Trade Show TalesBlog

Archive for May, 2009

Defining Interconnectivity

May 27th, 2009 1 COMMENT

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By definition, interconnectivity is “to be connected with one another.”

The term interconnectivity fascinates me on a lot of levels ranging from my personal to my business life. So much so, that I have found myself looking for “the connectedness” of things recently. It has become somewhat of an obsession.

Truth be known, I never really focused on it until about four weeks ago when a friend and colleague called out a “connection” that was both timely and bizarre. It got me thinking . . . why and how? And I am not sure I will ever really know.

With the advent of the social networking tools, the clarity of how connected we really are has become more evident than ever . . . though sometimes I think forced. There is a difference between being networked and being connected in my mind, although the line often gets blurred a bit.

A recent Facebook blog noted, “With greater connectedness has come the ability for people to influence one another with more speed and efficiency. We’ve seen this lead to people spreading information and organizing events on a mass scale, often within days and weeks.”


Search for Exhibit Photos in P5D — New Feature

May 14th, 2009 COMMENTS
Past Five Days -- Search Thru Over 1000 Exhibit Photos

Past Five Days -- Search Over 1000 Exhibit Photos

On April 13, we posted “Past Five Days — Reviewing Photos in P5D” where we discussed the history and features of Classic’s daily photo log. Past Five Days has been a permanent feature on Classic Exhibits website, and on all distributor versions of Design Search, since September 19, 2006. Over that time, we’ve made multiple incremental improvements. Today’s improvement is anything but incremental.

New Photo Search Function

We’ve added search functionality. Now you can search the entire P5D database by size and/or keyword. We all know the expression, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Too often, the challenge is finding the just right picture or photo. When it comes to trade show exhibit design, you may prefer renderings, but someone else in your organization may prefer photos. Now both options are available for many Classic Exhibits’ designs.

Say, for instance, you like Visionary Designs VK-1032 Hybrid Exhibit. Click here to see the rendering. “Very cool,” you say to yourself, but you wonder if there is a photo available in P5D that shows a “real” version of VK-1032. In this case, there is. Not just one, but seven separate entries for this design. Click here to see one of those photos. Not every photo will be complete with graphics. After all, those photos are taken in our Setup Area, and it’s not uncommon for us to ship displays without the graphics. The graphics may have been shipped directly to the client, or the photo was taken before the graphics were installed. It happens. Also, it’s important to remember that P5D is a sampling of orders. Not all orders. So, not every kit on Classic’s website has a corresponding photo.


What Can Tradeshow Fabric Graphics Do for YOU?

May 13th, 2009 COMMENTS

How Fabric Graphics Changed the Tradeshow World!

Tradeshow and Event Fabric Graphics

Tradeshow and Event Fabric Graphics

Dye-sublimation fabric graphics took the tradeshow world by storm in the early part of this decade. Before that, the only real way to print on fabric was to silk screen. Dye sublimation printing changed everything. It offered a higher quality, lower cost graphic, which could easily be mounted on aluminum extrusions, such as ClassicMODUL. Suddenly, aluminum extrusion systems, which had been step-children in the exhibit industry, were transformed from ugly duckling rentals into an hybrid exhibit swans. Bid, bold, and colorful exhibits with tension fabric graphics became the norm from 10′ x 10′ portable displays, like Perfect 10,  to 20′ x 20′ islands, like Visionary Designs. It was the classic chicken and egg scenario. Dye-sublimation fabrics made hybrid exhibits possible and hybrid exhibits made fabric graphics wildly popular.

Dye sublimation, also known as dye-sub, is an interesting process. Initially, a print-on-paper is produced in a mirror image. This image is one you don’t want to judge too quickly because the paper print looks awful. The colors are terribly dull and not crisp or sharp at all. Once it is on paper, it is then run through the sublimation press. The sublimation press takes the paper print and runs it through rollers very close to the transfer fabric. The paper along with the fabric passes at a very slow speed and a very hot temperature. As they pass close to one another, the “solid” ink instantly skips from liquid into a gas and literally impregnates or dyes the fabric. The vivid color jumps to life like the old Clorox commercial and the print now resembles Lambda printing on cloth.


“New and Improved” ClassicMODUL Website

May 6th, 2009 COMMENTS
New and Improved ClassicMODUL Website

New and Improved ClassicMODUL Website

If you have ever created or revised a website, you know how stressful, painful, and expensive the process can be. Just gathering all the necessary data and storyboarding the pages can be overwhelming. Thank goodness, I’m not a programmer. Or a graphic designer. Or a project manager. They do all the work. I have the luxury of brainstorming and tossing out ideas and then moving far, far away while the messy stuff happens. But when it all comes together, it’s magic.

Introducing the “New and Improved” ClassicMODUL website ( I’ll review the changes in just a second, but I should explain what is “ClassicMODUL” for anyone unfamiliar with this division of Classic Exhibits Inc. ClassicMODUL supplies aluminum extrusions and accessories to the trade show, retail, and museum trade. The distinction between Classic Exhibits and ClassicMODUL is a matter of degree. Classic Exhibits designs and builds trade show and event displays, complete with design support, setup drawings, custom packaging, and graphic specs. ClassicMODUL can supply all those, on an ala carte basis, but more often ClassicMODUL supplies cut extrusion, locks, and accessories to customers from CAD drawings or item lists.  Classic Exhibits works exclusively with trade show distributors. ClassicMODUL works with architectural firms, museum designers, retail designers, custom houses, and trade show distributors. If you explore the two websites for even a minute, the distinction is obvious.

Improvements to the ClassicMODUL website:

  1. By far, the BIG BIG BIG improvement is to the “Our Line” section. There are now detail drawings of every extrusion and accessory. The products are organized into categories, and you can download DXF files for each one. In addition, there is a new search tool so you can find exactly the item you want in a flash. There are several other upgrades in the “Our Line” section which I encourage you to review.
  2. We reformatted the Request a Catalog page, the Tech Specs page, and the About Us page. These pages are now much easier to navigate.
  3. We added a video which shows the MODUL island exhibit at EuroShop 2008. It’s an informative video, about three minutes long, showing the design capabilities of the MODUL extrusion system.

Finally, I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who worked so hard on these website improvements. To Tom Jones and Lee Tillman at ClassicMODUL for reviewing the database and your additions. To Flying High Creative Resources for pulling together and organizing all the information and for project managing everything. To Netra for your exceptional programming expertise and creative problem solving. It takes a team — an exceptionally talented team. Thank you!

–Mel White

p.s. What are you waiting for? Another pat on the back. It’s time to start the next project. Chop! Chop!