Classic Exhibits Inc. announces the addition of Harold Mintz to the Classic Family. As a Regional Sales Manager, Harold will work alongside Jen LaBruzza, the National Sales Manager, to support the Classic Distributor Partner Network throughout North America.
Harold brings over 20 years of trade show and event experience to Classic with previous leadership positions at custom houses, a portable/modular manufacturer, and a graphic printer. More recently, he worked in the entertainment industry for seven years as the Communications Director for Shady Acres Entertainment.
According to Kevin Carty, VP, “On behalf of the entire Classic Family of companies, we are excited to have Harold join us. Harold brings not just a wealth of industry knowledge, but also a great creative and inquisitive approach to relationships. He will compliment Jen LaBruzza and her efforts in creating, building, and maintaining our partnerships in North America.
On a personal note, I have known Harold for 20 plus years — first as
friendly competitors which then quickly developed into a friendship. When asked internally about Harold, I tell my colleagues, ‘He is one of us’ meaning he fits our culture and how we view the relationship between Classic and our Distributor Partners. I am excited to work with him professionally.”
Harold states, “The trade show industry is chock full of creative, talented people. Classic has all that, plus a supportive, dynamic culture. I believe my background in sales, politics, training, and public speaking combined with Classic’s capabilities are a perfect fit. I couldn’t be more excited to be joining the Classic Family. I look forward to working with the Distribution Network.”
On a separate note, for those who know Harold, you are familiar with his passion for organ donation programs. He states, “I donated my left kidney back in 2000. It was one of the best and most impactful things I’ve ever done. I often speak to groups large and small about the life-saving benefits of organ donation.”
Classic Exhibits Inc., based in Portland, OR, designs and manufactures trade show, retail, and corporate environments for over 200 independent distributor partners. For the past two years, Classic Exhibits has been named a Find It Top 40 Exhibit Builder by EXHIBITOR Magazine.
Our thanks to everyone who supported the Annual Women in Exhibitions Breakfast at EXHIBITORLIVE. It was a huge success! Attendance increased from 100 in 2018 to 150 in 2019.
Here’s what our members are saying:
“I attend the Women in Exhibition event each year at EXHIBITORLIVE and bring the women on my team for networking and education. At this event, we are able to connect with other women in our industry who have various roles and challenges within their organizations. The breakfast is professionally facilitated with a keynote speaker to allow for education at all levels.
“I started my business 26 years ago after the President of the company I worked for told me I would be great at what I did, if I were a man. This simple statement fueled years of passion in starting and growing my own business where women play a key role. Women supporting women is the right thing to do.” – Donna Shultz, President & CEO of Mirror Show Management
“Optima was proud to sponsor the WIE breakfast at ExhibitorLive 2019! Looking around the venue that morning, I was proud to be sitting amongst the best and brightest women in the industry. I think we all felt a sense of camaraderie.
“I walked away being reminded of the importance of mentoring and being mentored. Each of us can mentor and share our knowledge and experience with someone less tenured. Being mentored doesn’t stop, no matter what age or level we are in our career, we can always learn something from someone else, especially in this industry.” – Gina Porcaro, Account Executive at Optima Graphics, Inc.
Connecting and learning from each other is the basis for Women
in Exhibitions, founded in 2002. The incredible women in our group have proven
to be a valuable resource to each other. It has become critical to optimize our
meeting time and location at EXHIBITORLIVE to bring more of us together.
And how better to keep the connections growing and vital throughout the year
than through a mentorship program?
This year’s speaker Sandy Jones-Kaminski pointed out: “Mentorship is what you make of it. Set expectations, set goals. Each of us can learn from each other.” Sandy shared so much with us, not only about mentorships, but about networking and building a personal brand. Here is a link to her presentation if you missed it or just want to review: http://www.belladomain.com/exhibitorlive/
Both our financial and in-kind sponsors deserve so much
credit: Exhibitor Media Group, Classic Exhibits, Optima Graphics, Exhibit
Concepts, Access TCA, Live Marketing, Highmark Tech, Pinnacle Exhibits,
ProExhibits, AFR Furniture Rental, Brumark, Skyline-Holt, Condit, Steelhead
Productions, and Exhibit Expressions. An extra special thanks to Freeman
who added their support to our cause as well!
