Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘green exhibits’

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

May 3rd, 2021 COMMENTS

Trade Show Designs, like everything else, age. Sometimes gracefully. Sometimes not. At Classic Exhibits and Eco-Systems Sustainable, we review the kits in Exhibit Design Search several times a year. During that review process, we decide whether to keep a kit “as is,” to revised it, or to retire it.

Below are three recently revised and updated kits. We thought you might enjoy seeing the changes.

The ECO-2097 below was updated to the ECO-2060.

ECO-2097 Sustainable Inline


  • SEG Aluminum Extrusion and Graphics (vs. Velcro Fabric Graphics)
  • Center Section is Now Backlit
  • Removed Literature Holders
  • Updated Rental Furniture and Monitors
  • Added (2) LED Stem Lights

ECO-206- Sustainable Trade Show Exhibit from Classic Exhibits Inc.

The ECO-2032 inline was updated to the ECO-2057.

ECO-2032 Sustainable Inline


  • Extended the Canopy
  • Replaced Main Fabric Graphic (Velcro) with Backlit Fabric Graphic (SEG)
  • Removed Backwall Table and Privacy Wall
  • Added (2) Shelves
  • Replaced Backwall Counter with Reception Counter
  • Updated Rental Furniture and Monitors

The ECO-2082 exhibit was updated to the ECO-2058.

ECO-2082 Sustainable Inline


  • Replaced Fabric Graphics with (3) Backlit SEG Graphics
  • Replaced Reception Counter
  • Updated Monitors

Eco-systems Sustainable Exhibits — Summer Sales Tips #7

July 11th, 2017 COMMENTS

Smart, Sustainable Exhibit Design

Since 2007, Eco-systems Sustainable (eSmart) has been the leader in contemporary, eco-friendly trade show exhibits by designing modern displays. Make no mistake. The displays are green. They just don’t flaunt their sustainability with a “crunchy stick and twig” exterior.

So why should you or your client consider a sustainable exhibit from Eco-systems? Design. It’s really that simple. Design sells. The eSmart Galleries in Exhibit Design Search are packed with attractive contemporary displays from inlines to islands and counters to kiosks.

If you haven’t contacted them before, give them a call at 866-463-2611. Or visit the Eco website at

To download the unbranded PDF version for Eco-systems, click here. To listen to the bonus audio tip, click here.

Eco-Systems Sustainable Trade Show Exhibits


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

We Get Questions (Lots and Lots of Questions) | Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits

August 31st, 2013 COMMENTS

Eric Albery, Guest Post

As the 2013 fall trade show season gets underway, I am often asked about the state of the industry regarding “green exhibiting” and the public perception of Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits. Why should I look into Eco-Systems and their design-driven yet sustainable exhibit options? Will I need to make sacrifices in design or price?

The exhibit industry and the innovation of sustainable materials have come a long way in the past 3-5 years. The idea of “green exhibiting” is not as foreign as it once was and has MANY benefits, especially when you choose Eco-Systems. The free design services, short lead-times, and unrivaled quality are a few of the reasons why Eco-Systems continues to grow as a market leader.  To help you gain a better understanding of Eco-Systems, I have listed answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about us.

Cost:  Did you know that the cost of a “green” exhibit is actually the same as a standard exhibit? Often less? It’s true. This was not the case 3-5 years ago. However, in the past 3 years, the sustainable materials used in these displays is now more readily available and is being purchased at high-volume discounts. Materials and components such as recycled aluminum, bamboo, PETG, and LED lights have all seen considerable price decreases.

Design:  Do Eco-Systems exhibits need to look “green”? Absolutely not. Continuing to innovate new and versatile materials has allowed our “green” exhibits to maintain an innovative and technology-driven appeal without sacrificing the sustainable elements. Sustainable exhibits can be some of the most modern, eye-catching options on the market. See for yourself HERE.

Marketability:  For the last 5-10 years, companies of all sizes have been advertising their “green” initiatives. Whether it’s hybrid cars, alternative energy, or simple recycling policies, many companies are trying to promote themselves as environmentally friendly. Now, with our exhibits, these companies can walk the walk. Having a display that meets the same sustainability standards can give an organization instant credibility knowing they practice what they preach.

