Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘Classic Exhibits’

What to Look for in an LED Lightbox Manufacturer

June 6th, 2018 COMMENTS

Rental Exhibits
Stroll through any airport, mall, event, or trade show and you’ll see hundreds of colorful LED lightboxes in every shape and size. Over the past few years, most have switched to Backlit Tension Fabric SEG Graphics. The reasons are obvious. Not only is fabric more durable than direct print graphics, but it’s also cheaper to ship and easier to maintain. And depending on the print process, the colors are vibrant and the details nearly photographic. 

It’s easy to assume that all LED lightboxes and manufacturers are similar, so the only real difference is price. Price matters of course, but there are other factors to consider.

8 Factors to Consider When Purchasing an LED Lightbox 

Hardness and Durability:  All LED Lightboxes start with an SEG aluminum frame. Every manufacturer engineers their frames using aluminum of varying hardness and durability. Less expensive lightboxes use softer aluminum because it’s cheaper. But cheaper aluminum scratches easily and tarnishes quickly. In addition, the wall thickness is often so thin that structural rigidity is compromised. For lightboxes mounted to a wall or assembled or disassembled at multiple trade shows, you will want aluminum with a 6063 specification. 6063 has better structural integrity and scratch resistant. If the supplier can’t answer that question, then you should be wary. 

Availability: Does the manufacturer have the extrusion, LED lights, hardware, and accessories in stock? And are there extrusion options depending on the situation, such as one-sided vs two-sided, freestanding vs. wall mount. What if you need multiple quantities or quick ship options? Can individual parts be purchased if they are lost or damaged? You don’t want a manufacturer who dabbles in lightboxes. 

Customization: Let’s say you need a width or height larger than the kits listed. Is it possible? If so, how complicated or expensive does it get? How about angles or shapes such as a hexagon? It’s easy to do squares and rectangles (for most manufacturers), but odd shapes and sizes are often a head-scratcher for those who only want to fulfill kits. 

Print Quality: Asking the right questions is essential. 1. Dye-sublimation printing is the best. This ensures the colors are infused into fabric, not just printed on the surface. Many suppliers brag about “fabric printing” but it’s not always dye-sublimation, which requires two steps  — printing to a paper material and then heat fusing the image to fabric. 2. Ask about the age of the printer. The dye-sublimation printer shouldn’t be more than two years old. Anything older than that means the print resolution is just OK, not photographic. 3. Just like clothing, the fabric quality can vary, which may not matter if the graphic is a throwaway and the resolution doesn’t matter.    

Sewing and Sizing:  Experienced manufacturers have this down to a science. They’ve done the calculations thousands of times with varying fabrics, and they know how to print, cut, and sew the fabric so it fits perfectly. Not too loose. Not too tight. Nothing is more frustrating than receiving a fabric graphic that doesn’t fit. 

LED Lights:  This could be a college course. Just understand the various color temperatures, lens, UL and ETL certification, module construction, etc. requires some research and patience. Like fabric, there are multiple ways to make LED lights cheaper, if cheaper is the only criteria. Skipping UL/ETL certification is shortcut. Using exposed connections or alligator clips is another. Sadly, it’s nearly impossible to know what you are getting before you get the LED lightbox. However, in this case, the old adage rarely fails, “If it’s too good to be true, then it probably isn’t.” 

Accessories: Most LED lightboxes are a one-trick pony. The are lightboxes.  That’s it. But what if you want to add shelves, an iPad, a literature holder, wings or headers? What if you want to connect it to other lightboxes or create a full inline or island display. That requires and exhibit builder who has engineered the extrusion to be multi-functional, stocks lightbox accessories, and has the in-house talent to customize. 

Assembly and Packaging: It’s easy to assume that your display will ship in high-quality cases and packaging. Sadly, that’s rarely true. Most manufacturers use disposable one-way shipping materials. Your lightbox arrives undamaged. Now you have to ship it to the next show or to another location, but there’s nothing to protect it or keep it organized. Insist on reusable shipping materials, which precludes cardboard, shrink wrap, and thin foam. All three will be destroyed after one use. See examples. While you may have to pay a little more, it’s an investment that keeps giving show after show, assembly after assembly.  

It’s important to remember that the pretty image you see on a website is just a rendering. What you receive is not. Ask the right questions and purchase your lightbox from a vendor you trust. Remember, your “may” be able to return the hardware, but the graphics, it’s yours whether you like it or not. Finally, keep in mind that you are buying a design, a marketing structure that represents your brand. It’s more than just an aluminum frame with graphics. 

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

**********************************************

Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, and custom exhibit solutions, including SuperNova LED Lightboxes. 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.

