Trade Show TalesBlog

Super Match Game | Classic Rental Solutions

December 22nd, 2020 COMMENTS

Need a mental break over the holidays? Play this “Match Game” featuring pairs of Classic Rental Designs. Choose your difficulty level — from 20 to 2 matches using the drop-down menu. And share your time. Enjoy!

Match Game | Concentration

Up Your Game Newsletter — December 2020

December 18th, 2020 COMMENTS

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from Classic Exhibits

You’ve probably seen the “Match Made in Hell” commercial by the Ryan Reynold’s creative team. The only thing missing was an empty convention center.

It’s been a tough year for the exhibition and event industry, as well as travel, food, and hospitality. With the release of vaccines, there’s a glimmer of hope for a healthier 2021.

It would be easy to pooh-pooh the holidays this year. To dismiss it and move on. And yet, neither you nor Classic has taken that path. During our Classic Conversations sessions in December, you’ve talked about what you’re grateful for. For example, how the pandemic strengthened relationships, broadened your skills, and allowed you to reassess your business. And how you have learned to embrace the present and are planning for the future.

The Classic Exhibits Family wishes you a Joyous Holiday and a Brighter New Year. Above all, we are grateful for your friendship and support throughout 2020.

PANTONE Color of the Year 2021

Pantone 2021 Colors of the Year

Introducing Cheerful and Dependable | The EXACT Opposite of 2020.

PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating, a marriage of color conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting. Illuminating is a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued withsolar power. Ultimate Gray is emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation.


EDPA’s 2020 DOTY to KRZ

Katina Rigall Zipay, Designer of the Year

Please join us in congratulating Katina Rigall Zipay, Classic’s Creative Director, for receiving EDPA’s Designer of the Year Award.

The award was presented to Katina at the EDPA ACCESS Conference in San Antonio.
The Designer of the Year Award acknowledges a designer who works diligently to enhance the professional standards of experiential/exhibit designers, contributes their talents, creativity and personal time to bring innovation to experiential/exhibit design.

She was also recognized as a 2020 EDPA Future Leader. Congratulations Katina!

EXHIBITOR Portable Modular Awards

EXHIBITOR Portable Modular Awards

Earlier this week, EXHIBITOR announced the finalists for the Eighth Annual Portable Modular Awards. We are delighted to have five finalists: Greystar Worldwide, NuNaturals, Verity, Odyssey Foods, and GE Appliances. This is our eighth straight year of having multiple finalists. And, yes, we are bragging (a bit).

See all 40 of the finalists on the PMA People’s Choice Voting Page. You can vote for your favorite, once a day, until March 1. Classic has won the People’s Choice Award on several occasions, including last year (yes, a little more bragging).

We encourage you to vote and support the PMA’s.

Event Marketer Fab 50

Event Marketer Fab 50

Absolutely Fabulous! If you understood that reference, then you’re clearly over 45 and watched too much Comedy Central (or PBS) in the 1990’s.

Our thanks to Event Marketer for naming Classic Exhibits a Fab 50 company, their annual editorial listing of the industry’s top builders.

What’s even more exciting is how many Classic Exhibits Distributors made the list – 34 TOTAL. That just proves we are in good company.

This year represents our fifth year as a Fab 50 honoree. If you watch Saturday Night Live, you know the importance of being on the Five-Timers List.

A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to all the Exhibit Builders on the Event Marketer Fab 50 List.

Classic’s Exhibit Design Search

Exhibit Design Search

Recently, we updated EDS on the Classic website to the format of the branded EDS sites. Over the past three years, we’ve made significant UI changes to the branded sites, such as larger gallery images, full screen optimization, hamburger menus, and a mobile-friendly format. Those upgrades are now part of the Classic EDS.

Please let us know if you see any issues or have questions. We welcome your feedback.

Some Good News: As we head into 2021, we’ve made the decision not to charge a subscription fee for your branded EDS sites for at least the first six months of 2021. It’s in everyone’s best interest. We want you to have Classic products on your website. AND, we both know you’re more likely to be successful selling portable, modular, custom and rentals with a branded EDS. It’s that simple.

This applies to all Classic Distributors with an active branded EDS beginning in 2020 or added EDS this year. We will re-evaluate in May for the second half of 2021. 

