Trade Show TalesBlog

Up Your Game Newsletter ~ September 2019

September 16th, 2019 COMMENTS
Classic Exhibits -- Up Your Game Newsletter

Product launches can be terrifying, like our NEW SuperNova™ Tool-Less Lighboxes. Did we successfully communicate the features and benefits? Will customers embrace it? Will sales grow and how quickly?

Drum roll please…. To date, SuperNova sales have FAR exceeded our aggressive expectations. It’s the first (and only) tool-free solution without compromises in durability, strength, or assembly. And it’s just as strong as our previous version but 80% faster to set up.

Thank you for your orders and your feedback. It’s been pleasantly terror-free. See the video to learn more about SuperNova.

2020 Portable Modular Awards (PMA)

EXHIBITOR Portable Modular Awards

In 2014, Classic Exhibits and other manufacturers urged EXHIBITOR Magazine to recognize portable modular design. Which they did in 2015. Since then, we have been a sponsor and advocate for the Portable Modular Awards (PMA), including the People’s Choice Award.

Over the past 5 years, the PMA has continued to grow, and the award program has become a must attend event at EXHIBITORLIVE.

  • Best 10-by-10-Foot Exhibit
  • Best Fabric Exhibit – An exhibit comprising predominantly fabric components
  • Best Use of Graphics – Graphics for the entire exhibit and/or individual applications or purposes, such as info graphics, way-finding systems, product-display graphics, overhead-signage design, large-format graphics, etc.
  • Best In-Line Exhibit (10-by-20s, 10-by-30s, etc.)
  • Best International Design – An exhibit designed by a company outside of North America or an exhibit designed by a North American firm but launched at a show outside of North America.
  • Best Island Exhibit Less Than 600 Square Feet
  • Best Island Exhibit 600 to 1,000 Square Feet
  • Best Island Exhibit More Than 1,000 Square Feet
  • Best Reconfigurable Exhibit – An exhibit that can be reconfigured to accommodate various footprints, goals, shows, etc. Entrants must submit photos of the booth in at least two different configurations.
  • Best Rental Exhibit – A portable, modular, or system exhibit comprising predominantly rented components.
  • Best Tabletop Exhibit – Any exhibit construction (e.g., panel, modular, pop-up, briefcase, etc.) displayed atop a table measuring 10 feet or less in length.
  • Best Use of Technology – Innovative and effective use of technology within a portable/modular exhibit

We are finalizing our entries and encourage you to do the same, especially on any Classic-built projects. The early entry date is 9/27, but you can submit as late as 10/11. Let us know how we can assist you.

Special Podcast about Show Services, NAB, and Trends

In a 22-minute podcast, Sue Huff, Director of Global Conventions at Medtronic, discusses rising material handling costs, attendee demographics, the impact of show organizers on rates based on a presentation HCEAConnect.

Other topics include: NAB material handling model, exclusive and non-exclusive rates, how associations can help, and how to impact change.

At one point, Sue described how many days it would take a forklift driver to move one single crate based on the drayage rate. If the material handling rate is $135 per hundred weight, the cost for a single crate was $1,500. Applying the union workers’ wage of $47 per hour against the crate cost, it worked out to be 32 hours to move one crate or 4 days.

Listen NOW to hear the full interview and her analysis.

Funky Rentals

As you know, Classic Rental Solutions has an extensive rental inventory of standard and customized inlines, islands. and accessories. What you may not know is how often we fulfill funky rental requests, like large quantities of counters, monitor stands, lightboxes, and charging stations.

As a division of Classics, CRS can easily accommodate most orders since the materials are “in-house” and not purchased from another supplier. A few recent examples:

  • Over 40 Counters with Storage (multiple times)
  • 45 Backlit Gravitee Counters
  • 14 Double-sided Monitor Kiosks
  • 18 Bistro Charging Tables
  • 12 LED Lightboxes (varying sizes)

The Power of a Design and Designers

We’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. Other than price, the single biggest factor in closing an exhibit sale is the design and the designer.

