Trade Show TalesBlog

Sustainable Trade Shows: Eco-System Displays & Eco Display Options

May 13th, 2022 COMMENTS
Eco System Displays

Eco-friendly exhibits are the future of the trade show industry. In a consumer survey, 92% reported they are more likely to trust a company that supports social or environmental issues, and 87% have a more positive image of a company that supports social or environmental issues. This means that not only will more sustainable business practices tremendously help our planet, but they’ll also help with your company’s image and sales too!

Eco-System Displays: Getting Started

Since 2007, Eco-System Displays line (Eco) from Classic Exhibits Inc. has been the leader in contemporary eco-friendly displays for trade shows and events. In fact, no other exhibit company has a longer history or built more green displays than Eco-System Displays. The company’s designs have won multiple awards including Buyers Choice and Best of the Best Awards at exhibit industry trade shows.

Eco-systems sustainable designs

All Eco products are built using eco-friendly materials, which in most cases cost the same or less than standard displays. Start by exploring the three Eco galleries in Exhibit Design Search, featuring inlines, islands, and accessories. You’ll find hundreds of designs that can be purchased “as is” or customized to meet your specific marketing needs. Want something totally unique? No problem. Our talented designers will be happy to create an exhibit tailored to your custom requirements. 

Benefits of Selecting an Eco Display

Historically, trade shows and events have generated mountains of trash. If you’ve ever participated in the installation and dismantling of exhibits on a show floor, you’ve seen the plastic, paper, wood, and metal headed to the landfill. Fortunately, COVID and a general “green awareness” have reduced the brochures, paper products, give-a-ways, and carpeting thrown away. Along with the increase in rental displays. However, non-sustainable materials are still being used by many exhibit builders. 

Eco-Systems Sustainable was founded to provide exhibitors with green trade show options that don’t compromise on the design or the quality of the materials. Eco-Systems resources eco-friendly materials similar to Sintra, a fabric made from recycled plastics, aluminum extrusions produced using recycled aluminum, FSC certified wood, Green Guard laminates, and water-based adhesives and inks. As technology has evolved, so has the quality and price of the materials. In almost all cases, it’s equal to or superior to non-sustainable materials.  

  • Aluminum Extrusions: 70% recycled content. 
  • Forest Stewardship Council Wood Products (FSC): 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 plexiglass. 
  • 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

Eco Display Products for Your Next Show

Some exhibitors ask, “Will my exhibit look green?” It can. We can design it to have a funky, crunchy, or recycled look. However, most exhibitors want a modern, contemporary exhibit built with sustainable materials. It’s green but it doesn’t wear its sustainability on its sleeve. See the examples below for a modern approach to sustainable design. 


Eco System Displays

ECO-4071: The reconfigurable  ECO-4071 island offers inviting entrances on all four sides. The backlit graphics and hanging signs attract attention both down the aisle and across the show hall.

ECO-4100: A reconfigurable island exhibit (w/ 10 and 20 ft. inline options) transforms a square 20 x 20 booth space into an inviting island with a round header and comfortable lounge. 

ECO-4073: This affordable island starts with an open floor plan with curved headers and layers on a stunning reception counter with iPad mounts and pedestals. 


eco display products

ECO-2124: This custom design with modular construction, the ECO-2124 includes downlighting and backlight, closet storage, and multiple monitor options!

ECO-1091: This sophisticated inline blends bright backlit graphics, a large monitor option, multiple shelves, and a clever reception counter into an elegant 10 ft. display. 

ECO-1127: The perfect choice for any exhibitor who requires large graphics, a monitor option, and product shelves. The modular construction expands to a 10 x 20 booth.


Eco System Displays

ECO-2C: A beautiful and affordable pedestal with a raised countertop and locking storage. Available in hundreds of laminate colors and finishes. 

ECO-42C: This large reception counter (86″ W x 40″ H x 25″ D) makes a bold statement with vibrant backlit graphics, a plex countertop, and dual locking storage cabinets. 

ECO-55C: The curved custom counter includes LED accent lights, internal shelves, and convenient wireless charging pads. 

How about Eco Display Rental Options?

Renting Eco-System Displays is the greenest of green choices for exhibitors who want to make a difference. Eco rental exhibits are built with sustainable materials, 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. Imagine a 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, when components can no longer be used, Eco recycles them – the wood, aluminum, and plastic. 

Eco System Displays

Does a “Green Exhibit” Cost More?

Not anymore. The green industry has become incredibly efficient with recycled products. With the exception of wood, all the eco-friendly materials sourced in the construction of an Eco display are either the same cost or less expensive than “virgin” materials. And in most cases, the quality is superior. There are no compromises, either in the construction or in the design options when choosing an Eco display.  