Have questions? Want to get involved? Have a great idea to
name of our mentorship program? E-mail us at WomenInExhibitions@gmail.com. We
can’t wait to hear from you!
For over 20 years, Classic Exhibits has participated in EXHIBITORLIVE, the trade show for the trade show industry. This year, it was held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center from February 25-28. Our theme was “Knot Your Typical Exhibit Builder,” which highlighted our ability to solve the knottiest design and build challenges for our Distributor Partners.
Our thanks and gratitude to the Distributor Partners who visited us at the show, and to the Classic Exhibits Family for all their hard work before, during, and after the show. Enjoy the video… Who knows? You may see someone you recognize from the show.
How many of you out there have been in your industry for longer than 5 years? 10 years? 20? Look, I’m a Millennial (but really, truly an Xennial) and part of what defines us is the sort of “bounce” from industry to industry, job to job — essentially, career building with fast jumps from one thing to the next. I’ve officially been with Exhibits Northwest in Seattle for three years, and in the Trade Show industry for… you guessed it… three years! And last week, I went to my first EXHIBITORLIVE in Las Vegas. Are you ready to hear what this “newbie” thought?
It’s a bit trite, but honestly, MAGICAL is the best word to describe it. Literal magic and figurative magic! So, for all of you seasoned pros out there, do me a favor: remember your first real dive into your industry’s deep roots (Trade Show or otherwise) and join me as I tell you about mine.
The Magic of Sneakers
2.5 years ago, my very first 20×20 island client exhibited in Vegas, and I was on the show floor supervising the install. I knew I needed comfortable shoes, so I did some research and decided Tieks would be cute AND comfy, based on tons of excellent reviews. Here’s what some of you may not know about me: a large part of my identity is SHOES. I’ve worked in the high-end shoe world, and I’m a bit of an admitted shoe snob. And at the time, I did not really own a pair of sneakers that didn’t look like I had them for 10+ years (because they were literally that old and I wore them to do house projects involving paint). Nor did I want to buy or wear sneakers in a professional public place!
Well, after walking 20 miles in 2 days in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, wearing little flats and walking on concrete floors, my entire body felt like I was 85 years old with bad hips. Oh, man. Lesson learned! I still love my Teiks, but my eyes were opened — I needed supportive sneakers. So, while I still want to look cute (sneakers are not my favorite shoe genre), I have learned the MAGIC of sneakers on the trade show floor! This time, I walked and walked all over EXHIBITORLIVE between Mandalay Bay Convention Center and Luxor, and I wasn’t waddling through the airport upon my departure. WIN! When your feet are happy, you can focus on making connections, saying yes to that walk back across the show floor or to drinks with a vendor. But I’m still on the hunt for shoes that are fab and feel like pillows… hmmm.
The Magic of “Behind the Curtain”
“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” ~ The Wizard
Events are full of behind the curtain magic. Trade Shows are no different. Walk behind a booth or look in the closet, and you’ll find electrical outlets and cords, laptop bags, extra swag and maybe even a person sneaking in a phone call or work! But what’s really cool is seeing what makes the display work: What’s behind the graphic? What’s behind that pipe and drape? What’s under the flooring? Admittedly, Exhibits Northwest does not (yet!) specialize in large format video tech — think, Giant LED Media Wall.
