Trade Show TalesBlog

Archive for April, 2019

The Branded and Unbranded Versions of Exhibit Design Search

April 24th, 2019 COMMENTS
Exhibit Design Search

Exhibit Design Search, the award-winning display search from Classic Exhibits, offers multiple branded and unbranded versions.

Branded and Unbranded

There’s the Classic version at www.classicexhibits.com in addition to two unbranded versions: www.exhibit-design-search.com (w/ prices) and www.exhibitdesignsearch.com (w/o prices). Many Classic Distributors have branded EDS websites with customized graphics, pricing, URL’s, and contact-specific tools. See below for a summary of the features and benefits of each version. For more details, contact Mel White in the Marketing Department.

What It’s Like to Rent from Classic Rental Solutions

April 11th, 2019 COMMENTS
Classic Rental Solutions

For over 13 years, I was on the distributor side of the exhibit business, working directly with local clients/exhibitors while I owned Exhibits Northwest. During that time, I experienced firsthand what was important to our customers and what we needed to do to make them feel comfortable. I found that the more confident we were, the more confident our customers became with us. They expected us to be the experts and to guide them through the process, and we understood that’s what we were there to do, and we enjoyed doing it.

Shopping at Nordstrom

It reminds me of a twenty-year span where I would go on shopping sprees for business clothes about every two to three years. This was back when we were all dressing up to go into the office every day, and wearing slacks, with dress shirts, ties, and a sports jacket. I know, I just dated myself big time.

I always shopped at the same Nordstrom store in Portland, and Pam in the Men’s Suits Department helped me every time. Once I became confident with her guidance and direction, I had no reason to ever consider shopping anywhere else. Early on, she learned what styles I liked, and what I was comfortable with. She always shared what was new, made great suggestions, and guided me through the process.

She would walk throughout the store, selecting my size in pants, shirts, and jackets, and color coordinate them for me. I simply stayed in the dressing room and tried everything on to decide what I was going to buy. She was super confident, and clearly plugged-in as an expert in men’s clothing. It was about a two-hour process, and then I was set for another two to three years. I really admired and appreciated Pam’s confidence and her approach, and I trusted her judgement. But more importantly, I became very comfortable with the process, and I knew what I could expect every time, and I was happy with my purchases. It was always a no hassle experience for me. To no one’s surprise, Pam was a Top 50 salesperson for Nordstrom nationwide.

We’re all looking for this type of buying experience, where we work with people and companies that truly get it and are experts in their field. And we want them to guide us through the process and help us feel comfortable with our purchasing decisions.

Trade Show Rental Exhibit from Classic Rental Solutions

Earning Your Trust and Confidence

At Classic Rental Solutions, our goal is to make our customers feel the same way that Pam made me feel as her customer through all those years. We want to earn that same trust and confidence to deliver successful experiences every time.

Renting an exhibit is more complex than buying men’s clothes, but here’s what we set out to do for our customers for every project:

  • Assist with design to help provide solutions that match our customer’s expectations
  • Guide and direct the process from the beginning to the end
  • Manage the details for every project to make sure everything is produced correctly, and on time
  • Maintain the highest level of quality control to assure that every exhibit looks brand new on the show floor
  • Stage every order, and test fit the graphics prior to shipping
  • Include staging photos, packing photos, setup diagrams, and an inventory list with every order
  • Offer webcam or FaceTime previews
  • Reward our customers with CRS Rental Rewards credits towards future projects, and other reward incentives.

If you shop around, you’ll discover that these comprehensive services are rarely offered by other providers.

Trade Show Rental Exhibit

A Complete Rental Program

As I always like to say, a lot of companies rent exhibits, but we offer a complete rental program. That’s what makes us different.

We’re constantly adding new designs to our inline, island, and accessories website galleries, and we offer rebrand and custom design services. And we’re always happy to jump on a design call. We’ll make structural and functional suggestions and try to come up with cost savings ideas.

As a division of Classic Exhibits Inc., CRS is supported by a full-service shop that produces our rental components in-house. This allows us to offer customization for every design. And our inventory is virtually unlimited. If we’re out of something, we produce more to fulfill new orders. And that’s very rare in our industry. All the designs shown on our website are always available, as long as we have a standard lead time. We don’t shy away from rush orders either.

We have fun doing what we do, because we build something new and different every day. It can be stressful at times, but it’s very rewarding to be a part of our customer’s successful projects from the beginning to the end. And we’re like little kids when we receive show photos with a positive note saying how successful the show was. That’s what it’s all about.

