Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘hybrid exhibits’

Five Amazing Trade Show Exhibit Specials

September 3rd, 2013 COMMENTS

This fall, Classic Exhibits and Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits pulled out all the stops. You’ll discover some of our most exciting exhibit designs at special prices. Click on any display in the Specials Gallery to see the details.

Five Amazing Specials:

#1 Our Biggest Savings Ever on Quadro EO Pop Up Displays

All Quadro EO Pop Up Display are on sale through October 31.  The Quadro EO Self-locking Pop Up has been a favorite of distributors for five years, and now we’ve make it even more irresistible. Whether you order the frame with fabric end caps, with fabric panels, or with graphic panels, they are all on sale for the next 60 days.

#2 Get Port\Land iPad Kiosk Cases at a Promotional Price

The innovative Port\Land iPad Kiosks are already a hit with your customers. Make sure to include the portable case with wheels on the order. The TF-701 cases are discounted from $199 to $165. The rolling case includes the die-cut foam and reusable jigging you’ve come to expect from Classic Exhibits.

#3 Special Savings on Select eSmart Displays

This is a first! eSmart Displays have never been sale before. And not just any designs, it’s 10 of the most popular inlines. If you have not spent time in the eSmart Gallery before, you’re missing a lot. Cool designs at competitive prices. Not to mention so GREEN that Kermit would be jealous.

#4 $200 Bonus on Aero Portable Table Tops

There’s no sexier table top than the Aero Portable. It’s got all the curves, vivid tension fabric graphics, and portable assembly. For anyone wanting to make a visual impact with a “no tools” table top, the Aero Series is the #1 choice. Choose from six of our most popular designs.

#5 10% Sale on Sacagawea Portable Hybrids Plus a Cell Phone Charging Station FREE (where applicable)

This special blows the doors off any previous Sacagawea promotion. Not only are ALL Sacagawea Hybrids on sale, but we’re including a FREE Cell Phone or Tablet Charging Station on those kits with workstations. You have to see this to believe it. You already know that Sacagawea is the VERY BEST AFFORDABLE Hybrid . . . Now it’s even better! Choose from 54 inline kits.

To view all the Specials, go to the Specials Gallery in Exhibit Design Search. Give us a call if you have any questions.

–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


Smarter, Faster, Cheaper Solutions for your Trade Show Program

February 13th, 2012 COMMENTS

Recent Trade Show Trends


Earlier this month, I attended a Distributor Open House where over 200 customers came to see the latest exhibit trends and services. I was fortunate to participate in a 45 minute panel session entitled Smarter, Faster, Cheaper Solutions for your Trade Show Program. I thought I’d share those trends with you. The first five (Show Floor Trends) came from an Independent Labor Contractor. The next five or so (Design and Manufacturing Trends) came from Classic Exhibits. The last five (Smarter, Strategic Behaviors) came from the Distributor.

Let me know if you would like more information. Just send me an email, and I’ll connect you with the appropriate presenter(s).

Show Floor Trends

1. The Importance of Taking Immediate Action When You Receive Your Show Manual. (In order to Maximize Discounts)

2. The Top 5 Operating Cost Budget Busters to Watch — Freight, Labor, Drayage, Rigging, and At-Show Additions.

3. Exhibitors are providing shorter lead times to display house vendors, and it’s costing you more money on the show floor. (A foot soldier’s perspective from the front lines)

4. Thirty Things on the Show Floor that Conspire to Destroy Your Beautiful Trade Show Experience.

5. Understanding General Contractors, Exhibitor-Appointed Contractors, and the Labor Unions.

Design and Manufacturing Trends

6. The New Kid in town is Hybrid Exhibits. They offer more than Traditional Portables (Banner Stands and Pop-ups) while approaching the Look and Function of Custom Exhibits.

7. Tension Fabric is the BIG Beast in graphics. Fabrics dominate the show floor with vibrant colors, lighter weight, durability and small packing.

