In 1979, Nexus began as a startup with a single focus – to set up and dismantle trade show exhibits for its Calgary clients. Having built a reputation early on for seamless coordination and outstanding service, the company was awarded a contract with the Government of Alberta to build an exhibit that could be moved across the country to educate the masses about the potential for Alberta’s energy.
In the often-cacophonous exhibit environment, being able to offer innovative and quality products and services is paramount. When Nomadic Displays invented and then patented what we know today as a pop-up display, Nexus knew the technology would forever change the exhibit industry. Soon after, Nomadic granted the company exclusive rights as a premier partner in Alberta, Saskatchewan and N.W.T.
As technology evolved, Nexus began to add services to its repertoire to stay at the forefront and better serve its clients. Graphic production evolved into full trade show coordination into storage and shipping. Today, the team offers event show services, rentals and decor planning; visual branding decor solutions for corporate offices, health-care facilities and retail spaces; as well as promotional products and business gifts.
Company president, Milena Radakovic, was a client of Nexus for more than 20 years before joining as an employee.
“I knew it was very family oriented with a great culture and a lot of creatives,” says Radakovic. “I had no reservations in leaving the sales and marketing world to be a part of this team.
“When I started out, given my background, I was looking at the business from a marketer’s perspective,” says Radakovic. “With Nexus, I wanted to be known for not selling a product, but for providing solutions that will prove cost-effective for our clients for years to come.”
With her keen eye, marketing wisdom and strong leadership, Radakovic honed in on the needs she saw in the clients she served and from that transformed the company into one that provides full-spectrum services through four designated divisions: Exhibits, Events, Environments and Essentials.
Custom, portable, interactive, educational, impactful, purchased and rented exhibit products is what Nexus has built its reputation on. It offers all aspects of trade show coordination from concept to completion and through their custom-built proprietary order system, provides clients with the convenience of viewing and ordering their inventory with the click of a button.
From golf tournaments and corporate AGMs to full conference productions, Nexus specializes in creating temporary environments that transform spaces into virtually anything imaginable with its rental stock, custom fabrication, technology partners, banners, lighting, signage, set-up services and more.
The Environments division of the company, Nexus Décor, focuses on branding of interior environments. To fit with clients’ overall vision of their company, Nexus brings in just the right elements.
“Nobody was filling that niche when we started in 2015,” says Radakovic. “When clients understand the importance and benefits of bringing a company’s brand essence into the working environment – motivation, increased productivity, staff loyalty, etc. – we provide solutions and are able to give a 3D view of how it would look in their space.”
Just this year, the company kicked off the fourth division – Essentials. Now being a one-stop shop for promotional products and business gifts, Nexus offers an extensive range of branded merchandise to its client base.
“When we launched, our mandate was to save clients 40 per cent of their administrative costs,” says Radakovic. “And we began offering small printing service as well.”
Throughout the 40 years in business, some things have remained the same – the core values that still serve as the guiding principles for the team:
Radakovic devotes much of her time to both her daughters’ soccer teams and to a cause that is dear to her heart – supporting women in leadership. She’s received several accolades for her contribution to the cause and has been named Canadian ambassador of the UN’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Day for the international campaign that empowers, celebrates and supports women in business worldwide. She is also an active member – and former board member – of EO, the global thought leader on entrepreneurship.
So, what’s next for Nexus? “Two things: we want to be the leading and largest display solution provider in Western Canada by 2025,” smiles Radakovic. “And through incorporating augmented reality into our event products, we want to be the Google of visual displays.”