Trade Show TalesBlog

Archive for the ‘Mel White’ Category

Gravitee One-Step Modular Showroom Sample Kits @ Amazing Promotional Prices

January 17th, 2018 COMMENTS

Gravitee One-Step Modular System from Classic Exhibits

You’ve proposed a Gravitee One-Step Modular design to your client. They are interested. Actually very interested because you’ve explained how much they’ll save on shipping, labor, and drayage over a traditional hybrid or European modular system (as much as 40%). Now they want details.

  • How does it assemble?
  • How are graphics attached?
  • How much does it weigh?
  • How does it pack?

You can show them the Gravitee Literature or even a quick video, but nothing compares to a Gravitee sample panel. In seconds, they get it, and they’re ready to move forward.

See below for two amazing offers on Gravitee Sample Kits. Both at GOTTA HAVE Prices! Send your P.O. today to projects@classicexhibits.com (offer valid until Feb. 28).

Gravitee One-Step Modular System from Classic Exhibits

Erica Dougherty | A Discussion about Personal Branding and Business

January 11th, 2018 COMMENTS

Erica

What is Personal Branding?

Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. Branding has reached a new level  because of the rise of the Internet. The growth of the virtual world created the necessity of managing online identities. [Wikipedia]

Personal branding isn’t about coming up with a complicated strategy. Rather, it’s about knowing who you are and what you stand for, and then finding ways to make that visible. It’s about amplifying your skills and passions, which is key to rising up in the messy middle. [Forbes]

I am fascinated by personal branding as a marketing strategy. And it’s not as if it is a new concept. In its most basic form, it’s just Public Relations. What has changed is the democratization of branding with the Internet and Social Media. We all follow and/or connect with people who have established a personal brand. Some are famous. Some semi-famous. Others are part of our business or social circle.

Recently, I asked Erica Dougherty, an Account Executive at Exhibits Northwest Seattle, about her strategy of personal branding. From the photos, you can tell it’s distinctive, creative, and memorable. It’s also genuine as you’ll discover in the interview below.

Who is Erica and where did that pink hair come from? 

E-withPen2Obviously, the hair is natural! No really… it is. It should just grow out of my head this way, but it doesn’t, so I help it out “a little.” I am a designer by education/past life, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design, so I’ve always been dialed into trends and design-life. Sales and Marketing are both large parts of my background in various forms and should work in tandem. Social media, quite obviously, has forced us all to be personal branding experts; we all do it whether we mean to or not and it can be for the good of our personal brand… or not.

Intentional self-branding must be strategic, but I won’t pretend that my own was strategic: it sort of happened organically. When my hair became fully pink (it was a gradual transition), it wasn’t as popular of a trend as it is now. I would show up to networking events, and it seemed to be how people naturally remembered me from one event to the next. That was my ah-ha moment — the Pink Hair is a part of ME now. Might as well use it to my advantage!

How have you used your identity to your benefit in the business of trade show exhibit sales?

Exhibit Design Project by Exhibits Northwest

Recent Lightbox Project for Headset

I’m definitely more than my pink hair. Some would say I have a big personality too. I’m truly an extrovert, ready to talk to anyone. I suppose I’m easily approachable because I tend to make friends where ever I go. It drives my husband crazy sometimes. However, I believe successful salespeople should be memorable in some way, something positive that people remember about them that makes them unique. The pink hair concept just found me and it works. The whimsical pink hair is paired with my friendly, professional, and authentic self, thus (hopefully) it doesn’t seem unbusinesslike.

It’s all about balance. But being a little out-of-the-box does help specifically in our industry. Trade show exhibits are NOT something an individual really ever needs (like insurance, for instance), and not something companies purchase every day. It is my job to be sure that if there’s someone in Seattle tasked with sourcing a new trade show exhibit for their company, that they think, “Oh, I know someone!” and give me a call at Exhibits Northwest. So, HOW do you guarantee you are top-of-mind and easy to contact? Repetition, knowledge, memorable appearance and obviously, a bobble-head pen with my contact info on their desk!

So what is your strategy to be top-of-mind?

For the first year of in-person marketing efforts, I have be actively engaged in local Seattle networking events and groups. People remember me from event-to-event (and I remember them… that’s super important too!). Thus I am slowly infiltrating their memory and instilling a positive perception of Exhibits Northwest. Some new business has resulted from my efforts, in addition to event marketing opportunities and community sponsorships in 2018. Each of these is an opportunity to be in front of hundreds of local business representatives. Ironically, much like that face-to-face relationship building that trade shows provide.

