Trade Show TalesBlog

Archive for the ‘New Products’ Category

Some Thoughts… After Visiting Classic Exhibits Distributors

February 3rd, 2017 COMMENTS


Southwest Ohio and Chicago

ValleyExpoIn January, I had the pleasure of visiting Classic and Eco-systems distributors in Southwest Ohio and Chicago. Reid Sherwood was my tag team partner in Ohio (Thanks Reid). In Chicago, I met up with Jen LaBruzza, our Regional Sales Manager. On our last two days, we were joined by Colleen Crawford from Eco-Systems Sustainable. By that point, we were a pretty formidable superhero team.

It’s been a few years since I had to pack a suitcase for two weeks. I’ll be on the road again later this month. Then you’ll see me at EXHIBITOR. Oddly enough, my wife has been very encouraging. Let’s just say my suitcase was partially packed before I’d even checked my departure date and time.

So, what did I hear from these distributors? Industry trends, of course, which Jen covered in her excellent video post last week (I was the dude holding the camera). Allow me to share my perspective, while not stepping on Jen’s toes.



Honestly, I was a little surprised by this topic. But, then again, my perception is tainted by Classic Rental Solutions, which has been crazy busy for several years. Most distributors have embraced rentals, using internal stock and external vendors such as CRS. However, not everyone sees rentals as a viable alternative to purchase. Don’t misunderstand me. I get it. If your only experience with rentals is portables or General Show Contractor kits, then rentals are a lesser option.

If I had to guess, I would say that 20-25% of larger inline and island booths at major shows are rentals — extrusion, modular wall, or custom. And it makes sense. A trade show exhibit is a marketing vehicle, and just like a car, we often want to try it before we buy it. And in many cases, we don’t want to buy it at all. Leasing makes more sense. I read recently that nearly 40% of all vehicles are now leased.

With that in mind, I would encourage you to discover if your client prefers to purchase or to rent. Give them the pros and cons of both options, then they can make the best decision for their budget and their marketing goals.

Bull vs Bear Market

This topic was all over the board. Some distributors had more business than they could handle. Others were busy, but not overwhelmed. Others were chasing orders. However, there were no “boo hoo’s” about business in general. For many of us, the Great Recession is still visible in the rear view mirror (objects in the mirror are closer than they appear).

What I heard was a variation of two themes — “My clients are getting what they need. Not necessary what they want.” OR “My clients are finally getting what they want. Not just what they need.”

If I had to guess, and this is truly a guess, it has everything to do with a client’s commitment to trade show marketing. IMHO — When you know what you want to be successful, you get what you want. When you don’t, then you get what you need. Yes, that’s oversimplification. Clearly, every business is different. But you are either passionate about trade show marketing… or you are not.

chargingstation9-16The Other

Pat yourself on the back. You are a lot smarter than you used to be. Which means, you no longer focus all your efforts on trade shows. Some distributors are heavily into events. Others are designing corporate environments. Still others make as much on graphics, if not more, than selling or serving exhibits. More and more are storing crates. Or handling show services for their clients. You are selling lightboxes in retail or corporate environments, and pitching charging stations for lobbies and events. The list goes on and on.

It’s refreshing. Because as your business evolves, so does ours. We now do more retail, corporate, and event work than ever before. And we love it. Better yet, it rarely follows the same seasonality as the trade show business. June and July are busier. There’s a boost of business in September and October. We all win. Well, except for November which continues to suck.


Modular Wall Systems

This came up in every conversation with distributors. Of course, it didn’t hurt that I had a case full of Gravitee Modular Wall panels and connectors. 😉 Modular walls are becoming the backbone of rental displays and many modular designs. We’re not naive. There are several systems in the market with a head start. Gravitee will have to earn your business largely through creative purchase designs and Classic Rental Solutions orders.

That said… Every distributor felt that Gravitee was the smartest, easiest, and best engineered modular wall system on the market. Now, that may sound like boasting and hyperbole, but I heard it again and again and again during the visits. No tools. OK. No loose parts. Really OK. No holes. Really, really OK.

We’ll win you over in time. We know that. We encourage you to see us at EXHIBITORLIVE.  We will be featuring Gravitee. And if you are especially nice, you just might get a special treat. But, I’ll save that surprise news once we’re a little closer to the show.

Kick ass my friends. Business is good!

