Fifteen years ago, Classic Exhibits made a commitment to sustainable exhibits with ecoSmart Sustainable Displays. Our commitment hasn’t waivered with over 150 eco-friendly islands, inlines, and accessories.
We invite you to explore ecoSmart Sustainable this month. Our Summer Savings Promotion features over 25 contemporary eco-friendly designs. Effective through 8/31/23.
The sky’s the limit for our ecoSmart Sustainable Displays. All of our ecoSmart products are designed and constructed with the most environmentally-friendly materials available.
If you do not see a design that meets your specific needs, let us know. We have an exhibit design service. Allow us to create a unique, custom display that is specific to your needs.
“Let’s host an event in Louisville for our Distribution Partners
during EXHIBITORLIVE.” Yes, please! Throwing unique corporate events is one of the most
enjoyable tasks anyone can ask of me.
When someone says Louisville, you
might immediately think Kentucky Derby. Or where 90% of the world’s bourbon is
distilled. Not me. While they’re both iconic and associated with Louisville,
they’re both just a bit too on the nose.
Louisville to me says baseball because it’s the home of the Louisville Slugger Museum and Bat Factory. Starting in 1884, Hillerich & Bradsby (aka Louisvillle Slugger) is the country’s oldest continually operating sport’s equipment manufacturer in the United States. Every kid who’s ever played Little League knows Louisville Slugger baseball bats. And as luck would have it, it’s a convenient ½ mile walk from the Louisville International Convention Center.
Hosting Your Event
Hosting a successful event is simple if you follow a few guidelines. Here are 5 tips to hosting a memorable event that your guests will remember for years:
1. Pulling the Rope– Why are you hosting the event? Are you trying to promote a new product or service? Are you presenting year-end awards? Just like designing a successful exhibit, the best way to accomplish any goal is to know it and share it with your entire Team. Pull the rope in the same direction at the same time.
2. I Want Buzz – We’ve all attended corporate events held during trade shows. Maybe it was a party sponsored by a client, a vendor, a publication. While I’m always thrilled to be invited, these events often end up being “okay” or “nice.” I don’t want nice. Don’t they all just sort of fade away into a hazy blur of sameness just as soon as you walk out the door?
If you’re going to host a party, make
it memorable. I want buzz. I want people thinking about the event long after
3. Forget the Crudite – Hotel Ballroom? Trade Show Floor? There are reasons companies host their events in these spaces. It’s simple. But simple doesn’t usually lead to memorable.
Find unique venues. Look for a place
where parties aren’t usually held. Throw more money into the location rather
than the food being served. Guests will remember a unique space long after
they’ve forgotten about that crudité.
I’ve thrown events in a stinky 90-year-old
boxing gym, the bell tower of the National Cathedral, a wax museum, Cirque de
Soleil’s private gym for their performers, the Kennedy Center. I once scouted
the ballroom at the Russian Embassy in DC. The venue is EVERYTHING.
Once you’ve selected your unique venue, add layers. Did you know that you can rent the island of Alcatraz? You can!Thank you, National Park Service! For that party we hired an ex-guard and ex-prisoner to speak with attendees in the prison’s old chow hall. Memorable? Exclamation Point!!!
4. It All Starts with the Invitation – The event doesn’t start at 5:00 pm. It starts about a month before the event when the invitation lands. That’s when you start building the buzz with an unforgettable invitation
Louisville Slugger Museum – An oversized vintage baseball ticket and a box of Cracker Jack.
Alcatraz – An oversized Monopoly Get
Out of Jail Free card.
National Cathedral – A shocking postcard that demanded attention.
Boxing Gym – A cool, retro boxing poster.
Invitations offer an opportunity for some
pretty serious pre-buzz, weeks before the event ever begins.
5. If You Build It, They Will Come – While there are lots of things you can stress about, getting your guests to show up probably isn’t going to be one of them. As a matter of fact, once your guests experience one of your parties, they’ll be on the lookout for next year’s invitation months in advance.
Wanna talk about planning unique, fun business events for your Clients? Give me a call. Happy to chat.
Recently, I spoke with Jessica Sibila, who’s the owner of Jessica Sibila Consulting, and the Executive Director of The Exhibitor Advocate. If you are unfamiliar with The Exhibitor Advocate that’s understandable. It’s brand new. However, the professionals spearheading this association have been championing the rights of exhibitors for many years.
For anyone who’s worked in the exhibit industry or participated in trade shows, you know it can be complicated, confusing, and often opaque, especially to exhibitors. They don’t always know their rights or how to dispute charges or even propose changes to a show. Collectively, they have the largest financial commitment to the success of a trade show but often the least amount of influence on how it’s priced, managed, and marketed.
