Trade Show TalesBlog

My EXHIBITORLIVE 2018 Reactions and Recap

March 10th, 2018 COMMENTS

EXHIBITORLIVE 2018 with Classic Exhibits

Hello Classic Distributor Family!

What an amazing start to 2018. EXHIBITORLIVE was visual proof that things are on the upswing in the trade show industry.

The EXHIBITORLIVE show floor, by many accounts, felt smaller footprint-wise… but boy was it TALLER than ever. Everyone seemed to go high this year, Classic included with an aluminum double-deck, one of several in our Classic Rental Solutions inventory.

The attendee mood was positive about the future of face-to-face marketing. As we know, face-to-face marketing is evolving with the blending of trade shows and events. That blending was clearly on display via digital displays, LED Walls, AR, and VR technology and much, much more.

Classic continues to be largely an enigma to corporate trade show managers. Even after 20 years at EXHIBITOR, we are an unknown entity to many end-users, which is fine. Our customer is YOU, the Classic Distributor. We participate in EXHIBITOR to  show you new products and services, to talk to YOU about how we can better serve you and your customers, and to discover more of YOU in markets where we need Classic Exhibit partners. To that end, the show was very successful.

The Classic Team did an amazing job getting the booth designed, shipped, installed, and staffed. I could not be prouder of the sweat and effort by everyone who worked on this year’s exhibit. It was Big and Beautiful!

Portable Modular Awards

On that Tuesday, we attended the 5th Annual Portable Modular Awards ceremony. We had four finalists this year, and we won what I would consider the most coveted Exhibit Design Award of the year — the 2017 People’s Choice Award. We won for the Parallon Island, a project we designed and built for our great partner The Astor Group! Not only does this award recognize an incredible design, but it’s also a wonderful example of a partnership between Classic (builder) and Astor Group (Distributorship). Thank you Lowell, Ciara, and Cheryl for entrusting the Classic Exhibits Team to bring your client’s marketing to life. To date, it’s the most beautiful exhibit we have designed and built.

Find It Top 40

As if that were not enough, Exhibitor Magazine announced a new category of awards. The Find-It Marketplace Top 40 Exhibit Builders. Classic not only made the list, but we were singled out as the Best Exhibit House in the Service and Reliability Category. Proud does not even begin to describe my feelings when I heard them call our name. We all love awards of course, but one that is based on Customer Service and Reliability means the most to me. It recognizes our dedicated Shop Crew, Project Managers, Detailers, Design, and Administrative teams for all the amazing work they do each and every day. Thank you to all the employees of Classic Exhibits for doing what you do so well.

To all of our Distributor Partners and Vendor Partners, it was great to see you and get caught up on your business and personal lives. And to our sister company, Eco-systems Sustainable Exhibits, your inline exhibit showcased your ability to GO UPSCALE GREEN with an amazing custom design. To all… Thank you for believing in Shared Success!

Have a great weekend ahead all.

Be well!




Welcome Tom Beard, Eco-Systems New National Sales Manager

February 22nd, 2018 COMMENTS


National Sales Manager

Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits, an innovative leader of contemporary design-driven green displays, is excited to announce the addition of Tom Beard to the Eco-Systems team. He comes on board as their National Sales Manager leading the sales and marketing  for the company.

Tom has over 20 years of experience in the trade show industry. In addition, he is also very involved with the Experiential Designers and Producers Association (EDPA), currently serving on the Board of Directors.

“I couldn’t be happier about joining Eco-Systems and very excited about working with their experienced team of industry professionals,” says Beard. “They are a highly-focused, service-driven organization that offers great display solutions to their distributor network which was very attractive to me.”

According to Colleen Crawford, VP and Controller of Eco-Systems, “We couldn’t be more excited to have Tom join our team! We have worked with Tom for many years and have always respected his professional reputation, knowledge, and desire to provide the best in customer service. Tom fits perfectly into the corporate culture of Eco-Systems and will work closely with Jen LaBruzza, the National Sales Manager for Classic Exhibits, to spread the sustainable message. Tom will be a great asset to both our distributors and our entire team.”

