Trade Show TalesBlog

Archive for July, 2021

Exhibit Design Search Webinar Recording w/ Outline

July 29th, 2021 COMMENTS

EDS Tips and Tricks Webinar

On Wednesday, July 28, Classic Exhibits conducted two Exhibit Design Search Tips and Tricks webinars for Classic Exhibits Distributors. The video recording of the second session covers both basic and advanced techniques for navigating EDS including Past 5 Days, Trade Show Tips, and My Gallery.

The outline below provides a general guide of the topics covered during the webinar.

The Basics (@1:20 min)

  • Design Database of 1500 displays, 9000 photo, and 84 articles
  • Public Website(s), developed for Classic Distributors and their clients
  • 32 Product/Design galleries, mostly Classic but also (2) Optima [OP], (2) CORT [CT], (1) Brumark [BR], and (1) DS&L [DL]
  • Divided into sizes or product groups
    • Island, Inlines, 10 ft., 20 ft.
    • Rentals, Sustainable, Charging Solutions, Counters, etc.
  • Quick click menus to search by size, price, or product line
  • Specials and Lightning Deals
  • Within galleries: product descriptions via bullets, text, and hyperlinks
  • Video and audio clips
  • Unbranded literature
  • Retail prices

Advanced Skills (@ 7:25 min)

  • Classic, Branded, Unbranded w/ prices, Unbranded w/o prices
  • Search (kit, feature, or any text)
    • GK-2005
    • Associated or related kits
  • Advanced Search – Fine-tune your search parameters (@ 10:33 min)
    • Price range
    • Include or exclude rentals
    • Booth size
    • Sort
    • Text
    • Or by Product Gallery Groups
    • Check All/Uncheck All
    • Example
      • $7,000 to $14,000
      • 10 x 20
      • Exhibits
      • 68 designs
      • Fine-tuning:  Unclick the pop-ups
      • 46 designs
      • Lightbox
      • 4 designs
  • Past 5 Days (@ 15:27 min)
    • Background
    • Why it matters
    • Search all weeks, View by week, Random
    • Search by sizes
    • Text search: 10 x 20, custom
    • Links to products and job numbers
    • My Gallery
  • Home Page/Modern Inline Exhibits (@ 19:24 min)
    • Corner Clues: backlit, modular, eco-friendly
    • Corner Clues:  rent
    • My Gallery
    • VK-1334 | Modular Inline
      • Purchase and Rental Prices
      • Add to My Gallery
      • Rental Price – hardware and graphics
      • Links to “Associated Kits”
      • Photos
      • Print button
      • Specs Tab:  Downloadable setup instructions, graphic dims. FAQs, Warranty, along with general information about lead times, exhibit weight (and shipping), and electrical cord management
      • P5D – My Gallery
      • Permalink
  • Trade Show Tips (@ 27:00 min)
    • 84 articles organized into 11 categories about trade show regulations, marketing, design, logistics, and a wide range of other topics.  
    • Why is this important?
      • Think of them as Cliff Notes: While you may not need them, your clients do (and you can’t possibly coach them on every topic). You want knowledgeable, smart, and savvy customers because those are the ones that succeed at trade shows. These articles make you the library, the source of that information.
      • Secondly, it’s a tutorial, guidebook, textbook for any new employee.
    • Examples and how to use it
      • My Gallery
      • Standard USA Booth Regulations
      • 10 Common Trade Show Myths
      • 13 Common Trade Show Mistakes
      • How to Cut Your Trade Show Costs, Part 1, 2, and 3
      • Literally any of the articles about Rentals
  • My Gallery – Single-most valuable tool in EDS (@31:16 min)
    • Includes Kits, Photos, and Trade Show Tips
    • Send My Selections:  Simple, straightforward. Unique URL for each My Gallery
    • Branded vs. Unbranded
    • Saved (2) Ways:  Temporarily as a cookie and on our server for 3-4 months
    • Virtual Changes
    • Clear My Gallery vs. Reset

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

**********************************************

Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, and custom exhibit solutions, including Symphony Portable Displays. 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.

