Trade Show TalesBlog

Archive for September, 2009

Word on the Street — September 7th thru September 11th

September 11th, 2009 1 COMMENT
Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Ever Wonder What a Classic Project Manager Does?

I’m traveling for business this week. During several of my meetings, I discovered that not everyone knows what a Classic Project Manager does. That surprised me because our Project Managers are critical to how your quotes, your orders, and even your basic product questions are handled. They are your “eyes” and “ears” at Classic Exhibits. They are your advocate, not only in Customer Service but also when your order goes to our Production Manager and our Production team.  

So . . . what does a PM do? In short – a lot! There’s a reason why PM’s at Classic seem to know the details of every display system and the nuances of your quote or order.

A Classic PM is the voice of Classic everyday. They are the ones you rely on for quotes, answers to questions, and guidance on prospective projects.

But their talents, and work, really kick in once you place an order. (more…)

Word on the Street — August 31st thru September 4th

September 4th, 2009 10 COMMENTS
Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Exhibitors are from Mars . . . Show Services are from Venus

As we all know, the current economic situation in the US and around the world has been the primary focus in the news over the past year. Is it an economic downturn? I don’t care what economists want to label it . . . It’s a freaking recession folks! Whether you want to blame the new guy or the old guy or just some guy named “Guy,” we are in it together. Or are we?

Over the past couple of years, whether it’s because of the sustainable green exhibit movement, the economy, or whatever, as an industry we have embraced new products and processes that have resulted in cost savings for our clients. We started using more LED technology which cuts down on the electrical bill at the show. We have adopted different packaging methods, such as single shippers, that allow you to send components more “pre”-assembled for faster setup and tear down and thus a lower labor bill. And we have incorporated new lightweight materials and exhibit options which have lowered freight and drayage bills.

These are all changes that Custom Exhibit Builders, Portable, Modular, and Custom-Hybrid Display Builders, and certainly our customers have adopted happily.

This week, while assisting on several new projects leaving for shows, I was reminded that we do not all share the same goals for the trade show industry. It’s pretty clear that improving the trade show experience is not as high a priority for some as it is for others.

The Most Glaring Examples are Things like These . . .


Tips for a Successful Business Trip

September 3rd, 2009 2 COMMENTS
Tips for a Successful Business Trip

Reid Sherwood, National Sales Manager

Starting in 2000, my primary job has been to travel around the country to meet with potential clients or to work with existing customers. For eight years, I worked for Optima Graphics and for the past year and a half, I have worked for Classic Exhibits/ClassicMODUL. Generally on my trips, I leave either on a Sunday evening or early Monday morning, fly to a city, and visit customers within the area (or within an hour or two of the city). I’ve always tried to schedule a mid-afternoon flight home on Friday so I was back by Friday evening. Ten years later (almost), I am a true road warrior and feel qualified to share these tips for a successful business trip. 

Airlines and Airports. This may sound like a cliché, but the most important thing is a good start. That means NO DELAYS or excessive layovers on the outbound flight. I’ve learned to stick with one airline as my primary carrier. Two million airline miles later, American Airlines is my go-to airline. It’s great for some things . . . horrible for others. They have the best “loyalty” program of the major carriers. You get more miles, more upgrades, and more “favors” than the others. The downside is O’Hare. I’m based in Michigan and fly into O’Hare a lot. No airport in the world is capable of handling the two largest airlines as hubs (American and United). Chicago’s O’Hare is no exception. Weather is only one of the problems. The other is space for all the airplanes. Obviously, you can’t control the weather, the airlines, or mechanical problems. You simply hope for the best and cross your fingers.

Luggage. NOTHING is more frustrating than not having your luggage arrive, especially if you have product samples for your sales calls. I am convinced there is nothing you can do to totally prevent this situation (short of carrying on all your luggage), but there is something you can do to lessening the chances of your luggage getting lost. No matter what — DON’T SWITCH AIRLINES! For instance, don’t fly from Jacksonville, FL to LAX and switch from American Airlines to Delta in Cincinnati. I guarantee that something will happen, and your luggage will NEVER make the transfer. If you have to switch, ALWAYS stay on the same carrier.  All of this is just the pre-cursor to the crux of the trip – visiting your clients or potential clients. (more…)

What You Should Know about Event and Trade Show Etiquette

September 2nd, 2009 4 COMMENTS

Magellan VK-2048 Trade Show Exhibits

  • Booth etiquette refers to the conduct, presentation, and performance of your booth staff
  • An exhibit is a public stage and you are the host—be gracious, be knowledgeable
  • Set clear expectations and measurable goals for your exhibit staff and conduct training
  • Use off hours effectively to help achieve your company’s exhibit marketing objectives
  • Be discrete and professional. You never know who is watching, who is listening

You have worked hard to design the perfect exhibit and the most effective marketing materials, but your performance in the booth—how your staff greets and assists attendees—will determine whether your show is a success. Booth etiquette refers to the conduct, presentation, and performance of your booth staff. The following are commonsense booth etiquette tips.

Booth Etiquette Tips

Make no mistake about it, trade show attendees and your competition are monitoring your behavior. Your exhibit is a public stage, and you are the host. As such, you and your staff must behave with the warmth and graciousness expected of a host. These include: 

  • Humility
  • Active Listening
  • Genuineness
  • Hospitality
  • Graciousness and empathy

Your staff is nice but are they knowledgeable, personable, and presentable? As company representatives, your staff should also demonstrate the following professional characteristics: (more…)