Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘Brumark’

SIGNIFICANT CHANGES to Brumark’s Flooring Galleries in EDS — WOW!

July 2nd, 2013 COMMENTS

Brumark Flooring Galleries

Brumark has made significant changes and additions to the Flooring — Carpet and Padding and Flooring – Other Options galleries of Exhibit Design Search!

In addition to enhanced product descriptions and updated images, they’ve added a variety of flooring products to meet just about any application and budget requirement. Here’s Brumark’s description of the changes:

New Exhibit Carpet – The very popular 10′ Advantage Carpet line has been expanded. In addition to 10′ wide Advantage Carpet in 16 oz., 30 oz. and 50 oz. weights and a variety of stylish colors, we’ve added the new NexGen 10′. This quality 10′ wide carpet comes in nine vibrant, fade-resistant colors and is offered at a significant value. NexGen 10′ is available in 16 oz. and 28 oz. weights.

Additional Styles of FlexFloor Rollable Vinyl Flooring – FlexFloor is extremely convenient and easy to use — it rolls out and then back up for fast, simple installation. We added the Stone Works Collection, which provides the look of natural stone, as well two Designer collections. The Designer I collection is designed for single-use only, providing an economical option for clients who need a one-time flooring solution. The Designer II collection has four styles, including white, that can be used multiple times.

Printable Flooring – We’re also excited to add a printed flooring option that gives your clients a convenient and attention-grabbing way to extend their branding or theme to the floor. With FlexFloor Clear Choice, the image is custom-printed on the back side of the clear, rollable vinyl flooring for maximum image life. And of course FlexFloor Clear Choice has all the benefits of the FlexFloor line, including fast roll-out installation.

Elevate Raised Flooring

Raised Flooring – We added four raised flooring options that give your clients a way to create a distinctive look and easily manage their utilities. The Elevate Raised Flooring System consists of strong polycarbonate tiles and is designed to be easy to set up, level and dismantle. Clients can easily use carpet, FlexFloor or other options on the surface.

The cutting-edge A&P Flooring System is designed to easily adapt to your clients’ changing exhibit needs. The super-strong anodized aluminum frame installs to almost any size with no tools needed, and then custom infill panels just set into place. This allows users to create almost any size floor and then easily customize it. A&P holds up to 3.5 tons per square meter – including vehicles – and can be used indoors or out.

The Altitude R&R Raised Flooring System is unique in that it has an interchangeable top surface and a durable subfloor that can be reused many times. This gives clients a very convenient and cost-effective way to update the look of their flooring without having to invest in an entirely new floor.

And the TraxFlex Hardwood Flooring System provides a simple and cost-effective way to use real hardwood flooring for exhibits and events. This innovative raised floor quickly and easily installs on spring-mounted tracks — no tools required. It’s extremely durable and reusable. And because the spring-mounted tracks allow for the natural expansion and contraction of the hardwood, TraxFlex can be used indoors or in covered outdoor areas.

PromoDek Flooring

Modular Flooring – The PromoDek Modular Display Flooring System is another ultra-convenient way you clients can get multiple flooring options from their investment. It features standard components that easily click together to create a platform in almost any size or shape. The surface can be updated in minutes with new materials or printed graphics, and the floor is easy to resize, reposition and reconfigure. Plus, PromoDek is strong enough to hold cars! In addition to trade shows, this is also a great option for product demonstration, sales meetings and more.

Chilewich Tiles – We’re also pleased to add Chilewich Tiles with BioFelt™ to Exhibit Design Search. This is another very convenient option. The comfortable, 18″ x 18″ woven vinyl tiles provide a modern, upscale look. They can be installed with adhesives, but the new BioFelt backing also allows you to install the tiles with Velcro®. This makes it very easy to install, reposition, remove and reuse the tiles. Not to mention, they are an eco-friendly flooring choice made from 82% recycled content. Chilewich Tiles are available in Bamboo, Basketweave, Frost, Rib Weave and Lounge styles, in a variety of modern colors.

With all these new flooring options, there’s something for everyone. We encourage you to take some time to check out the expanded flooring galleries and contact us if you have any questions or would like more information.


Tips to a Successful Business “Open House”

July 6th, 2012 1 COMMENT

Been There. Done That.

