After nearly 19 years in this industry, I have had my fair share of gripes with how General Service Contractors and Show Management manage trade shows. And I have certainly voiced those gripes, hopefully, in a respectful manner.
Well, this past week I was in Chicago for GlobalShop 2013 at McCormick Place as both an exhibitor and an attendee. Freeman was the General Service Contractor for the event. And all I can say is — KUDOS from start to finish. It’s not like everything went without a hitch, but where there were bumps in the road, there was someone right there to help you.
I must say, honestly, I was not expecting that, even with the “kinder, gentler, exhibitor friendly” rules at McCormick. For example, we had an inline, and the new rules state that you can set your entire booth by yourself as long as you have all your own tools. I was expecting some resentful union folk roaming the floor. Not the case at all!
I don’t mean this to be sarcastic, but it was a little weird not looking over my shoulder every five seconds to see if a foreman was making my size 13 concrete shoes.
Then there was Janet Ruddy, an Exhibitor Service Clerk from Freeman’s Chicago office. I was fortunate to get her on the phone a week before the show to handle some changes. Let’s just say that there is a place for you in the Customer Service Hall of Fame Janet. Thanks!
Neilson was the producer (show management) of the show. They did an OK job as well. But, sad to say, the number of “suitcasers” allowed on the show floor day one and two was horrendous. Thankfully, the show was so freaking great that it outweighed that one very big negative.
Classic Exhibits was at GlobalShop as both an exhibitor and an attendee. As an exhibitor in a 10 x 20 space, we showcased many of the retail solutions we’ve designed and built over the past two years. That was fun, and the response was great! The ClassicMODUL aluminum profiles really shined as a retail solution! Our capabilities were highlighted in a series of backwall light boxes and an adjustable merchandising grid we’ve perfected (and sold multiple times).
I would be remiss if I did not give credit to our innovative iPad Kiosks. It’s as if they were covered in $100 bills. They drew attendee after attendee into the booth, who then stayed to hear about Classic Exhibits (which was similar to our experience at EXHIBITOR).
A special thanks to Chuck Michel and Tom Beard who joined me. Both have rich histories with the GlobalShop community and really helped me (as a rookie) understand the market and the show better. Not to mention they were great friends to hang with for three days. Thanks for everything gents.
Here are a couple of takeaways, although there were many from the week. Just like the Tradeshow World, the Retail World is alive with technology, especially interactive solutions. There is clearly a push for captivating technology in the retail experience. And large, very large, fabric graphics with engineered extrusions as the structure. That’s music to our ears and re-enforces what we have been seeing in the Classic Exhibits and ClassicMODUL divisions.
Here are some pics of the week’s events. Hope you enjoy. If you were at GlobalShop, please share your impressions in the comment section. I’d love to hear what you thought (and so would other Classic Distributors).
Hope you all have a great week ahead. Give me a call if you would like to talk more about GlobalShop.