The Perfect Client:  People often ask me what type of clients/businesses Eco-Systems appeals to. Should Eco-Systems be pitched only to clients who request an eco-friendly exhibit? My answer to that is simple — Absolutely Not! To be completely honest, most of our projects are for companies that are indifferent to sustainability. Over the past few years, Eco-Systems has become known for innovative designs, competitive prices, free-design services, quality products, and unrivaled customer support. The “green” components are often considered icing on the cake.

Eco-Systems / Classic Partnership:  How are Eco-Systems and Classic Exhibits aligned? Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits and Classic Exhibits are marketing and manufacturing partners. Eco-Systems is headquartered in Grand Rapids, MI, where sales, marketing, design, and accounting are based. Eco-Systems shares production with Classic Exhibits in Portland, OR, where all new projects are built. Eco-Systems also has a dedicated Project Management team in Portland to oversee all our projects. Combining manufacturing resources, purchasing volume, and sharing a large production facility allows both Eco-Systems and Classic to handle more volume and to offer lower prices.


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Eric Albery
Vice President of Marketing & Business Development
Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits

Word on the Street — November 15th thru November 19th

November 21st, 2010 3 COMMENTS

Why we participate in the TS2 Show

Word on the Street by Mel White

Trade Show Industry Predictions 2011 . . .

(Kevin Carty is on vacation, so Mel White has graciously agreed to substitute this week.)

As we head into the holidays, I thought I’d put on my clairvoyant hat and peer into a crystal ball. It doesn’t take a fortune teller to know that 2011 is already on your mind. You’re wondering if the exhibit industry will plod along like a Clydesdale, sprint like Quarter Horse, or remain stubborn and unpredictable like a mule.

To ensure my predictions are accurate, I’ve checked the astrological star charts, turned over the Tarot cards, and consulted the Magic 8 Ball. And to protect your sanity, I’ll spare you any doomsday or apocalyptic scenarios. Frankly, my psyche couldn’t handle it after the past two plus years.

Anyway . . . here goes.

Graphics – Many distributors survived on graphic orders in 2009 and 2010, a trend that’s unlikely to change in 2011 with 50% of your volume coming from new or replacement graphics. You will see, based on our trend the past nine months, more silicone edge graphics (SEG) in towers, inlines, and islands. We anticipate a continued downward pressure on basic systems graphics, such as pop up panels and banner stands, because there is no margin left in the hardware.

Table Tops – Oddly enough, table top orders tanked over the past 26 months, whether $400 or $2000 table tops. The budget TT’s have yet to show a pulse, but the higher priced units such as Aero are no longer on life support. We expect modest increases in TT orders with even an occasional multiple quantity order. You can’t make a living on TT’s, but when you get a multiple quantity order it’s a nice break from the Ramen noodles.

The Magic 8 Ball Says . . .

Banner Stands, Pop Ups, and Basic Curve Walls — No change. We don’t expect an increase in sales for these displays even as the economy improves. As more and more customers return to the market, we anticipate a more balanced approach between customers buying pop ups/banner stands and customers moving slightly upstream to hybrids. Many distributors have all but abandoned the entry level market where distributors (online or offline) are trading dollars. We would encourage you not to throw in the towel yet. There are still mainstream corporate clients who value quality at a fair price over the 30 feet or 30 second displays.

Until someone invents the “add one drop of water and poof you have a 10 ft. display,” many customers will still demand displays that require minimal effort even at the expense of marketing impact. If we believe the Marketing and HR Departments, the Sales AE’s at most companies are more likely to use an assembly tool for scratching and picking than for putting a display together.

Portable Hybrids and Modulars – Three years ago, there were few players in the $4000 to $8500 inline market. The field has gotten more crowded, but for inexplicable reasons, the players are repeating the mistakes of the pop up market. Lots of look-a-like displays with very little innovation. There are some exceptions in design and assembly (yes boys and girls, I’m talking about Classic), but by and large customers are being handed a bag of parts, a tool, and asked to assemble a square with two wings.

This segment will see double-digit growth in 2011, but distributors will have to decide whether to sell or to clerk. According to our distributors, sales conversations are migrating from price first and design second to a more balanced approach. We’re not quite back to the world of “I’ll find the money if I love the design,” but design is no longer playing second fiddle.

2011 Predictions

2011 Predictions

Over $10,000 Inlines – In our business, over $10,000 inlines are the “canary in the coal mine,” indicating whether there is an economic gas leak. Distributors will see more interest in >$10K designs in 2011 as clients talk more and more about what they need rather than what they can afford. Many will still decide to purchase a less expensive display, but others will invest in display solutions that more closely match their true marketing goals.