8. Versatile Engineered Aluminum is the BACKBONE of most design centric inlines. It looks great, can be shaped, is durable, and plays well with custom wood construction or basic banner stands.

9. Customized design is no longer for the 1%. You can tailor your exhibit space with the help of extrusion, fabric, and computer aided design without a six-figure budget.

10. Packaging, Assembly, and Sustainability have come a LONG, LONG way. Most exhibits now are easy to assemble, pack smaller, and include post-industrial and post-consumer materials.

10a. Don’t forget rentals. Rentals have gotten OH SO SEXY. Take a look. You’ll be surprised how rentals have shed their MOO-MOO for Upscale Designer Wear.

Smarter, Strategic Behaviors

11. Begin to plan the show with the end in mind. Create a Trade Show Marketing Plan that includes Pre-Show, At-Show and Post-Show Marketing.

12. Establish Specific Objectives. What do you really want to get out of the show and how do you get it?

13. Technology awareness and possible sharing. Who/what synergies are available to use at the show as a resource?

14. Secure Qualified Leads that will generate sales after proper follow-up.

15. Train and Schedule Staff. Your staff needs to effectively convey your sales message and ensure the booth is staffed properly.

15a. Create a WOW Exhibit that attracts people and conveys your brand in the best light.

–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

Shooting from the Hip — 1.10

April 29th, 2010 COMMENTS
Shooting from the Hip (trade show tips)

Shooting from the Hip

Starting this week, you will see a weekly blog posting from me, typically not more than a paragraph or two (or three). Look for it on Wednesday or Thursday.

I intend to write about the ups and downs (hopefully more ups) of our customers and share their success stories. Since failure is not an option, I won’t give credence (not Clearwater Revival) to anyone’s misfortune. And yes, there will be things blogged here that have no relevance to the exhibit industry. There will be travel tips. There will be hunting and fishing updates. But mostly, it will be about the trade show life we have chosen for our careers.

Interestingly enough, for late April almost May, there is a fair amount of business activity.  It seems like companies have neglected their trade show marketing long enough, and we’re seeing more orders and quotes. I am not talking about fantasyland 20 x 20 islands with a $4500 budget and a lot of backlit graphics. I am talking about 10 x 20 inlines with $35k budgets. Hugh Baldus from The Baldus Company actually closed one of those last week with a SIX WEEK LEAD TIME.  I’m hearing about an order for multiple Perfect 10 Displays. Portable hybrids being sung in any tune has a nice ring to it, and Scott Lindsay from The Lindsay Exhibit Group is singing that song. Conversations with distributors are happy for a change. It isn’t all doom and gloom.

The steelhead are still in the river.  The grouse are drumming in the evening.  Spring is in the air.  Until next week . . .

–Reid Sherwood

Word on the Street — March 1st thru March 5th

March 7th, 2010 COMMENTS
Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates!

But should your trade show exhibit buying experience be?

For starters, yes I did just watch Forrest Gump. And YES, I do think life is like that. Meaning, you never know what you’re gonna get in many situations.

However, when buying an exhibit, things should be predictable. What you see is what you get. Well, lesson learned. Within the next three weeks, the Sacagawea, Perfect 10, and Magellan kit prices will include all the fabric and direct print graphics shown in the renderings. It will take a few weeks to re-price these kits. However, we expect to complete it by the end of March. It’s not done yet . . . so don’t jump the gun. We’ll announce the new prices once we’ve updated the PDF and online sheets.

Back to the movie . . . the “box of chocolates” line made me understand how frustrating the experience of buying an exhibit can be for an end-user. Just spend a little time looking at many online trade show exhibit sites. They’ll show a 10 x 10 hybrid with nice graphics, a couple of backwall pedestals, and a front freestanding pedestal. All for only $3200 (or something nutty like that).

But if you dig a little deeper or open the box of chocolates, this is what you’ll find.

