Trade Show TalesBlog

Archive for November, 2011

Eco-Systems Sustainable and Classic Exhibits Partner at Greenbuild Expo

November 28th, 2011 COMMENTS

Demand for Green Exhibit Systems Increases

The October 2011 Greenbuild Conference and Expo in Toronto, Ontario drew over 23,000 attendees. Greenbuild Expo showcases innovative products and services that exemplify how to use “green” to grow businesses. With over 1,700 exhibiting companies at this year’s event, the demand for eco-friendly tradeshow exhibits was higher than ever.

As in past years, Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits and its manufacturing partner Classic Exhibits Inc. played a pivotal role in supplying exhibitors with sustainable exhibit options at Greenbuild.  This year, there were over 30 companies with Eco-systems displays, ranging from 10 x 10 inlines to 20 x 30 islands. Eco-Systems has designed and built displays for Greenbuild exhibitors since 2008.

More and more companies are realizing the benefit of marketing their products and services while incorporating a “green display,” especially at an event such as Greenbuild.

According to Tim Morris, President of Eco-Systems, “The high attendance at Greenbuild Expo demonstrates the increasing demand for green products and services not only in North American but also worldwide. We are excited to offer companies an eco-friendly, high-design option for marketing their products at tradeshows, whether at eco-centric shows such as Greenbuild or at any other show or event.”

Eco-Systems designs exhibits using materials such as bamboo, recycled aluminum extrusion, graphics made from recycled soda bottles, and much more.  These materials form the foundation for displays ranging from banner stands to islands, including eco-friendly hybrid and pop up displays.  The strategic partnership between Eco-Systems and Classic Exhibits allows Eco-Systems to focus on exhibit design and green product research. Classic Exhibits provides the manufacturing expertise at its large manufacturing facility on the West Coast. Classic’s manufacturing efficiencies have been pivotal Eco-Systems’ growth.

“Our partnership with Eco-Systems has been financially beneficial and socially rewarding,” said Mel White, VP of Marketing and Business Development at Classic. “We’ve incorporated green practices throughout our facility, from recycling most materials to purchasing recycled products such as our foam, roto-molded cases, and aluminum extrusion. And in most cases, the recycled products have been less expensive. We are proud to be a strategic and financial partner of Eco-Systems.”

Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits and Classic Exhibits continue to innovate their green display products and manufacturing practices. With the 2012 Greenbuild Conference and Expo in San Francisco, CA, Eco-Systems and Classic Exhibits hope to play a pivotal role in supplying exhibitors with sustainable exhibit options.

Greenbuild International 2011

Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits is the first green-built portable-modular exhibit system in the industry developed with environmentally and socially responsible materials benchmarked to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System of the U.S. Green Building Council.  Eco-Systems Displays are built using a variety of materials derived from recycled content, rapidly renewable materials, and recyclable materials.

Classic Exhibits Inc. – Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. is the leading designer and manufacturer of portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. These solutions include the Perfect 10 Portable Hybrid Displays, Euro LT Custom Modular Exhibits, Magellan Hybrid Displays, Visionary Designs, and Sacagawea Hybrid Displays. Classic Exhibits is a manufacturing partner of Eco-Systems and supplies Eco with aluminum extrusion through its ClassicMODUL division.

The Brand Experience: Word on the Street — Nov. 21st thru Nov. 25th

November 27th, 2011 1 COMMENT
Brand Experience

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Have you ever worked with a client who obsesses about “Brand Experience”? That’s been my week. We just completed a very large retail project for a client whose brand experience is just as important as their products, if not more so.

When I was much younger, I trained and worked for Nordstrom. Nordstrom was obsessed with customer service, and every day was a new lesson in catering to customers and understanding how to anticipate their needs. Did Nordstrom carry superior products? Absolutely! But their brand was (and continues to be) exceptional customer service. You expect that experience when you walk through their doors.

Brand Experience is defined as . . .

Sensations, feelings, cognitions, and behavioral responses evoked by brand-related stimuli that are part of a brand’s design and identity, packaging, communications, and environments. A brands experience scale includes four dimensions: sensory, affective, intellectual, and behavioral. Moreover, brand experience affects consumer satisfaction and loyalty directly and indirectly through brand personality associations.

Nike is another Northwest company that has done far better than most in creating their Brand Experience. When you walk into a Nike Store you feel one or all of the following:

  • How can I live an active lifestyle
  • How can I improve my workout
  • I feel inspired to start exercising
  • I feel like an athlete
  • I want to swing a baseball bat, go for a run, or shoot hoops

Nike has several levels of stores: Nike Town, Nike Outlet Stores, Nike Factory Stores, and of course if you live in the Northwest, the ever-exclusive Nike Employee Store which is invite only.

I appreciate how the Nike stores, and all the Nike retailers, such as Dick’s or Sports Authority, carry the same Brand Experience. It does not matter if you are at the Nike Outlet in Florida, Nike Town on Michigan Avenue, or the Nike department at Dicks Sporting Goods. Their brand, and the way they display it, carries the same message and experience.