The Real Reason We Invented Symphony

July 22nd, 2021 COMMENTS
Symphony Portable Displays

The Symphony Backstory

Here’s the super-condensed backstory about the development of the Symphony Portable Display. 

In 2019, we were debating whether to continue offering extrusion-based portables. Our portable lines were selling well but not as well as two years ago. Tube-based pillowcase solutions were popular. However, we weren’t interested in a non-structural “copy cat” product. Instead, we decided to tap into our engineering, CNC bending, and design expertise, along with our extensive IP (intellectual property) and invent something totally new and original. Basically a portable that didn’t look like a portable display.

We Identified 6 Major Goals: 

#1. Design Flexibility: Mix and Match Frame Shapes with 100s of Configurations 

#2. SEG Fabric: Visually Clean and Easy-to-Install

#3. Portable No-Tools Assembly: Unavailable at the Time in an SEG-based System 

#4. Durable and Structural Frames: Strong Enough to Support Larger Monitors

#5. Accessories: Real, Practical Accessories w/o Cheesy Connections

#6. Upscale Appearance:  A Portable That Didn’t Look Portable

Did we succeed? We think so. Symphony is structural, modular, tool-less, and (best of all) elegant. No other portable offers as many accessories or design flexibility. All that plus Classic’s legendary quality, reusable packaging, and detailed setup instructions. 

Symphony Portable Trade Show Displays
Symphony Portable Trade Show Displays
Symphony Portable Trade Show Displays

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

**********************************************

Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, and custom exhibit solutions, including Symphony Portable Displays. 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.

Exhibitor Advocacy | Creating a New Financial Model for Trade Shows

July 21st, 2021 COMMENTS
Classic Conversations

Many of you know that we host Classic Conversations discussion groups with Classic Distributors every month. It’s a chance to talk about challenges in our industry and to hear from guest speakers. Typically, we don’t share these recorded conversations except with members of the Classic Conversations Groups.

Amanda Helgemoe and Exhibitor Advocacy

However, we’re making an exception this time. On Tuesday, July 20, Amanda Helgemoe, CEO and President of NuVista Event Management Services, spoke about Exhibitor Advocacy. Perhaps no topic within the F2F community is more important than Exhibitor Rights and Advocacy as we emerge from the pandemic. She was kind enough to invite members of her Advocacy Group to the discussion, and they shared their stories and perspectives as well.

We encourage you to listen to the full recording. Thanks.

How to Tame Your Trade Show Costs (and Still Be Wildly Successful)

July 15th, 2021 COMMENTS

Guest Post by Max Maxwell and Jay Menashe from EDE Corp

Large Island Exhibit

What Do Trade Shows and New York City have in Common?

Bright lights, crowded walkways, excitement. Oh, and both get expensive quickly if you aren’t paying attention!

Nowadays, with months of planning, you can save big bucks with a little bit of help when traveling to expensive cities. There also must be a way to avoid the sticker shock of a trade show, too, right? How can you save money while making an impact and enjoying an event?

Knowing your way around like a local might just make your next trade show as easy and cost-effective as booking an NYC vacation.

Next Stop, a Healthy Budget

Healthy Budget

If you’ve ever asked a New Yorker how to navigate the subway (here’s a handy guide in case you’re interested), their answer likely made your head spin. Uptown, downtown, express trains, lines with numbers, lines with letters; it’s a lot to take in.

Trade shows can be the same. However, just like the subway, once you get the lay of the land, you can easily get from point a to point b.

Let’s take a look at a few of the stops that can make you feel stranded on the trade show train.

Freight

One of the most common mistakes when planning a trade show is not knowing the difference between material handling and shipping. Shipping is the process of getting freight to a show location or advanced warehouse. Material handling is the process of getting the freight from a loading dock to your booth, storing your crate, and returning it during move out. And let’s not forget special handling; stacked shipments save space, but you get hit big time with material handling fees. So, while it seems like shipping and material handling should be a single process, it’s not. Most people aren’t aware of what happens with crates and skids once they’re pulled off the show floor ─ out of sight, out of mind.

