Trade Show TalesBlog

Top 15 Essential Exhibit Design Questions

September 22nd, 2017 COMMENTS

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Your Client’s Exhibit Design

The best exhibit designs make a connection with your client. So how do you create a design the client loves without multiple meetings and revisions?

Get the designer and the decision-maker to talk to one another. It works! It’s why the designers at Classic want to be on phone calls with our distributors and their clients. We are happy to be introduced as YOUR DESIGNER. In fact, we are your designers so there’s no need to pretend! If for logistical reasons it’s not possible to have a designer participate in a discovery call with the client, the next best thing is to answer these 15 questions (in no particular order).

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15 Essential Exhibit Design Questions

  1. What are the client branding guidelines/graphic files/website address? Are there files they can share? A booth with appropriately applied graphics is a huge turn on for your client.
  2. What size is the exhibit? How many configurations do the properties need to create? This heavily guides our design and choice of materials and is best to know from the get-go.
  3. What is the budget?  If reluctant to give an exact budget, please provide a budget range. No one wants to be surprised with a beautiful booth way out of reach, or underwhelmed by a booth designed for a much lower budget.
  4. Do you want to purchase and own the properties, or rent? Combo of both? This also informs the designers choice of materials.
  5. What physical properties does the exhibit need to have? ie. workstations, counters, slatwall, semi-private or private conference area, storage, etc? Give us a list and we’ll create a cohesive design that includes everything needed.

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  1. If you exhibited previously, what type of display did you use? Are you looking for something similar or different? This gives so much insight, and provides context for all the client’s current wants and needs.
  2. Any materials and construction methods you prefer to use, or want to stay away from? Some clients have strong love or aversion to specific materials.
  3. Are there any unusual dimensional restrictions? Can you provide show regulations? Some shows have unusual restrictions that are good to know.
  4. Do you display lots of product? Dimensions and specs are helpful if so.
  5. Does the booth need to be portable and lightweight or are you OK with packing in crates? This will guide our use of materials more than anything else.
  6. Will show labor or your own employees set the booth up? We have great solutions for both scenario’s.
  7. Do you have any images of design elements you like? Even if these “inspiration images” aren’t tradeshow related they are a huge help.
  8. Design Due Date? Typically we turn designs around within a few business days, but some designs are needed in a rush, and some call for more attention and have a longer lead time that allows for it.
  9. Show Opening Date? We want to be sure it’s feasible to build what we design in time so we’ll make material selections accordingly.

And My Personal Favorite:

  1. Are there any descriptive words you use to describe your company, or what do you want visitors to your booth to “feel” about your company? From “opulent” to “bad-ass” I’ve heard some interesting descriptors, and this gives us that boost to go beyond booth structures to craft experiential spaces.

Are there any other questions on your “must ask” list? I’d love to hear them if you do! Leave me a comment or connect with me at Katina@classicexhibits.com.

Your Invitation to Shared Knowledge University, Fall 2017

September 13th, 2017 1 COMMENT

Home of the Fighting Custom Hybrids

We tried, once again, to organize a college football team this year, but our lack of scholarships, training facilities, and equipment worked against us. Even a call to Nike, just a few miles down the road, didn’t spark much interest. FYI — The naming rights to the grassy field in front of our facility is open to the highest bidder.

We hope you will attend Shared Knowledge University on November 13-14 anyway. US News and World Report ranked SKU the #1 exhibit university in North America. Honest! Our dorm and cafeteria are renown for their upscale amenities and West Coast food cart cuisine. Then there’s the beer, wine, and other stuff. Or so we are told. However, it’s our outstanding classroom and hands-on education that attracts the brightest students from throughout the United States and Canada. Nearly all graduates have gone on to successful careers in the trade show industry. Admittedly there was the “chain link fence” incident a few years ago… but let’s not talk about that.

For more information, contact Jen LaBruzza (jen@classicexhibits.com), our Dean of Admissions and Shuttle Bus Scheduler. She won’t admit to accepting bribes, but that shiny new Hyundai Santa Fe didn’t come from her pitiful SKU salary. Just saying. Click on the image below to watch the rockin’ SKU video.

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

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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.

