Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘Exhibit Design’

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.

Stephanie L’Herault, Designer for Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits

July 27th, 2018 COMMENTS

Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits welcomes Stephanie L’Herault to the Eco Design team. Stephanie works directly with Eco Distributors on exhibit and environment design projects and then with internal project managers, detailers, and production specialists to turn those 3D concepts into reality. We asked her to share a short bio about her personal life and professional background.

“I have lived in Grand Rapids all my life and am now married to my best friend John. My husband is a systems administrator, who loves video games and is always happy to talk about ideas that could change the world. We both love animals and have a ferret (Tom Tom), a cat (Mara) and a new puppy (Eva). We spend our time visiting family and friends or just getting outside.

I graduated from the Kendall College of Art and Design, which is part of Ferris State University in Grand Rapids. Over the years, I have been fortunate to work on many creative exhibit projects with local distributors and through my own exhibit company.    

Some of my favorite things to do are research, building projects, and more than anything finding innovative solutions and ideas to improve systems or ways of living. So, it’s no surprise I went to school for Industrial Design. In my career, I have found ways to make laundry and household chores more efficient through home storage systems, worked on the safety, efficiency and fun of ropes courses, and improved the positioning and effectiveness of chiropractic equipment.

Now I am excited to be working with trade show booths once again. Trade show design is one of my favorites with all the potential it offers. To be efficient and effective. To be exciting and impact the way you feel about a brand or product. To consistently be new, and for many other reasons, I am happy to be joining the Eco team. 

I look forward to meeting everyone and bringing your projects to fruition.” 

You can contact Stephanie at stephanie@ecosystemsdisplays.com or 616-726-6267 (direct) or 866-463-2611 x-314. 

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Since 2007, Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits Inc. has been the leader of contemporary, design-driven green displays. Over the years, we’ve won many industry awards for our revolutionary designs and eco-friendly construction, including Buyers Choice and Best of the Best Awards at exhibit industry trade shows.

 

The “Why” Can Greatly Impact the “How” in Exhibit Design

October 20th, 2017 COMMENTS

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Several weeks ago, we shared 15 Essential Exhibit Design Questions. These are questions every designer should ask their client before designing the ideal trade show display. In response to the blog post, a designer sent me an email. He wrote,

Here are a few questions we always ask. If the client walks in just thinking about the nuts and bolts of the project, they may miss an informed conversation on why they are exhibiting in the first place and that can fundamentally affect the design of a booth. The Why can greatly impact the How in Exhibit Design.

At that Classic distributor, the designer is usually included in the initial conversation with the client. Depending on which designer you talk to that’s either a bonus or a burden. The questions he shared gauge whether the exhibitor has identified their trade show marketing goals. That’s critical. And yet, it’s easy to skip those questions because doing so can make the potential exhibitor uncomfortable if they haven’t done their homework.

Personally, I’ve been in meetings where merely asking those questions caused the client to consider not buying an exhibit. More often than not they would come back. But not always. Not everyone should be an exhibitor. IMO — If your client intends to purchase or rent an exhibit, they should be prepared to answer these questions.

3 Essential Trade Show Marketing Questions

1. Why are you exhibiting at XYZ Conference?

What does this conference provide that is a benefit for you as an exhibitor? 

2. How would you qualify a successful event?

Expanding brand awareness, generating new sales leads, successful client meetings? 

3. Who is your target attendee at XYZ Conference?

Meeting new prospective clients, reinforcing established relationships?

We often grumble that drayage or labor or freight or show services is killing the trade show industry. However, the single biggest barrier to trade show success is an unprepared, unmotivated, and uninformed exhibitor. It’s easy to blame them for not doing their homework, but honestly, we’re equally to blame if we don’t ask the right questions, guide them to the right resources, and offer professional trade show marketing expertise. After all, we’re the professionals.

Do you have any other “essential” trade show marketing questions? Please share.

–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.

Top 15 Essential Exhibit Design Questions

September 22nd, 2017 COMMENTS

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The best exhibit designs make an emotional connection.

So how do you create a design the client loves without multiple meetings and revisions?

Get the designer and the decision-maker to talk to one another. It works! It’s why the designers at Classic want to be on phone calls with our distributors and their clients. We are happy to be introduced as YOUR DESIGNER. In fact, we are your designers so there’s no need to pretend! If for logistical reasons it’s not possible to have a designer participate in a discovery call with the client, the next best thing is to Answer These 15 Questions (in no particular order).

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15 Essential Exhibit Design Questions

1. Does your company have branding guidelines/logo or graphic files/website address? Can you share these files?

2. What size is the exhibit? Do you plan to reconfigure the exhibit for other shows? If so, what sizes?  Knowing this will guide both the design and the choice of materials.

3. What is the budget? This is essential. Still undecided about an exact budget? The next best option is a workable budget range. No exhibitor wants to be surprised with a beautiful booth outside their budget or underwhelmed by a booth designed for a lower budget.

4. Do you want to purchase or rent? Or a combination of both? This assists the designer in choosing material and designing to a specific budget.

5. What physical properties does the exhibit need to have? For example, workstations, counters, slatwall, semi-private or private conference area, monitors, storage, etc? This information allows the designer to create a functional trade show design.

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6. What type of display have you used in the past? Are you looking for something similar or different? What did you like or not like about the previous booth?

7. Are there any materials or construction methods you prefer? Are you looking for something similar or different? Many experienced exhibitors have a strong attraction or aversion to specific materials.

8. Are there any unusual dimensional restrictions? Can you provide show regulations? Some shows have unusual restrictions for the height of the booth or setbacks from the aisle.

9. Do you show product(s)? What are the dimensions and specifications? How do you prefer to show the products? Display cases, counter top, shelves, hooks, etc.?

10. Does the display need to be portable or modular? Does it need to ship via FedEx or UPS or are you OK with packing in custom crates? This will guide our use of materials.

11. Who will assemble the display:  show labor or your own team? We have great solutions for both scenarios.

12. Do you have any images of design elements you like? Even if these “inspiration images” are not trade show related, they are very helpful. For example, architectural elements, finishes, colors, natural elements, retail environments, etc.

13. Design Due Date? Typically, designs are completed within a few business days. However, every project and every client has their own timeline. We do our best to accommodate requested timelines.

14. Show Opening Date? So very important! Creating the design and them building it depends on the time frame. Designers can make material selections which will go a long way toward meeting a three-week vs. a three-month window.

And My Personal Favorite:

15. Are there any descriptive words you use to describe your company? What do you want visitors to your booth to “feel” about your company? From “opulent” to “bad-ass,” we have heard some interesting descriptors, and this gives the designer the insight to craft a personalized, experiential space.

Are there any other questions on your “must ask” list? I’d love to hear them if you do! Leave me a comment or connect with me at Katina@classicexhibits.com.

Classic’s Creative Design Department — Summer Sales Tips #10

August 2nd, 2017 COMMENTS

Our Secret Weapon

Over the years, we’ve evolved as a manufacturer/builder into a company focuses primarily on personalizing kits and designing custom solutions. That shift required not only skilled project managers, carpenters, millwrights, and detailers, but very talented exhibit designers.

We are very fortunate. Our team of in-house and contract designers ROCK! And it’s not just because they are amazingly creative. They are also passionate about customer service, timelines, and delivery.

To learn more about the Creative Design Department, download this unbranded PDF. To listen to the  bonus audio tip click on the link.

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