Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘LED Lightboxes’

What to Look for in an LED Lightbox Manufacturer

June 6th, 2018 COMMENTS

Rental Exhibits
Stroll through any airport, mall, event, or trade show and you’ll see hundreds of colorful LED lightboxes in every shape and size. Over the past few years, most have switched to Backlit Tension Fabric SEG Graphics. The reasons are obvious. Not only is fabric more durable than direct print graphics, but it’s also cheaper to ship and easier to maintain. And depending on the print process, the colors are vibrant and the details nearly photographic. 

It’s easy to assume that all LED lightboxes and manufacturers are similar, so the only real difference is price. Price matters of course, but there are other factors to consider.

8 Factors to Consider When Purchasing an LED Lightbox 

Hardness and Durability:  All LED Lightboxes start with an SEG aluminum frame. Every manufacturer engineers their frames using aluminum of varying hardness and durability. Less expensive lightboxes use softer aluminum because it’s cheaper. But cheaper aluminum scratches easily and tarnishes quickly. In addition, the wall thickness is often so thin that structural rigidity is compromised. For lightboxes mounted to a wall or assembled or disassembled at multiple trade shows, you will want aluminum with a 6063 specification. 6063 has better structural integrity and scratch resistant. If the supplier can’t answer that question, then you should be wary. 

Availability: Does the manufacturer have the extrusion, LED lights, hardware, and accessories in stock? And are there extrusion options depending on the situation, such as one-sided vs two-sided, freestanding vs. wall mount. What if you need multiple quantities or quick ship options? Can individual parts be purchased if they are lost or damaged? You don’t want a manufacturer who dabbles in lightboxes. 

Customization: Let’s say you need a width or height larger than the kits listed. Is it possible? If so, how complicated or expensive does it get? How about angles or shapes such as a hexagon? It’s easy to do squares and rectangles (for most manufacturers), but odd shapes and sizes are often a head-scratcher for those who only want to fulfill kits. 

Print Quality: Asking the right questions is essential. 1. Dye-sublimation printing is the best. This ensures the colors are infused into fabric, not just printed on the surface. Many suppliers brag about “fabric printing” but it’s not always dye-sublimation, which requires two steps  — printing to a paper material and then heat fusing the image to fabric. 2. Ask about the age of the printer. The dye-sublimation printer shouldn’t be more than two years old. Anything older than that means the print resolution is just OK, not photographic. 3. Just like clothing, the fabric quality can vary, which may not matter if the graphic is a throwaway and the resolution doesn’t matter.    

Sewing and Sizing:  Experienced manufacturers have this down to a science. They’ve done the calculations thousands of times with varying fabrics, and they know how to print, cut, and sew the fabric so it fits perfectly. Not too loose. Not too tight. Nothing is more frustrating than receiving a fabric graphic that doesn’t fit. 

LED Lights:  This could be a college course. Just understand the various color temperatures, lens, UL and ETL certification, module construction, etc. requires some research and patience. Like fabric, there are multiple ways to make LED lights cheaper, if cheaper is the only criteria. Skipping UL/ETL certification is shortcut. Using exposed connections or alligator clips is another. Sadly, it’s nearly impossible to know what you are getting before you get the LED lightbox. However, in this case, the old adage rarely fails, “If it’s too good to be true, then it probably isn’t.” 

Accessories: Most LED lightboxes are a one-trick pony. The are lightboxes.  That’s it. But what if you want to add shelves, an iPad, a literature holder, wings or headers? What if you want to connect it to other lightboxes or create a full inline or island display. That requires and exhibit builder who has engineered the extrusion to be multi-functional, stocks lightbox accessories, and has the in-house talent to customize. 

Assembly and Packaging: It’s easy to assume that your display will ship in high-quality cases and packaging. Sadly, that’s rarely true. Most manufacturers use disposable one-way shipping materials. Your lightbox arrives undamaged. Now you have to ship it to the next show or to another location, but there’s nothing to protect it or keep it organized. Insist on reusable shipping materials, which precludes cardboard, shrink wrap, and thin foam. All three will be destroyed after one use. See examples. While you may have to pay a little more, it’s an investment that keeps giving show after show, assembly after assembly.  

