Kevin Carty and Katina Rigall Zipay are in Dusseldorf this week at EuroShop 2020. We’re happy for them (and really, really jealous).
However, we made them promise to take lots and lots of photos and a few videos. See below. This is Part #1. We’ll post Part #2 tomorrow. No commentary. Just a ton of beautiful photos to share. Click on any photo to scroll through all 60+.
To many trade show folks, Classic Exhibits is still a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. It’s time to untangle the mystery. This month, we’re featured in Exhibit City News, online and in print. In the article, we explain our unique “unbranded” business model.
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of Classic Exhibits but don’t know all they do. Mel White, VP for marketing and business development, describes the Portland, Ore.-based company “as a chameleon that not only changes its colors, but also its shape. Repeatedly.” Every four to five years the company morphs into something different based on the needs of its more than 200 distributor partners and their customers.
So, who is Classic Exhibits right now? That depends upon who you ask—and what they need.
According to White, “Our customers come to us for a broad range of solutions. In short, we’re a job shop for over 200 distributor partners who assist their customers with tradeshows, retail displays, events and corporate environments, both for purchase and rental. We accomplish that as a ‘White Label, Unbranded’ designer and builder that’s largely invisible to end-users but not to the tradeshow and event industry. Our mission has always been to prioritize our customers’ brands in the marketplace, not only with unique designs, but also with brandable marketing tools.”
Founded in 1993, Classic started as a portable systems company, then a modular-hybrid supplier and now a design and builder of 3D structures. Currently, about 75 percent of what the company builds and ships can be classified as custom or customized. Nothing gets pulled from a shelf and shipped, even rentals. “We’re not that kind of company,” according to White. “We build to the order, stage each one, take extensive photos and create job-specific setup instructions and customized reusable packaging.”
Classic has been remarkably adept at identifying trends and creating tradeshow and event-specific solutions. Those include modular iPad and Surface stands, wireless charging stations, counters, pedestals and kiosks and tool-less LED lightboxes with accessories like tablet brackets, literature holders and adjustable shelves.
Most recently, their evolution has included modular wall systems, like the tool-less Gravitee One-Step. “As modular wall systems have come to the forefront,” says White, “we’ve worked hard to introduce new designs on Exhibit Design Search. One of the benefits of a large distributor network is identifying successful designs quickly and making them available to our partners. For example, the blending of modular walls, custom components and LED lighting has been very popular. Every week we introduce new designs to our network through our Design Monday emails.”
According to Executive VP Kevin Carty, “Invisibility often comes with misunderstandings and misconceptions about who we are and what we do. We’ve never been a Portland or Northwest-focused company. From the very beginning, we’ve relied on independent distributor partners for our sales since we don’t sell direct. This wasn’t unusual in the past, but the model has become less common as our competitors have either disappeared or chosen to sell direct to end-users. In some ways, we are the last company standing that honors that model.”
Classic’s “White Label” model includes, at the distributor’s request, branded crates, instructions and mailing labels with the distributor or end-user’s logo.
Carty, who has been with the company since its inception, has watched it grow to 85 employees across four divisions, encompassing 120,000 sq.ft. outside of Portland, Ore., that uses five internal web cameras to share the progress of exhibits from design to finish with customers.
Click HERE to read the full article in Exhibit City News.
Since 1993, Classic Exhibits has been North America’s leading builder of quality trade show exhibits for professional exhibitors. Browse through 1500 contemporary displays or request a custom design personalized to your trade show marketing goals.
Find success on the trade show floor with an exhibit that reflects your marketing message… at a price that will make your CFO giddy. For more information, see http://www.classicexhibits.com.
Las Vegas, NV, February 2019 – The 2nd Annual Women In Exhibitions Breakfast will be held at EXHIBITORLIVE in the Connection Zone, February 26, 2019 from 8-10 am. This once a year opportunity brings women in the Exhibition and Event industry together to discuss challenges and success strategies, network with peers, and make new contacts.
Cost of admission includes a buffet breakfast and a special presentation from international speaker and best-selling author Sandy Jones-Kaminski. As a mentor and coach with 20+ years of marketing and business development experience, Sandy helps professionals, entrepreneurs, and business owners grow their own careers through proactive personal branding, online and offline networking activities. Sandy’s presentation will illuminate strategies for making the most of the Women In Exhibitions mentorship program and more.
Here’s What Last Year’s Attendees are Saying about the Event:
“It was empowering to be sitting in a room full of women who were actively pursuing their careers in the exhibit industry. There’s nothing quite like being with a group of career-oriented women who want to see each other succeed. I am already excited to attend this event next year.” — Jessica Diers, Diers Exhibit
“The breakfast was the highlight of my experience at the show, and I am so glad the Design Factory could be a part of it. I feel the event was a wonderful opportunity for so many women to meet, mingle, and share ideas. I hope to participate in the future.” — Chris Harvey, The Design Factory, Las Vegas
“From the initial meeting of Women in Exhibitions in Tucson in 2002, I have had the opportunity to attend many WIE meetings. The breakfast event at EXHIBITORLIVE 2018 was amazing. There were many bright, enthusiastic, experienced women sharing information and ideas. Having a guest speaker was a bonus, especially since it was interesting. I was able to connect with several women, which will be of benefit to my business. Bottom line is that it was the best meeting we have ever had for WIE.” — Jocelyn Welles, Exhibit Expressions