Trade Show TalesBlog

Archive for December, 2009

15 Notable Exhibit Projects in 2009

December 28th, 2009 COMMENTS
2009 Notable Exhibit Projects

2009 Notable Exhibit Projects

We may be jumping the gun a bit, since it’s still early December, but we thought we’d review the Top 15 Notable Exhibit Projects in 2009. How do we define “notable?” To be honest, it’s a little arbitrary (actually it’s probably a lot arbitrary). After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, we relied on the following criteria to guide us as we made our selection:

  • Overall Creativity
  • Representative Design Trends
  • Graphic Treatment
  • Customization 

If you don’t see your notable project on the list, chances are it just missed the cut or it shipped from Classic without graphics. We decided to exclude counters and workstations from the list — not because there weren’t any creative designs but because there were so many. Nearly every day we shipped standard or customized counters, pedestals, and workstations.

The following, although listed numerically, are in no particular ranking. 

TOP 15 (drum roll please)

  1. Watchguard — (04/13 and 04/14):  Visionary Designs 10′ x 20′ with LED header lights and MOD-1219 Counter. Re-configures into a 20′ x 20′ Island.
  2. Odyssey — (08/26): This is actually a ClassicMODUL project (but let’s not quibble). Hybrid 20′ x 40′ island with showcases and multiple conference rooms.
  3. SpaBooker — (10/06): Custom Perfect 20 Portable Hybrid Display with 2-sided projector screen.
  4. Boston Scientific — (06/10):  Fun project. All wood custom exhibit with fully assembled counters. Eight lightboxes were mounted above the counters along the backwall.
  5. Cumberland — (11/13): Euro LT 10′ x 20′ Custom Modular Exhibit. There are photos showing it at our facility and at the show with graphics. Excellent example of a modular laminate display and custom LTK-1001 (modified) tapered counters.
  6. ESPN — (10/21): This may seem a little puzzling until you watch Monday Night Football. This is the powder- coated blue aluminum frame for the on-field desk. The custom house that ordered the frame completed the build.
  7. Arizona State — (05/21): We love a challenge. We built this using Aero Overhead aluminum tubing. Optima Graphics printed and fitted the graphics to the frame.
  8. Marine Stewardship — (02/26): Visionary Designs 10′ x 10′ Hybrid Exhibit. A Classic distributor sent us the design. We engineered and built it according to their specifications. There was even a complementary table top display.
  9. Verizon — (09/21): Visionary Designs Modified VK-2044 Hybrid Exhibit. There have been many VK-2044 (iPhone) designs built this year, and this is an excellent example of how this very popular design changes to accommodate any company’s marketing goals.  
  10. Viatech — (01/27): We liked this Perfect 20 Portable Hybrid Display so much that it became a kit. See VK-1803 for the kit version.
  11. Guidance Software — (02/03): Like the VK-2044, the Visionary Designs VK-1032 Hybrid Display has been a monster hit all year. It’s got it all — large monitor mount, counter, brochure holders, large tension fabric graphics, and sexy header.
  12. Geico — (07/27): New kits rarely remain constant for long. This is a customized Magellan Miracle VK-1063 with a practical modification of a Perfect 10 VK-1602 counter.
  13. Engility — (09/01): Without a doubt, the Perfect 10 VK-1501 Hybrid Display was a popular choice all year. We could have chosen several to represent this kit, but the graphics on this one made it our first choice.
  14. BriteCore — (09/08): Euro LT Custom Modular LTK-5207 Modified Exhibit. Very elegant 10′ x 20′ inline.
  15. ConnectiMED — (11/23): Magellan MOR VK-1077 Hybrid 10′ x 10′ with a modified MOD-1235 Workstation. Upscale and inexpensive.

Classic Exhibits Displays in 2009

We would enjoy hearing your comments on these projects. Are you seeing any design trends in your market for 2010? Please share.

–Mel White
Classic Exhibits Network (LinkedIn)

10 Notable Exhibit Rental Projects in 2009

December 28th, 2009 COMMENTS
2009 Notable Rental Projects

2009 Notable Rental Projects

Last week, we shared 15 Notable Exhibit Projects in 2009. This week we turn to rentals. We have chosen to highlight Ten Rental Exhibits for 2009.  The rentals range from Canaccord’s corporate meeting in Las Vegas with a variety of exhibit sizes and configurations to a 30’ x 40’ double deck for Griffin at Macworld. These examples are just a small selection of displays available from our Classic Exhibits Distributor Rental Program. 

The following, although listed numerically, are in no particular ranking. 