Shipping is handled by your shipping company (i.e., UPS Freight, Sho-Air, FedEx Ground). Material handling is controlled by the General Services Contractor (GSC). Each has its own costs. For this post, we’re talking about what happens once freight is in the hands of the GSC.

Freight at a Trade Show

Freight is measured in CWTs. Have you ever heard that outside of a trade show? Probably not. Essentially 1cwt = 100 lbs. So, if your booth weighs 800 lbs. you will be charged for 8 CWTs (don’t get us started on what happens if your booth weighs 849 lbs!) The charges per CWT are a whole different story and are based on several factors, including freight classification. However, there are multiple freight classifications. Crated is the most common (i.e., freight neatly wrapped on a standard pallet or in a crate.) Special handling (oddly shaped items or items not on a pallet) and small package (usually solo packages under 75 lbs.)

Generally, you’ll have the choice of sending items directly to the show site (host facility) or to the advanced warehouse (location operated by the GSC). There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

Show site is typically less expensive because there is less movement of the materials. But, if a shipping company misses dates, you could be left without an exhibit. On the other hand, the advanced warehouse costs slightly more because they have to store it (normally you’ll get 30 days included) and move it around (onto a truck to take to show site), but you have the security of making sure your freight arrives in time.

Insider Tip: Combine shipments and make sure they’re in a self-contained crate or shrink wrapped on a standard pallet. Avoid sending materials, like flooring, which may be awkward to store or manage, and stay away from sending a series of small items that will be charged on a per-package basis. You should also talk to your other partners about any shipments they are sending. Make sure they have step-by-step instructions on how to send shipments to avoid excess charges.

Installation and Dismantle Labor (I&D)

Probably the second biggest trade show planning mistake comes to scheduling labor. Always ─ and we mean always ─ know your location. As soon as the destination is revealed, call your exhibit partner and start your research. Unions in every city operate differently, so you’ll want to understand these key takeaways:

  • When are straight time (ST), overtime (OT) and double time (DT)?
  • What is the minimum hourly charge (most unions require you to pay a worker for a minimum of 4-hours even if they don’t work that long.)
  • What constitutes a crew (typically applies to riggers or electricians who may operate machinery that requires a spotter.)
  • How many unions are on the floor? What services does each one offer?  (i.e., booth set up, electrical, freight, rigging, etc.)

Installation and Dismantle at Trade Shows

These last questions can save you A LOT of grief. We cannot tell you how many times we’ve witnessed exhibitors complaining that a laborer was unhelpful. Consider the possibility they cannot help, rather than they don’t want to help. Union workers will not cross jurisdictions — doing the work of another union can result in fines and infractions for that worker. There is a common misperception that this doesn’t apply in right-to-work states. Unfortunately, that term is not fully understood despite being thrown around loosely in the industry.

Right-to-work means forcing union membership on a worker is illegal and a violation of their individual rights. We’re not going to debate the merits for, or against, right-to-work, but consider this: Nevada is a right-to-work state, and Las Vegas is the #1 trade show destination in the country. Meaning anyone willing to work a show floor is allowed to, regardless of whether they have been to a trade show or know how to operate the equipment.

Any section on I&D wouldn’t be complete without mentioning I&D supervision. This is another grey area that can blow your budget as quickly as NYC taxicab. Supervised labor gives authorization for your exhibit structure to be built, even if you’re not on-site. You roll in an hour before the show starts, and the booth is ready. Sounds awesome, right? Honestly, it is pretty awesome, but awesome comes with a price; generally, a 30% markup on top of what you’re already paying. This isn’t just for the construction of the booth; it’s for all services related to the booth ─ electricians, riggers and anyone else. We’ll stop there and let you do the math.

