Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘Mel White’

Rental Exhibit Types: Rejects, Reruns, and Remarkables

June 25th, 2019 COMMENTS

There are Three Types of Trade Show Exhibit Rentals:  Rejects, Reruns, and Remarkables. All rentals depend on the exhibit supplier’s inventory and willingness to customize. So what’s the difference?

Rejects

Rejects: These are instantly recognizable as traditional rental designs from the GSC show manual. They are built from battered aluminum extrusion and Sintra graphic inserts. They are ugly, ineffective, and increasingly being replaced by modern modular wall systems.

Reruns

Reruns: Many rental designs now use modular wall systems. A very positive trend. Unfortunately, the designs depend on the supplier’s inventory, which is often limited. That means choosing from a narrow selection of inline and island configurations which are repeated again and again on the show floor. It’s a step up, but not a custom rental.

Remarkables

Remarkables: Customized rental designs are the exception since they depend on a large rental inventory, custom manufacturing, and design flexibility. They are generally indistinguishable from a purchase exhibit, since they are personalized to the exhibitor’s marketing requirements. They can be more expensive, but even that depends on the rental supplier and the exhibitor’s willingness to commit to multiple rentals.

Just because a supplier has a rental option, it doesn’t guarantee their rental inventory supports “remarkable” designs. Ask questions. Request designs. See photos of past rental projects. Finally, don’t fall in love too quickly. You deserve to date a few unremarkable candidates before committing to a long-term relationship.

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

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Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, custom, and rental 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.

Exhibit Design Search Boot Camp Webinar — Video Replay

June 11th, 2019 COMMENTS

Recently, I conducted two Exhibit Design Search webinars via Go To Webinar. Below is one of those recorded sessions for anyone unable to attend the live event, or simply for any Classic Distributor who wants a better understand of how to navigate EDS quickly and efficiently.

Become an EDS Warrior!

In this one-hour Exhibit Design Search Boot Camp, you’ll learn the essential skills to attack every opportunity with ruthless precision and speed. You’ll discover how to execute an efficient #sales strategy by finding and sharing #exhibit designs, marketing tips, setup instructions, and photos.

Every mission requires a plan to succeed, and EDS Boot Camp will give you the tools and knowledge necessary to accomplish your goals. Invest an hour. You’ll use the skills you learn for years to come. BE ALL YOU CAN “EDS” BE! — Questions? Contact Mel White (mel@classicexhibits.com)

40 Things You Do @ Trade Shows (You Would Never Do Anywhere Else)

July 24th, 2018 17 COMMENTS

40 Things at a Trade Show

We are all members of specialized sub-groups, each with its own rules and etiquette. Think quilters, railroad model builders, woodworkers, or even college sports fans. Trade shows are no different whether you are an exhibitor, attendee, or an industry insider. While many behaviors might seem normal to you as a member of the trade show community, others are downright bizarre to those who rarely set foot in a trade show hall.

With the assistance of my colleagues, I’ve compiled a list of 40 Things You Do @ Trade Shows You Would Never Do Anywhere Else. It was actually much longer, but this is a PG-rated blog.

Drinking doesn’t count. We know you drink. You just don’t always start at lunch. And for the sake of discretion (and possible litigation), we’ve ignored trade shows in CO, WA, OR, and now CA. Don’t pretend you don’t know why. 

Feel free to contribute via the comments section. And enjoy!

40 Things You Would Never Do Anywhere Else

  1. Throw trash in the aisle and expect others to clean it up
  2. Spend $8.50 for a 12 oz. bottle of Aquafina
  3. Bribe someone to look the other direction. Brag about it later
  4. Have Accounting panic because you just max-out your credit card on one transaction (drayage perhaps?)
  5. Wear matching unisex clothing 
  6. Take anything that appears to have a value of less than $10 (candy, hats, pens, mugs…)
  7. Share “steamy” industry gossip with competitors
  8. Chat with 500 strangers in 72 hours
  9. Gush about the double-padded carpet in booth #1108
  10. Buy a gaudy new belt in the casino shop for $165 (after forgetting to pack one) 