Shooting from the Hip (trade show tips)

Shooting from the Hip by Reid Sherwood

Whether it’s sports, cards, business or anything that involves a winner and a loser, competitors are always looking for that “edge” that puts them over the top. I am not suggesting cheating. I am suggesting we follow Jack Nicklaus’ advice, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

Well, there are a lot of things you can do, but I’d like to propose hosting an Open House for your customers and/or prospects.

I have seen dozens, if not a hundred, different Open House events at customer locations during my years as a manufacturer rep. Do Open Houses work? Absolutely, if done right. But, you can’t whip them together in a day. Successful Open Houses succeed because of planning and execution. In other words . . . “if you fail to plan, then plan to fail.” You don’t need all the tactics I am proposing, but let’s explore some ideas together and the risk/reward.

Pick Your Date Carefully. I was recently at a customer event on the East Coast. They promoted the Open House via email and direct mail. They followed up with phone calls. They did everything right. They had food and they had decent commitment. About 16 new leads were supposed to attend. However, it was the week going into the 4th of July and attendance fell off considerably. The upside was that one lead came with a six figure budget for a rental, another needed a new 10 x 20, and a third plans to buy 25 banner stands soon. So, all in all, it was very successful, but it could have been more successful had a different date been chosen.

Have a Gimmick. I was at a recent Open House where they hired the local baseball team mascot to appear and entertain the attendees. It was a nice twist that brought a few extra bodies in. Nothing life changing, but very memorable. I’ve seen Elvis impersonators, magicians, you name it! One of the more successful events was held in mid winter “up north” with a “Lets Go to the Islands” theme. They had speakers every hour talking about the pluses and minuses of islands over inlines. They had musician playing Jimmy Buffett songs on an acoustic guitar in between sessions. Everyone was engaged, entertained, and informed.

At another Open House, the timing was right for an Oscar theme. So we rolled out the red carpet and had show tunes playing throughout. They had paparazzi taking pictures of everything. Everyone dressed to the 9. There were no speakers, but there was enough “going on” to keep people focused and on track.

Feed Them. If you feed them, they will come. It’s just that simple. If you want more attendees, offer beer and wine. I’m not talking about a sit down meal, but depending the time of day, it should at least substitute for breakfast, lunch, or appetizers. Peanuts and chips may be OK for your football buddies, but not for your customers.

Have a Speaker with a Compelling Topic. Whether it’s the owner, the creative director, a manufacturer’s rep, or a social media expert, it needs to be somebody with a story. Content is key. They attendees are looking for solutions that will make their business or tradeshows better. You could even consider featuring several top customers who talk about their experiences with trade show marketing.

Be Repetitive. Do it the same time each year. Pick a direction and run with it. Maybe every year you talk about the latest and greatest in new exhibits. Maybe it’s all about design trends. Become the expert so they know who to call for “all things tradeshows” and remove the reason for them to shop around.

Use Your Vendors. As suppliers, we look at these as an opportunity to spend time with you and a chance to learn more about your market and customer needs. We also get to see other vendors and share experiences and insights. At the Open Houses I’ve participated over the past three to four years, I typically see Optima Graphics, Brumark, DS&L, various freight and labor companies, Eco-systems Sustainable, and ExpoDisplays. We bring in new products and review services, which always makes for a educational and entertaining event.

Again, there is no magic formula, but pick a direction and don’t give up on it. Be reasonable in setting your goals and a budget. The first year may not be as much about new business as much as touching base with your clients. But, those contacts matter. Always remember, it only takes ONE to make it a successful event.

Give me a call or send me an email. I am very happy to share additional details about the Open Houses I’ve attended over the years, small and large, elaborate and intimate. There’s no one formula, except solid planning, careful execution, and a little imagination.

Till the next time,

Reid Sherwood

Word on the Street — March 28th thru April 1st

April 3rd, 2011 3 COMMENTS
EXHIBITOR 2011 Follow-up

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

EXHIBITOR Show Follow-up

To those who attended EXHIBITOR in Las Vegas, I hope you had an enjoyable time.

This past month was a very exciting one at Classic. I am delighted to announce that March will be the second largest sales month in Classic Exhibits’ history! Thanks to you, our distributors and friends, for your support, your orders, and for believing in our “Shared Success” philosophy.

Since I did not attend EXHIBITOR this year, I hope you will share your feedback and reactions via the blog. The Classic Team had only positive comments about the show: great traffic, quality leads, and an overall upbeat tone.