Insider Tip: Always do your labor homework! Unions can be tricky, so lean on your exhibit partner to help you. They’ve likely worked in these cities before or will have resources to get the correct information. Your partner should also help you accurately estimate the labor needed and advise whether you should opt for supervision. And, in some cases, your partner contract might include on-site supervision.

Additional Show Services

Trade Show Budget Busters

Hold on to your wallet. Here are other services you should watch and plan accordingly.

  • Lighting – You would assume when you order lights it comes with power. Not necessarily. Generally, if you require additional lighting for a booth, make sure to ask for everything you need; extension cords, the correct outlet and WHO plugs it in (the person installing the light may not be the person allowed to plug it in.)
  • Electrical – When you order an outlet it’s typically dropped in a single location. If your booth demands power in more than one location, you will need to order electrical labor to distribute the outlets throughout the space. You’ll also be asked whether you want the power under the carpet (ideal) or on top of the carpet and taped down.
  • Catering – Having food or beverages in your booth seems an attractive way to lure in attendees, but it can be tricky. Catering is generally offered through an exclusive partner of the facility. Because they’re not subject to competition, the rates can be hard to swallow (pun intended!)  

General Considerations

Balancing Your Trade Show Budget

While these may not directly impact your budget, they are things that lend to an ideal trade show experience.

  • ALWAYS arm the people on-site with the name of the shipping company, their customer service number and all tracking numbers. Make sure they know how it was shipped (name of the carrier) and where it was shipped (advanced warehouse or directly to show site.)
  • If anything is shipped from outside the United States, make sure enough time is left to clear customs, and routinely track any packages.
  • Watch deadlines — from graphics approvals to hanging sign plans, deadlines can catch up with you. Nearly everyone has a surcharge for missing a deadline, so make sure to mark your calendar accordingly.
  • Pay attention to your bill from the General Services Contractor and other show providers. There’s a lot going on and mistakes happen. You will always have better success getting them corrected while at the show. After the show… it’s out of sight/site, out of mind for everyone involved.

Get Your Trade Show CityPass

When visiting New York, you can pick up a CityPASS. It gets you discounted entry at top attractions, helping to stretch travel funds. Heading to another big city, see if they offer something similar! If you’re going to travel to fun places, you should take advantage.

Planning a trade show exhibit isn’t all that different than a CityPASS. With a little advanced research and knowing how you can save on top trade show attractions, your budget stays on track, and you make the best of your trade show experience.

About EDE

EDE is a family-owned, exhibit agency. EDE designs with intention and impact to create personalized solutions for trade shows, environments, and events. For more information: www.edecorp.com.

What Does “Sustainable” Mean When Designing a Green Trade Show Exhibit?

July 15th, 2021 COMMENTS
Green Trade Show Display

If you are reading this article, then you’re already an excellent candidate for a sustainable trade show or exhibition exhibit. You may be personally committed to green materials, or your company may have an eco-friendly mission. Either way, it’s a positive choice. In this post, we’ll explore what sustainable means when it comes to designing, building, and shipping a “green display.”

Trade shows have historically not been eco-friendly. Whether it’s the “build and burn” philosophy in some parts of the world where exhibits are abandoned after one use or the tremendous waste created before, during, and after a show. Fortunately, about 15 years ago, show organizers, general contractors, and builders took a (somewhat) more enlightened approach, and there’s hope that trade shows will be even more eco-friendly post-pandemic.

You Can Make a Difference

As an exhibitor, you can make a difference, and that difference doesn’t have to cost more or compromise your design or marketing goals. Green materials such as Eco-board, ReCo, and FSC wood products are smart choices that are comparable to non-sustainable materials. However, none of that matters if you can’t get the design and the features you need in your exhibit. Thankfully, since 2007, Classic Exhibits has been designing modern Eco-Systems Displays for their clients ranging from islands to inlines and counters to charging tables. There are really no limitations.

So What Makes an Eco-Systems Exhibit Green?