TOP 10 (click on the BOLD links):

  1. Griffin  — (01/09):  30’ x 40’ double deck island exhibit with meeting rooms on lower and upper level, display cases, storage rooms with locking doors, large Aero tension fabric graphic structures.
  2. Dummies – (01/12):   20’ x 40’ island exhibit with 16’ high graphic towers, semi-private conference room, storage room with locking door, product shelves, workstations.
  3. E-Trade — 20’ x 30’ (11/05):   Peninsula with 20’ backwall, large storage room with (2) locking doors, (3) kiosks, (2) lounge lighting structure with pendant lights, customized coffee tables.
  4. Canaccord  — (12/04):  Pavilion with multiple 10’ exhibits, arch-shape canopies with black covers, Sintra accent wings, tapered counter workstations, 16’ high exhibits, kiosks.
  5. USA Funds  (06/25):   20’ x 20’ island with 16’ extrusion structure, tension fabric beaded-installed graphics, storage room with locking door, curved extrusion header, curved counter.
  6. Griffin – (06/15):   20’ x 40’ island with large conference rooms, 12’ high graphic tower.
  7. UK – (09/25):   20’ x 30’ extrusion structure with workstations, Sintra graphic infills, halogen lighting.
  8. Yokohama – (05/04):   20’ x 20’ island with 14’ high and 12’ high graphic towers, storage room with locking door semi-private conference area, workstations and reception counter.
  9. DiaDent – (08/31):   10’ x 20’ inline with arch-shape canopy, tension fabric graphics, product display cases, reception counters, halogen lights.
  10. Nasdaq – (11/26):   10’ x 20’ (Not in P-5-D) extrusion backwall, tension fabric beaded-installed graphics, curved bridged headers, kiosk workstations, halogen lights.

As you can see in these examples . . . rentals don’t have to look like rentals anymore.  We’re always adding new components to our rental inventory, and we’ll work with you on a design solution for your client’s next trade show. 

Give me a call anytime with questions you may have, and let’s work together to come up with something that will work perfectly for your next rental project!

–Jim Shelman

Word on the Street — December 21st thru December 25th

December 27th, 2009 3 COMMENTS
Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Sorry to Ask, But What Is It That You Do? 

It’s the number one question I find myself answering or explaining, especially this time of year.

During the holiday season, family functions with extended family and holiday parties with friends and “friends of friends” tend to rule the calendar. All of which are fun and provide great opportunities to touch base with those who you may only see once or twice a year. These gatherings always leave me chuckling a little, because inevitably I find myself answering a variation of the same question . . . “Uhmm, sorry to ask, but what is it  that you do? I know you’ve told me before but . . . .”

Over the years, I have learned that the question can only be answered if you know the perspective of the person asking the question. For example, with third cousin Carl, a trainer of champion show toy poodles, the response is something like, “I work for a company that manufactures the exhibits that the 4H Club uses at the state fair. You know the little fold out thingy that you set behind them. Done . . . he understands.

Or, when Aunt Sally’s sister-in-law (from her husband’s side) Francine, a computer programmer asks, the response is “You know what CES and Macworld are, right? We build those sorts of exhibits.” Done . . . she understands.

But the one thing that never changes and always surprises me a bit is the overwhelming number of times I hear in return, “Oh! I never knew there was a industry like that.” Like the shows just happen on their own. Or as if every company builds their own exhibit.

The truth is that while we, as an industry of Exhibit Designers and Producers, are a small group by comparison, we service virtually ever segment of the economy. But try explaining that to Uncle Ned! Who once again blessed us with his “Special Fruitcake” . . . the fruitcake that NEVER gets eaten, not even OPENED to be exact. Why you ask? Let’s just say that Ned dabbled extensively in psychedelics in his past. So as a family, we’ve never really gotten to the point where we trust what might be in his “Special Fruitcake.” 🙂

How do you explain to relatives, friends, and strangers what you do for a living?

Have a safe and restful weekend!

–Kevin Carty

Word on the Street — December 14th thru December 18th

December 20th, 2009 COMMENTS
Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

My Glass is Rarely Half Full

Those of you who know me well, know that I am often overly optimistic. My glass is rarely half full. Rather, it’s often overflowing from trying to get a gallon of 2% milk into a juice tumbler.

Every year at this time, we all get either a huge rush of speculative business, or we find ourselves calling the phone company “just to make sure” our lines are still working because the phones are not ringing.

