Las Vegas, NV, February 2019 – The 2nd Annual Women In Exhibitions Breakfast will be held at EXHIBITORLIVE in the Connection Zone, February 26, 2019 from 8-10 am. This once a year opportunity brings women in the Exhibition and Event industry together to discuss challenges and success strategies, network with peers, and make new contacts.
Cost of admission includes a buffet breakfast and a special presentation from international speaker and best-selling author Sandy Jones-Kaminski. As a mentor and coach with 20+ years of marketing and business development experience, Sandy helps professionals, entrepreneurs, and business owners grow their own careers through proactive personal branding, online and offline networking activities. Sandy’s presentation will illuminate strategies for making the most of the Women In Exhibitions mentorship program and more.
Here’s What Last Year’s Attendees are Saying about the Event:
“It was empowering to be sitting in a room full of women who were actively pursuing their careers in the exhibit industry. There’s nothing quite like being with a group of career-oriented women who want to see each other succeed. I am already excited to attend this event next year.” — Jessica Diers, Diers Exhibit
“The breakfast was the highlight of my experience at the show, and I am so glad the Design Factory could be a part of it. I feel the event was a wonderful opportunity for so many women to meet, mingle, and share ideas. I hope to participate in the future.” — Chris Harvey, The Design Factory, Las Vegas
“From the initial meeting of Women in Exhibitions in Tucson in 2002, I have had the opportunity to attend many WIE meetings. The breakfast event at EXHIBITORLIVE 2018 was amazing. There were many bright, enthusiastic, experienced women sharing information and ideas. Having a guest speaker was a bonus, especially since it was interesting. I was able to connect with several women, which will be of benefit to my business. Bottom line is that it was the best meeting we have ever had for WIE.” — Jocelyn Welles, Exhibit Expressions
One of the best decisions EXHIBITOR ever made was creating Strategic Partner Hours from 10-11:30 am on Tuesday and Wednesday. We enjoy meeting with our Distributor Partners and Vendors during those times because it offers uninterrupted sessions to discuss your business and how Classic Exhibits can assist in your success.
Stop by during those hours, or even better, schedule a meeting with the Classic Exhibits Management Team. That will ensure you’ll have our undivided attention. See you in Vegas Baby!!
[Video Text/Transcript] Hi everyone. This is Mel at Classic Exhibits. I hope you are doing well. It’s February, and we’re three or four weeks away from EXHIBITORLIVE. And for those who just went through the brutal Polar Vortex, I’m sure four days in sunny Las Vegas can’t come soon enough.
We will be there, of course. I believe it’s our 25th year. No misses. This year, Classic will be in 20×30 double-deck. Booth #1623.
As you know, we participate in EXHIBITOR primarily to meet with our Distributor Partners. In other words — YOU. And while end-users visit us as well and we pass those leads along after the show, we are committed to spending as much time as possible with our distributors. Mostly, we want to hear from you. What are you seeing in trends? Suggestions on how Classic can assist you with design, exhibit builds, and marketing. Is there anything missing from our assortment?
This year our booth theme is “Knot Your Typical Exhibit Builder.” That’s “K.N.O.T.” You’ll see the theme, including “knot” puns throughout the space. We will even have a magician in the booth performing knot tricks. RJ, the magician, is knot your typical magic act. Yes, the puns will probably get painful at some point.
So what can you expect from Classic? More of the same, meaning lots of product innovations.For instance, this past year we launched the Gravitee One-Step Lightbox and the Mobile Meeting Pods. You’ll see examples of both in the booth. Our InCharg Charging solutions will now include wireless options, in addition to USB ports.
For us, Custom builds have expanded well beyond trade shows into retail, corporate environments, and even museum work. Our rental sales continue to soar, which shouldn’t be a surprise. Even the Sacagawea Portable line got a refresh with the addition of charging ports and a hostess shelf, features not found on any other portable hybrid.
Other trends? LED Lightboxes in every shape imaginable. Expect a significant change to our LB assembly this spring, which will make SuperNova both the strongest and easiest LB to setup in the industry. Then there’s the allure of video walls. Expect more affordable and accessible video solutions in 2019
If you would like to schedule an appointment, please let us know as soon as possible. In addition, we encourage you to visit us during the Strategic Partner hours on Tuesday and Wednesday. Those hours are always less hectic.
OK, so it’s still winter and maybe you can’t lose your winter coat just yet… but Las Vegas is just around the corner. We look forward to visiting with you. And remember, To Be or Knot to Be, That is the Question for EXHIBITORLIVE. Cheers!
For a free EXHIBITORLIVE Exhibit Hall Pass, Click on the Registration Link and enter #4044. Compliments of your friends at Classic Exhibits.
