Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘Boston’

Deep Thoughts from the E2MA Red Diamond Congress

July 30th, 2015 3 COMMENTS

RDC_1I attended the E2MA Red Diamond Congress in Boston last week — my third time at this annual two-day conference. The RDC is a small, but growing, group of stakeholders in the event and tradeshow industry which includes show organizers, general contractors, associations, distributors, tradeshow managers, suppliers, and labor.

Like me, you probably interact with a subset of these folks over the course of a year. So attending RDC gives me a broader perspective of the challenges facing our industry. When someone starts pointing a finger at “the bad guys,” those “bad guys” are usually in the room to defend themselves. It makes for challenging conversations.

I wanted to share a few takeaways from several sessions.  This year’s theme was engagement.

Justin Hersh, Group Delphi, “Watch Out the CMO is Coming”

“We spend most of our time asking our exhibit or event client ‘what they want’ and then creating a ‘spectacle’ to fulfill that want and attract attention.” Think of a fireworks display. It’s mesmerizing, but we don’t want to see it twice.


We should be asking them, “Why they want it and then creating ‘wonder, awe, and connection’ which drives people to do something different.”

We need to resist the lure to create a mere spectacle. Instead we should create designs that motivate and inspire change.


Bruce Bolger, Enterprise Engagement Alliance, “Engagement Essentials”

“People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”

“People want to:  Be part of something bigger than themselves. Feel a sense of belonging. Go on a meaningful journey. Know that their contributions make a significant impact of difference.”

“How does Monday morning feel when you have a bad boss?”


Jack Myers, MyersBizNet, “Future Proofing the Business of Exhibits an Events”

“Our historic relationships are dissolving. What are the new relationships? Are you connecting vs. simply communicating?”

“We must learn how to build better relationships through technology.”

“Brands that create passion and engaged relationships win.”

Eric Schaumburg,, “Simplifying the Event Eco-system”

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

“We are standing on the precipice of Events 2.0…. For all of us to participate and capitalize on this transformation, we will need to eliminate the proprietary and fragmented nature that has become synonymous with tradeshows, and align our goals with those of the younger, consumer-driven, sharing economy.”

“Millennials:  anti-establishment bias, belief in radical transparency, trained to sniff out inefficiencies or vulnerabilities, intensely idealistic, strong sense of right and wrong, philanthropic.”

“The Experience Starts Online First, Face-to-Face Second:  Set the expectation, Protect the Brand, Engage sooner, engage frequently, Make the F2F like coming home”

Simplifying the Event Ecosystem

Leonora Valvo and Joseph Carrabis, insightXM, “Engaging with Data”

“Without trust, marketing does not work.”

“People don’t trust you because you say they should; people trust you because THEIR FRIENDS say they should.”

“The experiential trilogy is — attention, engagement, and trust.”

Allison Graham,, “How to Leverage Events to Drive Business Outcomes”

“We don’t need everybody. We need to find the people we can be ourselves with.”

“Just showing up at an event is a very good way to become busy but not profitable.”


–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


Join Us @ 2015 Red Diamond Congress

May 22nd, 2015 COMMENTS

You are cordially invited to the 2015 Red Diamond Congress from July 20-22 in Quincy, MA. The RDC provides education, information, and networking opportunities for Exhibit and Event Marketers Association members, industry colleagues, and guests. It also explores new models, new methods, and new practices for the entire community of exhibit and event industry professionals.

Classic Exhibits is proud to be an official sponsor of the Red Diamond Congress. Should you have any questions, please contact Jim Wurm at E2MA ( or feel free to email or call me, Mel White, at Classic Exhibits. See you there!

2015 Red Diamond Congress Invitation

–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


Shooting from the Hip — 9.10 (TS2 and LeBron)

July 21st, 2010 COMMENTS
Shooting from the Hip (trade show tips)

Shooting from the Hip by Reid Sherwood

TS2 and LeBron

Well, a couple weeks have passed since I posted. I think Mel thought I had given up on the blog, but the reality is the 4th of July, a couple vacation days (if you call working a charity poker tournament in Detroit vacation), and TS2, and you are into late July.

Not much happened in late June and early July so I will catch up very quickly.