It’s important to remember that the pretty image you see on a website is just a rendering. What you receive is not. Ask the right questions and purchase your lightbox from a vendor you trust. Remember, your “may” be able to return the hardware, but the graphics, it’s yours whether you like it or not. Finally, keep in mind that you are buying a design, a marketing structure that represents your brand. It’s more than just an aluminum frame with graphics. 

–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, including SuperNova LED Lightboxes. 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.

 

SuperNova™ Lightboxes and Exhibits — Summer Sales Tips #2

June 6th, 2017 COMMENTS

Outperform the Competition

Not all LED lightboxes are created equal. Most use low quality aluminum extrusion, inferior LED modules, and low resolution fabric printing.  SuperNova™ Lightboxes are the exception. SuperNova Lightboxes are exceptionally durable. Our propriety LED modules outperform the competition. And, we use only HD or 4K dye-sublimation printing for vibrant colors and details.

To download the unbranded PDF version for the SuperNova Sales Tips, click here. To listen to the special audio clip, click here.

SuperNova LED Lightboxes from Classic Exhibits

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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.

EXHIBITORLIVE | Get the Skinny from Classic Exhibits

February 9th, 2017 COMMENTS

EXHIBITORBlogHeadervs2

March 12-16 at Mandalay Bay

I don’t know about you, but we are delighted EXHIBITORLIVE is a bit later this year. It was a crazy January at Classic Exhibits, and February has already gotten even wackier with designs, quotes, and orders. Thanks for all the business.

So, what can you expect from Classic Exhibits at EXHIBITORLIVE? [All future references to the show will be “EL.” If I have to type all caps and then change LIVE to italics again, I will lose my friggin’ mind]. As a reminder, the show runs from March 12-16 at Mandalay Bay. Or translated, March 13-15, which is the show hall dates. I’m never quite sure what anyone is doing on Thursday, except packing their exhibit, but there must be classes, seminars, and stuff going on somewhere. It just doesn’t apply to me, so I don’t care. 😉

You can get a FREE Show Hall pass by using code #4044. Use it or not. EXHIBITOR hypes the codes to exhibitors. Supposedly we can win a 10 ft space next year by having the most people use our code. Hmmm… I’m sure it’s legitimate. I’ve just never heard anyone boast about their free 10 ft. EL space.

According to Kevin, this is our 23rd year as an exhibitor. Even after 9/11 and throughout The Great Recession, we participated and supported the industry (a pat on the back to us). Location:  #1645 in a 20 x 30 space. Same spot as the past three years. Our neighbors change, but we stay. Not quite sure what that says about us.

GK-2002dOur main focus will be the Gravitee One-Step Modular System. Gravitee sales have soared the past six months, both for purchase and rentals, but like all new products, distributors need to see and touch it. Here’s your chance to see me demo it 1587 times over the course of three days. Connect. Plunge. Stack. Connect. 90 Degree. Adjustable Hinge. End Cap. Believe me, I’ve got it down to a Vaudeville act at this point, minus the burlesque show. It’s pretty impressive actually. The system… Not my presentation.

We’ll also show our Charging Station designs. These keep evolving based on your requests. Frankly, it’s been a lot of fun seeing how this category has grown and changed. The same point could be made for LED Lightboxes. So many leave our building everyday, both single and double-sided, in a variety of shapes. Recently, we are experimenting and selling programmable RGB lights. This is a situation where graphic design is a step behind the light technology, but once graphic designers understand what can be done, you will see some pretty exciting visual effects.

image6As you may know, Classic Exhibits has supported EL’s Portable Modular Awards since its inception. This year, we have five finalists. The awards ceremony will be held Tuesday at the conclusion of the show hall hours (3:30 pm). We would love for you to be our guest. There’s no charge (which is one reason we’re so graciously inviting you to be “our guest”).

All kidding aside, we encourage you to attend and vote for the PMA People’s Choice Award. EL will only continue to support this program as long as attendees see it as valuable. We believe, as we hope you do too, that portable modular design should be recognized in our industry. Please attend and celebrate all the nominees and winners.

Finally, we will be serving sweet treats in our booth this year. It’s not candy. And it’s only marginally healthy. But it’s for a good cause and comes around only once a year. We promise to have ALL your favorite flavors. That’s all the hints you get.