Brainstorming with Clients on a Whiteboard Bistro Table

September 12th, 2017 2 COMMENTS

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Purpose1, a Classic Exhibits distributor in Harrisburg, PA, recently purchased an MOD-1432 Bistro Charging Table for their showroom. Although most charging stations are branded with a graphic, they chose a whiteboard laminate counter top. Why? I’ll let Dan Liberatore, the president of Purpose1, explain:

Many can relate to a napkin sketch as the start of an idea. Even better, what if you could write or sketch that idea directly on a table? Whiteboard tables are the newest fixtures in our Harrisburg PA facility. Our first showroom visitor was able to share their ideas quickly and effectively, certainly a plus for all involved in the brainstorming discussion.

The Purpose1 team is in the business of ideas so we took the table to a show this month. Our exhibit space was an open 8’ x 8’ corner booth, perfect for placing of the table upfront and adjacent to both aisles. Attendees stopped in their tracks to comment ‘Wow, that is so cool!’ and ‘Where did you get that? I want one for my house.’

We invited attendees to sign or leave a message on the whiteboard top. Some even brought back others to share in the experience. Our round bistro height table really stood out in a sea of square skirted tables, thanks in part to the RGB remote-controlled perimeter LED illumination. In addition, these tables are powered with USB ports for device charging, all wired into a single plug, allowing easy assembly of the 3-piece, less than 60-pound table in about 5 minutes.”

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“Bottom line, engagement is key, especially at a trade show. Before engagement, it’s the job of your display to draw a passerby into your booth space. In my experience, clean presentation of space and lighting are two commonly overlooked attributes of display design, particularly in 10’ x 10’ booth spaces. Professional display designers are here to help you stand out from the ‘white noise’ at an event!

See the Incharg Gallery in Exhibit Design Search for over 25 charging station designs.

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

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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.

NEW Rental/Purchase Price Feature in Exhibit Design Search

August 30th, 2017 COMMENTS

We Heard You. Loud and Clear!

Nearly every day we get the following request, “My client can purchase the VK-1233 for $9208. What would the rental price be?” We’re happy to answer that question…  but wouldn’t it be nice if those prices were in Exhibit Design Search? Yes.

That’s a HUGE project! And we’re up to the challenge, but it will take a little time. Effective on all Exhibit Design Search websites, you can now find 72 kits with both rental and purchase prices. You can see them in Visionary Designs, Islands, SEGUE, eSmart, and the Rental Galleries. Click HERE to see an example.

Another 50 kits will be updated in September. Then we’ll continue adding more each month. Let us know if you have any questions. We are excited about this new EDS update and hope it makes your life a little easier (and more profitable).

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

**********************************************

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.

EDPA Exhibition and Events Industry Labor Rates Survey

August 24th, 2017 COMMENTS

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The 2017 EDPA Labor Rate Survey tracks the advance order rates charged to corporate exhibitions in major U.S. and Canadian cities at exhibitions, conventions, and corporate events. The rate sources are general service contractors, show producers, and venue order forms. This is the Advanced Order Rates, not the rates charged after the early bird prices or day of show.

This includes rates for General Labor, Riggers, Electricians, Plumbers, Forklift Operators, and Material Handling. The highest general labor rates are in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Los Angeles. The lowest are in Cleveland, Louisville, Orlando, and Salt Lake City. A huge thanks to the Exhibit Designers and Producers Association for completing and publishing their results.

Executive Summary Bullet Points:

  • The 2017 Labor Rates Survey of rates charged to exhibitors at exhibitions and events has found the average hourly rate in the U.S. for General Display Labor increased by just under 1% annually over the past two years.
  • The average hourly rate has increased from $101.75 in 2015 to $103.50 this year.
  • The advance order, regular time hourly rate for Riggers decreased by 2% annually over the same two-year period, from $113.70 per hour on average in 2015 to $109.23 per hour in the new survey.
  • Material handling costs for advance shipments to the official service contractor warehouse have increased by 1.6% annually over the past two years on average in the U.S. The cost of crated shipments sent directly to exhibit halls has increased by an average of 1.1% annually from 2015 to 2017.

Click the image below for the full survey.

2017 EDPA Labor Rates Study

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

**********************************************

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.