As you may have noticed if you were at the show, Classic Exhibits, ClassicMODUL, and Exhibits NW were fortunate to have built not just our own booth but also several others on the show floor.

Here are just a few. Let us know what you thought of these designs:

Cort Furnishings. The island display included ClassicMODUL black anodized extrusion, Aero Overhead Hanging Structures, and tension fabric graphics from Optima Graphics . . . and of course all the beautiful trade show furnishings from Cort.

Display Supply and Lighting @ Exhibitor 2011Display Supply and Lighting (DS&L). This inline included Silicone Edge Graphic profiles from ClassicMODUL, SEG fabric graphics from Optima, and some truly amazing LED lighting from Display Supply. Check out the picture, but don’t miss the video. Great work to Rob Cohen and his team. And additional kudos to Steve Pinette for a stunning design.

EliteXPO at Exhibitor 2011EliteXPO. This inline had a very cool lounge theme. It included several ClassicMODUL profiles, large format Duratrans and tension fabric graphics from Optima Graphics as well as LED backlighting panels from Display Supply and Lighting. Kudos to Dave, Lara, and Chuck. I heard a lot of great feedback from attendees on your booth design and theme. Nicely done!

New Leads 10 x 10. A great example of a Classic Exhibits 10 x 10 Sacagawea hybrid! Take a look. Turned out very beautiful and highlighted a very functional design. New Leads at Exhibitor 2011And special thanks to New Leads for allowing us to use their lead retrieval technology which runs off iPads. Very easy to use.

Optima Exhibitor 2011Optima Graphics Island. Not only was there a nice ClassicMODUL Tower in the booth, but did you see that Aero Hanging Sign structure?  Well done Jim, Dave, and the whole team at Optima.

EXHIBITOR Magazine. EXHIBITOR’s inline booth was a custom rental exhibit from Classic Rentals with a dynamic A/V presentation. The display demonstrated our flexible rental inventory and design capabilities. This was no kit. It was built using their design requirements for the show. Exhibitor2011_Booth

Classic Exhibits / Eco-systems Sustainable. And last but not least. I hope you enjoyed OUR booth: Your Home for Exhibits. Take a look at the pictures. What you might not know is that the structure is a Rental Exhibit! It highlights the true custom nature and capability of Jim Shelman and his whole crew at Classic Rentals / Exhibits NW. Thanks to Flying High Design for all the beautiful graphic work, to Optima for the printing, to Brumark for the carpeting, to Cort Furnishings for the comfy chairs and stools, to Nature Wall for the cool “real” grass wall in the ECO-Systems portion of the display. At the end of the day, that was probably the best overall design and display we have ever shown.

That being said, I want to say a personal thanks to Mel, Jim, James, Laura, Erik, Eric, Michael, Tim and of course Reid for their hard work last week. Not being there myself, I want you all to know how proud I am of our team and the job you did. Thanks!

Lastly, a huge thank you to our strategic partners:  Eco-systems Sustainable, Momentum Management, Cort, Optima Graphics, EliteXPO, and Display Supply and Lighting. Your guidance, generosity, and support made this year’s show particularly special.

Please share your comments about the show.

Have a great and restful weekend.

–Kevin Carty

Word on the Street — February 14th thru February 18th

February 20th, 2011 COMMENTS

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

First Timer’s Experience

This past week had a running theme — First Timers. That is, people who were either attending and/or coordinating their first trade show, or in one case, preparing for their first retail installation. You know what this is like. It’s draining, exhilarating, and frustrating — usually at the same time.

The first “first timer” is a company in California, or more specifically, their marketing agency, which is based in Portland. They are preparing for a show in Chicago in March. Helping them, and the Exhibits Northwest Account Executive, has reminded me of what happens when an exhibit leaves our manufacturing facility. It is also a painful reminder of the crazy hoops exhibitors have to jump through at each and every show.

Let’s start with their questions about electrical. I had to emphasize the need for flat cords when they were coordinating with show labor since they ordered Flex Flooring from Brumark. As we all know, unless they use flat cords, they will have bumps from traditional round cords.