See you at EL. Don’t forget about Strategic Partner Hours on Tuesday and Wednesday, beginning at 10 am.

–Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
https://twitter.com/melmwhite
https://www.facebook.com/Classic-Exhibits-Inc-113601405319757


 

 

 

 

 

Your Exhibit Design Search Updates

October 11th, 2016 COMMENTS

EDSUpdateBlog

Exhibit Design Search is a work in progress where new features are added without fanfare. They just appear. So what’s new in the past three months?

EDS Home Page

captureAbout three weeks ago, we flipped the switch on a new visual feature on all Exhibit Design Search sites. It’s subtle but significant. The gallery images on the EDS home page now rotate. Visualize a slot machine. Each time you click the refresh button on your browser or simply return to the home page, the images change/rotate.

This makes each EDS site more distinctive. To see this at work, simply go to your EDS site or click here for the unbranded EDS website and refresh your browser. If you are easily amused, like me, do it repeatedly.

Photo Galleries

capture1Recently, distributors asked us how they could tap into our Custom, Rental, and Retail photo galleries without redirecting their clients to the Classic website. About 16 months ago, we added those galleries to the main Classic website to highlight the non-system projects flowing through our facility. On any given month, about 40 percent of our business falls into those categories. And it’s growing.

We listened. Now all branded EDS sites have a Photo Libraries button with a drop-down menu. The menu includes not only Past Five Days, but also galleries showing Custom, Rental, and Retail projects. Expect them to evolve as we add (and remove) projects.

Gravitee Modular Wall System

gravitee-cycleYou’ll be hearing LOTS and LOTS about Gravitee in the coming months. However, unlike other Classic systems, we’ve chosen not to create a defined product gallery in EDS. Why? Gravitee is a chameleon. It’s ideal as an island or an inline. It’s perfect for purchase or rental. Use it for an event, a corporate environment, a trade show, or retail space. It’s versatile, practical, and affordable. In short, it works in almost any 3D environment.

For now, the Gravitee kits will be in the Island, Visionary Designs, and SEGUE galleries. You can find them by searching “Gravitee.” Or, by going to the Exhibits menu on the main Classic website and clicking on Gravitee One-Step Modular System.

Interested in adding Gravitee to your rental inventory? Click to download the Starter Kit Special, available only to Classic Exhibits Distributors.

LED Lightboxes

vk-1966-view-3Lightboxes are the boy bands of the exhibit, event, and retail world. Even if you want to hate them… you can’t. They are just too damn cute and adorable. We decided to take a two-prong approach to lightboxes. Our proprietary SuperNova lightboxes can be purchased in any size, nearly any shape, and come in one or two-sided frames. The frames, unlike most on the market, are designed to withstand abuse. We dare you to compare them to the “little sisters of the poor” varieties, not only in their durability but also their light sealing features. They are better and brawnier.

Secondly, lightboxes need to be functional for trade show exhibitors. That means that attaching counters, headers, literature holders, iPad stands, shelves, monitors, etc. should be easy. We’ve designed kits that do more than look pretty. They are also practical. See VK-1966, VK-1963, VK-1961, and VK-1118 for examples.

Rental Furniture Galleries

rental-furnitureThis is important. Last summer, we added Rental Furniture Galleries #1 and #2 in EDS. These galleries are a partnership with CORT, the leader in trade show rental furniture. Rental furniture is no longer the exception in inline and island booths. It’s the rule.

Historically, it’s been challenging to assist your customers with rental furniture. Not anymore. These two retail galleries make it easy to show your clients rental furniture at retail prices. Once your client has selected the furniture, simply call CORT, tell them you’re a Classic Exhibits distributor, and they will provide you with a wholesale quote. They can even direct you to other rental furniture options in their online catalog, all with a special Classic Exhibits wholesale prices. My personal advice… don’t be a duffus! Show rental furniture. Sell rental furniture. With or without your assistance, your clients are going to have rental furniture in their booth.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions about Exhibit Design Search or about anything Classic Exhibits related.

–Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
https://twitter.com/melmwhite

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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 www.classicexhibits.com.