–Mel White


Surface 2 & Surface 2 Pro Stands: Word on the Street — May 5th thru May 9th

May 10th, 2014 COMMENTS
Kevin Carty, VP Classic Exhibits

Kevin Carty, VP Classic Exhibits

Microsoft Surface 2 Stands

Up until now, Classic Exhibits has bet heavily on the iPad tablet. You could say we’ve doubled down a few times. And, we’d be lying if we told you that it hasn’t been successful. It’s been crazy (the loading dock is overflowing with orders) successful.

Now, that’s not to say that we haven’t welcomed Samsung Galaxy, ASUS, and countless other tablets. We have. But, you give the market what the market wants, and it’s been heavily skewed toward iPad tablets in trade shows, events, and retail.

We still believe the iPad will continue to dominate, but Microsoft has made impressive inroads with the Surface line. And corporate America loves Microsoft for lots of logical reasons. Heck, with a few exceptions, we are a Microsoft software-driven company. If you haven’t tried the Surface 2 Pro, then you haven’t seen the next generation of “all the bells and whistles” tablet. With an Intel processor, it runs the full version of Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.). It’s impressive.

The Surface dimensions are different from the iPad. This required us to develop a secure enclosure with Surface-specific ports. In addition, it had to work with our patent-pending Swivel Stop mechanism, which seamlessly rotates between portrait and landscape.

MOD-1334_sur_aLastly, we didn’t want to confuse you by introducing another line of stand designs. We’re already the industry leader there. So, we adapted the existing designs, like the MOD-1333 and MOD-1338, to the Surface 2 tablets. Same wire management, same packaging, same graphic accessories, and most importantly, same ClassicMODUL aluminum extrusion quality. We’re still adding more renderings to the Surface line. So if you don’t see exactly what you want, please give us a call.

Whether your client is looking for something to use on the trade show floor, their next corporate event, or in the retail application, they’ll be amazed by the assortment and the quality. This already amazing solution now works for clients of all kinds, whether or not they claim to be connoisseurs of “Apple” flavored Kool-Aid or one of the other great flavors. 🙂

Hope you all are well. Have a great weekend with your families.

And a very special Happy Mother’s Day to the Moms out there! I hope your kids take good care of you on Sunday.


p.s. Finally, Mother’s Day would not be Mother’s Day without a Special Mother’s Day Message from Mr. T.


Four New iPad Kiosks from Classic Exhibits

November 1st, 2012 COMMENTS

Seriously . . . Even More iPad Kiosks!

We’re excited to announce four new iPad Kiosks at price points and shapes we’re sure you’ll love. We’re serious about iPad Kiosks, Stands, and Extrusion Attachments with 14 unique solutions. Most feature our patent-pending “Swivel Stop” which allows you to switch from Portrait to Landscape mode with two fingers in two seconds. It’s that simple.

The video provides a brief overview of the new kiosks. We invite you to see the companion video as well which shows the other iPad kiosk solutions.

Give us a call or send us an email ( We’ll tell you where you can order your iPad Kiosk today. To see the full assortment of iPad Kiosks and Accessories, click here.

Our Four “Newest” Models:


  • Silver Powder-coat Finish
  • Engineered Aluminum Extrusion
  • Locking Clamshell Frame(s) with Dual Locks
  • Swivel Stop — Go from Portrait to Landscape Mode
  • Lightweight and Durable
  • Portable Carrying or Wheeled Case
  • Wire/Cable Management
  • Made in the USA

MOD-1335, MOD-1336, MOD-1337, MOD-1338

Let us know if you have any questions. And, if you don’t see an iPad solution that matches your unique requirements, give us a call. We live for special requests. 😉

–Mel White


Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions and engineered aluminum extrusions (ClassicMODUL). 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.


iPad Sneak Peek — Perfect 10 Pedestal with Swivel Stop Feature

August 20th, 2012 COMMENTS

Perfect 10 Pedestal with Swivel Stop iPad Mount

We don’t do this very often . . . but here’s sneak peek of a new product. It’s a P10 Pedestal with the patent pending Swivel Stop. It’s shown in portrait setting, but it easily swivels to the landscape mode with a quick twist. We are developing new uses for the Swivel Stop. These existing products already have the Swivel Stop feature:  the iPad Kiosks MOD-1332, 1333, 1334, and the backwall extrusion mount MOD-1318.

Click on the images to enlarge or to see the slideshow.

–Mel White


Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions and engineered aluminum extrusions (ClassicMODUL). 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.