Coordinating the electrical labor left the the marketing agency scratching their heads. I explained that they would need to order electrical services before laying the floor, but there was the possibility in Chicago and in future cities that they would need to order

Electrical Policies for Trade Shows

Are You Kidding Me?

an additional hour once the exhibit was built for someone to plug everything in. The look on their face said it all. I will just leave it at that. But, it also served as a reminder why many exhibitors leave a trade show with a sour taste in their mouth. They are unaware of this industry’s idiosyncrasies (to state it politely). Even if it was stated in their show book, many of those details are neither read nor understood.

The second example came from a friend who was attending and exhibiting at the International Roofing Show for the first time in Las Vegas. He called me late Friday afternoon, and I asked him what he was doing. His response was typical. “We are just sitting here waiting for our crates.” How many times have we all been there?! It’s really no fault of show management or labor. It’s just a reality of the process. Just when you think your long week, especially in a town like Vegas which has been non-stop for 2-5 days, is over, you find yourself wanting nothing more than to pack up and board the next plane out of town. But alas, you wait . . . sometimes for hours.

My friend made another comment which was very Vegas specific. He said,  “I am tired. My days seem to run together in this town.” Any of us who have spent any time in Las Vegas know exactly what he means.

The last example has to do with a local retail project for Exhibits Northwest. We are in the home stretch of the first install. After this one is complete, the program will be implemented at additional locations.

This time, we are the First Timers. We have completed nearly everything and are getting ready for the on-site installation. Having done this very infrequently, we forgot about the bureaucratic hoops to get something installed in a commercial building. For example, learning the city building codes has been an eye opener. I am not complaining, but it is foreign to me and to the team at Classic Exhibits and Exhibits NW. Apparently, in the city of Portland, whatever you build must survive the Apocalypse. 🙂

It really made me empathize with those end-users attending their first show. What’s the most surprising thing your customers experience the first time they exhibit? Please share your story.

Be well!

–Kevin Carty

Annual Letter from Kevin Carty, VP of Sales

January 19th, 2011 1 COMMENT

Kevin Carty, VP of Sales

Happy New Year!

Thank you very much for your continued support of Classic Exhibits, Exhibits Northwest and ClassicMODUL! The Classic Exhibits Inc. team appreciates your orders, suggestions, and support.

As a company, we weathered the economic storm of late 2008, 2009, and early 2010 by introducing new designs, improving our customer service, and making strategic purchases. Our 2010 sales increased 20 percent. All things considered, we’re happy with that increase, and based on conversations with many of you, your sales have improved as well. Excellent!

SEGUE Launch

We ended the year on a high note by launching a new SEGUE system – the Sunrise. All SEGUE hybrid displays feature Silicone Edge Graphics. The new SEGUE Sunrise is an inexpensive exhibit for customers who want a high-class, high-quality display that expands to a 10 x 20 inline. It’s competitively priced (starting at $2575 retail) and engineered for simple, no-tools assembly. It’s the perfect alternative to a pop up.

Sunrise VK-1905

Speaking of portable hybrids, Sacagawea sales have been off the charts. Clearly there is a HUGE market for inexpensive hybrid displays. Go figure . . . introduce a simple, lightweight, hybrid design at a competitive price and it sells like cherry snow cones at the state fair.

Rentals Rentals Rentals!

Kudos to Jim Shelman and his crew at Exhibits Northwest in 2010! Their dedication to providing creative yet affordable rental options meant that a lot of Classic Distributors did very, very well this year. 95 percent of all rental orders were creative hybrids, ranging from 10 x 10’s to Double Deck Islands. Amazing stuff! And while they offer rental kits, nearly half of all orders were new designs or kit modifications.

Eco-sytems Sustainable Exhibits

In June of 2010, we announced our partnership and ownership stake in Eco-systems Sustainable Exhibitsthe Leader in Sustainable Exhibits. We are proud to put our name side by side with a display company that shares our core values. Eco-systems’ innovative displays are designed by Michael McCord using ClassicMODUL profiles as its backbone. We encourage you to contact Eric Albery or Tim Morris if you have not worked with them. No one knows sustainability better than Eco.

Marketing Efforts

Those of you who know Mel White, our VP of Marketing and Business Development, know that his mind never stops. This past year was no different as evidenced by some of the great things he developed and implemented in 2010.