Vacuuming at a Trade Show

  1. Party until 3 am with Steve in Accounting, Larry in HR, Melissa in Engineering, and Rebecca in Quality Control
  2. Bum breath mints from strangers
  3. Arrive at work at 11 am. Leave at 3:30 pm
  4. Get agitated when someone walks across the corner of your booth space
  5. Take a Lyft to Lowe’s or Best Buy at 9 am
  6. Pretend you don’t smell that awful face-melting smell
  7. Debate the existential meaning of portable, modular, and custom
  8. Act interested in (insert topic)
  9. Complain about how much it costs to vacuum 400 sq. ft. of carpet. Vow to do something about it
  10. Allow strangers to take your stuff without a receipt for three days and not know where it is, how it’s getting stored (or if it will be returned undamaged), and that you have zero ability to get it back early. 

Badge Scanning at a Trade Show

  1. Let someone point a scanning device or smartphone camera in the general vicinity of your chest and crotch. Repeatedly.
  2. Be convinced a 15-minute conversation will lead to $500,000 in new business
  3. Assemble a 3D structure that costs somewhere between a new car and a McMansion, only to disassemble it three days later
  4. Spend 20% of your entire annual marketing budget over five days. Never calculate the ROI
  5. Compare the work ethic in Philadelphia, Boston, NYC, Chicago, Orlando, Anaheim, San Francisco, and Las Vegas to the work ethic in your hometown. Vow to do something about it.
  6. Hang your dress shirt in the bathroom with the shower running for 30 minutes to steam out the wrinkles  
  7. Explain, once again, to your family and friends that it’s a “business trip” and not a vacation
  8. Get visibly excited about the phrase “traffic congestion”
  9. Guard your giveaways like a momma bear (Day #1). Beg show labor to take them in bulk (Day #3)
  10. Sneak off to the bathroom just to find a quiet place to work

Finding a Quiet Spot to Work at a Trade Show

  1. Hide in a storage closet to scarf down a Starbuck’s scone, while dusting your co-workers coats, purses, and briefcases with gooey crumbs
  2. Judge people based solely on their name badge 
  3. Convince your boss that the 300 fishbowl leads are new clients clamoring for your product (and not the iPad giveaway)
  4. Pretend the President’s son is not still drunk. Allow him to talk to potential clients and competitors (I know I said I wouldn’t include drinking but this one was too good to exclude) 
  5. Spend 3 days with 100 of your best friends and not speak or see them again for 362 days
  6. Fly from the Midwest in January to Las Vegas, Orlando, or New Orleans and NEVER leave the hotel/convention center complex
  7. Reintroduce yourself to the same person three times. Act embarrassed 
  8. Toss the sales literature you carefully collected over three days so there’s more room for tschotskes. Pretend it’s for your children 
  9. Be REALLY, REALLY EXCITED to leave Las Vegas or Orlando!
  10. Finally… Wonder (after scanning the room and mumbling quietly to yourself) why the Federal Government hasn’t filed RICO charges against certain segments of the trade show industry. Vow to do something about it. 

That’s it. Please share your “Trade Show Things” below. And thanks for playing along.

–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.

MORE Seismic Changes in Trade Show Products

March 31st, 2018 2 COMMENTS

AprilFoolsBlogHeader

The trade show marketplace has undergone seismic changes in the past six months. You made that VERY, VERY clear at EXHIBITORLIVE. Since our business depends on happy distributors, we returned to Portland committed to upgrading our product lines to appeal to EVEN MORE corporate exhibit buyers.

Four EXCITING New Galleries in Exhibit Search

Please check your branded Exhibit Design Search. You have four new product galleries, all with at least 80% margins. Gone are Visionary Designs, Perfect 10, Sacagawea, and SEGUE. These have been replaced with more budget-friendly systems and interactive products. As we learned from EDPA, it’s all about the “experiential” for contemporary exhibitors. They want to feel things. Touch them. All while staying within a Dollar General price range. At the same time, you need to maximize your margins. On some products, we are extending your discount to 90%*, but you have to provide the paper boxes and paper bags. We are prohibited from using plastic bags in Oregon. Sorry.

It’s a BRAND NEW DAY for Classic and our Distributor Family. Join us in celebrating the four new galleries listed below. As always, we welcome your feedback. We are who we are because of you. Just think about that.

