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Our Story

Past, present, future

In The Beginning

On Tuesday morning, June 24th 1986, Gilbert and Barry Ballen signed the lease on their first plant—a 14,000ft² building on West Merrick Avenue in Valley Stream, New York. Together they decided they would build exhibits for trade shows there under the name Gilbert Displays, an adaptation of the name Barry’s father had used for a company he had owned in the past, and a tribute to the elder founder.

Barry got his start in the working world at a small exhibit manufacturer and quickly rose through the ranks through his work ethic and strong sense of responsibility. Barry never accepted the standards of those around him; living on the premise that everything had room for improvement. His values were basic: never accept mediocrity, that excellence is a decision, not an uncontrollable outcome, and that giving those who seek your services more than they paid for is the best way to keep them coming back.

For Barry, being there for family, friends, employees and customers didn’t stop at a particular time of day or when he left a certain place. To him it was a ’round the clock job, and there was little else that made him feel as successful as making himself available to these people. It was that mentality that gave him an upward path at every job he had as a young man, and it was those values that he took to the infant Gilbert Displays.

Gilbert Today

Since its inception, Gilbert Displays has outgrown its tiny birthplace, moved in and out of a 75,000ft² headquarters, and is now situated in a 125,000ft² facility in Melville, NY with a combined additional 175,000ft² of satellite warehouse space—the largest privately held exhibit-manufacturing firm in New York.

But despite the company’s consistent growth and expansion into a wider range of experiential marketing products and services, our founding ideals have held strong. With many members of our original team still with us today, we’ve created and maintained an organization in which what we do for our clients also makes Gilbert Displays an exciting and rewarding place to work.

Today, 30 years since its inception, with large, dedicated specialist teams ranging from designers and engineers to project managers, service coordinators, and on-site supervisors, Gilbert Displays is better equipped than ever to carry its unmatched interpretation of customer service to all of its clients, regardless of project size or type.