Trade Show TalesBlog

Archive for December, 2018

2018 Odyssey Foods Custom Island Exhibit

December 31st, 2018 COMMENTS

Custom Exhibit Designed by Exhibits Northwest

While there were many exciting projects in 2018, the custom Odyssey Foods Island for Exhibits Northwest, Inc. was one of our favorites. The “Wow!” factor is off the charts. The exhibit debuted at Seafood Expo North America 2018

This modern 20 x 30 Island Cafe included retail food service with seating and food sampling. The 16 ft. compound curved tower, clad in reclaimed wood planks and recessed ivy trim with large halo lit dimensional logos, served as the visual anchor.

The booth was equipped with a large commercial freezer, custom chef station with a curved metal counter top, and pendant lighting suspended from wood frame laminated canopy. The exhibit had a custom fresh food display and raised platform decking with seating flanked by large backlit branding and literature displays. 

The space was capped with a twenty ft. diameter tension fabric hanging sign for maximum visual presence. The project was built by Classic Exhibits

Custom Exhibit for Odyssey Foods. Design by Exhibits Northwest. Build by Classic Exhibits Inc.

Custom Exhibit for Odyssey Foods. Design by Exhibits Northwest. Build by Classic Exhibits Inc.

Custom Exhibit for Odyssey Foods. Design by Exhibits Northwest. Build by Classic Exhibits Inc.

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Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, custom, rental 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 or www.classicexhibits.com.

Reflections on the Gravitee One-Step Modular Wall System

December 28th, 2018 COMMENTS

Two years ago, we introduced the Gravitee One-Step Modular Wall System, a radical approach to modular walls. No tools, no loose connectors, and no inventory of funky corners.

What have we learned in two years? We’ve learned that…

  1. Exhibit Designers love Gravitee’s flexibility. Its curves, graphic options, stacking, and backlighting.
  2. Distributor Partners praise its durability, ease-of-use, and rental possibilities.
  3. Exhibitors have embraced its simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and engineered elegance and beauty.

If we’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that innovation is hard… and risky. Everyone gravitates (no pun intended… well, maybe a little) to the familiar. The easy path would have been for Classic Exhibits to introduce a “me too” product. However, that’s not how we roll, and our product history has always been one of being different and better.

As we all head into the New Year, we wish you much success in 2019, and we invite you to embrace the “different and better approach.” We are far from perfect, but we’ve had a pretty good 25-year run by not being like everyone else. Take the path less traveled. The scenery is more interesting, and you just might discover something new.

Gravitee One-Step Modular Wall System

–Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite

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Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, custom, rental 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 or www.classicexhibits.com.

Our Five Finalists for EXHIBITOR Magazine’s Portable Modular Awards

December 14th, 2018 COMMENTS

Every year since 2014, EXHIBITOR Magazine honors design excellence in portable, modular, and system exhibits with the Portable Modular Awards (PMAs).

And each year, we look forward to seeing which of our projects will be chosen, either as finalists or as winners for these prestigious honors. We have 5 Finalists up for awards, the second highest in the PMA program!

Best 10-by-10-Foot ExhibitNuNaturals

Portable Modular Awards Finalist

As soon as we built this brilliant booth for the healthy sweetener brand NuNaturals, we knew it was a contender for a PMA award. With a large lightbox to pull customers in, seating that doubles as storage, custom lightweight details like the Sintra profile of a girl on a bike (NuNaturals icon), and the ability to expand to larger size booth spaces, it exemplifies how a modular design doesn’t have to be a cookie cutter design.

Best 10-by-10-Foot ExhibitVerity

Portable Modular Award Finalist

To compliment Classic Exhibits Extrusion lightboxes, Verity Solutions’ added wood frames and achieved an upscale design that retains the benefits of a modular booth. Interchangeable graphics for each lightbox allow specific messaging for each show, and the cantilevered reception counter and privacy wall can be swapped out with a demo or a seated discussion lounge.

Best 10-by-10-Foot ExhibitOcean Infinity

Portable Modular Award Finalist

Ocean Infinity’s clean aesthetic attracts attention through its simplicity, and the PMA judges have been known to favor simply beautiful designs such as this. Backlit logo’s and glossy laminate do mix with reconfigurable panels!

