Trade Show TalesBlog

Archive for March 6th, 2015

EXHIBITORLIVE 2015 Review: Word on the Street — March 2nd thru March 6th

March 6th, 2015 7 COMMENTS
Kevin Carty, VP Classic Exhibits

Kevin Carty, VP Classic Exhibits

Well I don’t know about you … but I am pooped! EXHIBITORLIVE 2015 has come and gone. What an amazing week of visiting with old friends, making new friends, and seeing all the exciting new things in our GREAT industry.

First and foremost, I want to thank our terrific show staff. By the time Mel and I arrived on Saturday, the booth was setup and looked amazing. James Sharpe and Jim Ponomarenko, the Production Managers from Classic Rentals and Classic Exhibits, were amazing. Thanks!!

Our booth staff included Jim and James as well as Katina Rigall, Trina Broten, John Zipay (the new guy 🙂 ), Jim Shelman, Reid Sherwood, Jen LaBruzza, Glenna Martin, Mel and me. To all — Kudos on a great week. Thanks for representing the “Classic” culture so well, as always.

Also, thanks to our vendor partners who helped make our booth shine — Optima Graphics, Brumark Flooring, DS&L, OTM Furniture, ELITeXPO Cargo and TSCrew (the I&D team). We appreciate your valued long-term partnership.

The Show

IMG_8179Now to the show itself. EXHIBITOR Magazine did another stellar job creating an positive atmosphere for everyone.

Day 1 — It was chaotic to be honest. The traffic was relentless, which we all like. I was telling a fellow employee that I don’t remember NOT being able take at least a five-minute break on Day 1. No way this time. Every time I finished with one attendee, there was another one waiting to dive into a new conversation. It was great!

Day 2 — It started early with Strategic Partner Day. I always enjoy the opportunity to spend  time the Classic Family of Distributors, our partners, and meet with potential distributors.

Day 3 — This year was a busy Day 3. Did I get out of the booth a bit? Yes, but only for a short stint. Our booth was filled with lots of end-users making one last trek through the hall. Most told me that the first two days were spent identifying what they wanted to see in more detail. So we had lots of quality time with people looking to buy, seeing what’s new, and getting to know our products and services.

Back to Day 2 — Day 2 also included two spectacular events after the show floor closed: The Portable Modular Summit and the The PMA’s (The Portable Modular Awards).

The Summit was titled “The New Evolution.” I hosted the event with my friend and mentor Jay Burkette from ExpoDisplays. With over 300 exhibitors and attendees in the audience, our conversation focused where we are in the Portable/Modular segment. There’s been a shift toward more complex, design-driven inlines and 400-900 sq foot islands with higher budgets and more creative displays. Our segment is not just healthy, it’s growing exponentially! Thanks to everyone who attended and took part in the discussion.

10411160_10150486186119995_2152677747564161621_nAfter the summit, Travis Stanton from Exhibitor Magazine took the stage. He served as the Host of the Portable Modular Awards ceremony, along with John Pavek. As Travis and John  announced the finalists and the awards, I was proud of what our segment is producing these days. It’s much more dynamic than any time in my 20 years in the industry. We truly have come a long way!

Of course, I would be remiss if I did not brag a bit. 🙂 Classic Exhibits and Eco-Systems both won awards this year! Classic Exhibits won for Best 20×20 Island of 2014!! Kudos to Katina Rigall for designing the Pacifica 20 x 20 Island and to Laura Magdalen from Exhibits NW for selling the beautiful project!

11021060_10150486186389995_5087437637545251912_nEco-Systems Sustainable won for the Best 10 x 10 Inline for the NASA project. It’s one of the best and most creative 10 x 10 spaces I’ve seen in years. Our congrats to Lisa Koskela and Lauren Orao for again taking portable hybrid design to new heights!

For those who could not attend, I am truly sorry. This year there were many new highlights, many of which were technology based. Technology continues to be an ever-growing accessory to spaces of all sizes. It allows exhibitors to stretch their dollars further. And by that, I don’t mean spending less. I mean getting more out of their exhibit assets.

The Classic Exhibits Booth

IMG_8256Classic showed new elements as well. There was considerable buzz around our New Charging Stations and the On The Move Furniture.

We introduced three new charging stations ranging from a coffee table to full size stations with lightboxes. All of which were very well received. For your reference, they are the ones highlighted in Design Monday last week.

The OTM Express was a true hit! Especially to clients wanting to maximize their exhibit dollars. OTM provides the ability to include branded furniture in your space that can be re-used show after show, as opposed to renting each show. And it packs down and is totally portable! I had one end-user pull out her calculator app on her iPhone and start calculating the savings for this year. She participates in 19 shows a year and figured she would save approx $11,500 over the remainder of the year. Pretty cool stuff.

Yes I am pooped. But a good kinda of pooped. The week really was very fulfilling. And like many years past, I left Las Vegas welling with pride not just for the staff we have, or for the great vendor partners we have, but also for the many great friends/distributors in the Classic Family.

Thanks, and have a great restful weekend with your families.

–Kevin
http://twitter.com/kevin_carty
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/kevin-carty/3/800/32a