Trade Show TalesBlog

Word on the Street — January 18th thru January 22nd

January 24th, 2010 2 COMMENTS
Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously!

Those who know me, know that I don’t take myself too seriously. The same can be said about Classic Exhibits. Just look at our recent contestFind Reid’s Head.” Clearly, we are laughing at ourselves while making a point about Exhibit Design Search. And it’s not just about picking on Reid. 🙂 While he’s a great sport about these sorts of things, so are the rest of us. Need I remind you of the AeroMan campaign several years ago. You remember, the one where I was portrayed as a cartoon superhero — Defender of Hanging Signs and Lightweight Tabletops. Sheesh!

(Still looking for Reid’s Head in Exhibit Design Search? There’s a hint in the first paragraph.)

That said, you also know we are very serious about what we do. We take our responsibility as a designer, builder, and marketer of portable, modular, and hybrid exhibits very seriously. We are dedicated to you and to your customers. But balance, just as in our personal lives, is the key to a successful work life. After all, we spend at least one-third of our lives at work or working, another third sleeping, and the remainder doing what we love in our personal lives. So our attitude, which is probably no different than yours, is that we might as well have fun when we’re at work.

AeroMan -- Defender of Hanging Signs

AeroMan -- Defender of Hanging Signs

Personally and professionally, I have no desire to be a stiff. Sorry, but that’s how I would characterize it. If I am going to spend 50-60 hours a week working, then I am going to have fun and enjoy what I do. Too many companies in this business see themselves as “corporate.”  They may have a party once a year, but otherwise they are paragons of control, aloofness, and authority. When they speak, you listen . . . silently. Laughter, silliness, and parody are not part of their Corporate Culture — especially when it comes to their interaction with distributors.

We believe that our relationship should be based on Who We Are. Does that mean that we sometimes “cross the line”? Sometimes. But it’s a risk that applies to everything we do. Without that willingness to “cross the line” there wouldn’t be Perfect 10, Magellan, Sacagawea, or the countless other designs that have defined Classic in recent years. Without that willingness to expose ourselves, there wouldn’t be Past Five Days, Exhibit Design Search, Design Monday, and the Trade Show Tales blog.

I take a lot of pride in what we do, and I often hear you comment about how easy it is to work with Classic. You tell us “we’re flexible, we’re accommodating, we’re receptive. That tells me we’re not a bunch of stiffs. It also tells me that we see each request as a chance to solve your unique display challenge and not force it into a neatly defined Classic box. Now I could be wrong here, but I firmly believe that our willingness not to take ourselves too seriously, means in some odd way, that we take your projects very, very seriously. While I don’t expect to see that rule in a Tom Peters’ management book, it works for us.

But that’s just me. What about you?

Please share your comments via the blog comment section and have a safe and restful weekend!

–Kevin Carty

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2 Responses to “Word on the Street — January 18th thru January 22nd”

  1. You’re exactly right, Kevin! In these days of multiple choice … no, make that mega-buffet … of vendors, it’s more important than ever to be three things: Authentic, Approachable & Appreciative. The companies who choose to stick with a stuffy, “our way or the highway” mentality will send customers straight into the open arms of those who are welcoming and genuinely glad to partner with the client. In the same way, exhibitors need to remember this principle on the show floor … if your exhibit doesn’t reflect your company’s personality, you’re going to attract all the wrong prospective clients!

    Marlys Arnold,
    Trade Show Marketing Consultant
    & Author of Build a Better Trade Show Image

  2. AERO MAN WAS YOU!!!!!!!

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