Late 2017, my strategy evolved finally when I began planning for my first “Lunch + Learn” and wanted something as a leave-behind. The answer was on my desk for a year — a swag silly bobble-head pen given to me by a wonderful client (from a trade show).

What’s the pen’s story?

BobbleHeaderPenThe blue pen with a giant smile and orange troll-doll hair sat on my desk for about a year, making me smile. It’s just weird and funny, especially coming from my client, QCash Financial. Yep, a silly bobble-head pen from a digital lending company. Seattle’s WeWork locations (which are full of growing new businesses, likely many never or novice trade show exhibitors) are perfect locations to start my Trade Show Marketing 101 Lunch + Learns. I really enjoy working with Trade Show newbies and helping them find success.

What I needed was a fun, memorable and personal take-away,  a small token of thank you swag. I brainstormed ideas, but then it hit me. I should give out a mini-ME, pink hair and all. Each time I give one out, I am sure to say, “It’s ME!” Hopefully, she’ll sit on your desk, waiting for that moment when the trade show booth is registered and the “What’s next?” happens. Me. I’m next. Call me. I’m your trade show support, ready to help!

Where do you go from here?

First quarter 2018 is already filling up with scheduled Lunch + Learns in Seattle, plus other networking events. I’ll toss a few pens in my bag and go! It’s all about awareness, so my continued goal is repeating Exhibits Northwest in conversation, being me, and getting a mini-me pen on as many desks as I can! (Well, my first order was 150 pens, so we’ll start there!) These pens are certainly not the quick answer to gaining tons of new business… but they certainly make the process more fun.

Thanks Erica. How can you to contact Erica, whether you need a banner stand or custom island exhibit? You can reach her at www.exhibitsnw.com or erica@exhibitsnw.com. You can also find her at her LinkedIn page (https://www.linkedin.com/in/erica-dougherty-7431ab110/). You’ll recognize the distinctive pink hair.

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

Classic Exhibits Inc. | A Glimpse Into Our Production Capabilities

January 10th, 2018 COMMENTS

If you are in the trade show business, as a designer, builder, marketer, general contractor, etc., you often get a puzzled look when someone asks, “What do you do?” It can be frustrating, particularly if the person asking has never attended a large trade show (as opposed to a home and garden show or craft fair).

Now imagine you are a Classic Exhibits employee. How frustrating would it be to get that same question from a Classic Exhibits Distributor. For example, “Don’t you build portable hybrid displays?” Yes we do… but we also build custom modular, custom, iPad stands, charging stations, LED lightboxes, and even hanging signs. We design and build what you ask us to build. Sometimes it’s a table top, but more often, it’s a highly customized display for a trade show, retail store, event, or corporate environment.

It’s a New Year and Time for Resolutions

This year, my #1 resolution is to do a much better job of communicating our capabilities. That way, I don’t have to kill you when you visit our shop and say, “Oh, I didn’t know you did that!” Please watch the video below which shows our extensive production capabilities. The life you save may be yours. 😉

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

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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 www.classicexhibits.com.

Your Recent Order | Distributor Feedback Emails

December 20th, 2017 COMMENTS

Classic Exhibits Distributor Feedback

Thank You for Your Recent Order

For the past 10 years, we have sent feedback requests to Classic Exhibits Distributors. These are emailed about every three weeks, and depending on the time of year, we send 20-30 requests each time. Not every order receives a feedback email. Instead, we target a mix of distributors. It’s not a survey. Just an open-ended request for your thoughts, good or bad.

The feedback email reads:

Dear Susie,

Thank you for your recent order — 12345 Custom Inline Exhibit

Nothing is more important than hearing from you. As a Classic Exhibits distributor, your feedback serves two purposes: it tells us what we did well or, if there was a problem, how we can fix it.

There are no multiple choice questions. Simply reply to this email. Write as much or as little as you like about this order or about any other topic regarding Classic Exhibits.

I look forward to your response

Sincerely, Mel

p.s. Seriously, we want to hear from you. In appreciation, we’ll email you a $10 Starbucks gift card. What could be better than caffeine? Well, lots of things, but that’s all we have in the budget.

Nearly all the feedback is positive. And when it’s not, it’s constructive.

Blog posts should always be reader-centric, not company focused, but I’m going to violate that rule this one time. Below are recent feedback comments from Classic Distributors. The respondent’s name was excluded but not the company.