When a Classic Designer has direct access to the end-user, either as a Classic or a “Distributor Designer,” the closing percentage jumps significantly (to around 75%).

Designers ask different questions and are more likely to hit the mark on the first rendering when they participate in the discovery meeting. Including them saves time, saves money, and results in more sales.

Want to know more? Contact Katina Rigall Zipay at katina@classicexhibits.com.

8 Things Your Trade Show Display is Trying to Tell You

August 27th, 2019 COMMENTS

Everyone and everything has a story, including your trade show display. Many displays have seen things you haven’t, like the chaos of the marshaling area of a convention hall. You might want to listen to what your display has to say as you prepare for your next show.

My Crates Require a Hammer to Open or Close Them

Most exhibit houses build sturdy wood crates designed to withstand the abuse of shipping and material handling. But even the best crates don’t last forever. Bolts and wingnuts go missing, latches get bent, and doors and lids no longer fit without a little aggressive massage. Visually, your crate looks like it lost a street fight to a woodchipper.

New Wood Crates

You need to make a decision. If you plan to keep your exhibit for a while longer, then you should probably replace the crate(s). A new crate will ensure your exhibit has the best chance of surviving future shipments and drayage. Plus, if your exhibit has changed over time, the new packaging will be jigged to protect those extra components. No one, including the labor crew, likes to wrestle with a worn-out crate at the end of the show. It’s frustrating and eventually expensive.

My Instructions No Longer Match the Parts and Pieces

Very few exhibits remain the same over time. Graphics change, accessories are added, and broken and lost parts replaced. Your booth evolved as marketing plans change and that’s a good thing. However, with each change, the instructions no longer match the current design. Now, only one person knows how to assemble it.

This can’t continue. In most cases, your exhibit house can assemble the booth in their facility, check and replace any numbering, and print new graphics. If your exhibit house didn’t build it, then they will contact the manufacture for updated instructions based on their notes.

My Graphics are Dirty, Scratched, or Delaminating

Too often, we don’t see what others do. Think of those times someone pointed out a stain on your shirt/blouse that you didn’t see. Trade show graphics have a limited life, either because your message changes or they get damaged or dirty due to repeated handling. On the show floor, first impressions are always lasting impressions.

No
Not Dirty, Scratched or Delaminating

What’s with ALL the Extra Parts?

When the booth was new, there were no “extra” parts and pieces. Replacement parts, perhaps, but no extra ones. So what happened? The answer isn’t always straight-forward. If you’ve ever seen a booth that leans a bit or graphics that don’t fit perfectly, it’s usually because someone took a shortcut assembling the display. Which means, they didn’t bother reading the instructions.

Hey, the Rental Booth Across the Aisle Looks Better Than Me!

Admittedly, a rental exhibit from a reputable exhibit house should look indistinguishable from a new one. It may not have all the bells and whistles, or be totally custom, but it shouldn’t be the equivalent of a 1978 Chrysler Cordoba. When your exhibit pales in comparison to the rental exhibit across the aisle, it may be time to consider a display upgrade. And a rental just might be the right next step.

Why is My Disassembly and Repacking Such a Nightmare?

The show is over and you want to go to dinner, go to a bar, or simply go home. But, not yet. The exhibit has to be disassembled and repacked in the crate or case. That task can be straight-forward or a nightmare. There’s a good chance your dismantle team, whether the company’s employees or the hired I&D labor crew, may be unfamiliar with the repack.

Jigged Crate with Reusable Packaging

Quality packing instructions and reusable packaging materials might be the single best investment you make in your exhibit. Not only will ensure that your exhibit looks good show after show, but it will also make the disassembly a stress-free. You’ll save money on labor, reduce damage, and ensure that no component gets left behind. Before you buy your exhibit, demand to see how the booth will be packed. And repacked. And repacked.

What’s with My Boring Flooring?

