Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘Quality’

What Your Customer Doesn’t Know

July 1st, 2015 COMMENTS


We recently introduced a 100-Day Money Back Guarantee on the Sacagawea Portable Hybrid System. No one in our industry has offered a money back guarantee before. It’s a first and in our opinion long overdue. As you can imagine, we’ve had a few distributors ask us about the logic behind this. So here goes.

Online Shopping

Most inline display shopping starts online. That won’t surprise you. Customers use the web to learn about their options, see designs, and check prices. Then they make that critical call or email to an exhibit sales professional. And, unlike the “old days,” they now come to the table with some knowledge and preferences — whether it’s right or wrong.

Sadly, the web isn’t always a proud beacon of transparency, particularly when it comes to online products. Renderings, text, and videos have a way of suggesting quality and features, even where none exists.

Masquerade Ball

VK_1233More and more, we’re seeing lower quality displays masquerading as upscale exhibits, especially basic hybrid displays. We’ve all experienced this trend with pop-up displays. And, sadly, many view pop-ups and banner stands as disposable. That’s unfortunate and not our opinion (Quadro). But that’s a different fight.

We have no issue with a $3000 hybrid as a $3000 hybrid. Those should exist for customers with a limited budget. However, we shouldn’t mistake a low-end hybrid as identical to a Sacagawea. It’s not. Yes, there may be visual similarities, but that’s where it ends.

Preaching to the Choir

Are we preaching to the choir? Yes. You know there are differences — but your customer doesn’t. Here’s what they don’t know.

VK_2113 A4 Render 1f1. Thousands of happy exhibitors have bought the Sacagawea — The World’s Best Hybrid.

2. Every Sacagawea comes with die-cut reusable packaging, numbered components, custom instructions, easy knob-assisted assembly, and the industry’s best HD fabric graphics. Yes, THE BEST Dye-Sub Graphics!

3. There are high-quality accessories such as monitor mounts, counters, standoff graphics, canopies, hostess shelves, literature holders, and tablet enclosures that are innovative, easy to install, and will last years and years. For example, the Sacagawea support legs are adjustable, meaning you can reposition them to compensate for heavier loads on the workstation counter.

4. Sacagawea is built with MODUL extrusion, the highest quality, most durable engineered extrusion in the world. No other aluminum extrusion has the same thickness, strength, and finish as MODUL.

So… why the 100-Day Guarantee? Your customer will ask why they should buy Brand X vs. a Sacagawea. And you’ll explain the differences. Then, should there be any doubt in their mind, you’ll tell them that only the Sacagawea comes with a 100-Day Guarantee. No one else offers that guarantee because the Sacagawea is the highest quality, most versatile portable hybrid anywhere.

In the end, we believe that quality and engineering matters to serious trade show exhibitors. And we’re willing to stand behind that philosophy with a guarantee.

Should you have additional questions, please let us know.

–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


Manufacturing is a Funny and Fickle Business

March 31st, 2010 2 COMMENTS

classic_qualityManufacturing is a funny and fickle business. Products are designed, engineered, built, tested . . . then re-engineered, re-tested, and finally launched (hopefully to eager and admiring customers). Most companies do their best to get it right. They care about quality, especially on new products.

I’ve been in the trade show exhibit business long enough to have seen some oddities regarding product launches. I once worked for a company that introduced a new pop up that was an engineering masterpiece. I’m still in awe of the engineer who developed the self-locking hub. At the time, everyone, and I mean everyone, thought there were no new wrinkles in pop up displays. They were wrong. Everything about this pop up frame was remarkable . . . except for one thing:  the plastic. The engineer spec’d the wrong plastic and the brittle plastic broke within two or three months. The company bit the bullet however, despite having $50,000 in plastic parts, and modified the molds and re-ordered the parts with the correct plastic.

But what about existing products? For years there was a pop up manufacturer that sold a frame with plastic connectors. The connectors would break if you didn’t baby them. And rather than re-design the connectors, the manufacturer solved the problem by basically ignoring the real problem. Instead, whenever you bought a new pop up, they would include a repair kit which included additional connectors. I believe the term was “field repairable,” which meant that it was “field breakable.” Many companies expend all their energy on new product development and ignore existing products. After all, when it comes to existing products, it’s easy to blame the customer for not installing it correctly or not reading the instructions or simply not being satisfied with “good enough.”

You’re probably wondering if I have a point. Classic is not a “field repairable” or “good enough” company, at least I don’t think we are. But, we’re also not infallible. We sometimes make mistakes, but those mistakes are quickly rectified and then the solution is re-designed into future products.

For example, the Sacagawea Portable Hybrid Display has undergone several enhancements since its introduction about 10 months ago. We modified the base plates to make them lighter. In addition, we replaced hex key connections on the backwall with knobs to make the displays easier to set-up. Recently, we modified the horizontal spline connector, which makes the connection tighter and eliminates a small gap in the horizontal crossbar. I don’t know that anyone ever complained about it, but it bothered us and our Production Engineer came up with a slick and simple solution. We now use this solution for the Magellan Displays as well. I can’t show it to you (since I don’t want to give our competitors any ideas), but I will show you the result. See the photos below.

Modified Horizontal Crossbar on Sacagawea Hybrid Display

Modified Horizontal Crossbar on Sacagawea Hybrid Display

Now I’m generally not someone who likes to tell tales, but I do love a good story. Do you have any examples of products or solutions where you were told by the manufacturer that they were “good enough”? Or you were given a solution that wasn’t really a solution, but just a band-aid. How do you respond to that logic?

–Mel White
Classic Exhibits Network (LinkedIn)