Safe and Stylish Safety Barriers for Hotels and Banks

December 14th, 2020 COMMENTS
Hotel Reception Desk Safety Divider

In March when businesses needed safety barriers, they installed simple solutions. That made sense. COVID was a temporary inconvenience. Nearly a year later, those flimsy barriers are still in offices, lobbies, and stores. At Classic Exhibits, we’re seeing an uptick in design requests for more permanent solutions.

Bank Teller Safety Divider

Safe and stylish are not incompatible. Done well, an elegant divider in an existing space can enhance the interior design.

These barriers are custom designed using existing structural materials which means they are more cost-effective than traditional architectural solutions. Plus, they can be installed in a day (often hours) rather than weeks. This market isn’t going away, even with a vaccine. It will continue to grow for hotels, banks, retail, and medical. For years.

Hotel Reception Desk Safety Barriers

We all want to be safe but how we get there matters. Just ask Randy from “A Christmas Story.”

Katina Rigall Zipay Named EDPA’s Designer of the Year

December 8th, 2020 COMMENTS
EDPA Designer of the Year Award, Katina Rigall Zipay

Katina Rigall Zipay was presented with the EDPA Designer of the Year Award at the EDPA ACCESS Conference in San Antonio on December. 2. The award acknowledges a “designer who works diligently to enhance the professional standards of experiential/exhibit designers, contributes their talents, creativity and personal time to bring innovation to experiential/exhibit design.

As the Creative Director for Classic Exhibits, Zipay has been challenged more than ever with designing solutions for not only tradeshows but also for corporate environments, retail settings and COVID-related projects. Most recently, she has been guiding Classic distributors and their clients through virtual exhibits as shows have shifted to online events.

Steve Deckel Deckel and Moneypenny

In the words of Steve Deckel (pictured right) of Deckel and Moneypenny and a Classic distributor, “Katina is unfazed by the bizarre project scopes and fragmented briefs in our industry; she looks beyond the surface of things and explores both the minute detail and the big picture.”

A Passion for Design

Zipay discovered a passion for experiential design 14 years ago. Her designs have earned awards at tradeshows and from EXHIBITOR magazine. As a creative director, she manages a team of internal and contract designers who have won numerous design accolades from EXHIBITOR magazine.

Zipay was one of the first graduates to earn an M.A. in Exhibition Design from the EDPA-supported program at the Fashion Institute of Technology. At FIT, she won the Department of Exhibition Design Medal, an honor reserved for the top student.

Speaking and Teaching Engagements

Over the years, Zipay has had numerous speaking engagements at FIT, Oregon State University and the University of Illinois, and has mentored design students. Other speaking engagements include appearing as a panelist (with expertise in design) at EXHIBITORLIVE in 2013 and a Women in Exhibitions panel in 2020. She also teaches Design Development: Domestic and International as part of the new EDPA+FIT Design Certificate Program.

As a member of the Society for Experiential Graphic Designs (SEGD), Zipay has volunteered her time at multiple SEGD conferences, assisting with on-site design tours, procuring sponsorship and gaining valuable continuing design education in this vertical market. She also served as the Education Chair for the Portland Chapter of SEGD in 2017, facilitating relationships between SEGD and local colleges.

Women in Exhibitions Leadership

Jen LaBruzza Classic Exhibits EDPA

Her passion for education and connecting people with resources to grow their careers led her to become the Lead Facilitator of the non-profit group Women In Exhibitions. According to Jen LaBruzza (pictured left), national sales manager at Classic Exhibits, “Under her leadership for the last six years, Katina has reorganized the bare-bones annual meetings at EXHIBITORLIVE into well-attended events with high production value, created a mentorship program, increased sponsorship and formed an advisory committee to further expand support for women in the industry.”

In 2020, the need for connection and education regarding new developments in the industry increased dramatically. Zipay reacted quickly to organize and moderate an ongoing series of well-attended WIE Zoom meetings featuring different experts each week, addressing current industry developments both related to design and the industry.

In addition to the Designer of the Year Award, Zipay was also name as one of 10 EDPA Future Leaders.

