Trade Show TalesBlog

Archive for the ‘Furniture Rental’ Category

Two Full Buckets of Exhibit Design Search Upgrades

July 20th, 2018 COMMENTS

Exhibit Design Search Updates

Recently, we made multiple upgrades to Exhibit Design Search, which probably isn’t a big surprise. 😉 The upgrades fall into two buckets:

EDS Bucket #1: 

We reorganized the EDS Home Page.

1) Modern Islands & Inlines now has 12 galleries.

It includes ALL inlines and islands, except for the tension fabric pop-ups from Optima (like the X1 and NEXT!). We kept all the Optima (OP) products together (see gallery header #4). 

2)  The ecoSmart line from Eco-Systems Sustainable Displays expanded to three galleries: 

3)  The Price and Display Type drop-down menus include more price ranges and products. 

4)  There’s a new P5D Button (no longer buried in Photos)

5)  EVEN MORE Rental Designs from Classic Rental Solutions

EDS Bucket #2:

Exhibit Design Search UpdatesAdditions to our Strategic Partner Galleries.

1)  Display Supply and Lighting (DS) made extensive changes to their Lighting gallery, including: 

  • Zig Zag LED Tape
  • RGB Modular Strips
  • LEDSTRAND Lights: Magnetic LumiRail System (Rail, Magnetic Light Modules, LUMIRAIL Kit, LUMI Power Supply)
  • LED Stick Lights (High Output and Super High output – Flat, Round and Angled options)
  • “U” Series LED Slim Line Fixture
  • LED Flex Panel Quick Kits
  • LED Pendant Lights
  • LED Ceiling Mount Fixtures
  • LED Wall Sconce Fixtures

 2)  Brumark (BR) added new products and revised existing ones, such as:

  • Image White Flex Floor
  • Chilewich Tiles with BioFelt in Basketweave, Lounge, and Rib Weave
  • NextGen Carpeting

3)  The CORT (CT) Furniture Rental Galleries are REVISED with a larger assortment and the latest designs. Definitely worth reviewing the changes. 

That’s it. Well…. for this week.

–Mel White


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

CORT Furniture | Strategic Account Teams by Territory

February 13th, 2018 COMMENTS

Classic Exhibits Distributors

A year or so ago, we added two galleries to Exhibit Design SearchRental Furniture #1 and Rental Furniture #2. These galleries are a subset of CORT’s trade show rental furniture. They were created to make it easier for you and your client to select contemporary rental furniture without having to complete the typical GSC forms. Your client is your client. They should be working directly with you, not with the GSC.

As Classic Exhibits Distributors, you have access to these galleries at preferential wholesale prices, merely by mentioning that you are a Classic Distributor. CORT processes orders based on regions. The map below shows the regions and contact information. Or you can call the main number, 855-663-2678, and they’ll route you to the appropriate individual.

CORT Furniture Account Teams by Territory

Need the PDF version? Download it HERE.

–Mel White


Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, and custom 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

5 Classic Tips x 5 Days = 25 All Right | Final Day

November 11th, 2016 COMMENTS


The Past is Not a Predictor of the Future.

Just ask Nokia and Blackberry. But that doesn’t mean you can ignore it. So, let’s end on a happy note and chat about trends. Namely, what we’ve seen in 2016 that (we believe) will continue in 2017.

Tip #21 — Charging Stations

Sometimes it’s good to be both lucky and smart. We’ve sold lots and lots and lots of charging tables and stations in 2016 by tapping into a design need. Exhibitors want charging options that don’t look like they stole them from the airport. They have to blend into the exhibit or event environment.

Charging stations say to clients, “Come into the booth and linger. Let’s talk about your business needs.” If you are a fishbowl exhibitor, then a charging option may not make sense, except for your staff. Which is OK too.

Tip #22 — Rental Displays and Accessories

Rental Displays are the fastest growing division of Classic Exhibits Inc. That’s not going to change in 2017. Exhibitors are looking for financial and design flexibility. Quality rentals are no longer a compromise either for the exhibitor or for the exhibit sales professional. And truth be told, there’s far more money to be made on repeat rentals than on a purchase.

When a client enters your door, your first question should be, “Are you looking to purchase or rent?” You can’t lose if you offer both at the get-go.

Tip #23 — Lightboxes and LED Lighting

I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. Lightboxes are on fire! Well, you know what I mean. What you may not realize is that LED lighting has become a hot add-on for counters, workstations, monitor stands, even perimeter graphics as well. The price is reasonable, and the visual effect is amazing.