My first job in the trade show industry was with a pop-up display manufacturer in the mid-1990s. By then, there were half a dozen major manufacturers. To put this in perspective, the original pop-up display was introduced in 1975 by Ted Zeigler, who founded Nomadic Display.
The Pop-up Display War
At the time, there was a fierce sales battle based on the features and benefits of pop-up displays. It was war, and the side you took was fought with a take-no-prisoners approach. And lest we forget, those were the days when your salesperson would arrive at your office and demo the pop up with a certain theatrical flair.
This may seem a bit silly now. However, at the time, pop up displays, nearly all designed and built in the United States, were an amazing invention. They made life for trade show exhibitors in 10 x 10 and 10 x 20 spaces much easier (and they were fun to open and assemble).
They shipped in portable cases, greatly reducing drayage, and could be assembled quickly and with minimal instructions. Plus, you could choose between fabric panels with Velcro graphics or spend more and have mural graphics. Prices ranged from $3600 for a basic 10 ft. with fabric panels to nearly $10,000 with graphics, shelves, lights, and a case-to-counter conversion. It seemed like a bargain compared to traditional custom wood exhibits. And it was.
So, what were the differences between the various systems that seemed so important at the time?
Aluminum vs. Fiberglass
Most pop up displays were made with aluminum. Some with round tubes. Others with square tubes. And even in the round tube community there was bickering about the quality of the aluminum (aircraft grade vs. non-aircraft grade) and the diameter of the tube. One manufacturer took a different approach and make their frame with fiberglass rods.
Self-Locking vs Connectors
There was no middle ground on the connector feature. The self-locking frame zealots included the original and most well-known brand. Anyone who demo’d it made sure to emphasize the “magic” when opening it. And frankly, if you hadn’t seen it before, it was pretty darn impressive. All other frames had connectors which gave the frames rigidity. The number of connectors varied — some having as few as six to others having as many as 15. Then there was the battle of which connector was easier and more durable, which was valid if often overstated.
As if the frame differences weren’t enough, then there were the channel bars, which are the vertical bars that hold the fabric and graphic panels. This was a financial goldmine for intellectual patent attorneys as manufacturers engineered changes to address or negate their competitor’s perceived advantages. In short, the differences fell into three camps: individual channel bars, attached channel bars (using fabric or elastic), and folding or sliding channel bars.
In addition, salespeople would sing the praises of whether the channel bar was steel, aluminum, or plastic and whether the panel connection was magnet-to-magnet or magnet-to-metal. If you believed them, it really, really mattered and making the wrong (or right) decision could alter the course of your life.
Roto-molded Portable Cases
This came down to three distinctions:
Does the 10 ft. pop up pack in two smaller (and lighter) cases or one larger case.
Does the internal packing have all the bells and whistles to keep at the parts tidy or more basic packaging to save cost.
Do the case(s) allow for a case-to-counter conversion option and how easy was the conversion to assemble.
Let’s jump ahead to 2019. Are there the same differences among pop ups on the market? Yes. But they don’t seem to matter to most exhibitors. It’s really about features, price, and whether the exhibitor wants to make a short-term or long-term investment in their pop-up display. Even that depends on how often they use it every year.
Fortunately, exhibitors no longer have to settle for a basic 10 ft. curve. There are now pop up frames with tension fabric graphics, backlighting, and even SEG, along with LED lights and robust shelving options. And as you can imagine, price points vary widely depending on features and quality.
It pays to ask questions even on the less expensive models, especially if the price seems too good to be true. We live in a find-and-click world, but a display purchase should always include a conversation or email/text exchange with a knowledgeable professional to make sure the display will fulfill your trade show marketing goals. Things break. Will the display last multiple years? Are replacement parts available? Where do you go when you need new mural panels?
Let us know if we can assist you with your next display purchase, whether it’s portable, modular, or custom. See the links for more information about the FGS and Quadro Pop Up Displays. Happy Exhibiting!
Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, custom, rental 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.
Jen LaBruzza, the National Sales Manager for Classic Exhibits, sure gets around. Let me rephrase that… Jen travels, rather extensively, visiting Classic Distributor Partners, which gives her a unique perspective on industry trends. In addition, she hears from small one or two person distributors and from larger custom houses with over a 1000 employees.
Jen shared her thoughts on the industry and Classic Exhibits in the interview below. Her answer to Q6 is a must read.
Q1. You talk, email, and text with Classic Distributor Partners every day, which makes you the resident Distributor Whisperer. What’s that like?
The fact that I have worked in many facets of our industry really allows me to step into a distributor partner’s shoes. Whether it’s helping a distributor partner come up with a gallery of design ideas or showing up in a hot pink polo shirt on setup to make sure an install is going well, I love helping our distributor partners succeed.
Q2. What do most people get right (or wrong) about Classic Exhibits?
