Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘Eco-systems Sustainable Exhibits’

Why Sustainability Should Be Your Key Sales Differentiator

March 1st, 2019 COMMENTS

During the past year, I confirmed something I suspected was true: the push to be eco-friendly has lost momentum in the trade show industry. It’s not anyone’s fault, but like other trends, it has become an afterthought for many exhibitors and exhibit builders serving the trade show industry.

Most companies have a sustainability policy, whether it’s a corporate initiative at a Fortune 500 company or a zero-waste policy at a local manufacturer.

My question is … Are marketing departments, particularly the trade show or event marketing functions, tying into the sustainability policies of their respective companies? Some are when they’re selling a green product or service, but a majority are not since most corporation’s sustainability policies rarely include their trade shows unless it’s mandated by a show like Greenbuild.

However, “sustainability” can create a selling advantage — a key differentiator. The subject of sustainability may not be something you lead with in a presentation, but it might be the added benefit that could spark interest and make you stand out from your competitors. If everything is equal between you and a competitor in the mind of your client, then sustainability might be what wins the project.

It’s important to communicate to your clients that sustainable materials are NOT more expensive than standard materials plus the quality and durability of eco-friendly materials is equal to or exceeds those standard materials. You have the opportunity to offer your customer more for their money.

Now that you are excited about selling the benefits of eco-friendly booths, the fact remains that design is the principle reason clients make a buying decision along with the relationship you’ve established and the services you provide. For that reason, Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits will always make design, innovation, and great support our highest priority. We know that presenting a design that meets your clients’ visual expectations along with their budget is your primary goal and being eco-friendly is an added bonus.

Your success is our success so let us know how we can continue to support your sales efforts.

See below for images of our 10 x 30 booth at EXHIBITORLIVE.

Tom Beard, National Sales Manager, Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits

An Interview with Tom Beard, National Sales Manager of Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits

January 12th, 2019 COMMENTS

So much has changed over the past 10 years regarding recycling and sustainability. Most medium to large companies have corporate sustainability policies. And we are all much more aware of how our actions affect the planet.

Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits has been a leader in responsible trade show exhibiting since 1997. From the very beginning, they focused on combining green materials with affordable upscale design. They believe that a booth doesn’t have to look “crunchy” to be green. It simply has to be sustainable.

Recently, we sat down with Tom Beard, the National Sales Manager of Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits, and asked him eight questions about the company and 2019 trade show marketing trends.

Q1. You’ve been on the road a lot in 2018 visiting Eco-Systems distributors. What have you learned/discovered?

I’ve discovered that distributors love our designs. It’s the one thing I hear the most when visiting our partners, followed by how much they enjoy working with our team.

I have spent a fair amount of time this past year being a myth buster. There was a belief that purchasing an eco-friendly booth was more expensive and only for exhibitors needing a sustainable exhibit. Both are not true.

Q2. What are your plans for 2019?

My plan for 2019 is to visit the Eco-Systems distributors that I didn’t meet in 2018 and make follow-up visits with those I was able to see. I’m an old school guy that loves meeting people face-to-face and learning about their business and talking about how the Eco-Systems team can be a valuable resource to them.

Feedback from our distributors is very important to us and helps us to become a better partner. I will also continue to dispel any myths about purchasing a sustainable exhibit.

Q3. Have you seen any specific design trends the past year based on your distributor requests?

We continue to get a lot of requests for Islands that can be reconfigured to 10 x 10 and 10 x 20 inlines using the same components. We have seen more solid wall structures incorporated with SEG graphic light boxes and quite a few requests for custom designs outside of the kit options we have on our website.

Q4. The term “FSC Certified Wood Crate” is listed on most Eco-Systems kits. What does that mean and why is it important?

FSC is The Forest Stewardship Council which certifies that the wood we use is harvested sustainably and comes from responsibly managed forests. It’s important because the FSC certification helps protect fragile eco-systems, prevents illegal logging, and provides re-planting plans to ensure we have plenty of resources in the future.

Q5. What do you wish the typical Eco-Systems Distributor understood about Eco-Systems?

