Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘Past Five Days’

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.


 

Classic Exhibits… By the Numbers

March 15th, 2016 4 COMMENTS

P5D_EDS_TTB_BlogHeader

Milestones

In business, as in life, we celebrate milestones. This morning after adding an article to Trade Show Tips, I decide to count them — 74 articles. It’s more than I thought, but 74 isn’t 740 or 7400 so the number didn’t freak me out.

Having started down this path, I decided to look at other numbers. For example, how many blog posts have we published in Trade Show Tales? WordPress makes finding that number easy — 704 posts (counting this one). Now I have to be honest with you — that did freak me out a bit. We publish 6-8 posts per month with the first one in 2009. So by the numbers, that’s about right. However, that doesn’t make 704 seem any less daunting. That’s a lot of words and images over the years. I’m not sure whether we should pat ourselves on the back or apologize to you (“Way to go team!” or “Sorry everyone”).

What Is This Anyway?

The First P5D Photo. What Is This Anyway?

So, you may be wondering how many photos are in Past 5 Days. P5D was launched on September 9, 2006 with this image. It’s an odd image for the first P5D, but we didn’t know what we were doing back then. According to Tony, our resident web guru, we’ve published 5840 photos. Most are linked to kits in Exhibit Design Search.

I’d be impressed, but I’m actually more exhausted thinking about how each photo had to be resized, saved for the web, and described. The upside is that P5D is the third most visited section of the Classic website, after the Classic and the EDS home pages (according to Google Analytics).

Which leads us to EDS. It’s a big number so let’s filter it a bit. Some kits are shown in multiple galleries. I’d estimate around 140. Our count won’t include inactive designs (we’ve killed probably 400+ kits over the years). We won’t count the Cases, Lighting, and Flooring (149 entries).

031116 MOD1430_aTotal = 1554. Let’s put that number in perspective. Some galleries have grown substantially the past two years, such as the Rental, eSmart, and Island Galleries (because of double-digit growth). During that same time, charging stations, tablet stands, and lightbox kits were added. Plus, the Quadro Floating Graphic System is new.

Twice a year, we delete slow selling kits, or give them a second chance by redesigning them. And then there’s Design Monday, which serves as constant design funnel for Exhibit Design Search.

I’ll spare you all the numbers for Design Monday except to say that back in December we hit the 560th week. DM, more than anything else in this list, makes my head hurt.

You are probably wondering if there’s a point to this blog post, other than reaching blog post 704? Whatever you think about Classic Exhibits, you have to give us credit for persistence, communication, and creativity. That alone should tell you who we are as a company and how much we value you as a Classic Distributor. Give us a break. We have a lot to share!

Is it really time to post another P5D? Sigh.

–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.


 

5 PM’s — Chose 5 Designs — from Past 5 Days

February 17th, 2015 1 COMMENT

CustomerService

We Love All Our Children But Some More Than Others

We shouldn’t have favorites when it comes to exhibit design projects. But we do. And, of course, everyone has designs they hold “near and dear.” We asked our five project managers to pick the five projects they liked best from 2014 that were featured in Past 5 Days. These were not necessarily jobs they worked on, but ones they loved on our Setup Floor. They all got greedy and picked six… and that’s OK. Sometimes it’s the last child that tugs at your heart the most.

You can see additional photos of each project by searching P5D by the date shown. Click to see larger photos in each PM gallery.

Our sincere thanks to the Classic Distributors for sending your projects to us and for allowing us to share them on P5D. Shared Success!

Bob Beuhl

Charlie Shivel

Cynthia Geddis

Edie Arambula

Jeff Garrett


Have questions? Send us an email or give us a call. We welcome your comments about trade show displays and exhibit marketing.

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

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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.


 

Why the Big Picture MATTERS in Graphic Design

April 17th, 2014 6 COMMENTS

Glenna Martin, Graphic Design Manager

Graphic Inspiration Galleries

Many trade show clients and graphic designers are unfamiliar with how to design for 3D structures. If you have a client that fits that description, then our new Graphic Inspiration Galleries will be useful. We’ve dug through the Past Five Days (P5D) photo archives and identified outstanding examples of graphics. Each image has notes about why the graphics are successful (in our humble opinion). Our hope is that these notes will help you start an informed conversation with your client about their next project.

We love using P5D as inspiration space when designing graphics — there is tons of great stuff in there. Keep checking back as we add more images and create new categories.

In addition to the Inspiration Galleries, we’ll post a few of our favorites in the blog each month. Here are a few favorites from March:

Otterbox:
Wonderful combination of lifestyle photos in these graphics and bright yellow band as the focal point for copy. This display also has a unique header shape that mimics of the logo shape.
Busch:
It’s very unique how the images flow down the left side of this table top and land flat on the visual plane in the graphic. This does a great job of guiding your eye to their logo and copy points.
PayTech:
Excellent use of contrast between header and backwall graphic. The curves compliment the contrast and the ribbon’s “z” shape emphasizes their URL and copy points.
BillPro
Very vibrant shade of blue in these graphics. The backlighting makes all of the colors pop and look amazing. The angles in the graphics stretching around the corner creates a nice flow in a small space. This is a great example of what SuperNova lights can do for artwork.
Federated Sample:
This counter is a spectacular example of a customized counter. The 3D graphic elements and contrasting colors are streamlined, but amazing.
Pacifica:
These graphics are so simple and elegant, yet they work fantastically. The illustrated pattern and logo placement in combination with the lifestyle photos are perfect. Nice how the front curved piece extends into the space making the merchandise part of the display.

Stay tuned for next month when we highlight examples from April.

Glenna Martin
Graphic Design Manager

http://www.linkedin.com/in/glennamartin
glenna@classicexhibits.com

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

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.


 

Word on the Street — September 26th thru October 1st

October 3rd, 2010 COMMENTS
Why we participate in the TS2 Show

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Survey Results and Responses — Part 2 of 2

Once again, thank you for participating in our recent survey. This week, I’d like to share some of the numbers from the survey in addition to answering many of your comments and questions.

Quantitative Data

“How would you rate the response time from Classic Exhibits (compared to competitors)?”

Much Faster 16.0%
Somewhat Faster 33.3%
Comparable 35.6%

“How would you rate the overall customer service from Classic Exhibits (compared to competitors)?”

Much Faster 13.7%
Somewhat Faster 43.6%
Comparable 34.4%

If we weren’t Classic, we would view these numbers as positive since you rated us 85% and 91% Faster or Comparable to our competitors. But given our history of consistently responding faster than our competitors, the 35% Comparable numbers are troubling. I’ll respond specifically to this a little later in the blog since we received a comment on this topic.

“How often do you visit the Classic Exhibits website?”

Several times a week 56.3%
Once a month 28.7%
Once a year 1.1%

These numbers are encouraging and gratifying since we’ve devoted considerable time, effort, and money to our website over the past five years. When you visit our website, you told us you use the following features most often:

  1. Exhibit Design Search
  2. Product Pages
  3. Rental Displays
  4. Trade Show Tales Blog
  5. Past 5 Days
  6. Exhibit Specials

On a follow up question, we asked, “Which features of Exhibit Design Search do you use? Check all that apply.” Again, in order, you said:

  1. Photos
  2. Filter and Sort
  3. Design Details
  4. Additional Images
  5. Email Designs
  6. My Gallery
  7. Product Videos (when available)

Finally, in the response to the question, “How would you rate Classic Exhibits on the following?”, you rated us Excellent or Above Average on these (with the corresponding percentage):

  • Ease of Purchase — 77%
  • Manufacturing Flexibility — 76%
  • Setup Instructions — 82%
  • Cases and Packaging — 85%
  • Product Quality — 86%
  • Exhibit Designs — 84%
  • Distributor Communication — 76%
  • Marketing — 82%

Comments and Responses from the Survey

Classic has long been the fastest at getting quotes, orders, and designs turned around as it relates to the industry as a whole. In the past few months this has slipped a little. Why?

Answer — Let me start off by saying that this is not something that we like to hear. However, it is also a reality, and it is by no means the fault of any one PM or Designer. Rather, it is quite simply due to market conditions. We (Classic) do not have as many people working in those departments as we did two years ago. And that is not an excuse, but from a transparency standpoint, we want to be honest with you.

Our PM’s and Designers are doing as many quotes and designs as always, but the orders are smaller than they were 24 months ago. Therefore, you have fewer people trying to do more. Having said that, we need to set more reasonable expectations on turnaround times. Over promising and under delivering is never a good thing. We realize that. And as a management team, we are addressing it.

Can your Design Team and Project Management Team communicate better at the “hand-off” stage? Meaning when a design is sent to Project Management for quoting?

Answer — While this was not an overriding theme in your survey responses, it was mentioned and deserves a response. Communication has been a consistent theme at Classic over the past four years, both internally and externally. Hearing that we are failing with some of our distributors is troublesome. Some of it may be a direct reflection of asking fewer people to do more. I know that occasionally causes people to cut corners to meet existing time expectations. However, when proper communication does not happen, it causes us to go back and forth more often which lengthens the turnaround time. I promise you that we are working on this, and we will get better.

Can you include Distributor News and Updates in Design Monday along with new designs?

Answer — Yes. And to some extent we already do. Several years ago, we discontinued our monthly newsletter because we felt we were inundating you with email broadcasts. Instead, we shifted those routine updates on products, services, and specials to periodic emails, Design Monday (via “Word on the Street”) and postings in the Trade Show Tales Blog. Please let us know if you would like us to resume the monthly newsletter. In the newsletter, we would be very happy to discuss Classic updates as well as information in your world — whether it is new hires, current projects that you wish to share, or other pertinent news as it relates to the industry within your local markets.

Classic needs to do a better job of Customer Appreciation and Acknowledgment.

Answer — Ouch! That really hurts. While I feel like we do a good job of this “on the fly,” for the most part, I do agree that we need to do this more publicly. And more often. Our management team will make this a focus moving forward. You are our lifeblood. No one can deny that, and I am sorry if we have not done a good job of acknowledging that daily, monthly and quarterly.

ClassicMODUL is great. The variety of extrusions and accessories are unmatched. Why do you not promote the variety more in your Classic Exhibits designs and broadcasts?

Answer — At first I thought this comment may have come from Tom Jones, who manages our ClassicMODUL division. 😉 But it didn’t. I spent a lot of time thinking about this. In looking through past Design Mondays and other e-broadcasts that the Classic Exhibits division has sent over the past several months, it is clear that while we use a variety of extrusions and accessories in our broadcasts, we do not always “highlight” them. Recently, we have been promoting the TSP profiles which hold Silicone Edge Graphics, but we do need to do a better job of describing the extrusions in particular designs so that you gain a deeper and better sense of what is available from Classic and ClassicMODUL. Great suggestion. Thanks!

In conclusion, we have work to do and some issues to resolve. Thank you for your feedback, and we sincerely appreciate your constructive criticism.

And thank you for the many, many kudos we received as well in the survey (which we elected not to share). I am not going to lie, hearing that “Classic Rocks!,” that the “Customer Service Team is Wonderful” and that you appreciate coming to work each day knowing that you get to “Work with friends,” makes me not just happy, but exceptionally proud of our team.

Thanks again!

–Kevin Carty

http://twitter.com/kevin_carty
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/kevin-carty/3/800/32a