We refer or outsource these needs for our clients, so I’ve
always been a little hands-off about taking ownership of a Media Wall as part
of an exhibit strategy. But, being able to see behind the curtain (literally),
to get a better understanding of how it works and how to explain to and prepare
my clients for the cost (dollah dollah bills, y’all!) really helped me put some
puzzle-pieces together. I slipped behind a curtain to use a hidden restroom,
and low-and-behold, there was the back of a media wall! Such a great example of
the specialized install skill and technology that makes them work.
Seeing a Media Wall is impressive, but the cost, time and technical skill involved in making it happen is taken for granted by the audience. There were also other cool tech innovations (moving image and RGB lightboxes, digital shadow boxes, and cookies with your printed selfie on them), but what struck me the most was really being able to see a giant Media Wall’s backside secrets!
The Magic of Team Bonding
As I said, I’ve been with Exhibits Northwest for three years,
but for reasons I can only attribute to time flying by, I never really spent
quality time with our team in Portland, namely, our Senior Account Executive, Laura
Magdalen. Laura, thank you for being as eager as I was to get to
know each other better! We experienced some MAGIC as we found out we have lots
in common and can learn from each other.
We also got to hang with our newest Portland addition, Bobby
Brown. Having meals and walking the show floor together, with our
Manager, Michael McCord was
beneficial beyond magic. We took our fast 2 days together and made the best of
it, bonding over stories about spiders and food we hate. Everyone making fun of
me for thinking there were two pyramids in Vegas (yeah yeah, true story, I got
confused, ok!?) and laughing together as we watched Laura “schlep” her suitcase
around. Bonding as a team is so crucial, and I am thankful for the magic of
laughter and comradery.
And… Actual, MAGIC!
Our friends at Classic Exhibits had a performing Magician in their booth! He blew my mind several times, making me question the existence of mind-reading! Classic Exhibits is certainly “Knot Your Typical Exhibit Builder,” and they had a magician to prove it. His act was clever and thoroughly connected to the theme and message, creating a fun experience that also helped break the ice to make connections with the Classic Exhibits team. Ask me how that magician knew what I wrote on a pad of paper that he wrapped closed in a rubber band? I have no idea. But ask me how Classic Exhibits builds custom booths that impress my clients… well, that is less of a magic act and slight-of-hand, but more like the magic of teamwork.
I was told during my interview three years ago that once you
get into the “Trade Show Business” you can’t leave. And I’ve heard it multiple times
since then too — “Erica, you’re stuck with us now!”
During the past year, I confirmed something I suspected was true: the push to be eco-friendly has lost momentum in the trade show industry. It’s not anyone’s fault, but like other trends, it has become an afterthought for many exhibitors and exhibit builders serving the trade show industry.
Most companies have a sustainability policy, whether it’s a corporate initiative at a Fortune 500 company or a zero-waste policy at a local manufacturer.
My question is … Are marketing departments, particularly the trade show or event marketing functions, tying into the sustainability policies of their respective companies? Some are when they’re selling a green product or service, but a majority are not since most corporation’s sustainability policies rarely include their trade shows unless it’s mandated by a show like Greenbuild.
However, “sustainability” can create a selling advantage — a key differentiator. The subject of sustainability may not be something you lead with in a presentation, but it might be the added benefit that could spark interest and make you stand out from your competitors. If everything is equal between you and a competitor in the mind of your client, then sustainability might be what wins the project.
It’s important to communicate to your clients that sustainable materials are NOT more expensive than standard materials plus the quality and durability of eco-friendly materials is equal to or exceeds those standard materials. You have the opportunity to offer your customer more for their money.
Now that you are excited about selling the benefits of eco-friendly booths, the fact remains that design is the principle reason clients make a buying decision along with the relationship you’ve established and the services you provide. For that reason, Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits will always make design, innovation, and great support our highest priority. We know that presenting a design that meets your clients’ visual expectations along with their budget is your primary goal and being eco-friendly is an added bonus.
Your success is our success so let us know how we can continue to support your sales efforts.
See below for images of our 10 x 30 booth at EXHIBITORLIVE.