Eco-System Displays from Classic Exhibits

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. As the leader in eco-friendly exhibits, Eco-System Displays by Classic has been designing modern trade show displays since 2007. 

With over 200 Distributor Partners throughout North America, there’s a Classic/Eco representative close by. Contact us today whether you need a custom inline, a rental counter, or a sustainable island with all the bells and whistles. At Classic… We’re not just different. We’re better.

My Experience with Tive Tracking Technology

May 12th, 2022 1 COMMENT

Dear Classic Distributor Partners and Friends,


Back in November/December 2021, I was approached by Dave Brown, an old friend and colleague, regarding his new employer — Tive, Inc. Dave wanted some help to introduce Tive’s Real Time Visibility technology to the Live Events and Trade Show Industry.

I listened and the gears started spinning. Tive provides a software platform and tracking device(s) that can be placed in or on any exhibit asset to monitor the individual asset or the entire shipment’s progress in real time. But if I leave it at that, it’s just a cool gadget, but, it’s much much more. Let me explain.

Testing the TIVE Trackers

First, I tested it myself. A Classic Distributor Partner asked me to supervise a 30 x 30 built for their client at ISC WEST in Las Vegas. The client is a security device company, with cameras, doorbells, and keypads for businesses and homes. And much much more. Lots of high-end electronics.

ISW West is the client’s largest event each year. It’s important to them. Supply chain and trucking issues along with the time sensitive requirement of a trade show meant this would be the ideal test for delivery issues, both on the road and in the convention hall.

TIVE Freight Tracking Technology

The shipment was five crates that included the exhibit and the client’s valuable electronics.  Before the crates left our facility in Portland, OR, I placed a Tive Tracker in each crate. Five total. Then I loaded the shipment information into the TIVE Tracking Technology software.

Destination… Las Vegas

My flight to Vegas was in three days. The show would be held at the Venetian Expo Center (i.e., The Sands Expo). After the shipment left our dock, I went home and about three hours later, I opened the Tive software because I was curious. My son was on the couch with me and wanted to see what I was doing. When I opened it, there were the five crates on the map, pinging their location. My son asked me to zoom in a little to see their exact location. At which point he says, “Ha! Ha! Dad, the driver is taking a pee.” Funny BUT he was right! We could tell from our many road trips that he was at a rest stop near Canyonville, Oregon. The rest stop is literally the only thing there. But I digress…

Tive’s Real Time Visibility Technology allows for GEO fencing and tracking light, shock, and temperatures along the way. Plus, the ability to set the levels of sensitivity for each. It then alerts you (for example) if there is a light alert, like the crate was opened, or shock alerts, if the crate fell over or off the truck. Thankfully none of those happened.

You can also set a destination in the software, so it alerts you when the shipment is within a preset distance from the destination. On the day I was set to fly, while waiting to board my flight in the morning, a Tive text alert DINGED! The crates were in the marshalling yard, and I felt relieved knowing I would be hitting the ground running once I landed in Vegas.

When I landed, there was another DING! The freight was at the Venetian Expo.

Nope… Watch This!

At the exhibit hall all but one of the crates was in the booth space. The I&D Lead said to me, “I will walk over to the freight desk and see if we can find out where it is…or if it’s still in the yard or something.” I said, “Nope… watch this!” I opened my laptop, navigated to my Tive login, and saw that it was on the far side of the hall in a corner behind some other crates. Easy peasy, and the forklift driver was dispatched to fetch it.

Admittedly, Classic does mostly one-way shipments unlike our Distributor Partners who handle turnkey storage, service, and shipping for clients. However, I experienced the backend advantage to Tive as well. Since I was supervising the I&D, I travelled with a rolling toolbox that was placed in one of the crates. After setup, I took it to a UPS store in the hotel and shipped it back to my Office. Well, a week later it dawned on me that my tool case was still not back so I tracked it on UPS. LOST!

“Crap!” I thought. But then I remembered I put all the trackers from the crates in my toolbox. So I opened my Tive login again and wouldn’t ya’ know it they were pinging bright in the UPS warehouse on Swan Island in Portland. I called our UPS rep and convinced him to get someone to go look in the NW corner of the building for a small black hard-shell tool case. They found it and delivered the case the next day.

Contact Dave Brown at TIVE

EXHIBITORLIVE Buyers Choice Award

So why the long infomercial on a non-Classic product? I believe Tive has a strong future in our industry. While Classic may not be their biggest customer with our one-way shipments (rentals aside), our Distributor Partners are perfect candidates for this valuable technology. Think about it. Doesn’t it make sense with all the out and back shipments you handle for your storage clients and their expensive assets? I urge you to connect with Dave Brown ( to explore this sophisticated but relatively inexpensive freight tracking security blanket.

I am confident you will feel the same as me after your trial run.