Best Inline ExhibitEco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits

Eco-systems Sustainable Portable Modular Award Finalist

Eco-Systems is always raising the bar in modular exhibits. This year their own EXHIBITORLIVE booth caught the eye of the PMA judges with LED backlit graphics, a custom working waterfall tower, CNC canopy with a 3D logo header, reclaimed wood, and recycled aluminum components. Boxed water was a giveaway that doubled as an interesting design component in the booth.

Best Island Exhibit 600 to 1,000 square feet – Peraton 20×30

Portable Modular Award Finalist

The Peraton booth proves that custom details can be modular too! Notice the custom shaped hanging sign with 3D logo and backlighting. It makes a huge statement, but packs down very small. Also note the semiprivate conference space, the powder-coated white extrusions hold LED accent lighting – beautiful AND lightweight AND modular. No wonder the judges chose this as a top design.

In addition to being eligible for awards in their individual categories, these designs are also eligible for a biggie: THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD…determined by YOU!

There is a two-month window where each computer, smartphone, and tablet is allowed to register 1 vote per day. Last year we won this award, and we are looking for a repeat victory! It’s time to VOTE every day from now until EXHIBITORLIVE (end of Feb) on all your devices!

Vote at this link: http://www.exhibitoronline.com/awards/pma/peopleschoice-vote.asp

And remember, they move the images around each time the page is refreshed.

Happy Voting!!

Katina Rigall Zipay
Creative Director, Classic Exhibits Inc.
katina@classicexhibits.com

The Truth about Renting a Trade Show Exhibit

December 10th, 2018 COMMENTS

Renting vs. Buying a Trade Show Exhibit

Over the past year, you’ve probably read quite a few articles about renting a trade show exhibit. Most are innocuous, some helpful, but others are just plain wrong. Frankly, that annoys me, but I understand why. Exhibit rentals are growing. Rapidly. And exhibit companies are positioning themselves based on their individual strengths.

“Positioning themselves” — what does that mean? In our industry, there are (1) person companies to (2500) person companies. Some build. Many do not. Some have large rental inventories. Others have little to none. Is their rental inventory metal, wood, modular walls, portable components? And how much of it is new, newer, or beat to hell? How does it assemble? Does it come with detailed setup instructions? What about design support?

These are the questions the average exhibitor never asks. Not because they don’t care, but because it would never occur to them.

I can’t answer all these questions in a blog post, but let’s untangle some of the most common misconceptions.

#1. Renting is An Option, Not THE Solution

Some rental-only exhibit companies are touting renting as the only solution. They say, “Why buy when you can rent? No more storage fees. You can change the display for every show. The cost is less.” It sounds attractive, and it’s a solid argument for many exhibitors. However, renting an exhibit, just like leasing a car, can be more expensive than purchasing. It depends on usage, lifespan, ongoing modifications, etc. It’s not as cut and dry as it appears at first glance. It’s important to run the numbers.

And, it’s not an either/or choice. Sometimes it makes sense to purchase a portion of the exhibit, say the main tower or overhead sign, and rent the components, like the counters, workstations, and charging stations. It depends on what you might want to change from show to show. But, again, you have to run the numbers and at least have a “general” vision of your short- and long-term trade show marketing goals.

Finally, sometimes it’s not about the numbers. Some exhibitors want to own their display. Others do not. Cost has little to do with their decision.

Trade Show Island Exhibit Rentals#2. Rentals Can Be Customized, Which Isn’t the Same as Custom

Whenever someone tells you your rental exhibit is “custom,” you might want to dig deeper on what “custom” means. It might mean the design is custom, but the components come from stock inventory. Or there are several custom elements which are unique to your exhibit and are being depreciated over multiple rentals, either yours or other future rental clients. Or you are basically “purchasing” the custom element, but everyone is calling it a rental since you won’t own it.

While it’s true, you can technically get a custom exhibit as a rental, there are always strings attached such as a commitment to multiple rentals or a higher price for the one-time rental.

In most cases, a rental exhibit is a “customized” display using stock components, based on a preexisting or “customized” design, and client-specific graphics.

#3. You Rent the Structure, But You Own the Graphics

Remember you are renting the structure, but you own the graphics. Each time you change the messaging, you are buying new graphics. Be realistic about how often you plan to update your graphics. Clients often assume they will reuse the graphics 3-4 times, but marketing campaigns aren’t like a pair of jeans. They change. Sometimes every single show.

