Trade Show TalesBlog

Rental Exhibit Types: Rejects, Reruns, and Remarkables

June 25th, 2019 COMMENTS

There are Three Types of Trade Show Exhibit Rentals:  Rejects, Reruns, and Remarkables. All rentals depend on the exhibit supplier’s inventory and willingness to customize. So what’s the difference?

Rejects

Rejects: These are instantly recognizable as traditional rental designs from the GSC show manual. They are built from battered aluminum extrusion and Sintra graphic inserts. They are ugly, ineffective, and increasingly being replaced by modern modular wall systems.

Reruns

Reruns: Many rental designs now use modular wall systems. A very positive trend. Unfortunately, the designs depend on the supplier’s inventory, which is often limited. That means choosing from a narrow selection of inline and island configurations which are repeated again and again on the show floor. It’s a step up, but not a custom rental.

Remarkables

Remarkables: Customized rental designs are the exception since they depend on a large rental inventory, custom manufacturing, and design flexibility. They are generally indistinguishable from a purchase exhibit, since they are personalized to the exhibitor’s marketing requirements. They can be more expensive, but even that depends on the rental supplier and the exhibitor’s willing to commit to multiple rentals.

Just because a supplier has a rental option, it doesn’t guarantee their rental inventory supports “remarkable” designs. Ask questions. Request designs. See photos of past rental projects. Finally, don’t fall in love too quickly. You deserve to date a few desirable candidates before committing to a long-term relationship.

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

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Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, custom, and 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.

How to Market Wireless Charging Stations

June 14th, 2019 COMMENTS
How to Marketing Wireless Charging Stations

This week, I received a promotional email from Plum Grove Inc., a printing and marketing company and a Classic Distributor Partner. I was impressed (and delighted). Not only was the email design attractive, but it was also compelling and timely.

Wireless Charging Station eBroadcast

Recently, we upgraded Classic’s line of InCharg™ Charging Stations by adding wireless capability, a feature found on many Apple and Samsung smartphones (as well as others). Many exhibitors now include charging stations in their trade show booths as a convenience to attendees and to their staff. Plum Grove recognized that trend… and reacted.

See the full email image below. I love the compelling introduction, the benefits and features, and the overall organization. It’s a well-crafted and visually interesting marketing email. Nicely done Plum Grove!

14 Wireless Charging Stations

NEW Tool-Less SuperNova LED Lightboxes

June 12th, 2019 COMMENTS
SuperNova SEG Tool_less Lightboxes

This is a BIG DEAL!

Allow me to explain. First a little background. When we engineered our single- and double-sided SuperNova lightbox extrusions (CEI-110 and 152), we were committed to having the strongest lightboxes in the industry — thicker walls, harder 6063/6065 T6 aluminum, and strategic internal extrusion support. In addition, the corner and spline connections were rock solid, preventing light leaks and eliminating most vertical or horizontal bracing except on the tallest or widest lightboxes.

Single- and Double-sided SEG Extrusions

Peel back the SEG fabric of our competitor’s LED lightboxes. You’ll see internal framing or bracing to prevent hour-glassing and light leakage. Even on lightboxes smaller than 10 ft. wide. Some as small as 5 ft. wide.

That “rock solid” construction meant as many as four connections at every joint, all requiring tightening or loosening hex screws. While no one complained, we knew there had to be a better option. A tool-less option. Currently, there are several tool-less lightboxes on the market. None ideal. Some compromise strength by using a single-button connection. Others have a separate bulky attachment with large knobs. And still others have complicated fasteners, which while elegant, are expensive to replace.

We would love to tell you we saw the problem and quickly engineered a better solution… but that would be a lie. It took us over a year in R&D. Idea after idea. Failure after failure. Why? We refused to compromise on strength, ease-of-assembly, and affordability.

SuperNova Tool-Free Lightboxes

And Then We Succeed!

Our new Tool-less SuperNova Lightboxes achieves all of those goals. While there may be more “complicated” solutions, there are none stronger or easier. We estimate the new tool-less connectors reduce assembly by 70-80%. Plus, the splines and the corner connectors can stay on the extrusion reducing the possibility of lost parts. Even the translucent knobs are innovative since they eliminate shadows and reflections.

Effective immediately, new SuperNova Lightbox orders will include the tool-less option whenever possible, whether a standalone LB or a LB in a table top, inline, or island design. We expect this to cover 90% of all LB orders. Exceptions include non-90 degree corners, boomerang base plates, and internal extrusion supports on large lightboxes (support only). Even on those, the tool-less options will be incorporated wherever possible.

Please let us know if you have any questions about SuperNova Lightboxes. This is a BIG DEAL, especially for you and your clients. It’s never been easier to assembly an LED lightbox on the trade show, event, or retail floor.

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

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Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, custom, and 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.

Exhibit Design Search Boot Camp Webinar — Video Replay

June 11th, 2019 COMMENTS

Recently, I conducted two Exhibit Design Search webinars via Go To Webinar. Below is one of those recorded sessions for anyone unable to attend the live event, or simply for any Classic Distributor who wants a better understand of how to navigate EDS quickly and efficiently.

Become an EDS Warrior!

In this one-hour Exhibit Design Search Boot Camp, you’ll learn the essential skills to attack every opportunity with ruthless precision and speed. You’ll discover how to execute an efficient #sales strategy by finding and sharing #exhibit designs, marketing tips, setup instructions, and photos.

