Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘Blog’

Another Seth Godin Beauty: Word on the Street — Feb. 11th thru Feb. 15th

February 17th, 2013 7 COMMENTS
Another Beauty by Seth Godin

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

I have referenced Seth Godin before, but bear with me one more time because last week one of his posts struck me as relevant to our community.

Let me explain my relationship with Seth. When I wake up at 5 am every morning, the first thing I do is read two emails. One is inspirational from a good friend in our industry– Proverb of the Day. The other is Seth Godin’s daily blog posting. And without fail, both are great starters for me, professionally and personally.

This was Seth’s blog post on Thursday, Valentine’s Day.

Open, Generous, and Connected

Isn’t that what we seek from a co-worker, boss, friend or even a fellow conference attendee?

Open to new ideas, leaning forward, exploring the edges, impatient with the status quo … In a hurry to make something worth making.

Generous when given the opportunity (or restless to find the opportunity when not). Focused on giving people dignity, respect, and the chance to speak up. Aware that the single most effective way to move forward is to help others move forward as well.

and connected. Part of the community, not apart from it. Hooked into the realities and dreams of the tribe. Able and interested in not only cheering people on, but shining a light on how they can accomplish their goals.

Paradoxically, the fancier the conference, the more fabled the people around the table, the less likely you are to find these attributes. These attributes, it turns out, have nothing to do with fame or resources. In fact, fear is the damper on all three. Fear of failure, intimacy, and vulnerability. Fear closes us up, causes us to self-focus and to disconnect.

When we find our own foundation and are supported in our work by those around us, we can get back to first principles, to realizing our own dreams and making our own art by supporting others first and always.

When I read this, I felt an instant appreciation for so many people and organizations in my life.

I am fortunate that I get to work with a team at Classic Exhibits that truly is Open, Generous and Connected. Egos are checked at the door and as a group, we try to move forward while raising each other up and listening to each other’s ideas and real intent. Mel in particular. I am very fortunate to get to co-manage our organization with him. Lord knows I am not the easiest guy to to work with each day. 🙂

These same characteristics can come in your personal life, whether from a friend who is willing to listen to your latest business idea and willing to give you honest feedback from a real outsider’s perspective. Or it can come from your spouse who says, “The kids on your basketball team are really improving every week. Your hard work with them is showing on the court.”

Professionally, it makes me appreciate my fellow EDPA Board members. They are constantly challenging me to be better in business — sharing ideas, listening to my hair-brained ones, and always willing to give me encouragement.

Anyway, like I said, every morning I read these two emails and get something from each of them. If you are not following Seth, I would recommend that you do. It may not always apply, but most of the time it does.

Lastly, on a totally different subject, I want to give a special shout-out to a good friend. Chuck, congrats on five years of being cancer free my friend. That news was the highlight of my week.  Livestrong Brother!

Hope you had a restful weekend.

Kevin Carty


The Classic Exhibits Facebook Page

January 30th, 2013 COMMENTS

You’re a regular reader of Classic’s Trade Show Tales blog, and you joined the Classic Distributor Network on LinkedIn. But, you’re still not getting enough “Classic Time.” Well, who can blame you. Tune into Facebook. The Classic Facebook page shows a more relaxed view of Classic Exhibits and Classic Rentals.

On Classic’s Facebook page, you’ll see photos of Classic employees working hard, pictures in our facility, and Kevin sitting around in meetings. Compromising photos of Kevin are a specialty since he doesn’t have a Facebook account so he never sees them. Sweet!

Be a Classic Facebook regular. Heck, you’re on your Facebook page at this very moment. Please like us. It’s embarrassing when we beg.


–Mel White


Based in Portland, Oregon, 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


Blogging for Beginners — Sponsored by Classic Exhibits

September 15th, 2010 COMMENTS

Free Blogging 101 Webinar

Blogging for Beginners

Blogging for Beginners

Do you ever ask yourself: “Should I start a blog?” Or wonder “Where do I start?”

Most people ask the same questions. After all, blogging is not as simple or straightforward as joining Facebook or Twitter.

Experts say your blog is probably the most important element of your social media mix. More important than Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or LinkedIn – and those platforms are the hottest in the social media puzzle.

Now you can learn what it takes to start a blog. In this FREE one-hour webinar you’ll learn how to choose a platform (WordPress, Typepad, Blogger, etc.), how to customize your blog, how to find topic ideas, and how often to blog.

Join Tim Patterson, VP of Sales and Marketing at Interpretive Exhibits and learn what it takes to become a blogger, whether on your own or for a company or organization.

After all, the more you know about blogging, the better off you’ll be in dealing with the quick-changing social media world.

Join this fun, fast-paced, informative webinar set for September 29 from 10 – 11 a.m. Pacific (1 p.m. Eastern).

Sign up today at Seating is very limited.

Annual State of the Company Letter from Kevin Carty

January 19th, 2010 COMMENTS
Kevin Carty, VP of Sales

Kevin Carty, VP of Sales

Thankfully, 2009 is in the rear view mirror. It was a rough but enlightening year.

