Trade Show TalesBlog

Your Spring “Shared Knowledge University” Invitation (SKU)

April 14th, 2017 COMMENTS

SKU_Portland

Quit pretending. You want to attend Shared Knowledge University (SKU). You know it. We know it. Heck, your colleagues are sick and tired of hearing you talk about it. Just do it! (as another much more famous Portland company would say).

Will you learn a lot? Yes. Will it be exhausting? Yes. Will you want to leave Portland on Wednesday morning? No. But as former SKU graduates have discovered, we’re going to take your sorry, broken, hypnotized, and dehydrated body to the airport whether you want to leave or not.

Space is limited and openings fill fast. Contact Jen LaBruzza (jen@classicexhibits.com) to reserve your spot on June 12-13 (Monday and Tuesday). Embrace your chance to add the SKU logo to your LinkedIn profile.

Click on the image below to view the happy SKU video.

Shared Knowledge University, Spring 2017

–Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
https://twitter.com/melmwhite
https://www.facebook.com/Classic-Exhibits-Inc-113601405319757


 

The People’s Almanac of Trade Show Knowledge

April 6th, 2017 COMMENTS

TPA_BlogHeader

In 1975, David Wallechinsky and his father Irving Wallace published The People’s Almanac. Two more followed — one in 1978 and another in 1981. I bought them all. These were not your grandparent’s Farmer’s Almanacs with weather predictions, quotes, and gardening tips. The TPA was a big fat book with obscure facts, lists, and esoteric information. Reading it made you feel smarter, dangerously so at parties, family gatherings, and bars. If you had any social skills, you quickly learned that a 20-year-old know-it-all isn’t endearing.

Knowledge is NOT the SAME as Expertise

I’m reminded of that all too often. Recently, a distributor asked me an exhibit design question. I’m not a designer, but I feel comfortable answering basic design questions. This question, however, required the expertise and knowledge of 3D exhibit designer.

If I was cocky, I would claim that 20+ years of experience makes me qualified. It doesn’t. I have exhibit design knowledge, but that doesn’t make me an exhibit designer.

Trade show questionsYour Ego, My Ego, the Client’s Ego

We all love working with an informed client about trade shows and trade show marketing. They ask our advice. We give it. Sometimes we state facts. The booth guidelines for an inline space in North America are XYZ. Sometimes we offer opinions. It’s better to hire the Exhibit-Appointed Contractor than the GSC labor. If you are like me, you occasionally wade into information quicksand, and then keep talking until you are way over your head. I would encourage you not to make that mistake. Defer to the experts, like those listed below.

Exhibit Designers

You probably knew I would start with this one. It’s a pet-peeve of mine. Having a pen and a napkin doesn’t make you a designer. It means you can (and should) share your design advice based on your experience. But at some point, you should seek the advice of a professional. That’s why every exhibit house and display builder hires folks who do nothing but design exhibits. They understand current design trends, materials, and accessories. They know how to translate “this is what we do and these are our goals for the show” into a stunning 3D structure.

Builders

Now this just seems obvious… but just because you made a bread board in woodshop, it doesn’t make you a carpenter, mill-worker, or electrician. I speak from experience. I see their craftsmanship every day in our shop. We design and detail every project, yet they find ways to improve these projects in both big and small ways.

Show Labor

Whether you chose labor from the GSC or from an Exhibit-Appointed Contractor (EAC), you can be sure the crew has done it at least 1000 times more than you. Not necessarily your exhibit, and sadly not necessarily every laborer. It’s been my experience that they know what they are doing and are amazing at problem solving. You’ll be rewarded if you respect their skill set, provide them with helpful supervision, and don’t freak-out when they take their required breaks. They deserve them.

Trade Show People on the floor

Account Executives and Project Managers

You probably know them the best. They guide you through the exhibit buying experience. They assist you with show regulations, shipping, repairs, and trade show marketing. They are the ones who pester you about the next show, graphic files, collateral, and promotional products. They want you to succeed because then you are happy. When you are happy, you continue to invest in trade shows.

Consultants, Talent, Service Providers

Our industry has a wealth of seasoned professionals with insider knowledge about improving your trade show ROI. There are trade show consultants, booth staff trainers, in-booth presenters, lead capture specialists, A/V gurus, models, international exhibiting experts, etc. The list is vast and the talent impressive. I’ve learned over the years that we can only know so much about trade shows. We do a disservice to our clients when we don’t steer them to someone who has the talent to elevate their trade show return.

trade show freightFreight

No offense, but do you really want to spend time learning about freight and logistics? No you don’t. You want to go to your grave with the least amount of information regarding freight, wait times, LTL, and the Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Find someone who thinks about it on weekends and holidays and offer them your first-born child. Think of it as your contribution to a better world.

Clearly, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to experts in our industry. Graphic designers, detailers, show organizers, etc. all have unique skills acquired through specialized training or on-the-job skills. Too often, we delve into areas best left to those with more knowledge. While it’s flattering to be “the source” for all trade show questions, it’s smarter to be the one “who knows the person who knows.” That’s not something I learned from The People’s Almanac.

–Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
https://twitter.com/melmwhite
https://www.facebook.com/Classic-Exhibits-Inc-113601405319757


 

10 Big Trade Shows in North America | April 2017

March 30th, 2017 COMMENTS

10 Big Trade Shows in April 2017
Spring has officially sprung, and we’re hopping into April with another BIG trade show month. This month features coffee to craft brewers, and furniture design to architects and broadcasters. There’s something for everyone.

PROMAT 2017, Apr. 3 – 6, 2017, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL

http://www.promatshow.com/

ProMat is where manufacturing and supply chain professionals go to find their X – that unknown quantity that will take their supply chain to the next level of success. ProMat 2017 is the one show where attendees will see in person, in action the best solutions and innovations the industry has to offer and meet the leading providers face-to-face. As a bonus, a ProMat badge will get attendees into Automate 2017 where they’ll find automation solutions they need to make operations work more profitably.

SAE International World Congress Experience, Apr. 4 – 6, 2017, Cobo Center, Detroit, MI

http://wcx17.org

At WCX17: SAE World Congress Experience practical meets potential. The premier talent in the automotive and mobility industry converge to address current challenges, discover new avenues of exploration, and explore the promise of the future of transportation engineering in an interactive experience. More than 200 exhibitors – including OEMs, suppliers, and technology companies – will be exhibiting at WCX.

Coverings, Apr. 4 – 7, 2017, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL

http://www.coverings.com

Coverings is the largest tile and stone show in North America with nine miles of the latest trends and exhibitors from over 40 countries. The show floor at Orange County Convention Center will feature 1,100 global exhibitors showcasing the latest tile & stone innovations. From Live installation demonstrations and tours of the show floor, to networking events and segment-focused Appreciation days, Coverings will be packed with things to see and experience.

Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America, Apr. 10 – 13, 2017, Washington, D.C.

https://www.craftbrewersconference.com

The 34th Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America will return to the nation’s capital. It is presentment annually by the Brewers Association and is the craft brewing industry’s leading event, and the only one that serves both brewpubs and packaging breweries.

BrewExpo America is the main trade show for American craft brewers providing the opportunity to connect customers, leaders, and more than 775 vendors in one location in the national and international brewing arena. The trade show sets the stage for exhibitors and buyers to develop profitable business relationships and helps brewing and brewery restaurant professionals encounter the latest and best products and services that industry vendors have to offer.

Global Specialty Coffee Expo, Apr. 20 – 23, 2017, Seattle, WA

http://coffeeexpo.org

The Global Specialty Coffee Expo has everything for everyone in the coffee world. Roasters and Retailers can attend and have the opportunity to exhibit their products on the show floor, network with the industry’s decision makers, and further their professional careers by participating in the SCA’s numerous lectures, labs or certificate programs. Food and Beverage professionals can attend to view the industry’s most innovative and cutting edge coffee products, learn about integrating specialty coffee into their existing business plan, and easily make purchasing decisions face to face on the show floor.

Coffee Enthusiasts of all professional backgrounds can attend to participate or watch the coffee competitions, mingle with like-minded attendees at receptions and lunches, or learn more about the art of cupping, brewing or roasting in the educational programs.

Artexpo New York, Apr. 21 – 24, 2017, Pier 94, New York, New York

http://artexponewyork.com

Each year thousands of art industry insiders flock to the Artexpo New York in search of the art and artists that will shape trends in galleries worldwide. Hosting more than 25,000 avid art enthusiasts annually, Artexpo New York is the largest international gathering of qualified trade buyers—including gallery owners and managers, art dealers, interior designers, architects, corporate art buyers and art & framing retailers.

High Point Spring Market, Apr. 22 – 26, 2017, High Point, NC

http://www.highpointmarket.org/

The High Point Spring Market is the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world, bringing more than 75,000 people to High Point, North Carolina, every six months. Serious retail home furnishings buyers, interior designers, architects, and others in the home furnishings industry can be found in High Point twice a year because if you can’t find it in High Point…it probably doesn’t exist. Currently there are 180 buildings with a combined 11.5 million square feet of show space. There are 75,000 attendees each market, more than 2000 exhibitors, with 100+ countries represented.

FDIC International, April 24 – 29, 2017, Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN

http://www.fdic.com/

There is no other event like Fire Department Instructor’s Conference (FDIC) International.  The FDIC “Experience” is hard to convey in mere statistics, percentages and words. You’ll hear many of our past attendees talk about the “hallway conversations”, “life-long friendships”, and the power of this event to recharge the passion. In 2016 there were 780 exhibitors interacting with 32,439 attendees. 1,403 were international attendees from 59 countries. Also in 2016, TSNN named FDIC International was named #39 of the top 250 Fastest Growing Trade Shows in 2016.