#4. Your Rental Components May Be Used for Another Client’s Rental

Recently, I read a blog post where the rental exhibit supplier said that your rental property would never be used for another rental. If that’s true, it’s either the smartest or the dumbest business model I’ve ever heard. Now, in the real world, rental components are reused. That’s why rental exhibits can be less expensive. Duh?! Does that mean another exhibitor will have exactly the same design as you? Perhaps, but it’s very unlikely since every exhibit has unique needs and distinctive graphics. However, the modular aluminum wall used in Job ABC will get reused two months later on Job XYZ. And then again, until it’s no longer serviceable as a rental component. To pretend otherwise is disingenuous. 

#5. Size Matters. Inventory Matters. Design Matters.

Do you remember when I said that there are companies ranging from one employee to several thousand employees? Those companies all have different rental capabilities, either in-house or through a strategic partner like Classic Exhibits. No one has an unlimited budget to stock every possible rental design. Ask yourself this… Is the design guided by their limited rental inventory or by your trade show design requirements? Whatever rental company you choose, they should treat the process as if you were purchasing a display, and the final display should look visually indistinguishable from a new exhibit.

#6. Packaging Matters. Instructions Matter. Quality Matters. 

Trade Show Inline Exhibit RentalsHere’s the very sad truth. No exhibitor ever asks about packaging, setup instructions, or quality, particularly on a rental property. And aside from design capabilities and inventory, nothing distinguishes an OK rental supplier from an AMAZING one than packaging, instructions, and quality. Too often, exhibitors save money by renting an exhibit only to piss it all away during setup and assembly on the show floor.

You should expect detailed drawings, numbered or labeled components, photos (showing where the supplier pre-assembled it at their facility), jigged packaging/crating, and clean hardware. The hardware should appear new or newish, not like it just fell off the truck, rolled around in the dirt, and then was tossed into a crate. When you open the crate, it should make you smile, not cringe in fear.

#7. Rentals are a Long-term Partnership with Your Exhibit Supplier

Depending on the rental schedule, you are going to see each other a lot. And, based on that ongoing relationship, you are going to flourish or falter. Exhibit rentals require a communication commitment. What’s your show schedule? Does the design need to change? Were there any issues at the last show? How about new graphics? Is your next show an inline vs. an island? When do you want to booth to ship and are there any services you need such as rental furniture, I&D, electrical, flooring, etc.

Rentals force both sides to communicate, often far in advance. It doesn’t take long to decide whether it’s a fit or whether it’s time for you to start seeing other people. But, when it does work, it’s a beautiful thing.

One final piece of advice — not all suppliers are equally good at both. Your current supplier may be a magician at designing a custom exhibit but lack the skills, interest, or inventory to pull the rental rabbit out of a hat. Being good at one is no guarantee of being good at the other. Ask the hard questions and be willing to work with someone else if anything seems amiss.

In the end, your rental experience should be no different from a purchase, whether during the exploratory and design process or at the show. Always expect the best.

Have questions? Give us a call or send us an email. We would love to chat with you.

–Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite

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Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, custom, rental 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 or www.classicexhibits.com.

An Exhibit Design Search Video by the TradeshowGuy

December 3rd, 2018 COMMENTS

How to Promote Your Branded Exhibit Design Search

I’m often asked by Classic Exhibits Distributors, “How do I promote our branded Exhibit Design Search?” Well, in addition to making it prominent on your website and using it as a sales tool with clients, you should feature it on social media, like Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and even YouTube. 

Consider posting:

  • New Exhibit Designs
  • Unique Solutions such as Charging Stations, iPad Kiosks, and LED Lightboxes
  • Exhibit Specials and Lightning Deals
  • Photos
  • Trade Show Marketing Articles
  • Videos

Here’s an example. Tim Patterson at TradeshowGuy Exhibits created an EDS tutorial video which he posted on YouTube. He will use it as a sales and marketing resource for existing and potential clients, but just having it on YouTube will also increase the exposure of his company. It’s a straight-forward video and very effective. See for yourself. 

 

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Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, and custom exhibit solutions, including SuperNova LED Lightboxes. 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 or www.classicexhibits.com.