Trade Show TalesBlog

10 BIG Trade Shows in North America | February 2017

January 16th, 2017 COMMENTS


January was a slamming month for trade shows. February holds strong and makes us wanna say, “I Heart Trade Shows!” Here are 10 of the Biggest Shows in North America this month.

Safari Club International’s 2017 Annual Hunters’ Convention, Feb. 1-4, 2017, Las Vegas, NV

This hunters’ heaven has everything the mind can dream of and occupies over 650,000 square feet of exhibit space. Six continents are under one roof where members come to book hunts, rendezvous with old friends and shop for the latest guns and hunting equipment. That only scratches the surface of products available at SCI’s Annual Hunters’ Convention. Notable authorities of the outdoor sports and shooting industries attend the premier hunting show annually. You’ll find it to be the most powerful buying and selling environment in the outdoor industry.

NY Now, Feb. 4 – 8, 2017, Javits Center, New York City

Innovative products make NY NOW the leading trade show for the Home, Lifestyle, and Gift market, with 400+ product categories from 2,400+ suppliers across our comprehensive collections. A wholesale trade show, trade-only attendees will have access to new, design-focused resources from around the world. Exhibitors will expose their brand to thousands of exclusive buyers. Nearly 40% of buyers ONLY attend NY NOW.

MD&M West, Feb. 7 – 9, 2017, Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA

For 32 years, MD&M West has helped take medical devices from concept to market by uniting cutting-edge technology with the industry’s foremost minds. Source from the world’s largest collection of suppliers on one show floor. Connect with over 20,000 engineers and executives who are ready to forge business partnerships. Attendees will get answers from hundreds of leading medtech suppliers, be the first to witness demos of technology yet to hit the market, and engage with over 20,000 industry professionals from leading companies.

RSA Conference 2017, Feb. 13 – 17, 2017, Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA

In the digital world in which we now live, information is a very highly valued commodity. Safeguarding that information, therefore, has become a top priority. Collectively the RSA Conferences draw over 45,000 attendees per year, making them the world’s largest provider of security events. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn about new approaches to info security, discover the latest technology and interact with top security leaders and pioneers. Hands-on sessions, keynotes and informal gatherings allow you to tap into a smart, forward-thinking global community that will inspire and empower you.

World AG Expo, Feb. 14 – 16, 2017, International Agri-Center, Tulare, CA

Celebrating 50 years, the World Ag Expo continues to be a marketplace and a celebration of all things ag. Attracting 106,346 attendees with 1,500+ exhibitors in 2.6 Million square feet of exhibit space, it is the world’s largest annual outdoor agricultural exposition. We are here to encourage the newest conversations, inventions and innovations in the world of ag so that the dealer, the producer and the consumer can all come out on top. When our exhibitors succeed, our attendees and farmers transform their operation, and consumers all over the world are positively impacted by the increased efficiency. Ag is evolving to feed a growing world. And we’re here to help facilitate that.

National Farm Machinery Show, Feb. 15 – 18, 2017, Kentucky Exposition Center, Louisville, KY

850 exhibitors will cover 1.2 million square feet of floor space as the National Farm Machinery show continues to be the largest indoor farm show in America. The National Farm Machinery Show offers the most complete selection of cutting-edge agricultural products, equipment and services available in the farming industry. Business professionals from around the world gain knowledge and hands-on access to various technological advancements needed for the upcoming farming season during the four-day show.

Graphics of the Americas Expo co-located with The NBM Show, Feb. 16 – 18, 2017, Broward County Convention Center, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

GOA Expo provides exhibitors visibility to thousands of graphics industry professionals from around the world who are coming to discover new products, technologies, services and trends. Attendees come to interact with the leading manufacturers and suppliers in the industry to learn, compare and buy. 90% of GOA attendees make or influence their company’s buying decisions and come from over 72 countries.

The NBM Show serves the markets covered by National Business Media’s three graphics-oriented magazines – Awards and Engraving, Printwear and Sign & Digital Graphics.

SME Annual Conference & Expo and CMA 119th National Western Mining Conference, Feb. 19 – 22, 2017, Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO

The SME Annual Conference & Expo and CMA 119th National Western Mining Conference provides a forum for more than 6,500 industry professionals, from across the world, to share innovative ideas, best practices and cutting-edge research in more than 120 sessions along with an expansive marketplace of more than 650 exhibiting companies.

HIMSS 2017, Feb. 19 – 23, 2017, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL

HIMSS 2017 is where the brightest minds in health and IT meet. It brings together 40,000+ health IT professionals, clinicians, executives and vendors from around the world. Exceptional education, world-class speakers, cutting-edge health IT products and powerful networking are hallmarks of this industry-leading conference.

79th Oregon Logging Conference, Feb. 23 – 25, 2017, Lane County Convention Center and Fairgrounds, Eugene, OR

Every year manufacturers and dealers from around the world exhibit the latest technology at the larges inside and outside equipment show west of the Mississippi. The 79th Annual Oregon Logging Conference will be jam packed with seminars, workshops, competitions and more! The OLC is packed with unique opportunities for forestry professionals to network and learn more about their trade.

Portland’s 2017 “Inclement” Weather Via the Aerial Tram and Oregon Zoo

January 12th, 2017 1 COMMENT

You either love snow… or you don’t. I love snow and have no hesitation braving the elements either in a car or on foot. However, there is the reality of how cities handle winter weather conditions. Portland, “bless its heart” (as they say in the South), is ill-equipped to manage snowstorms. That’s not a criticism of PDX. We get so little snow that the capital investment would be silly. So rather than complain or grumble, let’s revel in the beauty. Here are two videos: one showing DT Portland via the aerial tram and the other at the Oregon Zoo.

