Word on the Street by Kevin Carty
It’s Vegas Baby
Why would you expect anything less than seeing famous people, staying out too late, and being apart of the BEST show of the year?
And the title is true. We saw Siegfried at dinner with his entourage. I saw George Hamilton at the airport on the way out of town, And I see Melvis everyday. 🙂
We are all back from EXHIBITOR2013. What an amazing event this year . . . like past years. But there was something extra special about this year’s event, something in the air. Optimism — albeit still cautious. But optimistic nonetheless.
What’s hot? For those who missed the show here is a short recap of what is hot in the industry. And what your vendors and colleagues were showing
1. Technology, Technology, Technology. Everything from massive touch screens to the smallest of tablets being used to drive client content such as e-document stations, interactive kiosks, and large screen fabric projections that interacted with the user.
The message was . . . communicate your message to your clients based upon their specific interests in formats that appeal to them.
2. Design is back! Not to offend any of our great friends and competitors or ourselves for that matter. But after four years where budgets drove the ship, it was great to see the industry (like our clients) in full dress ready to shine brightly! Well done to everyone who exhibited.
3. Classic Exhibits is clearly your iPad Headquarters and the innovative leader in Hybrid and Modular Solutions. Not to sound arrogant, but we made a huge splash with four new 10 x 10 displays as well as our large 20 x 30 main structure. It was impressive, an an exhibit where we saw constant traffic all three days of the show. And, while last year was a spectacular show for us, we had more leads in Day #1 this year, then all of last year.
Some Other Highlights
The Classic Exhibits Distributor Hospitality Suite — What a great time as always! Thanks to everyone who attended. We appreciate the time you spent visiting us and getting caught up both personally and professionally. I know your time is precious during the three days of EXHIBITOR, so we really do appreciate you stopping by. It’s always great to spend time with the Classic Family of Distributors, more accurately, friends!
The EDPA Portable/Modular/Hybrid Summit — Thanks again to the EXHIBITOR Media Group for giving us a spot on the show floor for the summit this year. It really made a difference! According to Jeff Provost from EDPA, “We nearly tripled the number of attendees from any past summit.” Thanks to those who attended.
The summit focused on what was happening “In the Trenches” of the Portable/Modular/Hybrid segment this year and from the last quarter of 2012. Our panelists, representing Design, Graphics, Builder/Distributor, Systems Distributor, and I&D, provided their perspectives.
The overall message was that things are looking good. Sales are up and design is clearly driving sales, gratefully! But also, along with great design and more complex “system” builds comes the need for better details, better instruction, longer set-up and dismantle times on the floor etc. My thanks to the following people for their unbiased reports from their markets. The post meeting comments spoke highly of the panelists.
Greg Beach from Atlantic Exhibits, Katina Rigall from Classic Exhibits, Anita Mitzel from GraphiColor Inc., Chris Griffin from Tradeshow Supply, and David Brown from Optima Graphics.
I would also like to thank Jay Burkette from ExpoDisplays. Jay provided not only great insights from what he has seen, but also assisted me in presenting the summit.
At the end of the day, my lasting impression was the show and our industry is ALIVE! It felt great. It felt like we were there to show our best. And we all did. As you can see from the pictures below.
Thanks for spending time with us in booth #1637. We appreciate it. Based upon your comments and feedback, we appear to be headed in the right direction to serve your needs throughout 2013. But, as always, it’s a moving target so let us know if we miss the mark.
To the Classic staff, take a bow please. You were key in making this year’s event a success. We had a lot of staff there this year, and they all took turns working the booth. However, I would like to mention four people in particular for their contribution.
Jen LaBruzza and Laura Magdalen — Great job on the Hospitality Suite. I know it’s a large undertaking and you did it perfectly. And Laura, you can sling a cocktail better than any pregnant woman I have ever seen.
James Sharpe and Nate LaBruzza — Spectacular job setting up and tearing down the booth. I am always impressed by what you do to get us “Show Ready.” Thanks for everything!
Last but not least, no show can happen without the help of your key vendor partners! Brumark for flooring, Cort for furniture, Optima Graphics for all the graphics, Glenna Martin for the graphic design, Tradeshow Supply for the I&D, and EliteXpo for shipping. Thanks once again making Classic shine. We choose our partners very carefully and are proud of our relationships.
If you were in attendance at the show, tell me what you thought. What was your favorite booth? What trends did you see that stuck out? What didn’t you like?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback on EXHIBITOR2013
Have a great weekend.