Our Story

CDI’s story dates way back to the mid 1940’s. The Exhibit industry as it exists right now didn’t exist back then, and at that point “Exhibits” were basically an extension of signs, or what we would call “display” advertising. My Grandfather began doing displays when things were simple… his sign shop took care of the community but also did odd work that was related.

In 1949, dad joined my grandfather working in the shop to help him take care of the business until he left in the 60’s to work for the Department of Water and Power for their exhibit division (yes… power and light, the public utility…had an exhibit division). In ’71 he decided to go into the trade show business again, which eventually led to him forming “Expo 3” as an original partner. I can still remember being a kid hanging out in their shops and learning how they did the work… it was really fun stuff to see as a kid.

Being around all the cool things my father and grandfather were building must have rubbed off because I started getting involved in construction, real estate sales offices and other related work and still dabbled in displays. Give or take about 15 years after EXPO3 started, things were going really well for them. In 1979 I started taking on EXPO3’s overflow and really tightened up the skills surrounding exhibit design and custom exhibit production.

EXPO3 had this really odd rule that didn’t allow family to work for the company, which is pretty funny considering how well my dad and I work together. Eventually, (in 1987) dad decided to start a company and invited me to partner with him. We originally had a couple of business ideas that we wanted to bring into the fold for different products and services, but ultimately realized we loved trade show exhibits. We fell into focusing our effort towards being the best in the country at building them. In 1996 Jodi was hired and she ran with it. She’s built it up to where we are today.

At CDI everyday is amazing because we get to work on great projects with awesome people… Projects that we get to pour our heart and soul into and that really have an impact on the customer. At the end of the day, it’s the best feeling you can have. I think that’s part of the reason that we do better work than our competitors. We refuse to become stagnant, and we interact with clients the way that we would like ourselves: amazing work, professional, but also fun. When we finish a project we are proud of the work that we do, and it means a lot to our team to be able to look our customers in the eye after we produce something for them and know that we paid attention to the details that make a difference.

More than anything, we are excited about where CDI is going in the future. There have been a lot of advances in technology that allow us to put out better projects and our customers have better access to information, which has really helped us out. They seem to be noticing the little details that we put into jobs that really make us stand out; Plus all the advances in interactive display technologies, it is a really fun time to be doing the work that we do!

Steve Westerfield
32 years experience of making better exhibits than the other guys