We’ve become experts at RGB programmable LED lights. Tune them to the right color to match a logo or let them dance through the color spectrum.

Tip #24 — Events, Retail, and Corporate Environments

The change is noticeable. We are seeing a double-digit uptick in orders in events, retail, and corporate environments. The event business is evenly divided between rentals and purchase. Corporate environments and retail are all purchases, evenly divided between custom builds and SEG solutions. We would all be naive to think this trend is slowing any time soon.

Tip #25 — Rental Furniture

Rental Furniture Header

Is it just me or is there a lot more rental furniture on the trade show floor? I asked several Exhibit Appointed Contractors (EAC) last summer to estimate the percentage of booths with rental furniture. I expected them to say 20-30 percent. They told me 70-95%. Yowsa!

About 5 months ago, we partnered with CORT to add two Rental Furniture Galleries to Exhibit Design Search. We recognized that Classic distributors could make money on rental furniture by adding it to EDS with retail prices. Every time you don’t use it, you are giving money away to the General Service Contractors. Like they need any more money. Sheesh!

I hope you enjoyed these 25 tips. I know I did. Look for three new charging stations in Design Monday this week.

Have a terrific weekend.

–Mel White


Get Hangry! | Exhibit Furniture Rentals

June 17th, 2016 COMMENTS

Rental Furniture at Trade Shows

This week I discovered a new emotion — Hangry. It’s the moment when you are angry AND happy. It’s a little unsettling at first but then Mr. Happy takes charge, and it’s all cool. Before you ask, yes Oregon has that new “recreational pot law,” but it has nothing to do with that.

Earlier this week, a Classic Distributor sent me two rental furniture screen shots. As you may recall, we launched two Cort Furniture Rental Galleries in Exhibit Design Search about three weeks ago.

Trade Show Furniture RentalsSince then, I’ve gotten calls and emails from distributors that range from excited to bemused. Several said to me, “I don’t get it. I’ve tried to handle furniture rentals for my clients before, but it’s a no-win situation. I do the work and make little to no money.”

The EDS galleries change that. They’re in retail with an average margin of 33%. You order direct from Cort at wholesale and earn the difference between wholesale and retail. Otherwise known as “doing business” in most industries.

Why Should You Care?

At an exhibit industry event in April, I spoke to several I&D labor companies. I asked them, “What percentage of exhibitors rent furniture these days?” I expected them to say 20-30%. They said, “75-90%.” Wow! So, who’s making money on this? The furniture rental folks, of course. But the big bucks are going to the General Service Contractors. The furniture is in the show book, and most exhibitors order directly from them.

So, you would expect the prices to be lower. Or reasonable. Not so my silly friend. The GSC’s do what they do when they know they can do it (ex. drayage charges). They mix a dash of Caveat Emptor with splash of “what the market will bear.” Who can blame them. It’s what quasi-monopolies do.

Again, Why Should You Care?

Two Banana Bar Stool images (screen shots from a Classic Distributor):  One from the GSC at $348.60. The other on EDS at $247.00. Same stool with a wholesale price in the mid-$160’s — a 110% markup for the GSC, and perhaps more depending on the price from the vendor.

Pasted image at 2016_06_17 05_04 PM

Your client could ask you to order it at $348.60 retail. That would be perfect. But more likely your client will order it themselves. Now if you could show them the same bar stool in EDS at over $100 less, then they would definitely order it from you. Why not? You saved them money, made a respectable margin, and have a happy client. That’s everyone’s goal.

Can you count on the GSC’s pricing always being this egregious? No. They vary the prices depending on the show, and they run specials on certain items. However, you now have a very good chance at getting your client’s rental furniture business, if you ask and guide them through the EDS galleries.

So, why was I both angry and happy? I’ve been on the receiving end of high furniture rental prices with no recourse except to pay the price. And I know those high prices damage the perception of trade shows as cost-effective marketing. Happy… Now exhibitors and Classic Distributors have another option, one that benefits both parties. That makes me very, very happy.

Let us know if you have questions about the two new Cort Furniture Rental Galleries in EDS. Don’t see exactly what you need, contact Cort and let them know you are a Classic Exhibits Distributor.

–Mel White


Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid 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


What’s New This Summer at Classic Exhibits

June 15th, 2016 COMMENTS