One interesting business tidbit has been the resurgence of island opportunities in the dead of summer. It is hard to fathom, but we have quoted more 20×20’s and larger islands in the past 6 or 7 weeks than we did in the past calendar year (That may be an overstatement, but not by much). In fact, we have closed several larger projects this summer, and as someone with almost 25 years of history in this industry, I can tell you that this is very out of character.

On to the BIG NEWS! LeBron James has signed with Miami. The Heat are fortunate to have him. I LOVE ESPN, but the charade they put on over his “announcement” was too much for even the most avid fan. If you couldn’t tell when he took his jersey off on the way to the locker room during the playoffs that he was leaving Cleveland, then you had your head in the sand.

Here is my real problem with the situation (not that anybody cares about my opinion or LeBron James), but the guy has never won. He has an ego that makes Texas look small. Those who paved the way for his multimillion dollar contract (Bird, Magic, Isiah, Kareem, Doctor J, David Robinson . . . the list can go on and on) all have something in common. They won championships. They put their team on their back and WILLED them to win. They were at their absolute best when their back was against the wall, and it was do or die. Bird won championships with back spasms so bad he couldn’t walk, but he could play. Michael scored 30+ points in Salt Lake City with a 104 fever and throwing up prior to the game. Isiah was able to score 25 points in the 4th quarter of a game 7 with a broken ankle. Kareem played through severe migraines to help his team win a championship. They all had something in common:  INCREDIBLE MENTAL TOUGHNESS. LeBron, at this point, you have the mental toughness of a marshmallow. OK . . . my rant is over.

Magellan Portable Hybrid Display at TS2

Magellan Portable Hybrid Display

Last week was TS2. Kevin has already done a great job of evaluating the show on his blog. The venue (Boston Convention Center) was friendly for an exhibitor. It was attached to the Westin and a reasonable walk, unlike at Mandalay Bay or LVCC or Orange County where you can walk a mile and a half just to get to the hall entrance. The show was small. There were not a lot of exhibitors, and even fewer attendees. However, we got over 50 leads, so the results are not bad. Sometimes it pays to be a big fish in a small pond. Tell me where we could gather 50 solid leads in the dead of summer anywhere? Many people had never seen our portable hybrids like Sacagewea or Magellan and were pleasantly surprised to find so many portable solutions for less than 10K.

We were also able to see several of our distributors. Thanks to Mike’s Pastry I have a new love for cannoli like never before. Mmmmmmmmmmm!

Now back in the office and hoping for the fall sales to start any day now.

Talk to you next week  . . .

–Reid Sherwood

Word on the Street — July 12th thru July 16th

July 18th, 2010 5 COMMENTS
Why we participate in the TS2 Show

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Post-TS2 Review and Highlights

This past week I was in Boston attending TS2  — a show that, to be honest, has had questions attached to it lately.

Questions like — What is the show’s direction? What is the show’s future? What is the motivation and/or reason for attending the show?

As the TS2 Exhibitor Advisory Committee (EAC) Chairman, I have fielded many questions about what is TS2 and where is it headed. As a long time attendee, 13 years to be exact, I can tell you that I agree the show has been (from the outside looking in), maybe a little lost. However, moving forward from Boston, I would suggest that the show has come full circle and has found its place and direction.

The Tradeshow for Tradeshows

Those of us with a long history with TS2 revere the show as the “Tradeshow for Tradeshows.” And in recent years I am not sure that has been true. Not to any particular person or groups fault, rather due to a desire to better differentiate the show from other industry shows. However at the end of the day, TS2 is and needs to be the “Tradeshow for Tradeshows” in my humble opinion.

We need to look at this event as an opportunity to gather good regional leads as well as an opportunity to forge business relationships and to reconfirm existing partnerships.

Having said that, I feel the show has gone a bit astray over the past few years by aligning itself with other associations that may not make the best sense. But at the same time, I understand the attempt to broaden the show’s reach beyond Exhibit Marketing Managers.

The education this year was well received and was a positive topic of discussion. Along with that, the floor, while somewhat small compared to EXHIBITOR, seemed to really speak to what the industry has to offer. The show floor had a real “pulse” for the first time in many years. There was a great deal of enthusiasm, and people wanted to see this show succeed and have a purpose.