NAB Show, Apr. 22 – 27, 2017, Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV

http://www.nabshow.com

The result of these once distinct fields of media, entertainment and technology are converging and becoming something far greater than the sum of their parts. That’s the M.E.T. Effect – and it’s redesigning the very nature of how we live, work and play.

This cultural phenomenon is fueled by internet connectivity and integrated systems, opening up limitless opportunities. Behavior and business have merged to redefine workflows and revenue streams. Corporate alliances are forming and development teams are working vigorously to fill consumer demand for more digital content and immersive experiences. NAB Show is where global visionaries convene and where this phenomenon comes to life.

The entire digital ecosystem attends the Show, including Broadcast, Digital Media, Film, Entertainment, Telecom, Post-Production, Academia, Mobil, Houses of Worship, Advertising, Military, Government, Retail, Security, Sports, Live Events, Online Video, IT, Virtual and Augmented Reality, and so many more.

AIA Conference on Architecture, Apr. 27 – 29, 2017, Orlando, FL

https://conferenceonarchitecture.com

Every year, the AIA Conference on Architecture attracts thousands of architects and design professionals—a collection of talented and visionary individuals who are dedicated to improving the quality of life for all people in all communities. Nearly 800 leading building product manufacturers are bringing their best architectural products and materials to the expo so attendees can experience what’s new, next, and cutting edge.

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Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid 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 www.classicexhibits.com.


 

2017 Portable Modular Awards at EXHIBITORLIVE

March 22nd, 2017 COMMENTS

EXHIBITOR Portable Modular Awards 2017

Occasionally, we get to “Toot Our Own Horn.” At EXHIBITORLIVE, Classic Exhibits had six finalists for the EXHIBITOR Portable Modular Awards. Our most ever. We won two:  Best Inline and Best Use of Graphics. Here is background on each winner from an article that will appear in EXHIBITOR Magazine.

Best Inline

Exhibitor: Spirion LLC (formerly Identity Finder LLC)
Design/Fabrication: Classic Exhibits Inc.
Design: ProExhibits
System: Classic Exhibits Inc.
Event: RSA Security Conference, 2016
Budget: $20,000 – $39,000
Size: 10-by-20 feet

Bathed in Spirion blue and accented by a pop of orange across the top, the SuperNova lightbox featured nothing more than text proclaiming the product name and three benefit statements. By selecting a mere 13 words with maximum impact, Spirion communicated its key messages in a glance — and managed to wow visitors and judges alike.

In the words of one juror, “Spirion’s space is proof positive that one powerful graphic can deliver an effective message. Elaboration is unnecessary — and often functions as a powerful foe capable of fouling even the most skillful design.”

Best Use of Graphics

Exhibitor: Classic Exhibits Inc.
Design/Fabrication: Classic Exhibits Inc.
System: Classic Exhibits Inc.
Event: EXHIBITORLIVE, 2016
Budget: $80,000 – $149,000
Size: 20-by-30 feet

Throughout the space, graphics comprised mostly grey-and-white line drawings of trees and apples, with delicate curls and curves used to craft the intended images. Accompanying text such as “It didn’t just fall from a tree. Introducing Gravitee One-Step Wall System” suggested the new product’s evolution.

The apple imagery comprised both line-drawn, neutral-colored fruit as well as full-color versions, whose shades of red, yellow, and green popped against the otherwise neutral palette. In addition, a roughly 10-foot-tall tower at the front of the space featured a tree illustration along with apple images that sporadically lit up, courtesy of imbedded LEDs.

Our thanks to Katina Rigall, Classic’s Creative Director, for all her work submitting the PMA applications. A very special thanks to Glenna Martin, our Graphic Design Manager, for her award winning design, which we loved so much that we used an updated variation on our 2017 booth. And finally, a huge pat on the back to the project managers and production associates at Classic Exhibits who managed and built these exhibits. There’s a reason why Shared Success is our #1 core value.

Finally, our sincere appreciation to Classic Distributors for your support and business. It means so much to us!

–Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
https://twitter.com/melmwhite
https://www.facebook.com/Classic-Exhibits-Inc-113601405319757


 

A Fun Video of EXHIBITOR 2017 with Classic Exhibits

March 17th, 2017 2 COMMENTS

If you were at EXHIBITORLIVE, you already know. It was amazing! So many upscale designs and clever promotions this year. We’ll share details in a future blog (once we fully recover), but we thought you might enjoy this fun video edited by Glenna Martin, our Graphic Design Manager.

See anyone you recognize?

Thanks to the Classic Team at the show and back in Portland for making our EXHIBITOR experience special. A big hug to all the Distributors who visited our booth. A thumbs-up to Eco-Systems Sustainable for their partnership. And finally, a special nod to our Designers for our two Portable Modular Award winners:  Best Inline (10×20) and Best Graphic Design. Katina, Kim, Kevin S. and Glenna — You Rock!

–Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
https://twitter.com/melmwhite
https://www.facebook.com/Classic-Exhibits-Inc-113601405319757