Trade Shows: Decades of Meetings & Connecting with Customers

September 24, 2019

Solving challenges has always been a part of Zatkoff Seals & Packings history. Interacting with customers and helping them during times of need is why founder Roger Zatkoff started his own business. Trade shows were the perfect backdrop to engage with customers and learn first-hand about the engineering obstacles they face. These shows allowed the team to demonstrate the latest product features and services and meet with people looking for solutions to their problems. The fundamental principles of informing and helping customers remain just as strong today as when we started.

Keith Roberts, a recently retired Zatkoff Seals & Packings manager for 45 years, fondly remembers, “the heavy booth set up and the long days on your feet were demanding, but the comradery of the visitors and the opportunities they gave us to work together on solutions gave us the energy to push through.”

“During these events we often provided product samples and brochures to those who stopped by our display; however, one item in particular became synonymous with Zatkoff Seals & Packings’ trade show appearances,” remembers David Zatkoff, Vice President.

To recall that item, we have to go back to the early 1960s. Within the Zatkoff family, the story is told that Elaine Zatkoff, wife to founder Roger Zatkoff, purchased a pan scraper from a local store — a necessity with six children and no dishwasher. The pan scraper worked wonders, but unfortunately, its lifespan was short in a household that had eight mouths to feed and endless casserole pans to scrub. When she returned to the store to stock up on more scrapers, they were all sold out. At a time when you couldn’t order items to arrive at your home within two days, she figured she was out of options. Fortunately, around the same time, Roger had recently purchased an injection molded plastic tool and discovered he was able to replicate this pan scraper, this time with the Zatkoff Seals & Packings logo on it. Roger figured if it was a hit at home, there were likely other households facing the same need, so he produced a few thousand and brought them to the next trade show. These blue pan scrapers became a highly sought-after item, which helped form countless relationships.

"The pan scraper was our way in for solving much bigger issues than a burnt lasagna dish."

“Yes, our mom was happy, along with many customers, friends, and suppliers that have worked with our company throughout the years,” recalls Gary Zatkoff, President. “It would work out that when one customer would need a new pan scraper at home, they would call us, and that led to chatting about other business challenges they might have been experiencing at the time. The pan scraper was our way in for solving much bigger issues than a burnt lasagna dish.”

This memory demonstrates that problem solving has been a core value of Zatkoff Seals & Packings from the beginning, and because of this value, we are celebrating 60 years of finding solutions for our customers. To learn more about our capabilities and services, reach out to one of our knowledgeable technical sales staff today.


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