Trade Show TalesBlog

Archive for October 16th, 2009

Word on the Street — October 12th thru October 16th

October 16th, 2009 COMMENTS
Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Back from Atlanta and Still Scared!

Well, I don’t know about you, but this has been a very long week. That’s not to say it’s been a “bad” week, just long. Whenever airplanes, airports, and airlines are involved . . . . 

I was in Atlanta for much of the week. On Monday, I participated in the Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic. What a great event as always, and kudos to Rich Johnson, Jim Wurm, and Ted Petersen and their whole team for putting on another successful and fun event.

Tuesday and Wednesday were reserved for Classic and ClassicMODUL sales calls. These calls reinforced my feeling that the economy is gradually improving. Everyone’s attitude was more positive, and distributors were actively seeking and building alternate streams of revenue within the industry. Unlike the last industry downturn after 9/11, when industry relationships fragmented, I’m seeing just the opposite this time. Suppliers and distributors are looking for long-term partnerships. I’m not sure I completely understand why, but I have to believe that we’re all making bets, bets based on the viability, stability, and success of our partners. We all want to hitch our wagons (and our future) to winners as business improves.

Thanks to everyone I saw on this trip. As always, I really appreciate your time and feedback.


Now for the weird highlight on this trip. On Tuesday night, several of us had dinner with Kim, a customer and friend from the Atlanta area. After dinner, she decided we should go to to a haunted house. We were skeptical . . . It’s not exactly what you picture doing on a business trip. Right!?!? Well, we’re good sports so we went.

Let me tell you about this place called the Netherworld. It is a production that Hollywood would be proud of, if not envious — everything from people flying at you from 10 ft in the air, to characters  jumping out from seemingly nowhere, to subway trains almost slamming into you. All in all, it took about 30 minutes to walk through the entire attraction.

I love haunted houses and scary movies, if they are truly scary! This was! I literally screamed like a little girl for most of those 30 minutes, and most of the time I found myself using Kim or Reid as my human shield.  I jumped so many times that I was actually sore the next day. It felt like I had run 5 miles the night before.

Little things like that can really make a business trip. It’s a nice unexpected break from the normal routine, and this was one of those unexpected events that I will remember for a long, long time.

How about you? Are there things or events that you have done on past trips to break up the norm? Please share some of your best travelling experiences below.

If you are lucky enough to find yourself in the Atlanta area over the next two weeks, make sure you take I-85 to the Jimmy Carter Blvd. exit and check out Netherworld! You won’t regret it. When you’re done, you’ll know why it’s rated the #1 Haunted House in America.

Have a safe and restful weekend.

Be Well!

–Kevin Carty

10 Things Classic Exhibits Probably Shouldn’t Tell You — #9

October 16th, 2009 COMMENTS
The Power of Ocho

The Power of Ocho

For the next two weeks, we’ll share 10 Things We Probably Shouldn’t — one each day. Actually one, plus another one.  Enjoy!

#9. We have an amazing Accounting Department that’s small but efficient. It handles Accounting, Human Resources, and Purchasing at Classic Exhibits (manufacturing) and coordinates all financials for the other two divisions. In 2008, our Accounting Manager, Beth, was on medical leave for much of the year. Although she worked far more than she should have, there were times when she was unable to work for a week or two and other times when she would be at Classic for just a couple of days. However, if you didn’t know that, then you wouldn’t have known anything was different. Beth and her team kept the department running flawlessly by prioritizing tasks, working smarter, and streamlining established procedures.

Plus 1. For eight years, the PA speaker in the Setup Area has broadcast a local Spanish radio station 24/7. That’s not intentional. We’ve attempted to fix it, unsuccessfully, multiple times. We’ve brought in electricians, who have examined it only to conclude that our only option is to disconnect the wiring. Well, that’s not an option since we rely on the PA system throughout the day. Last week, Vitaliy, our Setup Lead, said to Mel, “Ocho, ocho, ocho! Why do they keep saying ‘ocho’?” We feel for Vitaliy, we really do, but you would think after eight years of listening to Spanish radio that he would know that ocho means “eight.” You gotta love the irony.

Scroll down to see entries #1 – #8.