Trade Show TalesBlog

Richer for the Experience: Building My NEW Website with Tony Bennett

July 28th, 2013 COMMENTS

Karin Riches, Principal at Laguna Displays, based in Southern California”

Why I Worked with Classic Exhibits to Build My Website

In 2012, I started Laguna Displays as a portable/modular exhibits and graphics business. My initial, very basic website was built around Classic’s user-friendly Exhibit Design Search (EDS). A year later, with Laguna Displays out of infancy, I was ready to launch an upgraded, full-featured website that could grow and change with my company.

Steve Riches, 20+ year industry veteran, and also my husband, had recently joined Laguna Displays, expanding our capabilities to include custom and international exhibiting, project management, and show-site supervision. The new website would need to inform visitors about these broadened capabilities, spur EDS browsing, and promote sales leads. I wanted a clean and uncluttered format that would be easy to read and navigate on a variety of devices. While some start-ups may do DIY website building, I needed to hire a web developer to ensure my site would embed EDS properly, be self-manageable, and not over-engineered.

With that wish list, my first call was to Tony Bennett at Classic Exhibits. After finishing my first website, he and I had planned to revisit the design later to move it to the next level. Tony had been working with distributors to build, expand, and manage their websites in addition to improving EDS and building branded sites for distributors. We scheduled time and began the process.

He asked me to decide on the aesthetics and functionality, and he would design the site architecture to display my content. I gave him my creative concept (with animation), page linkage and content placement, logo, branding guidelines, artwork, photos, and copy. He built the site on a content management system, which enabled me to update content, and expand features and functions on my own. I composed and edited page copy, approved image placements, and adjusted font sizes and text colors to align with my logo and color scheme. Tony overcame animation limitations and fine-tuned page layouts and images for cohesiveness. He suggested additional functions and features, worked-out bugs, and re-customized EDS to load seamlessly from all linked pages. Fifty or so little changes later, the website seemed to suddenly transform into what I had envisioned.

It took just a few weeks, in stops and starts, as I re-wrote copy and Tony refined technical details. He kept the process moving forward, and continually advised me of the next task at hand, helping me prioritize content development and not be overwhelmed by the project. He consistently kept in mind my goals for the site, at times challenging some of my ideas which would have compromised its flexibility and structure. Before launch, Tony showed me how to edit, explained built-in future functionalities, and enabled the website’s analytic tools.

Throughout, Tony met me where I was, technologically, encouraged my questions and ideas, and responded with support and adaptive solutions. I love my new website and am reassured to know that when I need more help and advice, Tony is there.

Tony Bennett can be reached at


This is for those who appreciate the “other” Tony Bennett (and the song title is appropriate to the post).

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply