Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘EXHIBITOR2013’

EXHIBITOR2013 Show Photos

April 8th, 2013 COMMENTS

EXHIBITOR2013 Photos

Each year, EXHIBITOR posts photos showing all the exhibitor’s booths. This year is no different. Click here to see them.

However if you’d like another perspective . . . Our friend, Matt LaBruzza from Exhibit People, loves to take show photos and living in Las Vegas gives him lots of opportunities. He was kind enough to share his EXHIBITOR photos with me (and with you). For those who didn’t attend, we thought you might enjoy seeing what you missed. Or for those who attended, perhaps another view of what you saw (or didn’t see).

57 Photos

Or view as a YouTube video.

–Mel White


Based in Portland, Oregon, 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


EXHIBITOR Show 2013 — It’s Showtime!: Word on the Street — March 11th thru March 15th

March 17th, 2013 COMMENTS
EXHIBITOR Show 2013 - It's Showtime!: Word on the Street — March 11th thru March 15th

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

It’s Showtime!

EXHIBITOR opens on Sunday March 17 with sessions and meetings. Then the show floor opens Monday morning at 11:30 am.

We have been onsite since Friday morning setting up the Classic Exhibits Inc. booth (#1637). James Sharpe and Nate LaBruzza from Classic Rentals have done a stellar job with the amazing help of the Trade Show Supply I&D team to get the booth “show ready.” Great work men!

Classic Exhibits Inc. will be showing not just the large build that is our main structure, but also four 10 x 10 exhibits, multiple iPad kiosk solutions (see the New Product Showcase and VOTE), and internal lighting components for lighting SEG fabric graphics on ClassicMODUL profiles.

It really is a beautiful presentation. Follow the Classic Exhibits Facebook Page for photos all week.

While in Vegas for the week, please attend these great events/meetings.

1. The Optima Graphics Hospitality function Monday at 3:30 pm after the show breaks. It’s a great chance to support our great graphic partner as well as catch-up with old friends.

2. The EDPA Portable/Modular/Hybrid Summit on Tuesday at 3:45 pm in the back right area of the show hall near Concessions. Learn what’s happening in our growing segment of the industry.

3. The Classic Exhibits/Eco-Systems Sustainable Distributor Hospitality Suite on Tuesday from 3:30 – 7 pm in one of the beautiful Vista Suites at Mandalay Bay. Please stop by the booth Monday or Tuesday to get the suite number. We’re looking forward to seeing you  there for some good old fashioned networking amongst friends in the Classic Exhibits Network.

Like I said — It’s Showtime! Travel safe and see you all soon.

Be well.

Kevin Carty



10 Totally Free Things to Do at EXHIBITOR2013

February 26th, 2013 COMMENTS

Classic Exhibits Distributors:  You didn’t stay in business this long by lighting cigars with $100 bills. Heck no! You want a deal.

EXHIBITOR2013 is just around the corner. And, if you’re like me, you’re wondering, “What can I do at the show that won’t cost me any money.” Kevin will tell you that’s how I think 365 days of the year. Not true. Sometimes I wonder how I can pay even less, thereby making a little money. 😉

Click to download the PDF 10 Totally Free Things to Do at EXHIBITOR2013.” Print it my friend. This is information you’ll want at your fingertips while you’re in Sin City. Don’t forget to take the complimentary shampoo and conditioner home with you. If you hide them in your suitcase each day, you’ll collect enough to save you at least 50 cents. It all adds up. It all adds up.

–Mel White


Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions and engineered aluminum extrusions (ClassicMODUL). 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.


Mixed Messages about Distribution: Word on the Street — Feb. 18th thru Feb. 22nd

February 24th, 2013 4 COMMENTS
Another Beauty by Seth Godin

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Direct Sales or Distributors

I promise I’m not being snarky, but I am confused by some of  “pre-show” marketing from our competitors heading into EXHIBITOR2013.

There are two common paths to exhibit sales from a manufacturer’s perspective:  direct to the end-user or through a professional network of independent distributors. We saw a third path where several manufacturers “invested” in distributors beginning about six years ago but that seems to have failed. Which shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Historically, our segment of the industry has (with a few exceptions) relied on independent distributors. Now that didn’t preclude some manufacturers from carving exclusive territories for company stores or absorbing “failing” distributors under the guise a white knight rescue, then never relinquishing the territory. By and large, however, the model has been through distribution. Period.

That said, I am a firm believer in “to each his own,” but the press releases leading up to EXHIBITOR2013 have been nothing short of confusing.

Some of the most visible companies in our segment have placed ads, published press releases, and sent direct mail to attract perspective distributors to their booths at EXHIBITOR. Nothing strange. We all do that. But this year, it’s gotten bizarre. In these marketing pieces, they also highlight their “direct sales” channel or websites. Really?! Not to be rude . . . but that takes some MASSIVELY BIG BALLS. I’m talking the size (of the former planet) Pluto balls.

Did any of you ever watch Eddie Murphy’s stand-up routine back in the late 80’s and early 90’s. It’s inappropriate to share verbatim his act, but let me paraphrase for the sake of this blog post. He used to do a bit related to how confusing women can be for men during the courting process. Often saying, “come here, come here, come here” and when we do, they say “now get away, get away, get away.”

Totally Confused

So, explain this concept to me if you are a distributor or are being courted by a manufacturer to distribute their products. They go to great lengths to entice you to their space and explain their products. But once you get there, you notice them selling to the same end-user base that you, as their potential distributor, represent.

To me it’s simple. Sell direct or sell through distribution. I am not saying that I’m opposed to change when necessary. After all, Classic Exhibits owns Exhibits Northwest, a distributor in the Pacific Northwest. However, we are always transparent about our ownership of ENW, and there are multiple Classic Distributors in both the Seattle and Portland markets that compete with ENW (and have for many years).

It’s a dangerous game when you choose to compete with your national distributor network. Yet, we see it happening more and more. I can count on one hand, with multiple fingers missing, those manufacturers that have remained true to this principle.

Now imagine branding your business as a distributor of these manufacturers, essentially helping them build a national presence as part of your “partnership” with the manufacturer. After years of them saying “Come here we want you,” they now seem to be saying, “We want you when it’s convenient. And thanks for building our brand in your market over the past 10 years. We really appreciate it! It helps our direct sales since your customers know us, and now they are able to buy from the manufacturer. SUCKER!”

I don’t know about you, but this seems counter-productive to building relationships and partnerships, either that or there was some pretty good snake oil sold over the years.

Allow me to wade a little deeper into the quicksand. I don’t entirely blame those manufacturers. Why? Several are sneaky about it, with a pickpocketing act that would make Apollo Robbins proud (see video #1 and video #2), but many don’t hide it. Some even publish two versions of their catalogs, one they mail to end-users with retail prices, and one they mail to distributors with wholesale prices. Same with websites. When distributors purchase from them, supplying them with the client’s company name and contact information, the manufacturer then markets directly to the end-user, making even more money and building a database on the cheap.

In closing, I meant what I said. This is not intended to be snarky. Just black and white and confusing to me.

If you would like to schedule time with us at EXHIBITOR to discuss this or any other topic, please use this link to request a time:

Hope you had a restful weekend.

Kevin Carty


Portable/Modular/Hybrid Summit at EXHIBITOR2013

February 21st, 2013 COMMENTS

The EDPA Portable/Modular/Hybrid Summit will be held during EXHIBITOR2013 on Tuesday, March 19 at 3:45 pm in the Food Service Area (far right of exhibit hall) of Mandalay Bay North Convention Center. There is no charge. This event is open to all industry manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, educators, and consultants.

Kevin Carty from Classic Exhibits Inc. will moderate. A panel discussion will follow with experts from exhibit design, graphics, distribution, and manufacturing, including David Brown of Optima Graphics, Greg Beach of Atlantic Exhibits, Chris Griffin of Trade Show Supply, Katina Rigall of Classic Exhibits, and Anita Mitzel of GraphiColor Exhibits.

The Portable/Modular/Hybrid Summit is FREE to EDPA members and non-members. To reserve a seat, please contact Melissa Nemitz: or (203) 899-8491.

We look forward to your participation in the summit.

Download the PDF flyer.