DesignSearchRevamp

  • $99 & Under Displays.  Never lose another sale! Except to the $49 & Under Display website. Bastard!
  • Above Ground Pools.  Affordable and interactive. Your pre-show marketing plans just got easier. Discount chlorine too!
  • Extrusion Remnants.  Surprises galore in the extrusion grab bags. Anything is possible with enough screws and duct tape.
  • Scratch-n-Sniff Graphics.  Go ahead and touch it. Perhaps this time it’s Pina Colada. Perhaps not! Scratchy scratchy.

*Please sell responsibly. Quantities are limited while supplies last. May cause bleeding or sudden death. Don’t take candy from strangers. Or strange people. Or anyone really. Not responsible for direct, indirect, incidental or consequential damages resulting from any defect, error or failure to perform. All rights reserved. April Fools.

To read about the REAL updates in Exhibit Design Search, CLICK HERE.

–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. 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.

Reflections on Trade Shows in 2018 | Neophilia vs. Neophobia

February 3rd, 2018 COMMENTS

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Think back to your first major trade show, either as an attendee or an exhibitor. I’m guessing it was overwhelming… and wonderful! There was so much to discover, so many new people to meet, each with a history and storehouse of knowledge. You quickly realized that whether on the show floor, at a breakfast with a client, or chatting with others at the industry gala, that those three days in Vegas, Orlando, or Chicago were special. You couldn’t replicate it sitting at your desk — not on a phone call, via email, or though social media. You had to be there… and you had to be fully present.

Trade shows are a chance to learn and to change. It’s easy to forget that in our quest for the BIG SALE.

Why Is This Important?

I’m often asked, “Are trade shows are relevant?” Is there a future for industry trade shows? Do Millennials, or Gen Xer’s, or heck, even Baby Boomers, still want to attend them? Are companies willing to spend their valuable marketing dollars building a temporary structure just to attract new customers or meet with existing ones? In some ways, it seems a little old-fashion, as if video, live chat, online meeting spaces, and websites were never invented. So I understand, a little.

Here’s what I know. The trade show industry is in a bi-polar transition. There are those who want change (and significant change) vs. those who are actively or passively content with the status quo. Most would contend that change is not moving fast enough. Fewer exhibitors are truly passionate about trade show marketing, and attendees are questioning whether to attend the same shows. That said… Face-to-face marketing isn’t going anywhere soon; however, it may be unfamiliar to many of us in as little as 6-8 years. Consider the recent announcement by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association to scrap their 55-year old National RV Show.

Consider what may happen if the worldwide economy continues to grow, along with corporate profits. How will those companies budget the F2F portion of their marketing and sales departments? On the other had, what would happen if the the global economy experiences another massive, albeit somewhat shorter, recession. Same question as before… How will they spend their limited budget? Who wins and who loses in those two situations? How will those two scenarios create change?

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Bottom Line

If you are planning to attend EXHIBITORLIVE, please come with an open mind and a desire to discuss change. How will you thrive over the next 6-8 years regardless of the global economy, and what can we all do, individually and collectively, to move the ball forward. For far too long, we’ve been stuck in a Sisyphean mindset, one that’s no longer sustainable long-term.

With this is mind, I thought I’d share a new word I learned from a Seth Godin post. Neophilia — a term popularized by cult writer Robert Anton Wilson, is a personality type characterized by a strong affinity for novelty. The term was used earlier by Christopher Booker in his book The Neophiliacs (1969), and by J. D. Salinger in his short story Hapworth 16, 1924 (1965).

Neophilia

Neophiles/Neophiliacs have the following basic characteristics:

  • The ability to adapt rapidly to extreme change.
  • A distaste or downright loathing of tradition, repetition, and routine.
  • A tendency to become bored quickly with old things.
  • A desire, bordering on obsession in some cases, to experience novelty.
  • A corresponding and related desire to create novelty by creating or achieving something and/or by stirring social or other forms of unrest.
  • A complete objection to or distrust of commitment.
  • The opposite of Neophilia is Neophobia (an aversion to novelty or change).

See you in Las Vegas in a month. If you need a FREE show hall pass, click on this LINK and enter code 4044.

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

**********************************************

Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, and custom 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.