Peek-a-Booth:  It’s not just a catchy name, but an effective webcam tool at the fingertips of every Distributor and End-user alike. With Peek-a-Booth, you can preview booths live as they are constructed, and with the pan and zoom capabilities, you can see and critique the final set-up. Be sure to contact your Classic project manager about how to access the two webcams on your next order.

Exhibit Design Search Changes/Improvements:  This is Mel’s baby! And it shows in the constant tweaks and improvements he makes to this amazing web-based tool. Last year, Mel, with the help of Edie, Anne, Charlie, Wade, Bob, Tim, and Mike, added videos animations, photos galore, and even more graphics dims and set-up instructions. In addition, Exhibit Design Search now includes Eco-systems designs, flooring options from Brumark, and even more products from Optima Graphics. Expect to see another gallery by Q2, featuring products from a well-know industry supplier.

We encourage you to browse through Exhibit Design Search. You will be amazed by the comprehensive nature of this online tool. I wasn’t sure it could get much better . . . boy did it ever! Give Mel a call if you haven’t added Exhibit Design Search to your website.

Webinars:  Last year, we dipped our toe in the water on webinars. This year we’ll dive in head first. In 2010, we conducted sessions on Tips and Tricks of Exhibit Design Search in addition to sessions on Social Media and Blogging (hosted by Tim Patterson). Expect a webinar on Classic Hybrid Displays in Q1, which will present the features and benefits of Visionary Designs, Sacagawea, Magellan, Perfect 10, and SEGUE.

Trade Show Tales Blog

Blog:  We started blogging in late 2009, but in 2010 we took it to the next level. Trade Show Tales was initially centered around my weekly column, “Word on the Street,” but the blog has really grown far beyond my ramblings. It now includes Mel and Reid’s ramblings! Ha! Seriously though, it really has become an effective tool for communicating product and service updates and the pulse at Classic every week. Thanks to those “Twits” and “LinkedIn” folks out there for posting, reposting, and tweeting the blog postings so frequently. Not to mention all the comments we receive. Please keep them coming in 2011

Industry Boards and News

On a personal note, I am delighted to announce my appointment to several industry posts. I was appointed/elected to the EDPA Board, the Exhibitor Show Advisory Committee, and the HCEA Advisory Committee. I am honored by the appointments, and committed to improving our industry.  Thank you for the opportunity.

Speaking of shows . . . EXHIBITOR is our next big event. And I hope you are ready. We have two very exciting things on tap. First of course is our stunning exhibit design for the show. I personally can’t wait to share that with you all as soon as we flesh out all the details. Secondly, is something I will just refer to simply as “THE EVENT.” Stay tuned, we have something really fun in store in partnership with several strategic partners. Be patient. There’s more to come.

On another note, as the Advisory Board Chairman for the TS2 Show, I am deeply saddened by the announcement to cancel the event for 2011. While I understand the decision and support it in many ways, as someone who has been doing this for 16 plus years, I am nevertheless disappointed. As a company, Classic fully supports the plan to “re-tool” TS2 and re-launch it in 2012. TS2 has always been a very successful event for us.

Vendor Partners and ClassicMODUL

Visionary Designs Island

I know this sometimes feels like a bit of a love fest when I talk about our partners, but there is good reason. Like in life, a business is only as good as its people and the companies it surrounds itself with. To that end, I want to extend my gratitude to Brumark, EliteXPO, Display Supply and Lighting, Momentum Management, and most importantly Optima Graphics. Thanks again for helping make Classic and its network of distributors the best. You are all a huge part of our success.

Big news from ClassicMODUL. In early February, ClassicMODUL will officially open its Southeast USA Extrusion Depot! I am very excited about the opportunities this presents for ClassicMODUL, Classic Exhibits, and our customers in the Southeast. More to come when the depot opens in February.

Before signing off, I would be remiss if I did not mention the CMT docu-drama my friend and co-worker Reid Sherwood has endured once again this past year. He and his family experienced a 3rd house fire in the course of approximately 26 months. Unreal! In all honestly, I truly admire the way Reid, Vickie, and the girls have endured over the past several months. It has been truly inspiring to see how they banded together during such difficult circumstances. However, I do have one favor to ask of you all. When you see Reid next, please comment on his new cologne, “Ode de SOOT.” Tell him it smells good. The poor guy is self conscience enough as it is.

Cheers to a great 2011. See you soon.

Kevin Carty
Vice President of Sales
Classic Exhibits Inc.