This December has been quite different. The phones are certainly NOT ringing off the hook, but they are steady. More importantly, they are for very real projects. In past years, we would get calls for a 20′ x 30′ with a $75k budget . . . if we can build in 5 days. Or my personal favorite, “I have this project that just landed on my desk that is ours. I just need to have the pricing in two hours.” It’s then we realize that three of our PM’s have been quoting the same project to three other customers as well.

I am not trying to sound to snide. Just the opposite. This December has just been a pleasant surprise. We’re seeing projects where customers are being proactive and spending quality time planning for Q1 of 2010. Granted the designs and scope of the projects are certainly not as grand as they were in 2006-2008, but they do have substance and you can tell there has been a lot of thought and care inserted into the process. All of which demonstrates great potential signs for business as a whole.

Here are some great examples of current projects:

  • A 170 Unit Table Top Order. The client ordered four-panel Intro Folding Fabric Panel Table Tops with graphics and table throws. Surprised? Don’t be! We still sell quite a lot of the Intro product line.
  • A Bank Interior Project. The project will utilize MODUL extrusion and SEG graphics in a unique fashion.
  • A Beautiful 20 x 30 Island. The island consists of ClassicMODUL extrusion, Euro LT Custom Modular panels, raised flooring, and large Aero Overhead Hanging Signs for a Medical Tech company that is launching a new product at an early March Show.

Those are just some highlights along with the normal workflow of 10′ x 10′ and 10′ x 20′ Hybrid Systems and Quadro Pop Ups going through production everyday.

Cautiously, I have begun filling my milk glass for 2010. While it’s nearing the brim, it’s not overflowing just yet. 🙂

How about you? Is what we are seeing sound familiar? Tell me what your December has been like.

Oh yes, one last item . . . . On Friday, you received an email from Classic with the subject line:  Our Gift to You this Holiday Season. I encourage you to consider this showroom offer for several reasons. First, it’s an unbelievable deal on a two-sided backlit lightbox tower (MOD-1259). Second, it demonstrates Silicone Edge Graphics to your team and to your customer. You’ll be seeing a lot more SEG graphics throughout the year. And third, it’s a really cool example of backlit tension fabric graphics.

Have a safe and restful weekend!

–Kevin Carty

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

December 13th, 2009 COMMENTS
Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Planning for 2010

This past week was very busy at Classic Exhibits, not only in sales and manufacturing where we saw a spike in orders, but also in administration where we devoted three full days to setting goals for 2010 and planning how to achieve them. Every year at this time, we review our successes and failures during the current year and chart our sales, marketing, production, administration, and personnel goals for the next full calendar year.

In 2009, we saw some great successes as well as some failures. In spite of the challenges of 2009, the past year gave us a clear plan of action for 2010 and beyond. Our distributors, both portable/modular and custom, are looking to Classic for “Systems” solutions because their clients are asking them for cost-effective but customizable, displays. They want unique looks and practical solutions without paying the price for either uniqueness or practicality. Exactly what do I mean by “Systems?” In inlines, I am purely referring to Hybrid Exhibits and options. And from an island standpoint, I am also referring to Hybrid Exhibits as well, but ones that can reconfigure and/or grow at a moments notice at little or no expense.

Looking forward to 2010, we realize that training is something that is greatly needed as well . . . and not your typical Distributor Training. Rather, a “program” of training sessions that people can pick and choose from and then attend. We are planning these sessions via GoToMeeting, or a similar service, every month throughout 2010.

This does not mean that you will not see our faces as well. Our travel schedule will be significant in 2010. Rather, online meetings provide us with the opportunity to have more touches together, without trying to coordinate multiple meetings in one city at the same time.

The highlight of the week (if not the year) was the Annual Classic Exhibits Holiday Party on Friday night. The annual party includes the families from all four Classic Exhibits divisions: Classic Exhibits, Exhibits NW Portland, Exhibits NW Seattle, and ClassicMODUL. What a fun night to see all the little ones running around, playing, and anticipating the visit from Santa. This year did not disappoint, as Santa arrived on schedule with gifts. Please keep your eyes out for photos from the function on P5D this week, including Mel with reindeer horns (Santa’s forgotten reindeer and for good reason).

Expect our Annual State of the Company letter in the next two weeks. As always, it will be a comprehensive overview of the previous year and a roadmap of Classic’s plans for 2010.

Finally, you will receive a Very Special E-broadcast this week with our Annual Gift to You. Here’s a little hint:  What’s shiny and bright and lightweight and the perfect demo display for the new Segue line?

Be well! Have a safe and restful weekend!

–Kevin Carty