Flooring shouldn’t be an afterthought. It’s another opportunity for effective branding or creativity in your (very expensive) booth space. Some would say even more important than a hanging sign.

More than ever you have choices: an extra layer of carpet padding, foam tiles, printed graphics, or even raised wood flooring. Heck, some companies are using vinyl graphics on the concrete floor to create interesting and effective graphics. You don’t have to default to rented black or white carpet.

I’m Back in the Shop ONCE AGAIN? Repairs, Storage, and Turnkey Services

Storage and turnkey services are a given on nearly all large exhibits and most program clients. Most businesses don’t have room to store crates nor the time to inspect the exhibit before and after every show. At some point, however, those costs plus any ongoing repairs mean it’s time to consider a new exhibit.

You can minimize repairs and turnkey services by taking care of the exhibit at every stage. Storage fees are negotiable, depending on how much you store and how many other services you tap into at your exhibit house. And when it’s time to retire your display, then either sell it (via a used exhibit broker) or dispose of it. You would be surprised at how often companies continue to pay storage fees long after they no longer use the exhibit.

Still wondering what to do before your next show. Contact us. We’ll make sure you’re next show is successful, without a lot of backtalk from your exhibit.

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

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

Three Cool Features on Exhibit Design Search by The TradeshowGuy

August 27th, 2019 COMMENTS

Tim Patterson, a.k.a. The Tradeshow Guy and TradeshowGuy Exhibits, created this terrific video. In the video, he shows “Three Cool Things” on his branded version of Exhibit Design Search, like how to create a display gallery. Well done and worth sharing. Great video Tim!

SuperNova Lightbox: Adjustable Tablet Mount

August 26th, 2019 COMMENTS

LED Lightboxes should be more than just a pretty face. They should also be functional. SuperNova Lightboxes already have single or double-side shelving options. See MOD-1615, 1616, 1617, and 1618 for examples. We’re delighted to add another practical feature.

Announcing the new MOD-1375 Adjustable Tablet Mount for iPad, Surface, and other tablets. The mounts are ideal for conducting surveys, lead retrieval, or simple web navigation. The mounts attach directly to the lightbox and can be positioned either inside or outside the LB frame.

In addition, the mounts adjust vertically without tools. As with all Port/Land tablet enclosures, the tablets swivel from portrait to landscape within a 180 degree rotation. See the video below or click here for more details.

Trade Show ROO vs. ROI — What’s the Difference

July 11th, 2019 COMMENTS

There’s a good chance you’ve seen Stephan Murtagh’s posts in LinkedIn, under the nom de plume of The Exhibition Guy. His posts are always educational, informative, and creative, but it’s his warmth and enthusiasm that captures your attention. He’s a genuine person trying to present real problems and practical solutions. All of which I appreciate.

A while back, he published a post entitled “ROI is a Good Acquaintance but ROO is Your Friend” in LinkedIn. I didn’t discover it there but in a UK exhibition magazine called Exhibition News. No one displutes that ROI, particularly as it relates to trade shows, can be challenging to measure. Nor should you forsake that challenge, particularly if the CFO is breathing down your neck. However, Stephan argues that ROO (Return on Objectives) may be equally, if not more important.

To Quote Stephan,

The real point here is that the ROI of any exhibition can be judged on many other things rather than cold hard sales. There are many facets and advantages to exhibiting over traditional promotions and ROI is not solely about money but also the return you get from having more time. More time to develop other facets and parts of your business.

To anyone interested in trade show marketing, it’s a thoughtful read. It may not make the trade show budget meeting any less painful, but measuring your success may have gotten a little easier.

Since the image below may be challenging to read, I’ve provide alternate links to the article.

  1. Exhibition News (see pg. 39):
    https://view.joomag.com/exhibition-news-december-2017/0417291001511775557?short
  2. Linked Article:
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/roi-good-acquaintance-roo-your-friend-stephan-murtagh/
  3. PDF (extracted from the magazine): 
    https://classicexhibits.com/tradeshow-blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Return_on_Objectives-1.pdf