The Exhibitor Advocate Mission
The Exhibitor Advocate is a newly formed non-profit organization dedicated to supporting exhibitor needs in the exhibitions and events industry. The group provides expert advice, research, and tools to act on behalf of all exhibiting companies, focusing on addressing challenges and pain points so that exhibitions and events remain a valuable and irreplaceable marketing channel.
Exhibitors are an essential part of the industry ecosystem; without them, we don’t have a trade show. In this post-COVID world, exhibitors are being challenged by exponentially rising costs, lack of data availability, and limited metrics and ROI. It’s important the industry understands the needs of the exhibiting community and works towards addressing these issues in order to sustain the industry for the future. We can no longer rely solely on the attendee to drive the success of a trade show. The exhibitor is a strategic partner in creating an event that is beneficial for all parties.
The Exhibitor Advocate amplifies the voice of the exhibitor. We are a powerful community that finally has a platform for sharing best practices and addressing challenges we face. We invite all industry stakeholders to join the cause and support The Exhibitor Advocate. Become a member or donate funds at ExhibitorAdvocacy.com. Together, we can ensure the enduring success of the exhibitions and events industry.
In recent years there has been a movement toward minimizing waste in the exhibit and event industry, from minimizing printed materials to laying down carpet tiles that can be re-used. Nancy Zavada founder and president of MeetGreen, was thinking outside the box when she found a way to donate graphic murals from the IMEX America Show, which often get trashed after one show, to a senior citizen home for use in their common areas.
But one hurdle that hasn’t been overcome is the problem of what is known as “Build & Burn.” That’s when a custom exhibit is built for a particular event and when the show is over it literally gets tossed into a landfill. I hope it’s obvious that this practice is inherently wasteful, but while it has largely fallen out of favor in the U.S., Build & Burn is still commonplace in Europe and Asia.
A few years ago, for example, one of my financial clients needed me to design and build three 20-foot inline exhibits, one for the US, one for Europe, and one for Asia. She accepted our proposal for two of the three but said she found a much lower price for the exhibit in Asia. I warned her about the Build & Burn issue and asked her whether the exhibit will be designed and constructed for long-term, multiple-event use. Well, three months later, she called me to say the vendor disposed of the exhibit after the first show.
The Environmental Impact
“Even though there are increased efforts internationally to use sustainable or recycled materials in the construction of trade show exhibits, Build & Burn is still the predominant method of booth construction in many parts of the world,” says Tom Beard, Regional Sales Manager of Classic Exhibits. “It has a major impact on the environment due to the amount of materials sent to a landfill.”
There are some legitimate reasons why companies choose Build & Burn exhibits. Some shows may only happen once every three or four years and exhibitors won’t want to pay to have their exhibits shipped back and stored, especially if they’ll need new design and graphics to match the company’s future marketing messages.
However, there are eco-friendly alternatives to Build & Burn. One alternative is what some call “Euro-Booths.” They’re modular designs based on a common white-wall structure, each with the same counter. Exhibitors rent the booth and just bring their graphics. The booths are reusable and since they’re usually stored on-site or near the venue, they also cut down on shipping costs.
The Rental Alternative
“Rentals are the most eco-friendly way to exhibit internationally,” says Beard of Classic Exhibits.
Some vendors, however, want a unique look that will differentiate them from their competitors. To fill that niche, some vendors are now offering custom rental solution that looks more like a custom-built exhibit with the sustainability benefits of a reusable exhibit.
As companies increasingly emphasize sustainability throughout their businesses, they’ll want to work with event partners that can support those goals through re-usable alternatives, that often also save money, rather than wasteful Build & Burn exhibits.
“From what I’ve heard, the tide is turning from Build & Burns based on awareness of the wastefulness of it in some areas and the associated shipping/labor/disposal costs,” says Candy Adams, The Booth Mom, expert Exhibit Management Trainer and well known Tradeshow Speaker, “Another cost factor is the availability of more aluminum extrusion systems/SEG (silicone edged graphic) fabrics; it’s getting to the point of being cheaper to rent the extrusion, and print it in Asia and ship it to shows, rather than building a one-time-use exhibit onsite and then trashing it.”
The Future of Build and Burn
As we look toward the day when live events resume, let’s hope that sustainability becomes an important part of the conversation. The Pandemic Pause could provide an important opportunity to rethink the events business and move past Build & Burn exhibiting. Glenda Brungardt, Global Tradeshow/Event Manager at tech giant HP said it best. “Bottom line for me: Build & Burn may be a simple solution for a specific show. But as an event planner it is my job to look at the bigger picture and what impact my choices in the construction of a booth have not only on the environment but also on the brand I represent.”