Disney is another great example. Whether you are walking into Disneyland or the Disney Store at your mall, you experience the same emotions and thoughts.

  • You feel part of the magic
  • All your senses are stimulated
  • You feel like a child regardless of your age
  • You want to use your imagination
  • You feel warm and safe

Creating a sustained brand experience is tough. It requires vision and discipline. Too often, marketing departments want to chase the latest fad or tamper with the brand to fit a “cool” idea. But, brands and the experience have to evolve as well. Look at Geico. They’ve managed to create multiple identities, riding each one only as long as the idea sparks interest (or no longer fails to annoy).

Other companies have/had a superior brand experience, but that brand experience is dated or dead. Saturn took their experience for granted and it lost its meaning as GM tampered with the product mix and the message. Buick, on the other hand, has been transformed. The codger-mobile, long reserved for grandpa’s, bankers, and southern preachers, has been taken off life support and is now suitable for anyone without a pacemaker or stents.

While I could give examples all day long (Apple, Starbucks, Target), I would like to hear what your favorites are or where you have seen Brand Experiences come to life — the best and worst. Who succeeds . . . Who fails?

Have a wonderful week. I look forward to your comments.

–Kevin Carty

Your EDPA VIP Pass Courtesy of Classic Exhibits Inc.

November 16th, 2011 COMMENTS

Access 2011 in Las Vegas

Be sure to enter the discount code “seVIP11.” Please visit us in the EDPA Product Showcase to see examples of SEG aluminum extrusions and iPad counter solutions. Kevin Carty, Jim Shelman, Reid Sherwood, and Mel White will be attending the event.

Access 2011 VIP Pass from Classic Exhibits Inc.

The “Seek Reid” Promotion Winners

November 15th, 2011 COMMENTS

The Winners of the “Seek Reid” Promotion

Congratulations to the winners of the “Seek Reid” promotion who found our furry friend in Exhibit Design Search at VK-5075, a 20 x 20 island. Their names were chosen randomly from all the correct entries.

  • Gary Camarato, Optima Graphics
  • Chuck Michel, ELITeXPO

Gary and Chuck won Amazon Kindle Fire Tablets. Nice.

EDS Changes and Enhancements:

  • 28 Product Galleries
  • NEW 30 Second Audio Clips
  • Comprehensive links to Renderings, Photos, and Accessories
  • Updated Design Detail Pages
  • Site Specific Email and Design Request Tools
  • Still Only $300

Discover why so many Classic Exhibits Distributors rely on Exhibit Design Search to drive sales. For more information about EDS and how you can add it to your website, contact Mel White, VP of Marketing and Business Development.

May the force be with you . . . .

–Mel White


Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100.

Finish What You Start: Word on the Street — Nov. 7th thru Nov. 11th

November 13th, 2011 COMMENTS
Finish What You Start

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

“Finish What You Start.”

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a chore assigned to us as a child or, or as an adult, a home project we start with good intentions only to let it linger. Your parents and now your spouse is rarely sympathetic. There’s a darn good chance they’ll launch into the “Finish what you start” speech.

Finishing something, all too often, is a frustrating challenge we encounter in business as well. As a “customer,” you want a contractor, an employee, or a colleague to honor their word, their promise, their obligation. We had an agreement. Perhaps not a contractual agreement, but at a minimum, a moral and ethical pact. We trusted one another to do the right thing.

Recently, a family member hired what I will refer to as “a contractor” for the sake of this article. This contractor was to provide a service which my family member did not have the expertise to do himself.

Well, this process has been going on for two years now with both sides completing their due diligence. This week in a meeting, my family member was told that the contractor was backing out and could not perform his duties any longer. Frankly, the reason was lame. There was no family emergency or poor health or an ethical quandary. Just a matter of fact desire not to continue. What makes it worse is that the scheduled completion date is only four months away.

Finish What You StartIn doing so, the contractor said he would be more than happy to refer my family member to someone else, but acted as if it were no big deal for someone else to pick up the ball and run with it, which is certainly not the case. This contractor is forgetting that a lot of trust and time has been put into his hands to handle these services.

Can you imagine if this happened in our industry? Someone hired you to design and build a $50,000 exhibit to help launch a new product. You did all the discovery work, the design work, and even built all the parts of the exhibit only to walk away saying, “Don’t worry. You will have no problem finding someone to finish everything, even though your show opens next week.”

That would never fly!

And then imagine if you had the audacity to mention in closing that you expected to be paid in full for all your time and services!

You would likely be served with a lawsuit, right? That is what I am thinking.

Aside from the large inconvenience to your customer, you have left them with a lot of uncertainty, fear, and questions about whether or not they would ever want to participate in trade show marketing again.

The right and honorable thing to do is to finish the work as promised. And if you are in over your head, then seek out the right partners to help you complete the work for your client.

If I sound a little “ranty,” it’s because I am on this. But it just seems that sometimes service providers in today’s world forget what it means to finish what they start and to be honest about their capabilities.

–Kevin Carty