That our singular goal is to provide our distributors with a design that meets their client’s expectations visually and financially regardless of the materials we use to build the exhibit. Plus, we’re more than just a portable modular manufacturer. We have amazing custom capabilities as well.

Q6. My client hasn’t asked for an eco-friendly exhibit. Why should I show them Eco-Systems designs?

It’s all about the designs we offer and how we support our distributors. Then there’s the added benefit of using eco-friendly materials that are of equal quality to standard materials and aren’t more expensive. The best of all worlds!!

Q7. What’s the history of Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits?

Eco-Systems was founded in 2007 and is based in Grand Rapids, MI. We immediately began using ClassicMODUL extrusions in our systems, and until 2010, we did all our manufacturing in Grand Rapids. In 2010, we were acquired by an investor and became a sister company to Classic Exhibits and moved our production to Portland OR but kept our corporate office in Grand Rapids.

Q8. Assuming you’ll be at EXHIBITORLIVE 2019, what are the three questions you want attendees or Distributors to ask you about Eco-Systems?

  1. What makes your designs different?
  2. Are the eco-friendly materials you use of equal quality and price to standard materials?
  3. What makes Eco-Systems unique?

Visit Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits at www.ecosystemsdisplays.com. You can contact Tom Beard, National Sales Manager, at tom@ecosystemsdisplays.com or 616-726-6563. Or visit them at EXHIBITORLIVE in Booth #1941.

Meet Michael McCord, Exhibits Northwest GM

April 29th, 2018 1 COMMENT

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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

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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.

Exhibit Design Search | All New EDS Changes!

March 29th, 2018 COMMENTS

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Yes, EDS has changed… again. Now, don’t shake your head. You should be excited about these changes since they are all based on suggestions from you, our Classic Exhibits Distributors. I’m going to refer to them as “3 Modifications” since the word “change” makes some of you sweat like a cold watermelon on the 4th of July.

Modification #1

Exhibit Design Search

This one is BIG. About three weeks ago, we reorganized five galleries from product-centric to functional galleries. In hindsight, we should have done it before. It took a few weeks to make the switch since it required shifting hundreds of kits to new galleries. In short, the new galleries are more logical. Now, instead of Sacagawea, Magellan, SEGUE, and Perfect 10 galleries, there are the following:

  • Trade Show Islands:  All islands from Classic Exhibits with some from Eco-systems Sustainable
  • Modern Hybrid Exhibits:  Upscale, mid-priced inline exhibits, whether modular or custom
  • LED Lightbox Designs: Inline LED lightbox designs, whether custom, modular, or portable
  • 10 ft. Portable Displays: All 10 ft. Sacagawea and Perfect 10 kits, plus portable SEGUE, Magellan, and Visionary Designs. It does not include the Quadro or FGS pop up displays which are in separate galleries
  • 20 ft. Portable Displays:  Same as above, except 20 ft. inlines

Same kits. Same information. Just reorganized to make it easier to find the ideal design.

Modification #2

Exhibit Design Search -- Rental Feature

Several months ago, we expanded our rental design offerings, adding over 200 new kits — inlines, islands, and accessories. At the same time, we added a price comparison feature making it easier to compare rentals and purchases. That’s been HUGE hit with distributors, since it opens the door to chat with clients about rentals.

It also said to Classic Distributors, “Talk to us about what your client wants for a rental whether or not you see it in EDS. We’re open to any and all design suggestions.” And boy-oh-boy you have embraced that enthusiastically. We love the ideas. Keep them coming.

However, the additional kits made the Rental Gallery somewhat overwhelming, so we split them into two galleries — islands and inlines. There are now three Rental Galleries in EDS:

Modification #3

Advanced Exhibit Design SearchPersonally, I love the Advanced Search feature in EDS, but I suspect that few distributors use it. That’s not surprising since the link isn’t a fancy button or surrounded by flashing lights. But if you are a power-user of EDS (feel free to add that skill to your LinkedIn profile), then the Advanced Search can make your life much easier when narrowing down the perfect designs for your clients.