John Zipay and Katina Rigall Zipay
John Zipay and Katina Rigall Zipay

2020-2021 Event and Exhibition Associations

November 30th, 2020 COMMENTS
Trade Show Industry Associations

The Event and Exhibition industry in North America is represented by an alphabet soup of organizations. Each focuses on a slice of the industry like show organizers, exhibit builders, or venue managers. There’s no one umbrella group. Sadly, with the exception of HCEA (which is strictly healthcare), there are no associations that represent exhibitors and trade show managers as their primary audience.

The list below summarizes the members and mission for those associations. It does not include international organizations like:

  • The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI)
  • International Association of Fairs and Exhibitions (IAFE)
  • International Federation of Exhibition and Event Services (IFES)

EDPA, Experiential Designers and Producers Association

EDPA, Experiential Designers and Producers Association

From the EDPA Website:  The EDPA is THE network for leaders in the customer experience industry. Its members combine marketing, design and production leadership to help organizations create effective face-to face customer experiences & environments for tradeshows, events, corporate environments, museums, retailers, education and entertainment.

The EDPA is THE network for leaders in the customer experience industry. Its members combine marketing, design and production leadership to help organizations create effective face-to face customer experiences & environments for tradeshows, events, corporate environments, museums, retailers, education and entertainment.

Who are Their Members:  Primarily exhibit builders, suppliers, and distributors of trade show products and services.

EACA, Exhibit Appointed Contractors Association

EACA, Exhibit Appointed Contractors Association

From the EACA Website:  The Exhibitor Appointed Contractor Association represents and supports the interests of EACs and all other organizations that provide exhibit services.

The mission of the EACA is to create tangible value for its members, and the entire trade show industry, by leveraging the combined strengths of the EAC community.   We do this by:

  • Raising the profile of member companies to prospective clients by providing easy access to member services and locations on our web site
  • Using the member’s collective buying power to obtain advantaged pricing on significant cost centers like supplies and equipment, payroll services, and workers comp, health and liability insurance.
  • Developing operational tools like the EACA mobile app which allows members to access project critical data and information on a real time basis.
  • Creating initiatives to assist members to identify and recruit new talent through our collaboration with Skills USA.
  • And, conducting routine surveys of the membership, and the industry, to provide EACA members with data to inform strategic planning.

Who are Their Members: Primarily non-General Show Contractor labor providers that exhibitors select to install and dismantle their trade show exhibit on the show floor. Membership also includes some General Show Contractors, freight companies, union representatives, and exhibit houses with I&E divisions.

SISO, Society of Independent Show Organizers

SISO, Society of Independent Show Organizers

From the SISO Website:  SISO members include companies, corporations and other for-profit entities that own, produce or provide full-service management of “face to face” trade shows, consumer shows, expositions, conferences and /or similar events as a substantial part of their business.  SISO membership is a combination of large corporations and small entrepreneurial enterprises that do business primarily in North America, as well as in Europe, Asia, Africa, India, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. SISO’s more than 195 members produce over 3,500 events, creating an overall $122B impact on the global economy.

The Society of Independent Show Organizers was formed and has been dedicated to meeting the needs of the for-profit show organizer through networking, the exchange of ideas and experiences, and the ability to learn from each other in a non-competitive and candid environment.

Who are Their Members: For-profit trade show and event organizers (like Reed and Informa).

ESCA, Exhibition Services and Contractors Association

ESCA, Exhibition Services and Contractors Association

From the ESCA Website: ESCA is dedicated to the advancement of the exhibition, meeting, and special events industries. Through the education, information exchange and level of professionalism shared by members and their customers, ESCA promotes cooperation among all areas of the exhibition industry.

Since 1970 ESCA has provided a unified voice for service contractors and their partners in the exhibition industry. ESCA now has more than 175 member companies throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom and maintains alliances with IAEE, IAVM, SISO, EDPA, and CEIR to promote the exhibition industry.

Who are Their Members: Primarily General Service Contractors such as Freeman, GES, George Fern, and other regional GSCs along with suppliers that provide rental furniture, carpeting, and pipe and drape.

IAEE, International Association of Exhibitions and Events

IAEE, International Association of Exhibitions and Events

From the IAEE Website: The International Association of Exhibitions and Events is the leading association for the global exhibition industry. Today IAEE represents over 12,000 individuals in over 50 countries who conduct and support exhibitions around the world.