Every Eco-Systems Exhibit starts with sustainable materials. These include:

  • Aluminum Extrusions: 70% recycled content and aluminum is endlessly recyclable.
  • Forest Stewardship Council Wood Products: Certified grown and harvested sustainably.
  • Laminates:  Greenguard Certified.
  • Adhesives:  Water-based, low or VOC free (Volatile Organic Compounds).
  • Eco-Board: Biodegradable polystyrene.
  • ReCo Board:  100% recycled plastics.
  • Eco-Glass: 100% post-industrial recycled acrylic or plexi-glass. 
  • Fabric Graphics: 100% post-consumer material including dye-sub SEG backlit graphics.
  • LED Lights: Lightboxes, accent lights, stem lights, and downlighting.
  • Shipping Cases made from recycled plastics and 100% recyclable when no longer needed. All wood crates are made using FSC Wood.
  • Reusable Packing Materials Made from Recycled Foam

In addition, Eco-Systems exhibits are manufactured in Portland, OR at a sustainably managed facility.

Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits from Classic Exhibits

OK, But Will It Look Green?

Do you mean funky, crunchy, or recycled looking? It can but most exhibitors want a sustainable exhibit with a contemporary look and feel. In other words, no one knows it’s “green” unless you tell them. That applies to 10 ft, 20 ft., islands, and accessories. Here are some examples from the 300+ kits in the Classic Exhibits galleries.

Islands

  • ECO-4022:  This modular design, with 10 ft. and 20 ft. inline options, has bright LED Lightboxes, reception counters with locking storage, and even a spacious interior conference room
  • ECO-4055: An elegant island with product shelving and showcases, this design comes with curved headers and a monitor option.
  • ECO-4094:  This open design with seating and a reception counter is cost-effective with as a purchase or a rental.

Inlines

  • ECO-1071: Modular and customizable, the ECON-1071 makes it easy to demonstrate products or services on the show floor with casual seating, counters, and rotating tablet displays.
  • ECO-2060: Big, bold graphics make this an enticing exhibit. There’s even a full-size closet for product samples, coats, purses, and briefcases.
  • ECO-2113: The perfect balance between backlit graphics and extensive shelving. The curved display counters put your products front and center on the aisle.

How Much Customization is Available?

In short, we’ll build whatever you want. The online galleries are idea generators where you can see what’s possible and mix and match designs to fulfill your specific marketing needs. For example, we have clients in the natural foods industry. Most want a bright and colorful exhibit with extensive shelving and storage, plus convenient counters for sampling. They also need a reconfigurable sustainable exhibit since their shows vary from local tastings when a 10 ft. booth is ideal to an industry show in Las Vegas, Anaheim, or Boston where only an island will do to handle the crowds, meetings, and press conferences.

When it comes to a eco-friendly display, there’s no reason to limit your vision. The materials are comparable in price to non-green materials and have the same construction flexibility.

Eco Friendly Trade Show Exhibit

Is There an Ultimate Sustainable Option?

There is. Custom Rental Exhibits are quickly becoming the greenest of green choices for exhibitors who want to make a difference. Many rental exhibits are built with the same materials previously mentioned, come in a variety of sizes and designs, and can be customized for any exhibitor — even from show to show. Rentals give exhibitors the ultimate flexibility to change their messaging without the hassle of ownership.

An eco-friendly rental from Classic Exhibits looks identical to a purchased exhibit. Just imagine your beautiful island display with large LED lightboxes, big overhead signs, conference and meeting rooms, and workstations at a price 40% less than a comparable purchased display.

Because rentals are used again and again, as long as the components are functional and attractive, they are more sustainable for the exhibitor and the builder. Plus, at Classic Exhibits, when components can no longer be used, we recycle them – the wood, aluminum, and plastic. That may not always happen when an exhibitor decides to dispose of their purchased display.

To view all of the rental designs, click on Rentals or Exhibit Design Search. Or start a conversation with an Classic Exhibits professional about designing a one-of-a-kind custom rental display.

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

**********************************************

Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, and custom exhibit solutions, including Symphony Portable Displays. 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.