Trade Show TalesBlog

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.

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Shopping for a new or rental exhibit? See over 1400 contemporary islands, inlines, banner stands, and trade show accessories at www.classicexhibits.com. 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

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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.

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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
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
https://twitter.com/melmwhite


 

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
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
https://twitter.com/melmwhite


 

Free 2017 EXHIBITOR Hall Pass from Classic Exhibits

December 21st, 2016 COMMENTS

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Get a Complimentary Exhibit Hall Pass to EXHIBITORLIVE from Classic Exhibits. Use Code 4044. Click on the link or the graphic to register.

And while you are there, please take a moment to vote for the Portable Modular People’s Choice Award. You can vote once a day until EXHIBITOR. Classic Exhibits has (5) finalists for the 2017 PMA, our most ever!

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Happy Holidays!

–Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
https://twitter.com/melmwhite