In reality, that $3200 price tag includes just the backwall and the canopy header. Once all the elements shown in the rendering are included, the exhibit really costs $7500. Seems sort of deceiving to me at best, and “bait and switch” at worst. If I were an end-user, I would be saying, “What the hell?!”

forrest-gumpI may be making a mountain out of a mole hill. I don’t know. But just this week, I had three distributors ask how a competitor could sell essentially the same configuration that we show in Exhibit Design Search for $4000 – $5000 less! Only after I took them to the online site and walk them through the math did they realize that their customer had been hoodwinked. In all three situations, the end-user came back to the Classic Distributor expressing their frustration that the “other” company had “misrepresented” the price and that they would be ordering a Visionary Designs Hybrid from Classic . . . and not the “cheap” hybrid the other company was offering. What do you think — Mountain or Mole Hill? Or would you agree with Forrest that, “Stupid is as stupid does”?

Have you seen any “Bait and Switch” practices online?  Click on the comment link and share your experiences.

Oh yes . . . For the next 10 days, watch for my Twitter and this blog postings as I share our our EXHIBITOR 2010 journey. We expect this to be our most successful EXHIBITOR SHOW EVER!

If you are coming to the show, see us at booth #929 and join us in our Hospitality Suite on Tuesday.

–Kevin Carty

Annual State of the Company Letter from Kevin Carty

January 19th, 2010 COMMENTS
Kevin Carty, VP of Sales

Kevin Carty, VP of Sales

Thankfully, 2009 is in the rear view mirror. It was a rough but enlightening year.

How did Classic do in 2009? There’s both a short and a long answer. As you may recall, Classic Exhibits began developing a series of affordable hybrid exhibit solutions in 2008, starting with the Perfect 10 Portable Hybrid Display. In 2009, we added the Magellan Miracle, MOR, and Sacagawea. This push will continue in 2010 with the Segue, but more on that later. So the simple answer is . . . as the market downsized and orders for larger exhibits decreased, portable hybrids became our bread and butter. Thankfully, we were prepared to handle this shift with fresh designs and competitive prices.

Now, here’s the longer answer . . . .

Social Media
Social Media was the buzzword in 2009, and Classic wasn’t shy about using it to communicate with distributors and industry partners. I have to admit that I didn’t understand it at first, and I had no desire to “Tweet” or “Blog.” But I have found it to be effective and pretty fun, whether it’s our activity in Twitter, our new Classic Exhibits Group on LinkedIn, or our blog, Trade Show Tales.

Trade Show Tales, in particular, has been quite the hit. Whether we are writing about some of the industry’s most sensitive issues such as Bundling or just posting a whimsical article regarding “Trade Show Fashion Do’s and Don’ts,” the blog gives Classic, Classic Distributors, and Industry Partners another avenue in which to communicate and share ideas.


With a downturn in the economy comes less spending on new exhibits. The ClassicExhibits/Exhibits NW Rental division really stepped up in the past 12 months. Looking back at their creations from the past year, I am amazed at how many of those displays were rentals. It certainly explains why the rental division had such a banner year. Kudos to Jim Shelman, James Sharpe, and the rental crew for their amazing job in 2009.

Rental Exhibits from Classic

Rental Exhibits from Classic

For a peek at the rental designs from last year, go to Past Five Days and type “rentals” in the search tool.

Distributor and Partnership Development

You could feel the love in 2009. There was a palatable sense of “we are in this together, so let’s find ways to make it beneficial for us all . . . without sacrificing our margins.” For companies unwilling to “partner” with distributors or for those who didn’t have a history of reaching out to friends and colleagues, 2009 had to be a painful, lonely year. It was not the year or the market to go it alone.

Partnership development was not just with distributors. Classic spent a lot of time deepening its relationships with existing vendor partners as well as opening doors to new relationships. This manifested itself in the development of new “joint products”as well as partnering on larger inventory buys to help decrease raw costs, allowing us to continue to offer competitive pricing.