Look for Tom at EXHIBITORLIVE 2018 in booth #1925. For more information about Tom’s extensive industry background, see his LinkedIn profile. You can contact him at

Eco-Systems Sustainable is based in Grand Rapids, MI with production and project management in Portland, OR. Eco-Systems designs and manufactures eco-friendly exhibits using green materials such as FSC wood, aluminum extrusion, recycled EcoBoard and plex, LEDs, and low VOC adhesives. See for more information. The Eco product line can also be found on Exhibit Design Search in the eSmart Gallery.

CORT Furniture | Strategic Account Teams by Territory

February 13th, 2018 COMMENTS

Classic Exhibits Distributors

A year or so ago, we added two galleries to Exhibit Design SearchRental Furniture #1 and Rental Furniture #2. These galleries are a subset of CORT’s trade show rental furniture. They were created to make it easier for you and your client to select contemporary rental furniture without having to complete the typical GSC forms. Your client is your client. They should be working directly with you, not with the GSC.

As Classic Exhibits Distributors, you have access to these galleries at preferential wholesale prices, merely by mentioning that you are a Classic Distributor. CORT processes orders based on regions. The map below shows the regions and contact information. Or you can call the main number, 855-663-2678, and they’ll route you to the appropriate individual.

CORT Furniture Account Teams by Territory

Need the PDF version? Download it HERE.

–Mel White


Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, and custom exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or

Portable Modular Awards (PMA) Ceremony at EXHIBITORLIVE 2018

February 9th, 2018 COMMENTS

EXHIBITOR Portable Modular Awards 2018

The Fifth Annual Portable Modular Awards (PMA) Ceremony is just a few weeks away (February 27). And this year, it will be more visible to the EXHIBITORLIVE attendees. EXHIBITOR Magazine has moved the ceremony to The Connection Zone at the entrance of the show hall.

Same time, same day as before — Tuesday, February, 27 from 3:45 to 4:45 — just after the show hall closes for the day. The new location plus the inclusion of the Find It– Top 40 winners will boost attendance considerably, especially custom houses. If you are attending, I would suggest grabbing a seat once the show hall closes at 3:30. If not before.

Once again, Classic Exhibits has entries in multiple categories of the PMA. See our entries, along with all the others, on the Peoples Choice page. Please vote for your favorite. You can vote once a day (and on multiple devices if you are truly committed).

EXHIBITOR Portable Modular Awards 2018

The EXHIBITORLIVE 2018 Awards Ceremony Agenda

  • Best 10 x 10
  • Best International Design
  • Best Inline Exhibit
  • Best Rental Exhibit
  • Best Reconfigurable Exhibit
  • Best Use of Graphics
  • Best Use of Technology
  • Best Fabric Exhibit
  • Best Island Exhibit (less than 600 sq. ft.)
  • Best Island Exhibit (600-1000 sq. ft.)
  • Best Island Exhibit (more than 1000 sq. ft.)
  • Best of Show Awards
  • Buyers Choice Awards
  • Find It — Top 40
  • People’s Choice Award
  • The Zeigler Award

There’s no RSVP required. The Classic Team will be sure to have boxes of Girl Scout cookies available in case you need a sugar fix after a long day on the show floor. Safe travels. See you in Las Vegas.

p.s. Still need to register? Use Code 4044 for a free pass into the show hall.

–Mel White


Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, and custom exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or

Three Recent Gravitee One-Step Modular Island Videos

February 6th, 2018 COMMENTS

Gravitee Trade Show Island Exhibit

Over the past several months, Kevin Schuhl, a Classic Exhibits designer, has perfected 360° “Fly-Through” videos of Gravitee One-Step Islands. It hasn’t been easy, but the results are truly remarkable.

I won’t pretend to understand the process, but I know from talking to him that it’s time-intensive. For each one, he has to create the flight path and the specific lighting. Then there’s the computer rendering, which he often launches before heading home or going to bed. After that, Kevin tweaks it multiple times to get it just right. Then it goes to Glenna Martin, our Graphic Design Manager, who adds the title slides, music, and text before uploading it to YouTube.

The results are impressive as you can see below. Each video shows a full 360º view. Sort of like having a hovercraft on the show floor. HUGE kudos to Kevin and to Glenna.

Below are three recent ones. To see them all, visit the Classic Exhibits Channel on YouTube.

–Mel White


Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, and custom exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or