Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘design’

60+ EuroShop 2020 Photos

February 18th, 2020 COMMENTS

Kevin Carty and Katina Rigall Zipay are in Dusseldorf this week at EuroShop 2020. We’re happy for them (and really, really jealous).

However, we made them promise to take lots and lots of photos and a few videos. See below. This is Part #1. We’ll post Part #2 tomorrow. No commentary. Just a ton of beautiful photos to share. Click on any photo to scroll through all 60+.

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

Updated Design Policies — Effective January 2019

October 24th, 2018 COMMENTS

2016-17 Design Insights by Katina Rigall (Vlog)

January 8th, 2017 COMMENTS

Classic Exhibits Design Blog Post

Katina Rigall, the Creative Director at Classic Exhibits, shares her perspective on 2016 and what to expect from the Design Department in 2017. It was challenging year with the loss of Mike Swartout, our long-time Design Director. Since last spring, Classic has added two experienced (and amazing) designers and a stable of contract designers.

More recently, Q4 2016 was stellar (thank you!), not only in the quantity but also the quality of modular, custom, and retail projects. The size, the budgets, and the variety of design projects made it FUN to be creative. The first full week of Q1 2017 mirrors this trend. Please keep them coming, whether it’s a ground-up island design, retail project, or the re-branding of a kit.


Shopping for a new or rental exhibit? See over 1400 contemporary islands, inlines, banner stands, and trade show accessories at Click on Exhibit Design Search for the largest display selection in North America. To find a Classic Exhibits Distributors, click here.



Mi Design NOT Su Design: Word on the Street — June 22nd thru June 26th

June 26th, 2015 2 COMMENTS

Kevin Carty, VP Classic Exhibits

Kevin Carty, VP Classic Exhibits

Intellectual Property

Protecting your Intellectual Property is nothing new (IP). Companies of all sizes are faced with companies (and governments) stealing their designs and ideas. Some folks view it as a way of doing business — leveraging the work of others for their own professional gain or sales. I once attended a business symposium, and the featured speaker of a Fortune 1000 company blatantly said his company doesn’t invest in R&D. They borrow the work of others. It was shocking to hear.

While some of our biggest challenges come from offshore companies trolling our corporate websites and blog posts to steal our images and ideas, it stings the most when it happens stateside.

Sadly, our industry is not shielded from these unethical practices within our own ranks. As a proud member of the EDPA Board of Directors, I can attest that protecting design IP has been a hot topic for many years. As a group, the EDPA-member companies do a good job for the most part honoring that unwritten rule.

Recently, a Classic distributor was presented with a competitor’s rendering by an end-user and asked to quote the design. The Classic Distributor explained to the end-user that they, along with their manufacturer (Classic in the case), do not partake in the practice of leveraging someone else’s hard work in design. Rather, they would sit down with them, determine their tradeshow marketing needs, and design a version that would meet their needs perfectly.

The client was delighted that the distributor and the manufacturer held that philosophy. Something the end-user was not used to seeing in their own industry.

Closer to Home


Having said that, we all fight these battles each and every day. Domestically and abroad. But it’s the ones closest to home that ave the most sting. An unfortunate example of that happened just this week for us. One of our talented designers put a great deal of work into designing a beautiful linear exhibit for a distributor and their potential customer several months ago. Fast forward to this week, when we saw a LinkedIn update highlighting a beautiful new build. Sadly, it was the very same design but built by some company other than Classic. We don’t know who built it, but we know who sold it, which makes it even more painful since we’ve known them for some time.

Don’t get me wrong. I know there are a lot of “kits” that can look similar from manufacturer to manufacturer. I totally get that. But when it comes to a “ground-up design,” you would hope, as we do, that some integrity would be left in the process.

Even in a stronger economy, when the fruits are fresher than they have been in sometime, there are still those companies more than willing to eat from other people’s plates.

Can anything be done about this on a large scale? Probably not. But I go back to the first example, the one where the Distributor explained to the end-user their ethical stance on the matters of protecting others IP… and still won the business.

How do you protect your designs beyond branding them with your company logos etc.?

It’s an age old question I suppose. But would appreciate your comments and feedback

On a lighter note, this June has been a HOT one! For sales and for weather. We greatly appreciate all the orders, large and small, and the opportunities sent our way. Just a reminder about our Gimme a GiftCard promotion on all inlines. Plus, as I’m sure you saw, we just launched a 100-Day Guarantee on the Sacagawea Hybrid System — An Industry FIRST.

Have a great weekend with your families and a strong work week ahead. July 4th is on the horizon.

Be well.