Well… there are two things really they get wrong:
1.That our primary focus is as a portable/modular manufacturer. While we still VERY much pride ourselves on creating the best portable hybrid designs in the industry I think it surprises many people when I tell them that the largest growth segment in our revenue stream is custom, in the purest sense of the industry definition. Log on to our Peek-A-Booth on any given day and you will see the wide variety of projects on our setup floor. It’s ASTOUNDING!
2.That we sell direct. As Kevin mentioned in his State of the Company Letter, we are a non-direct selling company that is largely invisible to end-users. That is by design (although makes Mel’s job harder), and we all believe it’s ALWAYS being about our Distributor Partner’s brands. In so many ways besides, packaging, branded Exhibit Design Searches, and setup instructions. Our Classic Distributor Partners are always a primary focus for what we do as a team and company. It’s in our DNA.
Q3. What was your proudest accomplishments/moments in 2018 as the National Sales Manager for Classic Exhibits?
First, being recognized by our industry peers and partners for being #1 in Service and Reliability for all Exhibit Builders in North America. Words can’t even describe the pride I felt accepting that award with Kevin on behalf of Classic Exhibits at EXHIBITORLIVE last year. Second, helping a long-time Distributor Partner win a FANTASTIC project that catapulted their business to the next level. It was one of those A-HA! moments where everything clicks into place and many years of consistent partnership paid off for all.
Q4. At EXHIBITORLIVE 2019, what are the three questions you want attendees or Distributor Partners to ask you about Classic Exhibits?
Why does Classic only sell through Distribution Partners?
What is your favorite Classic Exhibits product and why? Hint: It didn’t just fall from a tree!
Why should I consider Classic Exhibits as a partner for my custom build projects moving into 2019?
Q5. What were the biggest trends you saw in 2018? Any predictions about 2019?
I think the biggest trend was the continued push for custom projects both for trade shows and non-trade shows. Call, email, text me or better yet…come to EXHIBITORLIVE and ask (see #3 above :D). I’m happy to give insight on this value proposition, and how and why you should be leveraging it.
As far as 2019 is concerned, what I have seen on the show floor so far is the continued focus for brands telling their stories with visual engagement. Whether that’s with large video wall presentations, bold use of graphics in lightboxes, or interesting themes and shapes. The limits are constantly extending beyond your traditional exhibits even in inlines.
Creative use of space is VERY in right now! The smart exhibitors are opening up their inline spaces and instead of using the standard 6 ft table, skirt and chairs to “supplement” their backwall, they are adding in bistro height charging tables or lower soft seating. And lightboxes are favorites for those wanting to engage in their inline spaces as well.
Q6. You visit with Distributor Partners all across North America. What advice do you give them when they ask about increasing their sales?
Every market is different, but there are several commonalities for increasing sales in the exhibit/event space.
1. Stop using Rentals as a “Hail Mary”! Lead with purchase and rental options because either way you make money. And if we are all honest with ourselves, rentals gives your a greater opportunity to engage the client show after show.
2.Move away from the commodities. Yes, some customers need them. Yes, some customers will never move beyond them, but that doesn’t mean your business has to stagnate. Don’t shy away from those larger projects because you don’t have in-house capabilities. Lean on us as your manufacturing partner. Which really brings me to…
3. Engage the Classic Exhibits Design Department. The closure rate for projects that have started with a Classic Designer being involved on a discovery call with your client is about 80%. 80%!
Q7. What do many exhibitors not understand about trade shows?
This is face-to-face marketing people! Which means you need to engage people. Don’t think that you can show up and stand in your booth and wait for people to walk in and ask questions. Say hello, offer them some candy, have a charging table where they can charge their phone while you give them your elevator pitch. Looping a video is GREAT! But again, smile, say hello, don’t just let the video do the talking. There is no substitution for that one-on-one interaction. And for god’s sake, please don’t EAT in your booth!
Q8. Rentals have become more popular over the past six years. Any idea why?
Flexibility and budget! Many trade show budgets have become quarterly spends vs. annual capital expenditures. A custom exhibit rental gives exhibitors the flexibility of staying on budget while still meeting their trade show marketing goals. Plus, they are able to try different things, repeating graphics that work, or modifying a design to better engage their attendees.
And if we are truly honest with ourselves, as trade show sales people, an exhibit rental gives us more opportunities to interact with a customer as their need becomes quarterly or annual vs. every three years for a purchase.
2019 is going to be an EXCITING Year! We are proud of every. single. opportunity we get from our Distributor Partners. Thank YOU for trusting us with your business!
Visit Classic Exhibits Inc. at www.classicexhibits.com. You can contact Jen LaBruzza, National Sales Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her at EXHIBITORLIVE in Booth #1623. Use Code 4044 when registering for a FREE show hall pass.