I am curious to hear from those of you who attended. What were your thoughts after attending and/or exhibiting?

TS2 2011 Location

There have been some questions raised about the show’s location next year. A location has yet to be announced,  and not for a lack of trying. Much to the contrary. There are actually three locations on the table currently, and we hope to make an announcement by the end of August.

TS2 in Boston

Taking off my Exhibitor Appointed Committee hat for a moment and just address this as an exhibitor, I feel that TS2 has started to fit more as a “boutique” show. Meaning, not a major hall type of show. Rather a show that can place itself in a “destination” city. One  that offers exhibitors and attendees the opportunity to bring their families for a summer vacation as well as conduct work.

To me, the EXHIBITOR Show provides a broader spectrum of offerings to attendees and exhibitors. However, it does not always capture the whole country. Meaning, I believe that we need a second show each year for people who can’t or do not want to travel west to Las Vegas and who still want an opportunity to see the trade show industry’s latest and greatest.

Smaller is Not Always a Bad Thing

Smaller is not always a bad thing. Sometimes, a more direct and regional objective makes more sense to those who do not want to wade through a national show.

Boston, was a great case study in this. Many people were pleased and thankful to see the show in Boston — an area rich with customers and trade show-related businesses. We heard from  many of you that it  was exciting to see the show come to the NE corridor. It gave you an opportunity to catch up on what is new while not having to leave your back yard.

Classic Exhibits Island Exhibit

At the end of the day, Boston TS2 was a very successful show for Classic Exhibits, Exhibits NW, ClassicMODUL, and Eco-systems Sustainable Exhibits. Does that mean that next year we plan to have the same presence as we did this year? We’re not sure. But we’ll be there without a doubt.

As part of the EAC, we still have more work to do to get the focus of the show back to being the Tradeshow for Tradeshows. But I really feel like this year was a step in the right direction.

For those of you who did attend and/or exhibit, what did you think? Was it a good show? Would you do it again? Where would you like to see the show next year.

Great seeing so many of you last week. Especially our great vendor partners, distributors, and competitive friends.

Be well!

–Kevin Carty

Word on the Street — July 5th thru July 9th

July 10th, 2010 COMMENTS
Why we participate in the TS2 Show

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Who’s Headed to Beantown?

And Have You Voted for the TSEA Awards?

Classic Exhibits Inc. will of course be at TS2. We are in booth #315. Be sure to come by and see the beautiful 20 x 20 island we have designed. It highlights many of the new TSP profiles from ClassicMODUL which accept Silicone Edge Graphics, most of which are “backlit”! We are also showing one of the newest Sacagawea PS kits and a totally redesigned Magellan kit that will look somewhat familiar but much improved.

You will also notice the “frosting” to our booth, meaning the parts that make it shine. We are showing off SEG graphics from Optima as well as a custom-cut FlexFloor from our partners at Brumark. And last but not least, big thanks to Cort Furnishings for your assistance on the furniture!

As I have said before, TS2 is a unique show for Classic in many ways. Not only is it an opportunity to show off new products and designs to the attendees, but it is also an opportunity for Classic to spend time with many of our Custom House and Portable Modular distributors — whether they represent ClassicMODUL metal or Classic Exhibits designs and kits.

TSEA Awards

This year is a very special year as we have been nominated for The Best Exhibit House Award that will be announced at the TSEA Gala on Wednesday night. If you have not gotten your tickets for the event, please do. They are only $20 if you purchase now or $30 at the door. AND . . . please remember to vote as well!! You do not have to attend the gala to vote. Shameless I know. 🙂

Exhibit Design Search Webinars

As you may know, Mel White hosted two very successful and well-received webinars this past week on Exhibit Design Search:  Tips, Tricks, and Techniques . Make sure you come by and let him show you in person what he was able to share with nearly 70 distributors this past week: namely all the exciting new features of Exhibit Design Search. Mel will conduct another EDS webinar in August, so if you missed the webinar last week you will have another chance.

We hope to see you in Boston and that you take the time to come by and say “hello.” If you’re there during setup, please bring me water. The NE summer humidity is not something a native Oregonian is used to.

I look forward to seeing you all.

Be well and have a great weekend.

–Kevin Carty