Trade Show TalesBlog

Archive for August 7th, 2009

Word on the Street — August 3rd thru August 7th

August 7th, 2009 COMMENTS
Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

The Evolution of Design Search

Most of you have had some experience with Classic Exhibits’ Design Search. Design Search has proven to be one of the most powerful tools on the web to explore displays, exhibit photos, and trade show tips.

The idea, originally, was simple. Create a tool where a distributor or end user could search a database of exhibit designs by size, price, and keyword. But like all good ideas, it quickly morphed into much, much more.

We realized that this would be a valuable tool on the Classic site, but very quickly recognized that it could also be a valuable tool on any Distributor’s website. We could brand it so it matched their website graphics and retained their navigation — All for only $300!!

Over the past two and a half years, over 90 Distributors have added Design Search, automatically giving them access to 21 product galleries, a searchable database of both renderings and photos, rental options as well as distributor specific communication tools like Design Request, Send Me More Information, and the ability to email specific designs directly from Design Search to clients.

Again . . . all for $300!

Over the past few months, we have added new features that make Design Search even better!

Design Search Galleries

Design Search Galleries

We added Product Galleries for several Optima Graphics products and Eco-systems Sustainable Exhibits designs. These additions give Design Search even more product depth! We also added a Top 12 Slideshow button to the Home Page which shows the Top 12 most popular designs within Design Search.

Have a client with either a “Quick Ship” or “Tight Budget”? You can easily click to either Quick Ship displays or Quarterly Specials and find just what you need.

As you can probably tell, we are very proud of Design Search. If you do not have Design Search on your website, you may want to consider it. Once it’s in place, we handle all the maintenance by updating it with new designs, adding new features, and constantly tweaking the design details, graphic dims, and setup instructions. We do this all behind the scenes so you don’t have to.

Concerned with SEO and Web Optimization for your website? Design Search is highly optimized with the latest technology and focused on keywords to help your listing on Google. 

Check it out and let us know what you think. If you are interested in adding Design Search to you website, feel free to contact Mel White at for more information.

Have a great and restful weekend

Be Well!

–Kevin Carty

What You Should Know about Exhibit Budgeting

August 7th, 2009 COMMENTS
  • How to differentiate between normal marketing expenses and exhibit marketing expenses
  • The exhibit is the largest initial expense, but your ongoing exhibit marketing will easily surpass that initial cost 
  • Create a budget and maintain an accurate Return on Investment (ROI) on your exhibit marketing
  • Include the Exhibit Costs, Onsite Expenses, and Show Services when developing your budget

An Accurate Exhibit Budget

Companies should define a workable exhibit marketing budget, one that includes all related costs. However, the line between marketing expenses and exhibit marketing expenses can be somewhat fuzzy. You will want to create a well-defined budget that separates them.  

The exhibit is typically the largest initial expense. However, over time, the cost of using the exhibit will easily surpass the initial cost of the exhibit, often significantly. When constructing a budget, evaluate your ability to maintain the expense year after year. Weigh the repercussions of scaling back. In some industries, scaling back can be more damaging than never exhibiting in the first place.  

Creating an Exhibit Budget

Creating a budget allows you to figure an accurate ROI. You should account for pre- and post-show marketing, travel costs, lodging, and entertainment. You’ll need to factor in freight, drayage, show labor, carpeting, and electricity expenses. These can be significant expenses. Most I&D companies will estimate the labor time from a faxed set-up drawing. Most freight companies can estimate the shipping charges based on dimensions and weight provided by the exhibit seller. You should also factor in minor repairs due to freight damage or repeated set-up. Generally, common sense will determine if the exhibit packing is sufficiently for repetitive use, the vibration of the road, and the pounding of the forklift during freight handling.  

Don’t forget to factor in the usable life of your exhibit and assign a cost to each show. On average, an exhibit is effective for three years. Any longer and the exhibit may be dated or worn. Any earlier and the marketing value is not realized. (more…)