 

Classic Exhibits | Exhibit Management and Turnkey Services

June 6th, 2018 COMMENTS

Earlier this week, a Classic Exhibits Distributor asked us about our Exhibit Management program.  We thought it might be helpful to share our program and rates for anyone considering adding Exhibit Management/Turnkey Services. We would enjoy hearing feedback and suggestions from those already storing and managing their client’s assets. And should you need us to store and/or manage your client’s booth, please let us know. For Classic Distributors, as with all transactions, we do our best to remain invisible to your client.

All prices are wholesale. 

ASSET PREPARATION AND INSPECTION (OUTBOUND/INBOUND)

There are (3) levels of services offered. Our rates are:

  • $80 per hour for standard lead time (10+ business days)
  • $120 per hour for shorter lead times (less than 10 business days).

We request a minimum lead time of 10 business days, if not more, to prep your booth for any event. Overtime rates will apply for lead time less than 10 business days. Labor is billed to the nearest 1/4 hour upon the completion of each  project/show. Photos are taken at various stages can be made available upon request.

Below is a general overview of each level of service we can provide.

Level 1

  • Prep – Assets are pulled from their storage location, moved to loading dock, labeled for outbound shipment, and a bill of lading is created. The shipment is loaded onto the carrier for delivery to the specified venue: Average 1-2 hours
  • Check-in – Assets are returned to the warehouse. A quick visual inspection is performed on the crates to identify if there are any obvious damages. If there are damages, the client will be notified and further investigation will occur, otherwise the assets will be put into their appropriate storage location: Average 1-3 hours
  • Please Note – Level 1 service has a one-hour minimum billing for each Outbound and Inbound movement and is billed at a $80/hr minimum.

Level 2

  • Prep – Assets are pulled from storage shelf, and crates/cases are opened. Pieces are spot checked, counted, and checked for any noticeable damage; then they are moved to loading dock, labeled for outbound shipment, and a bill of lading is created. The shipment is loaded onto the carrier for delivery to the specified venue: Average 2-5 hours
  • Check-in – Assets are returned to the warehouse, and crates/cases are opened. Pieces are spot checked, counted, and checked for any significant damage. If there are damages, the client will be notified and further investigation will occur, otherwise the assets will be put into their appropriate storage location: Average 2-5 hours

Level 3

  • Prep – Assets are pulled from storage shelf, and crates/cases are opened. Full display staging is performed. All pieces are counted to ensure booth has everything required for the show. This also ensures all pieces are in good working order. Booth is disassembled, repacked, moved to loading dock, labeled for outbound shipment, and a bill of lading is created. The shipment is loaded onto the carrier for delivery to the specified venue: Average 4-8 hours
  • Check-in – Assets are returned to the warehouse and crates/cases are opened. Full display staging is performed, and all parts are counted, and checked for any significant damage. If there are damages, the client will be notified and further investigation will occur, otherwise the assets will be put into their appropriate storage location: Average 4-8 hours

Show Services Coordination

Upon request, we will coordinate the ordering of all show services (installation/dismantle, labor supervision, carpet, electrical, aerial rigging, data/phone, cleaning, audio/visual, lead retrieval, security, material handling, show photography, etc.). These services are based on exhibit specifications and client needs. Forms are submitted and confirmations sent to appropriate parties.  Our rates are:

  • The cost of services plus 25% for prepayment using the client’s credit card/funds ($150.00 minimum fee)

Ancillary Services, Repairs and Replacement PARTS, New PRODUCTS/GRAPHICS

We are equipped to handle other needs that may arise with your exhibit or event program, from training and exhibit reconfiguration to design services and event management. We are a full custom exhibit house, and can build and design new display items including new displays, banners, graphics, flooring, lighting, cases, crates, other packaging, and much more. We proudly sell and maintain Classic Exhibits brand displays, however, we are a distributor for a few other manufacturers as well. We will gladly work with our preferred manufacturers to order replacement parts and complete repairs on your display items. If we are unable to work directly with a manufacturer, we may require our client to step in and work as a liaison in those situations. If something needs to be done, we will make it happen. Our rates are:

  • $80 per hour minimum for standard lead time (10+ business days)
  • $125 per hour creative services labor rate, including graphic design
  • Exhibit fabrication per quote
  • Graphic production per quote

Storage

$.60 cents per cubic foot per month. Billed quarterly

Contact us if you have any questions or would like a formal quote for storage and/or exhibit management services. 

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

**********************************************

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

CORT Rental Furniture on EDS | Made Even Easier!