With all the gallery changes, we had to decide whether to keep the product search functionality or migrate to the new search options. We chose the later, since you’ve told me (many times) that the product names often confuse your clients. While that hurts my feelings, a little, I need to be the better person and not hold a grudge for the rest of my life (Internal voice:  “Suck it down Mel. Just suck it down!”)

I encourage you to explore the Advance Search feature, using it to search select galleries, conduct text-related searches, or drill-down to very specific design options such as a “lightbox with shelves.” No, it’s not Google good, but it’s still pretty darn impressive.

I plan to conduct several Exhibit Design Search training webinars this spring so look for the email notification. These usually last about 45 minutes and move pretty fast. If you’ve ever spent more than 10 minutes with me, you know I have a lot to say about EDS. Clearly.

Got questions? Give me a call or send me an email. In the meantime, explore EDS on the Classic site, the unbranded version, or your unique branded Exhibit Design Search. Confused about whether you have a branded version, contact me or Jen Labruzza, the National Sales Manager.

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

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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.

My EXHIBITORLIVE 2018 Reactions and Recap

March 10th, 2018 COMMENTS

EXHIBITORLIVE 2018 with Classic Exhibits

Hello Classic Distributor Family!

What an amazing start to 2018. EXHIBITORLIVE was visual proof that things are on the upswing in the trade show industry.

The EXHIBITORLIVE show floor, by many accounts, felt smaller footprint-wise… but boy was it TALLER than ever. Everyone seemed to go high this year, Classic included with an aluminum double-deck, one of several in our Classic Rental Solutions inventory.

The attendee mood was positive about the future of face-to-face marketing. As we know, face-to-face marketing is evolving with the blending of trade shows and events. That blending was clearly on display via digital displays, LED Walls, AR, and VR technology and much, much more.

Classic continues to be largely an enigma to corporate trade show managers. Even after 20 years at EXHIBITOR, we are an unknown entity to many end-users, which is fine. Our customer is YOU, the Classic Distributor. We participate in EXHIBITOR to  show you new products and services, to talk to YOU about how we can better serve you and your customers, and to discover more of YOU in markets where we need Classic Exhibit partners. To that end, the show was very successful.

The Classic Team did an amazing job getting the booth designed, shipped, installed, and staffed. I could not be prouder of the sweat and effort by everyone who worked on this year’s exhibit. It was Big and Beautiful!

Portable Modular Awards

On that Tuesday, we attended the 5th Annual Portable Modular Awards ceremony. We had four finalists this year, and we won what I would consider the most coveted Exhibit Design Award of the year — the 2017 People’s Choice Award. We won for the Parallon Island, a project we designed and built for our great partner The Astor Group! Not only does this award recognize an incredible design, but it’s also a wonderful example of a partnership between Classic (builder) and Astor Group (Distributorship). Thank you Lowell, Ciara, and Cheryl for entrusting the Classic Exhibits Team to bring your client’s marketing to life. To date, it’s the most beautiful exhibit we have designed and built.

Find It Top 40

As if that were not enough, Exhibitor Magazine announced a new category of awards. The Find-It Marketplace Top 40 Exhibit Builders. Classic not only made the list, but we were singled out as the Best Exhibit House in the Service and Reliability Category. Proud does not even begin to describe my feelings when I heard them call our name. We all love awards of course, but one that is based on Customer Service and Reliability means the most to me. It recognizes our dedicated Shop Crew, Project Managers, Detailers, Design, and Administrative teams for all the amazing work they do each and every day. Thank you to all the employees of Classic Exhibits for doing what you do so well.

To all of our Distributor Partners and Vendor Partners, it was great to see you and get caught up on your business and personal lives. And to our sister company, Eco-systems Sustainable Exhibits, your inline exhibit showcased your ability to GO UPSCALE GREEN with an amazing custom design. To all… Thank you for believing in Shared Success!

Have a great weekend ahead all.

Be well!

–Kevin
http://twitter.com/kevin_carty
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/kevin-carty/3/800/32a