Be well and have a great week.

— Kevin Carty

Your Shared Knowledge Newsletter | May Edition

May 9th, 2022 COMMENTS

Experiential Marketing Summit 2022 (EMSlive)

What a great week in Las Vegas at EMSlive 2022. I walked into this event not knowing what to expect, but several friends who had attended before told me, “Just go, interact, network, and converse and you will quickly see why this event is a part of our yearly plans.” They were correct.

EMSlive is a blend of EXHIBITORLIVE based on the end-user attendees and EDPA ACCESS with its showcase floor. And yet totally different.

For Classic Exhibits specifically, we participated for two reasons: guilt and opportunity. We have been named to the Event Marketer FAB 50 Exhibit Builders for 5 of the past 7 years, but we hadn’t participated in their event. We owed it to them to be there. However, guilt was not the only reason (Click to read the full article).

Tom Beard Returns (Part Deux)

Tom Beard

On March 18, 1995, Michael Jordan sent an “I’m Back!” fax to the media announcing his return to basketball. Like MJ another Chicagoan is returning. Please welcome Tom Beard back as a Regional Sales Manager for Classic Exhibits.

According to Tom, “I look forward to re-connecting with my friends and colleagues in the industry. In case you retired my contact information, I can be reached at and 815-321-9258.”

Tom will be responsible for IL, WI, MN, IN and MI. Expect to see or hear from Tom in the coming weeks.

New EDS Gallery — Games & Digital Activations (CP)

There’s a new Gallery in Exhibit Design Search – Games and Digital Activations (CP). We delighted to welcome Captello as a strategic partner to EDS. The Captello gallery includes eight affordable games for trade shows or events which can be launched on any electronic device. The games include custom branding, leaderboard options, and prizes. And like our other partner galleries (CORT, DS&L, Brumark, and Taylor), you can order directly from them (not Classic). Click HERE for the Ordering Process PDF.

Business Model: 10% Referral Fee or 30% Reseller Fee

Referral Fee is when distributor refers end-customer to Captello to handle invoicing, payment, etc.

Reseller Fee is when the end-user purchases directly from the Classic Distributor and the Distributor handles the purchase and support. Resellers will have access to their own Captello account and the ability to switch to different sub-accounts to set up the end-user software on their behalf. Reseller Partners receive training and support from Captello. End-users do not have to pay an onboarding fee with this model. Reseller can profit from professional services and training in addition to license fees. White label options are also available.


Classic Exhibits EXHIBITORLIVE Exhibit

Las Vegas… one final time?

  • Conference: Mon., June 20 – Thurs., June 23
  • Exhibit Hall: Tues., June 21 – Thurs., June 23

To register for your FREE HALL PASS, go HERE and ENTER code #4044. Classic will be “glowing” with a 20 x 30 island in booth #1219. Visit us and you could win a $500 discount on your next order. 

People’s Choice Voting

People's Choice Voting Page

The People’s Choice Page is active with 50 finalists. However, only one design can win the People’s Choice.

You can vote once per day until June 22, 2022. The finalist with the most votes will be named this year’s People’s Choice Award winner. All winners will be announced during a ceremony at EXHIBITORLIVE 2022 in Las Vegas.

As many of you know, we have been consistent cheerleaders for the PMA since the beginning, including sponsoring the voting page (see our banner ad). Please support the PMA by voting for the next two months.

Women in Exhibitions Breakfast

Women in Exhibitions Breakfast at EXHIBITORLIVE

Calling all Women in Exhibitions and Events! The 4th Annual Women in Exhibitions Breakfast event will be held in the Connection Zone at EXHIBITORLIVE on June 22 from 8-10 am. Enjoy a delicious continental breakfast while you network with peers and share your experience in breakout sessions. Learn how women are uniquely suited to take on leadership roles from our special guest speaker MaryCay Durrant.

Date and Time:

  • Wed, June 22, 2022
  • 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM PDT
  • Register HERE

Space is limited. Purchasing tickets in advance is STRONGLY recommended.

Find It Top 40 Exhibit Producers

For the 5th straight year, Classic has been named an EXHIBITOR Find It Top 40. EXHIBITOR “received nearly 500 applications from exhibit houses in North America, all of which were subjected to an exhaustive evaluation process including more than 50 individual criteria weighted to reflect how EXHIBITOR readers and Editorial Advisory Board members value them when vetting and selecting potential partners.”

We’re honored to be named a Top 40 once again, and we’re proud and delighted for the 29 Classic Exhibits Distributors who were also honored. Well done! Pretty darn special.


In May and June, we are sponsoring (3) “fast-paced” webinars in conjunction with Lev Promotions, Brumark, and Tim Patterson (The Tradeshow Guy).