Classic Exhibits Distributor Feedback

Recent Feedback Responses

Mel, the client totally loved it!  They were so thrilled they ordered a second larger one!

It was fun for me to see a client so excited about a new piece of equipment. Great job, Classic!

–Exhibit Expressions

Your light box is what sold them! We have shown them many different designs and layouts over the years and nothing sparked an interest with them. They loved working with our team, but we couldn’t get a design they were happy with. Until you  guys showed up. 🙂 The client (and me) loved the clean design of the light box. I have worked with many light boxes in my time and I have never seen one as good as how Classic does it. I always struggle with shadowing with the lights inside of the box or them not being bright enough.

The ease of set up with the light box is also something that was a key selling point to my client. I am not the handy type but I could put this booth together. That is saying a lot!

All in all your product, your team, and your customer service was IMPECCABLE and I look forward to many future jobs with you.

–Apogee Exhibits and Environments

This order went quite seamless. The client received many praises during setup mentioning how good they looked.

The only area of improvement I’d like to see, is a quicker turnaround on production pictures. I often do not receive them before product ships or even until I request them. There is a piece of mind seeing pictures prior anything leaving anyone’s facility direct to show. In the rare case something isn’t quite right, and could be remedied while at the shop.

Other than that, I’m always confident my orders are completed on time with little to no issues ever arising.

–Impact XM

Hey Mel,

Working with your team is always a breeze. Katina had renderings of the booth the day after I requested it, and Jeff had the quote the day after that. They both made selling this very easy with the quick turnarounds. Everything went very smoothly, even when slight changes were made. The client is very happy with their booth. They used it as a 10 x 10 for the first show. They are gearing up to use it as a 10’ x 20’ at the end of October.

Thanks again to Classic and your excellent team.

–ELITeXPO

Hi Mel,

All is well in general. We have not heard from the client regarding this particular job since we had Momentum I&D it.  Your team has been great to work with on all of our Classic Exhibits projects.  I hope you can keep the ship headed on this course.  We appreciate what you and your team does for us.

— Eagle Exhibit Services

Hi Mel,

I was waiting to hear back from my client before I sent this to you. They were extremely happy with the service and the final product. She is absolutely in love with the booth! She also keeps asking me to thank, Jeff Garrett, as he was wonderful to work with and did a great job getting the booth closer to her budget by a few changes and the look she wanted. Thanks again!

–Tradeshowdirect.com

Classic offers great exhibit solutions, and the exhibit itself was a great looking display. The client seemed to be happy with the outcome.

The staff was very helpful and responsive, so I have only positive comments.

–2020 Exhibits

Hi Mel,

Kevin Schuhl did a great job meeting my clients booth requirements while keeping their budget in mind. He provided both a basic budget-friendly concept and one with more of the requested “wow” factor. My client ended up going with the “wow” option.  Working with Bob Beuhl was also a good experience. He kept us informed and the project on track.

My only negative would be that the white blocker panels were left out of the original shipment and arrived the morning the show opened. Thankfully, I was on-site and able to install them myself rather than having labor come back out and be billed a four hour minimum.

I do appreciate that we were able to start the order with only a PO and pay the 50% deposit prior to shipping. Our client was late getting a deposit to us and we really did not have time to delay the order.

— Exhibits South

Finally, on behalf of Classic Exhibits, our sincere thanks to those who take the time to respond to these requests. They are very, very, very much appreciated! Do you have feedback you would like to share? No need to wait for the feedback email. Simply send an email to Kevin, Jen, or me. Better yet, give us a call. We welcome your input.

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

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

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 www.classicexhibits.com.

 

Turn Green Into Gold | Eco-Systems Sustainable Winter Promotion

December 15th, 2017 COMMENTS

To ALL Classic Exhibits Distributors

There’s never been a better time to consider an inline or island from Eco-Systems Sustainable, whether you are an ECO expert, novice, or newbie. For the next two months, Eco-Systems will reward you with $500, $250, or $100 Visa Gift Cards.

Who wouldn’t want a little more cash? Especially if Santa brought you a Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders Chia Pet for the holiday. Yikes!

Contact their talented Designers for your next project — whether it’s a kit, modified kit, or a custom build. They do it ALL. If you are a Classic Distributor, you are also an Eco-Systems Sustainable Distributor. Sweet!

GreentoGoldPromo