Trade Show TalesBlog

Archive for May, 2010

Word on the Street — May 24th thru May 28th

May 29th, 2010 COMMENTS

Why we participate in the TS2 Show

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Why Does Classic Exhibits Participate in TS2

As I traveled this week, I was asked this question several times. And not for any reason other than people were curious why we participate in TS2, when we already exhibit at EXHIBITOR, EDPA, and HCEA.

Well, there are several reasons . . . .

For starters, as some of you know, I am on the Exhibitor Appointed Committee (EAC) for the TS2 Show and have been for about four years. Classic has been a part of the show since 1994, and we continue to believe the show has value and that the concept should be supported not only by us but by the entire industry.

Over the past few years, the show has hit some speed bumps, but it is recovering. Personally, our experience has always been positive. I can say without any hesitation that TS2 has been a very successful show for us every year. One reason — we are a big fish in a small pond at TS2. For reasons that make very little sense to us, very few portable/modular/hybrid manufacturers exhibit, so we end up with the majority of those leads. That means less competition on the floor and better yet, virtually no competition when Classic distributors follow up on the leads. Fortunately, end-user attendance has been solid every year.

Secondly, more so than EXHIBITOR, TS2 is our opportunity to connect with many of the Custom Houses that represent Classic Exhibits and ClassicMODUL. Why TS2 more than at EXHIBITOR? Location. Historically, the show has been in DC, Philly, Chicago, and now Boston. Locations rich with Custom Builders that use Classic Exhibits for their smaller system needs as well as ClassicMODUL for their aluminum extrusion builds.

If you are considering attending, we have free passes to the show this year. Just click on this link to download an application. The pass gets you into the exhibit hall, the block party, and the mixer.

At TS2, we will have an exciting 20′ x 20′ that will show lots of large fabric graphics using the new TSP aluminum extrusion profiles that accept Silicone Edge Graphics (SEG). Its a really beautiful design in my opinion.

Lastly, let me say that as the TS2 EAC Committee Chair, I and the rest of the EAC members are working diligently with Show Management to restore the show to the position where it truly was “The Tradeshow for Tradeshows!”

I look forward to seeing you in Boston from July 13-15. If you would like one-on-one meetings with Mel White, Reid Sherwood, Jim Shelman, or me, please let us know soon. We are scheduling appointments, and available time slots tend to fill fast.

Hope you all have (had) a great Memorial Day weekend.

–Kevin Carty

Shooting from the Hip — 5.10 (My Favorites)

May 27th, 2010 1 COMMENT

Shooting from the Hip (trade show tips)

Shooting from the Hip by Reid Sherwood

Dining and Drink Favorites

Writing has never been my strongest point. Talking may be another story. But when Mel asked me to write this blog every week, I decided to be a team player and go along with it. So, in an effort to be different, I was asked to write about whatever was on my mind.

This week is moving week for the Sherwood family — out of the lake cottage that was so good to us after the 2009 fire and into a house with some acreage. I like the idea of space and room again.

This week’s posting is going to be a bit Seinfeld-like. After 11 years of traveling almost 30 weeks a year, I am officially qualified to list some of my favorites. And the “why’s.”

For the sake of brevity, let’s keep this about food and drink. That way we have hotels, cities, and all the other travel stuff for another blog.

My Faves:

Best SteakManny’s Steakhouse in Minneapolis. There are a lot of great ones. NONE are any better than this one. Literally the filet mignon is incredible. Always on the list of the Top 10 steakhouses — this is worth the flight.

Best Martini Red Square in the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas — on the ice bar using only premium ZRY vodka with a twist of lemon. So cold . . . so refreshing.

Best Appetizer Bistro Romano Philly – Smoked mozzarella and tomato on garlic toast. Fantastic!

Overall Meal Indebleu in Washington, DC. It is where India and France collide. The strangest combinations of food I have ever had. They were closed for remodeling last time I was in town and still are according to their website. It was cool enough that I took Harold Mintz there. And he lived in DC at the time.

Best Beer – I am deferring to Kevin on this because the last beer I drank from top to bottom was during the Carter Administration. But after EuroShop 2008, it has to be Frankenheim Alt in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Best ViewLas Brisas in Laguna Beach, CA. Sitting on the deck staring at the ocean 50 feet away is just something that has to be seen.

Best DiveSpondivits Steak and Seafood in Atlanta. You feel like you are in a bar somewhere on the Florida Alabama coastline. Great sandwiches, great service, and always a guy playing Jimmy Buffett songs.

Best Bar – There are so many to choose from, but I have always been partial to Captain Tony’s Saloon in Key West. It was Hemingway’s favorite, as well as Jimmy Buffett, Ray Montague and mine. 3 out of 4 ain’t bad.

Just a Great PlaceOlive or Twist in Pittsburgh, PA. Not only does it have a killer martini, its also about the coolest place I have ever dined or drank.

Best Exhibit Enough said.

Until next week . . .