20 Trends in 20 Minutes

  • 20 Clever and Creative Promotional Products with Rama Beerfas, Lev Promotions
  • 20 Step-by-Step Flooring Trends with James Zacharias, Brumark

The Fast and Furious 50

  • Tradeshow Stupid to Tradeshow Smart in 50 Minutes. 50 Essential Trade Show Tips for Every Newbie (or Wannabe). Tim Patterson, Tradeshowguy Exhibits

Look for the details, including dates and times, in an ebroadcast later this week.

Experiential Marketing Summit 2022 Recap (EMSlive)

May 7th, 2022 COMMENTS
EMSLive Experiential Marketing Summit
Experiential Marketing Summit in Las Vegas

What a great week in Las Vegas at EMSlive 2022. I walked into this event not knowing what to expect, but several friends who had attended before told me, “Just go, interact, network, and converse and you will quickly see why this event is a part of our yearly plans.” They were correct.

EMSlive is a blend of EXHIBITORLIVE based on the end-user attendees and EDPA ACCESS with its showcase floor. And yet totally different.

Brands and Agencies

The attendees fell into TWO primary camps:

Brands looking for new technology and best practices for their Live Event Marketing plans for the coming year. As well as find potential new suppliers for different aspects of their Live Events Campaigns.

Agencies looking to network with Brand Managers and find new partners in the supplier side to include in their offerings to Brands. Read the complete post.

For Classic Exhibits specifically, we participated for two reasons:  guilt and opportunity. We have been named to the Event Marketer FAB 50 Exhibit Builders for 5 of the past 7 years, but we hadn’t participated in their event. We owed it to them to be there.

However, guilt was not the only reason. I knew we would be the “oddball” as a Private-Label Manufacturer that DOES NOT sell direct. But over the past 8-10 years, “Agency” Distributor Partners have become an increasingly larger percentage of our customer base. Specifically, on the build side for their Client Activations, Retail POP-UP’s, Corporate Events, User Events and Outdoor Event needs.

Really Engaged Attendees

I really enjoyed speaking with the Brand Managers, who were always totally engaged! Perhaps it was because of the intimate nature of the event, but when folks were able to roam the floor, they would walk up and wait to start a conversation with me, even when I was speaking to someone else.

The catch always came about three minutes into the conversation when inevitably the Brand Manager would say, “OH… so you can sell direct to me!” To which I would reply, “No, but I do have a great Distributor Partner in your area that would be a perfect fit. They would be your main contact, and I would just be guiding the build side from behind the scenes.”

About eight of you already know what I am talking about because we’ve already scheduled calls. More are coming as I continue to process through the show leads.

The Agencies were great as well! It was inspiring to hear what they do and how they make client events interactive, fun, professional, and educational.

The Buzz in Vegas

Many have asked me, “How was the buzz in Vegas?” “WOW!” is all I can really say. There were events at all the major trade show facilities AND the NFL Draft was right in the heart of the Strip. Vegas was on fire in the best way. Whether at the hotel, in a cab, or at a restaurant, Vegas was over the top welcoming. It felt great!

In closing, to the entire team that helped put EMS2022 together, thanks for making this first-timer feel welcome and letting me know that “This is how we do it!” You put on a Class A event. I’m looking forward to next year. already.

–Kevin Carty

Classic Exhibits has been designing and building solutions since 1993. We’ve been honored as an Exhibitor Magazine Find-It Top 40 Exhibit Producer and an Event Marketer Fab 50 Exhibit Builder multiple times. Along with numerous Portable Modular Awards. 

With over 200 Distributor Partners throughout North America, there’s a Classic representative close by. Contact us today whether you need a durable hand sanitizer stand built to last, a rental display guaranteed to attract trade show attendees, or a custom safety divider with all the bells and whistles. We’re not just different. We’re better.

Casual Comfortable — Trade Show Exhibit Design

May 2nd, 2022 COMMENTS
Exhibit Design is Evolving in North America

Go ahead… relax, unwind, and take a break! Have a delicious pastry and some wine. But only if you’re attending a trade show in Europe. 

In North America, meeting rooms (with hard plastic chairs) and presentation areas (with funky ottoman seats) were always the norm. More than that and you were violating a dozen generally-accepted trade show rules. 

Not Anymore

Thank goodness. Most islands now have soft-seating, along with tables. Even inlines are more informal. Most 10 x 20 booths now include a bistro or bar table with chairs.

The emphasis on comfort and conversation says, “Stay a while, charge your phone, and let’s talk about why we should do business together.” We encourage you to embrace it, have a cookie, and a bottle of lukewarm water. It’s not perfect (yet), but your feet will thank you.  

RE-9152 Rental Island Exhibit
RE-9151 Rental Island Exhibit
RE-2125 Rental Inline Exhibit