Every mission requires a plan to succeed, and EDS Boot Camp will give you the tools and knowledge necessary to accomplish your goals. Invest an hour. You’ll use the skills you learn for years to come. BE ALL YOU CAN “EDS” BE! — Questions? Contact Mel White (mel@classicexhibits.com)

Westeros and Trade Shows: Meet Your Game of Thrones Characters as Exhibitors

June 6th, 2019 COMMENTS
Trade Show Exhibitors and The Game of Thrones

Guest Post: Erica Dougherty, Exhibits Northwest Seattle

Yeah yeah, you’ve had enough Game of Thrones analogies, articles, and opinions about how the show ended. Me too. I get it. BUT, bear with me for just ONE MORE because I bet you haven’t read something that compares your favorite characters with — you guessed it — Trade Show Exhibitors!

So, sit back and contemplate who you are, or rather, who you want to be and see if this makes sense — unlike the ending to GoT.

*Spoiler Alert:  Read only if you have finished Game of Thrones, will never watch the show, or some jerk has already spoiled the ending for you.  

In the Order of My Favorite GoT Characters

Arya Stark – Arya exhibitors are underestimated but won’t stand for anyone’s bull. They work hard and hone their skills slowly and wisely, making a list and checking it… over and over. Arya exhibitors reach out to learn from the masters. They take notes and practice until their own skills are formidable, planning seamlessly for victory each step of the way.

They surprise their adversaries and show up fearless to every show and walk away triumphant. But don’t be fooled; they aren’t perfect. They learn from failures. Step-by-step they keep getting better, cleverer, and eventually shatter their competition like a total boss.

Samwell Tarly – OK, so these exhibitors might not always be the front-runner “winners,” but I really love them. They might be a little timid at first and need some hand-holding but, dang, are they loyal. They trust those they deem experts (like their exhibit house professional), and they are generally open to new ideas and strategies.

However, these exhibitors are not pushovers:  they are intelligent and perceptive, so don’t perceive their willingness to follow as a weakness. Their intuition is spot on, and in the end, their steady strategy pays off consistently. They also tend to befriend the right people and create meaningful and lasting professional partnerships — priceless on and off the trade show floor.

Tyrion Lannister – This “wanna be” 50 x50 exhibitor excels in a 10×10 footprint. They are smart and clever, making the best of what they are given. Strategy is their king, and they make wise trade show marketing decisions in the beginning, winning the trust of many big clients. But then, over time, their confidence (and a few bad habits) gets the best of them which leads to dumber and dumber choices as they grow.

They aren’t evil. Just overly confident in their own abilities. But don’t worry, the Tyrion exhibitor is ultimately a strategic player and will wise-up and get it together (by partnering with the right supportive team). Just in time to GROW into a brilliant 20×20 booth. Still not the biggest, but it’s perfect for their awakened goals.

Game of Thrones and Trade Shows

Sansa Stark – Sansa exhibitors are supremely confident, intelligent, skeptical and bold. They exhibit with a honed strategy based on learning from past failures (traumas). They are “under the radar” triumphant in the end and with their own loyal following who will forever be faithful.

Clients stick with them for the long-haul, and their activity in the booth is mostly current customers looking for “what’s new” from their favorite vendor. Oh, and they have a design aesthetic that cannot be beat… their booth will look stunning.

Jon Snow – Essentially, one of these exhibitors is the outcast who really isn’t. Have you ever seen an exhibitor who shows up and their booth looks a little boring on the surface, but darn-it if their booth isn’t the most popular? They are cautious, slow and steady but they listen and make real connections with their booth visitors and loyal clients.

They make bold decisions when necessary but know how to read the room. They choose their shows (battles) wisely and strategize with a team to ultimately create a winning plan. They are humble to a fault and never see all that they could be, allowing others to shine more brightly… visually on the show floor and in business. But they don’t go broke (or dead), so their ROI is impressive.

They may decide to partner with a front-runner, trusting that’s the right thing to do and hoping for mutual success. When it’s proven to them that they are actually better (their clients tell them so), they refuse to believe until they must make the ultimate sacrifice… choosing themselves to WIN (maybe they steal that larger booth space from their partner… gasp!). But it’s OK:  their fans are supportive and loyal.

Game of Thrones and Trade Shows

Daenerys Targaryen – Imagine these exhibitors were start-up companies at first and then with the help of a few huge investors, grew BIG, fast. They began with nothing and were perceived as weak and easily taken advantage of. But then, (born out of fire) they shoot out into the industry with the biggest dragon of them all… MONEY. They spare no expense, and they have it all: formidable assets (killer booth and amazing swag) and an army of booth staff in matching shirts.

They are coming for a fight with the confidence to win. And they do win… until they break. Emotions get the best of their strategy and something bad happens. Can they recover? Hmmm…

Cersei and Jaime Lannister – Cersei exhibitors think they are ruling the show floor and take no help or compromise from anyone. Other exhibitors sense their arrogance and are out to attack and overcome this misguided leader. Their “twin,” maybe a sister-company (ok, brother, but that’s not the colloquial term), is along for the ride and follows the lead. This sister (brother) company may have a wandering eye seeing what others do and their success, but ultimately stays loyal to their leader, for better or for worse.

This talented hero is known by all the land, but all of a sudden, that fame is taken swiftly and #thestruggleisreal. These exhibitors once had it all, fame, fortune and literally the world in both of their hands (ha ha), but when they least expected it, someone took their most valuable asset (maybe their biggest client?) and now they feel lost. Loyalties realign, and a new beginning is on the horizon… but old habits die hard and well… the end.

Ok, I think that’s enough. I could go on and on, but with over 150 main characters in Game of Thrones, we’d be here literally until Winter. On that note: Ready for one last GoT cliché? Winter is Coming. And in the #TradeShowLife, Winter is the TIMELINE.

Your show is coming and planning ahead is the only way to defeat the White Walkers = RUSH FEES. Knowing this… I think GoT got at least one thing right. #AryaStark

Erica Dougherty, Exhibits Northwest, erica@exhibitsnw.com