Plus, it’s Snow Day at the Oregon Day.

2016-17 Design Insights by Katina Rigall (Vlog)

January 8th, 2017 COMMENTS

Classic Exhibits Design Blog Post

Katina Rigall, the Creative Director at Classic Exhibits, shares her perspective on 2016 and what to expect from the Design Department in 2017. It was challenging year with the loss of Mike Swartout, our long-time Design Director. Since last spring, Classic has added two experienced (and amazing) designers and a stable of contract designers.

More recently, Q4 2016 was stellar (thank you!), not only in the quantity but also the quality of modular, custom, and retail projects. The size, the budgets, and the variety of design projects made it FUN to be creative. The first full week of Q1 2017 mirrors this trend. Please keep them coming, whether it’s a ground-up island design, retail project, or the re-branding of a kit.


Shopping for a new or rental exhibit? See over 1400 contemporary islands, inlines, banner stands, and trade show accessories at Click on Exhibit Design Search for the largest display selection in North America. To find a Classic Exhibits Distributors, click here.



Is Imitation the Sincerest Form of Flattery? Nope!

December 30th, 2016 COMMENTS


In the past month, our designs have been copied three times. Three clear examples, all very different in scope. Question:  When do you throw up your hands vs. taking legal action to protect your intellectual property? Thought you might like to read what we decided to do in each situation.

Base Plate.

To be honest, we expected this to happen at some point. About seven years ago, we created an identifiable base plate for our Sacagawea Portable Hybrid Display line. The design made the base plates lighter, distinctive, and easier to carry. We expected other display manufacturers to create their own unique designs. What we didn’t anticipate was that a budget manufacturer/importer would simply tweak our existing design. See the minor difference.


What was surprising was seeing it at an exhibit association event, where members take an oath to honor one another’s intellectual property. I asked the owner about the base plate design and basically got a shrug. In other words, it is what it is. Will we pursue this legally? No but it’s an annoyance. This manufacturer has purchased parts and pieces from us in the past. We won’t sell to them again.

Charging Table.

Over the past year, we’ve designed and engineered a line of charging tables in various sizes and heights. The tables are clearly identifiable as Classic Exhibits designs, including the LED lights around the perimeter. Other charging solutions fit into one of two categories:  sofas, tables, and chairs with plugs or charging towers, similar to what you would see at an airport. Ours look nothing like those.

mod-1432gLast week,  I noticed a photo showing our MOD-1432 in LinkedIn… yet, it wasn’t. The shape was the same, along with the LED lights, USB charging ports, post, and base. Only the proportions were different. Honestly, we were surprised that someone would copy a design so clearly identifiable with Classic Exhibits. Yes, a round bistro table is a round bistro table, but the copy appeared to have the same LED light pattern and number of USB ports. Frankly, that’s being intellectually lazy.

I won’t share the photo because it would implicate the customer, rather than the manufacturer. So, what did we do? We sent the owner an email, who was kind enough to give me a call. While he felt their design didn’t infringe on the MOD-1432, he did agree to revisit the design and see if some changes were possible. We’ll see what happens.

Island Exhibit.

eco-4073_1_webThis one will blow your mind. Late last summer, our sister company Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits quoted a modified eSmart ECO-4073 island to a Distributor which included several Classic Exhibits counters and iPad stands. Several months later, we were contacted by a graphic designer asking for templates on the island they purchased in September. Except, we never built the island. The graphic designer sent us their invoice, which listed Classic kit numbers.

What the client purchased was a copy of the modified ECO-4073. Some small variations but 98% the same. The Distributor chose to build part of it and purchase other components, but it was an ECO-4073. And the distributor even included our part numbers on the invoice. For legal reasons, I can’t go into details; however, we are pursuing this aggressively with an IP attorney and expect a lawsuit to be filed within the next two weeks.

Like you, we are in a very creative business, so we’re always surprised when someone takes a design shortcut by copying. It’s one thing to improve, refine, expand on a design. It’s another thing to blatantly copy. And like you, we have to decide on the best recourse each time. We always address it. Sometimes tactfully, Sometimes bluntly. And sometimes legally. If you don’t, then the lazy will do what they do best. Steal your designs.

We would enjoy hearing your experiences and thoughts on this topic.

–Mel White


The Gift of Knowledge | EDS Tutorial Videos

December 23rd, 2016 COMMENTS

exhibit design search video tutorial

In the movie, Only the Lonely with John Candy (as Danny Muldoon), Danny’s signature line is “Sometimes it’s good to be a cop.” I often feel the same way except, “Sometimes it’s good to be the Marketing VP.”

Recently, a tech savvy Classic Distributor created four Exhibit Design Search tutorials. These 2-3 minute tutorials cover:  Exhibit Specials, Advanced Search, My Gallery, and Photo Galleries. You can find them in our Video Library and on YouTube, but I’ll make it even easier by posting them below. Enjoy and let us know your thoughts.

Exhibit Design Search — Search Options

Exhibit Design Search — Retail, Rental, and Custom Displays Photos

Exhibit Design Search — My Gallery

Exhibit Design Search — Lightning Deal and Exhibit Specials

–Mel White