How did Classic do in 2009? There’s both a short and a long answer. As you may recall, Classic Exhibits began developing a series of affordable hybrid exhibit solutions in 2008, starting with the Perfect 10 Portable Hybrid Display. In 2009, we added the Magellan Miracle, MOR, and Sacagawea. This push will continue in 2010 with the Segue, but more on that later. So the simple answer is . . . as the market downsized and orders for larger exhibits decreased, portable hybrids became our bread and butter. Thankfully, we were prepared to handle this shift with fresh designs and competitive prices.

Now, here’s the longer answer . . . .

Social Media
Social Media was the buzzword in 2009, and Classic wasn’t shy about using it to communicate with distributors and industry partners. I have to admit that I didn’t understand it at first, and I had no desire to “Tweet” or “Blog.” But I have found it to be effective and pretty fun, whether it’s our activity in Twitter, our new Classic Exhibits Group on LinkedIn, or our blog, Trade Show Tales.

Trade Show Tales, in particular, has been quite the hit. Whether we are writing about some of the industry’s most sensitive issues such as Bundling or just posting a whimsical article regarding “Trade Show Fashion Do’s and Don’ts,” the blog gives Classic, Classic Distributors, and Industry Partners another avenue in which to communicate and share ideas.


With a downturn in the economy comes less spending on new exhibits. The ClassicExhibits/Exhibits NW Rental division really stepped up in the past 12 months. Looking back at their creations from the past year, I am amazed at how many of those displays were rentals. It certainly explains why the rental division had such a banner year. Kudos to Jim Shelman, James Sharpe, and the rental crew for their amazing job in 2009.

Rental Exhibits from Classic

Rental Exhibits from Classic

For a peek at the rental designs from last year, go to Past Five Days and type “rentals” in the search tool.

Distributor and Partnership Development

You could feel the love in 2009. There was a palatable sense of “we are in this together, so let’s find ways to make it beneficial for us all . . . without sacrificing our margins.” For companies unwilling to “partner” with distributors or for those who didn’t have a history of reaching out to friends and colleagues, 2009 had to be a painful, lonely year. It was not the year or the market to go it alone.

Partnership development was not just with distributors. Classic spent a lot of time deepening its relationships with existing vendor partners as well as opening doors to new relationships. This manifested itself in the development of new “joint products”as well as partnering on larger inventory buys to help decrease raw costs, allowing us to continue to offer competitive pricing.


Word on the Street — August 10th thru August 14th

August 14th, 2009 5 COMMENTS
Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Social Media. . . Just a Fad? Administrative Crack Maybe . . . but It’s Clearly NOT a Fad!

OK, nobody’s looking, so you’re safe — Raise your hand if you have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or MySpace account. If your hand is not up, then you are either lying or you are reading this on paper because you still haven’t figured out how to turn on a computer.

While I will concede that many of these, especially MySpace and Facebook, started primarily as fads over the past few years, times have clearly changed. So much so that they are affecting other mediums as well.

Did you know that ESPN just this week banned all its on-air and print talent from talking sports on Twitter and other Social Media sites? It’s true! The thought being, if they are breaking sports news in Tweets or Facebook updates and I read them there, then why would I need to watch Sportscenter.

Personally, I have a Twitter account, a LinkedIn account and yes, a Facebook page. If you had asked me about these sites a year ago, I would have laughed and said, “Heck no!” Now, I even write a weekly blog post. And I am clearly not the only one. Let me site some facts I recently read online at

Social Media Facts

  • If Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s 4th largest between the United States and Indonesia
  • Years to reach 50 millions users:  Radio (38 Years), TV (13 Years), Internet (4 Years), iPod (3 Years). Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months. iPhone applications hit 1 billion in 9 months
  • % of companies using LinkedIn as a primary tool to find employees — 80%
  • There are over 200,000,000 blogs
  • 34% of bloggers post opinions about products and brands
  • 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations 
  • People care more about how their social graph ranks products and services than how Google ranks them

There are many, many more that will stagger you. When you have 4-5 minutes to spare, check out this video on YouTube:

Business Perspective

So, from a business perspective, is there value to be found in these trending numbers? I think there clearly is. In a weird way, I would suggest that we are “coming full circle” — back before traditional print, TV and radio were the main forms of corporate advertising. Social Media provides a “Word-of-Mouth” advertising that costs nothing, and is often 100% better than any paid ad on Google could ever give you in return.

Depending on your age, ask your parents, grandparents or great grandparents about Word-of-Mouth. I think you will find that Word-of-Mouth was the most powerful form of advertising then, and it is becoming the dominate form now.

I review LinkedIn several times a day. I do not contribute as much as I would like to, but I read posts all day long. I could argue that I learn more there than I do in a three-day stint on the show floor at EXHIBITOR Show. Not to imply that tradeshows have lost their relevance. They have not! People still want to go, touch, feel, and learn.  However, LinkedIn provides controlled information from the standpoint that I am in control of what I read and learn.

I do think there are inherent dangers involved of course. Social Media can easily become a time and human resources black hole for a company. The Social Media Addiction is a very real thing. Many companies have banned or blocked virtually all Social Networking sites from their internal networks. And I think for good reason. While I see the value on many levels, I am not sure that each job description really needs to have access to such sites.

So, I know many of you have your own Social Media accounts, blogs, and sites. How have they impacted how you do business? Have they impacted how you do business? Do you see them as valuable business tools?

Please comment and let me know.

Have a great and restful weekend.

Be Well!

–Kevin Carty