Over 50 percent of IAEE’s members are directly involved in the planning, management, and production of exhibitions and buyer-seller events. The remainder of our membership consists of those who provide products and services to the industry. IAEE values and promotes diversity of membership, in terms of company size, products, and geographical area.

Who are Their Members: Similar to SISO, except the IAEE members are primarily non-profit associations, show organizers, and convention and visitor bureaus (CVB).

IAVM, International Association of Venue Managers

IAVM, International Association of Venue Managers

From the IAVM Website:  Representing public assembly venues from around the globe, IAVM’s active members include managers and senior executives from auditorium, arenas, convention centers, exhibit halls, stadiums, performing arts centers, university complexes, and amphitheaters.

Member venues represent huge expenditures of public and private funds. They attract millions of patrons to an astonishing variety of events from football to basketball, baseball to hockey, from rock concerts to conventions, conferences to ballets…the list is almost endless.

IAVM counts more than 500 Allied companies among its members. These companies provide products and services used by managers. Through their IAVM membership, Allied members are able to present their products to this vast market.

Who are Their Members: Managers of publicly-owned convention, event, performing arts, sporting, and business facilities.

NACS, National Association of Consumer Shows

NACA, National Association of Consumer Shows

From the NACS Website:  The National Association of Consumer Shows (NACS) was founded in 1988 for the advancement of the consumer (public) show industry and to further the growth and professionalism of those involved in the production of consumer shows. The Association focuses solely on the issues of the public show industry through advocacy, education, and networking.

NACS is a friendly, accessible community in which consumer show producers at every level can learn, build relationships, and grow professionally. NACS members annually produce and host shows which use millions of square feet of public and private exhibit space throughout the United States and Canada.  These shows bring significant value to the host facilities, communities, exhibitors, and attendees.

Who are Their Members: Generally, smaller for-profit show organizers that produce regional consumer events like auto, holiday, craft, garden, bridal, fishing, and boat shows.

CEMA, Corporate Event Marketing Association

CEMA, Corporate Event Marketing Association

From the CEMA Website: CEMA is a thriving community of corporate event marketers. We serve all senior-level event marketers in a corporate environment. The diversity of our corporate membership continues to expand, and our recent acceptance as members of the Events Industry Council (EIC) have enabled us to expand our reach even further.

Our differentiator is our non-selling, peer-to-peer environment. Conversations among participants at our events focus on best practice sharing and knowledge sharing. Relationships are first and foremost. Professionals do business with other professionals they trust. CEMA facilitates those connections and lifelong industry friendships. CEMA members engage in person through educational and networking opportunities offered each month around the country.

Who are Their Members: Primarily corporate event organizers but also CVB’s and for-profit event companies and general show contractors.

EIC, Events Industry Council

EIC, Events Industry Council

From the EIC Website: The Events Industry Council’s 30+ member organizations represent over 103,500 individuals and 19,500 firms and properties involved in the events industry globally. Our four signature programs—Sustainability, APEX, Knowledge, Leadership—represent the key initiatives, assets, services and products for the Events Industry Council. The Council works to advance the events industry and the professionals who lead the business of meetings.

Who are Their Members: Over 30 event-related organizations associated with meetings, live events, catering, convention management, travel, and exhibitions. See the complete list:

HCEA, Healthcare Convention and Exhibitors Association

HCEA, Healthcare Convention and Exhibitors Association

From the HCEA Website:  The Healthcare Convention & Exhibitors Association (HCEA) is a trade association representing organizations united by a common desire to increase the effectiveness and quality of healthcare conventions and exhibitions as an educational and marketing medium.

Since 1930, we have brought together industry stakeholders, including healthcare exhibitors, healthcare exhibition and meeting organizers and industry suppliers, who are instrumental in promoting healthcare convention marketing and exhibitions as vital components of the healthcare marketing mix. During our long history, HCEA has developed into a dynamic organization that is the only association solely dedicated to improving the effectiveness of all conventions, meetings, and exhibitions for the healthcare industry.

Who are their Members:  Medical/pharmaceutical companies, CVB’s, exhibit houses, General Show Contractors, and healthcare-related associations.