–Reid Sherwood

Word on the Street — May 17th thru May 21st

May 23rd, 2010 1 COMMENT

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

April Showers Bring May Flowers . . .

While it’s certainly true for those of us living in the rainy Pacific NW, in this case I’m speaking metaphorically.

This past week has been crazy good at Classic Exhibits and ClassicMODUL. Crazy with new orders and new design requests. For everyone who has been in the business for any length of time, you know just how odd that is. Historically, about the second week of May, we go from “go-go” to “no-go” as we head into the summer season. NOT this year!

The last two weeks of April were abnormally busy in our Design Department. We took notice of it but were unsure if the designs were spec designs or just folks planning for the late summer or spring. Well, we got our answer the first week of May when we found ourselves very busy turning those designs into orders. And that continues still!

April Showers at Classic Exhibits

April Showers / May Flowers

The truly interesting part is that it is not just standard 10 x 10 and 10 x 20 inline kits, which you might be assuming. Rather, it’s a  mixture of custom inlines from Visionary Designs, Euro LT Custom Modular, and even islands.

And it appears to be the same for ClassicMODUL. We have seen an influx of metal orders for significant island and inline projects.

As someone who believes in jinxes, I hesitate to say this, but May 2010 will be the largest May in Classic Exhibits’ history. Which still seems so crazy to me, particularly as I look ahead at the next three weeks and see a full schedule for early June as well.

So thanks are in order. THANKS to you all. We certainly appreciate it and hope that we are serving you well. And thanks to the Classic team for rising to the challenge. How is it going for you all? Are you seeing the same uptick in spring sales?

Be well and have a safe and restful weekend.

–Kevin Carty

Shooting from the Hip — 4.10 (Traveling in Ohio)

May 21st, 2010 1 COMMENT
Shooting from the Hip (trade show tips)

Shooting from the Hip

Well, this week has been a whirlwind of travel and appointments with some fun scattered in. I toured Ohio all week: from Michigan to Cincinnati (Jimmy Buffett Concert), north to Dayton, over to Columbus, then Cleveland, Akron, and Canton. About 1300 total miles were driven.

I almost always travel alone. On a rare occasion, Kevin (Carty) or Dave Brown or Gina Porcaro (both from Optima Graphics) will travel with me for a specific customer event, but that is pretty rare. It just so happened that my wife was able to go with me on this trip. I am not sure she will want to go again. We did see the concert, which is always a good time, but I think she now understands that business travel isn’t leisure travel. Business travel isn’t about sightseeing. It’s a lot of packing up and moving to the next city.  Dragging everything in, setting up, and then getting it all ready to pack and leave the next morning. I am not complaining, but I hope you know this isn’t all entertainment and room service.

I want to take an opportunity to thank Vinnie Papa from Ohio Displays for taking me to the Winking Lizard in Cleveland for lunch last week.  What a cool place. Not only did he pick a cool spot, but then he (the customer) bought me (the vendor) lunch. Jim Hoffmann always says the vendor pays, but that didn’t apply this time. Sweet!

May’s business climate is certainly better than the 55 degrees and rain in NW Michigan. Classic Exhibits and ClassicMODUL are on track to have a solid May. Let’s just hope it continues until September when the typical busy season starts again. As always, thank you for your business and many thanks to all the folks I saw during my trip last week. You’re the best!

Until next week . . .

–Reid Sherwood

What’s a Segue Hybrid Display?

May 17th, 2010 COMMENTS
Classic Exhibits VK-1309 Hybrid Display

Segue VK-1309 Hybrid Display

You may have noticed references to Segue over the past three or four months. So, what’s a Segue?

Segue is a new hybrid design line from Classic Exhibits. What makes Segue different from other lines, such as Perfect 10, Sacagawea, and Magellan, is that Segue incorporates Silicone Edge Graphics (SEG) and MODUL TSP aluminum extrusion profiles.

SEG is a high-resolution dye-sublimated fabric graphic finished with a thin silicone strip (or welt/gasket). The silicone strip is sewn directly to the edge of the graphic, and the strip is then inserted into an aluminum frame with a recessed groove.

At this point, Segue Display designs are a work in progress, meaning that we have yet to separate them into a district product line on the Classic website. Instead, you’ll find them within Visionary Designs and 3D Banner Stands. As we design more SEG/Segue kits, we’ll segment (no pun intended) them into their own galley within Exhibit Design Search.

We believe that SEG, which has been popular in Europe for several years, will capture a larger share of the graphics market, and we want you (and Classic) to be ready. Expect to see more Segue designs over the next six months. For now, click on the links and images below to see recent Segue Hybrid Designs from Classic.

VK-1309 | VK-1314 | VK-2306 | VK-2302 | DM-0621 |

MOD-1259 | DM-0636 | DM-0634 | DM-0588 | DM-0580 |

Segue (Silicone Edge Graphics) Hybrid Display from Classic Exhibits

For more a more detailed explanation about Silicone Edge Graphics, please download the SEG FAQ sheet.

–Mel White
Classic Exhibits Network (LinkedIn)