Islands – They’re back. (note the period rather than the exclamation mark) Unfortunately, islands may be the least profitable segment as the intersection between expectations and price points has shifted. Customers are willing to pay between $50,000 and $75,000 for a modular display, but they expect that to include EVERYTHING. Yikes. That’s a tough sell. More than any other segment, we’ll need to work together as partners to land these orders. Give and take is the key with both sides willing to take smaller margins or find creative solutions.

We’ve seen significant interest in SEG solutions in the past 6 months. In SEG islands, the graphics play a more dominant role in the design than the structure. Re-configurability will continue to be in the design mix, even if it compromises the overall design (sadly).

Rentals — Without question, rentals have been the biggest beneficiary of the economic downturn. We saw double-digit growth in both 2009 and 2010, particularly in island rentals. And if the past two months are any indication, this trend is unlikely to change. Customers are turning to rentals as cost-effective answers to purchasing an exhibit and to maintaining their trade show presence. We suspect that many companies have now made the decision to never own an island exhibit again. And it makes sense in many circumstances. Rental designs have gotten more flexible and imaginative. Gone are the days when a rental had all the sexiness of granny panties.

Green Displays — You may find this surprising, but requests for Green Displays never went away. Just ask our sister company Eco-systems Sustainable Exhibits. The price points may have dropped but not the interest. Companies with a green focus or with green initiatives will choose an eco-friendly display every time as long as the price is somewhat comparable. We caution you not to ignore this category. You must be able to speak the language to sell these products. These customers can spot a fraud a mile away. Now is the time to learn the language before you get schooled by a knowledgeable client.

What are your predictions for 2011? Click on the Leave a Comment link (at the top of the page) to share your thoughts with your Classic colleagues. We’d love to hear from you.

On behalf of the entire Classic Family, have a safe and relaxing Holiday.

–Mel White
Classic Exhibits Network (LinkedIn)

Eco-Systems Sustainable and Classic Exhibits Forge Equity Partnership

June 1st, 2010 COMMENTS

Demand for Green Exhibits Draw Partners Closer

Grand Rapids, Michigan – Effective June 1, 2010, Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits and Classic Exhibits Inc. will forge an equity partnership. The two companies have been joint venture partners since November 2007. The Board of Directors for Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits approved the sale of stock to Classic Exhibits, making Classic a substantial equity partner in the company.

According to Tim Morris, president and CEO of Eco-Systems, “Our three-year partnership has been mutually beneficial. We share many of the same distributor relationships, and we have the same commitment to quality and design. Through the first five months of 2010, orders have been strong for eco-friendly exhibits, and Classic provides us with additional capacity and manufacturing efficiencies.”

“Taking steps to enhance Eco-Systems’ capabilities makes complete business sense as the green exhibit market continues to grow,” states Tim Morris.

Eco-Systems’ manufacturing operations will transition to the Classic Exhibits facility in Portland, Oregon during the third quarter 2010. The Corporate offices, including sales, marketing, and design, will remain in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“We have a history of strategic partnerships with companies that share our corporate culture and are trendsetters in their market segment” says Kevin Carty, VP of Sales at Classic Exhibits Inc. “Tim and his team are the recognizable leaders in ‘green’ and have taken a no-nonsense, no green-washing approach to sustainable exhibits. We are excited to be an owner in this rapidly growing segment of the exhibit business.”

As part of the equity partnership, Eco-Systems designs will be featured in Classic’s Exhibit Design Search tool, a comprehensive database of trade show exhibit designs. This exhibit search engine is available on Classic’s website as well as on many Classic and Eco-Systems distributor websites.

Eco-systems Sustainable Exhibits

Eco-Systems specializes in the design and manufacturing of environmentally responsible exhibits for events and trade show applications. Eco-Systems’ display products are built from rapidly renewable materials, recycled content, and supported by sustainable manufacturing practices. Reincarnation is the industry’s most comprehensive exhibit recycling program providing clients the opportunity to make a better choice in retiring obsolete exhibit properties.

For more information on sustainable exhibits go to or contact Eric Albery at 866.463.2611.

Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs a full-line of portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. These solutions include Perfect 10 Portable Hybrid Displays, Euro LT Custom Modular Exhibits, Quadro Pop Ups, Visionary Designs, and Sacagawea Portable Hybrid Displays.

For more information, go to or contact Mel White at 503.652.2100.