail interiors, pop-up activations and road shows with clients ranging from aspiring startups to Fortune 500 companies, Maple Grove, Minn.-based Exhibit Partners LLC rebranded as Storylink Creative, effective May 1. 

Driven by business growth and expanded offerings, the evolution marks a milestone in the company’s repositioning as a full-service creative agency, according to Founder and CEO Matt Williams.

“When I launched Exhibit Partners in 2004, it was an exhibit house with a mission of changing the way business was being done,” Williams said. “Our focus on long-term relationships built on trust and core values — as well as our willingness to grow and adapt alongside our clients and the face-to-face marketing industry at large — has led to incredible organic growth.”

He added, “Now it’s time to tell the world how we’ve evolved into a creative storytelling agency that goes beyond brand narratives.”

In addition to exhibits and events, Storylink Creative now boasts services ranging from brand development and competitive analysis to full video and digital asset production services, as well as strategic data analysis. The agency’s comprehensive list of capabilities also includes asset management, permanent installations (including the design and fabrication of corporate and retail interiors), website development, the creation of integrated digital sales tools and much more.

Storylink Creative Director of Strategy Travis Stanton

“This is our way of drawing a line in the sand and saying, ‘We are no longer just an exhibit house,’” said Storylink Creative Director of Strategy Travis Stanton, who joined the company last September after a 17-year career at EXHIBITOR Magazine. “We have invested the resources and energy in acquiring a diverse team with extraordinary expertise in trade shows, of course, but also retail, technology, digital, storytelling and the list goes on and on.” 

He continued, “We are poised to accommodate our clients’ needs no matter what medium their projects take. Our sweet spot is connecting brands with their target audiences, crafting memorable moments that live on and building trustworthy, transparent, long-term relationships that place principles, our people and our partners over short-term profits.”

We caught up with Williams to find out more about the company and what the name change means for exhibitor clients and prospects. Here’s what we learned.

Who are your top clients?

Red Bull, Hyatt, Ecolab, Land O’ Lakes, Topgolf

What are the top shows that your top clients exhibit in? 

National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), IMEX, Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), Natural Products Expo West, National Restaurant Show

How many employees do you currently have? 


What will the name change mean for exhibit managers?

The intention is to bring radiance and a narrative that connects with all audiences authentically, regardless of where or how those engagements occur. Our partners already knew our services extended beyond the exhibit hall, but this brand evolution is our way of conveying that to the world. We can accommodate their needs regardless of the medium. 

Additionally, we’re bringing a higher level of storytelling into the mix because we believe in storytelling’s ability to connect brands with people and key messages with memories. Ultimately, an exhibitor’s message has to cascade beyond the initial audience. 

Attendees need to feel empowered to reshare that story with their internal stakeholders when they get back to the office. That’s where so many exhibiting strategies fail. They either haven’t thought about the story they want to tell through their presence at the show, or their key messages dissipate so quickly after an event because they aren’t crafted to be memorable and shareable. Storylink is the solution to that all-too-common problem, because we are laser-focused on creating a ripple effect by enabling those stories to be shared through people. 

Tell us about the company’s growth trajectory since it was launched in 2004.

Maple Grove, Minn.-based Exhibit Partners LLC rebranded as Storylink Creative, effective May 1.

The best entrepreneurial companies are rooted in evolution. Evolve or die. Our consistent, year-over-year growth has been the result of our ability to evolve alongside our clients and the industry. In fact, we’ve evolved so much in the past 20 years that we outgrew our name. That’s not just a testament to our success, but also our clients’ level of trust in us. 

In many ways, that flexibility to evolve quickly and efficiently as needed has been driven by the fact we have cash reserves and no private money behind us. That also allows us to do the right thing and put people and principles over short-term profits. We definitely strive to put people first, as I’ve found the most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur has been watching good people accomplish their goals, whether that’s a client exceeding expectations or an employee finding a home and family within our team – and become better humans as a result. It’s about people, and we’re in the people business. So people have to be the priority.

Will you share one recent client project that you are most proud of? 

I’m most proud of the feedback we have received from both new and long-time clients. It’s so rewarding to read their glowing reviews and see their appreciation of how our individual employees have gone above and beyond. We really are blessed with the best clients in the industry, and that’s something we do not take for granted. They continue to see how our additional capabilities can expand and enhance our relationship, and that’s exactly what we hope to see all our clients do as we move forward with this rebrand.

Why the name change and why now?

It’s time. But what’s important to understand is that while May 1 was Storylink’s official launch date, we’ve really been living as Storylink for the past year. We didn’t slap a new name on the building with the intent to grow into it. We did the work proactively. In many ways, we became Storylink before we even settled on a name. So for our loyal clients, it’s business as usual, with the exception being they’re now more aware of our offerings outside of their past projects with us. They’re more aware of our programmatic approach. Nothing we do ever ends with a specific event or campaign. When one story’s over, we’re already thinking about the next chapter, their brand vision and how to get there. 



Partner Voices
For the past 18 years, BlueHive Exhibits has been a steadfast partner for both national and international companies, catering to their trade show and event needs.