May 23rd, 2018 COMMENTS

cortheader

There’s a Time for Subtle Suggestions… But Not Today

For years, Classic Distributors would grumble about ordering rental furniture for clients, like sofas, chairs, and conference tables. You hated it. And for good reason. Your client would give you a link to the General Show Contractor (GSC) page with the show rental furniture options, which included the price. You handled it and charged the client a processing fee, typically 20 or 30 percent. Which is more than fair.

Except not to the client, who feels filling out a form should be cheap, or in many cases free. The fee introduces a financial “rub” between you and your client over an insignificant (but important) transaction.

About 60% of all exhibitors rent furniture, and according to my EAC sources that percentage keeps increasing, whether islands or inlines. So how do you take care of your client without the financial “rub”?

It’s Easy

You already use Exhibit Design Search. Two years ago, we added two Rental Furniture Galleries to EDS with CORT products. Classic Distributors loved it! While it didn’t include the complete CORT product line, it was a good place to start, and all the prices were in retail. Even better, the prices were competitive with GSC show book prices. EDS was the perfect place to direct your client to choose rental furniture options.

Recently, we made it even easier. You simply call CORT and tell them you are a Classic Distributor. Repeat.. Tell them you are a Classic Exhibits Distributor. They will give you the special Classic wholesale prices. Each region has an Account Manager, but the 855-663-2678 will get you to CORT’s Customer Service Department.

Even Better

CORT recently added over 100 new products to their EDS galleries — more conference tables, chairs, sofas, accessories. It’s impressive. And all include retail prices and predictable margins.

Now’s the time to eliminate that financial rub between you and your client on furniture rentals. Use the EDS CORT Galleries and FINALLY make predictable margins on those sales. You are already doing the work. You might as well get paid for it. And your client will be delighted with the service.

Have questions? Give me a call or contact your local CORT Strategic Account Manager. There are six across the United States.

  1. John Peck, Northwest, john.peck@cort.com
  2. Jill Jensen, Southwest, jill.jensen@cort.com
  3. Adrienne Fitzgerald, North Central, adrienne.fitzgerald@cort.com
  4. Derek Argo, South Central, derek.argo@cort.com
  5. Sarah Mainhart, Northeast, sarah.mainhart@cort.com
  6. Sean Colvin, Southeast, sean.colvin@cort.com


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

**********************************************

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

May 2018 | Updates to Your Exhibit Design Search

May 4th, 2018 2 COMMENTS

Blog Post_1

Hi everyone. Admittedly, not everyone is an Exhibit Design Search geek like me, except perhaps Jen LaBruzza. But after 12 years tinkering with the EDS and adding features and content, I wear my EDS geekdom proudly. The one question I get asked most often is “What’s new in EDS?” The answer… LOTS. Recently we added a ton of LED backlit kits, Gravitee One-Step displays, and just last week, three island double-deck designs.

But today, I’m going to review four updates in this video.

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

**********************************************

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

Meet Michael McCord, Exhibits Northwest GM

April 29th, 2018 1 COMMENT

ENWMMblog

We are delighted to announce Michael McCord as the new General Manager of Exhibits Northwest. Exhibits Northwest is a division of Classic Exhibits Inc. Michael brings extensive industry experience to the position as a sales and marketing executive, designer, and operations manager. He will be based in Portland, Oregon supervising the Portland and Seattle offices.

According to Kevin Carty, VP at Classic Exhibits, “I have had the privilege of knowing and working with Michael for more than ten years. To say that we are excited to have him as a part of the Exhibits Northwest and the Classic Family is an understatement. His creativity, professionalism and detailed oriented approach to all aspects of business are a gift. I am looking forward to working together with Michael ON and IN the business that we have all grown to love over the years.”

Michael was kind enough to share his background below.

Michael McCord

Michael_2I am originally from Michigan, but most recently moved from the Chicago area. My wife is a ER Nurse and musician. I have two boys: Jaxton is 9 years old and loves to read, play drums, piano, and of course video games. Elijah is 5 years old and he enjoys Legos, Legos, and Legos …Did I say Legos?

After high school, I studied architectural design and attended film school. I then spent a few years writing and performing music around the country. I enjoy the challenge of creating and innovating on a daily basis, and I believe that is why the trade show industry is so exciting to me.

My trade show experience started as a detailer / designer in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After a year, I was offered the chance to help lead the design and manufacturing of eco-friendly exhibits with Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits. In the five years I was with Eco-Systems Displays I progressed from a designer to the VP of Design and Manufacturing. My family and I then accepted an opportunity in the suburbs of Chicago that allowed me to help lead the operations as the General Manager and then President of Evo Exhibits for the last six years.

I am very excited be a part of the Exhibit Northwest team and help them grow into their full potential by serving each client through quality service and innovation.

For questions or comments, you can reach Michael at mmccord@exhibitsnw.com.

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

**********************************************

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