For more information about Classic Rental Solutions, please contact Jim Shelman @ jshelman@classicexhibits.com or call 503-345-0525 x 103.

Fast Food, Banner Stands, and Trade Show Exhibits

April 11th, 2019 COMMENTS

What Do Trade Show Displays Have in Common with Restaurants?

Many inexperienced exhibitors struggle with their show display options. And who can blame them? Even for hardcore marketing professionals, trade show exhibits can be puzzling and the prices bewildering. Some displays are hundreds of dollars, other thousands, and larger projects easily climb into six figures.

So how do you choose? Oddly enough, trade show displays are a lot like restaurants. Yes, restaurants. There are fast food displays and fine dining exhibits. Don’t want fast food or fine dining… how about casual dining displays? Where you eat depends on your budget, your taste preferences, and your priorities. So, let’s take a moment to compare the familiar (restaurants) with the unfamiliar (trade show exhibits). Hopefully it will make choosing your next display much easier.

Fast Food

A fast-food restaurant provides the quickest food and service at the cheapest prices. The décor is simple, and the selection limited. Going to Taco Bell, KFC, and of course, McDonald’s is almost always convenient, predictable, and inexpensive but perhaps not always healthy depending on your choices.

Finding fast food displays is just as easy and convenient. There’s no shortage of imported banner stands or tension fabric displays on the web, all available for a click or two. These displays serve a purpose for local events or for small businesses not participating in professional trade shows. They are cost-effective, graphic mediums with limited accessories and an uncertain lifespan. Just like a burger, fries, and COKE, they taste great but should be consumed in moderation. The experience is nearly always transactional, not consultative. Click here for examples.

Fast Casual

Unlike fast food restaurants, fast casual restaurants are more likely to serve healthier choices and offer more comfortable dining rooms. Customers usually order their food at the counter, although drive -thru and takeout is available. Think Chipotle, Boston Market, or even Panda Express. And while you have choices, those choices don’t include cooking the Kung Pao Chicken, for example, without chicken or peanuts.

Fast Casual Displays are typically purchased from a local exhibit professional, although they can be ordered online. These displays offer more accessory options such as shelves, monitor mounts, lightboxes, etc. There’s usually a conversation or consultation between the buyer and seller about their specific trade show product or marketing needs. Packaging is better. Quality is better. And while they are often based on pre-configured “kits,” those kits can be re-configured within limits. Click here for examples.

Casual Dining

Casual dining restaurants offer a wider menu selection, table service, and a family friendly environment. Servers/waiters offer advice, take orders, and serve food. The prices are higher than at fast casual but more affordable than fine dining restaurants. Some are chains like Applebee’s or Cheesecake Factory but also include local establishments with either highly specialized menus or a broad range of cuisine.

Most corporate exhibitors who participate in industry-specific trade shows fit into this category. They work with local or regional exhibit designer/builders to design a system solution or a customized exhibit. As exhibitors, they want an exhibit that reinforces their brand, presents a professional appearance, and adapts to their trade show marketing program without breaking their budget.  More often than not, they are receptive to custom rental solutions if the design offers more flexibility and visual impact, but at a cost lower than purchasing an exhibit. They appreciate selection, value, service, and welcome guidance from a knowledgeable exhibit marketing professional. The experience is almost always consultative if the exhibitor doesn’t have an extensive exhibit marketing program. Click here for examples.

Fine Dining

Fine-dining restaurants come with the most elaborate menus and expensive prices. Owners of fine-dining restaurants want to present an atmosphere of elegance and grace. They employ chefs who attended culinary schools and possess many years of experience.

Fine Dining exhibits, like fine dining restaurants, are equal parts atmosphere, presentation, quality, and experience. They are almost always memorable, and their size and creativity can be a magnet for attendees throughout the show hall. Most are pure custom, both in design and construction, although subtle and effective modular construction has become more common.

These exhibits are more likely to include LED Video Walls or A/R. We often associate Fine Dining Exhibits with larger island exhibits or double-deck structures, but inlines (like 10 x 20 or larger) can project the same elegance and upscale appearance. It’s possible to achieve this level of sophistication without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars but it requires the right exhibit partner and a commitment to all facets of trade show marketing (and not just the display). However, a steady diet of fine dining, just like one of fast food, is rarely healthy or cost-effective for most exhibitor. Click here for examples.  

Hungry for successful trade show results? It all starts with choosing the right display for your marketing goals and budget and working with an exhibit professional committed to your long-term success. And yes, we all love french fries and chocolate milkshakes, but a more balanced diet is always a better choice. And don’t forget to treat yourself from time to time with something extravagant.  

–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.