Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘Rental Displays’

An Interview with Jim Shelman, GM of Classic Rental Solutions

January 5th, 2019 COMMENTS

Interview with Jim Shelman at Classic Rental Solutions

Trade Show Rentals have undergone a seismic shift not only in design but also in sales. And, this trend will continue in 2019 and beyond. This week, we chatted with Jim Shelman, the General Manager of Classic Rental Solutions. So what should you expect as an exhibitor or a Classic Exhibits Distributor Partner? More of the same, which is a VERY GOOD THING. 

Q1. You’ve been in the Rental Exhibits space for over 20 years. What’s different now than say 6-8 years ago?

A lot of things have changed, but there are two things that really stand out to me as major changes. One, is the implementation of customization to rental designs. Almost every order we produce includes some element of customization to provide specific needs that exhibitors request during the design process. Today, it’s difficult to spot a rental design, versus a purchased design on the show floor.

The other thing that stands out are the reasons exhibitors decide to rent vs. purchase.

In the past, the primary reason to rent had more to do with only exhibiting in one or two shows per year, and if you were unsure of your long-term show schedule. The thought process was to test the waters with a rental, see how it goes, and purchase once you’ve committed to exhibiting in multiple shows per year. Now, it has become more about design flexibility, and perhaps not wanting to be stuck with the same design show after show. Or, maybe not wanting to deal with storing, shipping, or repairing a purchased exhibit.

Today, many exhibitors approach each show as a clean slate by working with new rental designs that match their specific show-to-show needs.

Q2. Classic Rental Solutions sales have increased year-over-year since 2010. Nearly 20% in 2018. Why?

There are several factors. With the risk of sounding corny, I’ll credit our team of dedicated people, and our incredible distributors, but I also think it’s because of our business model. We understand how important it is to be flexible, and to offer customized design services, and continuously add new custom designs to our rental gallery through our Exhibit Design Search feature on our website. And we’re committed to adding inventory as needed, to fulfill new opportunities for our distributors.

Classic Exhibit Rental Rewards ProgramAnother key factor is that we have the unique support from our in-house manufacturing professionals that produce new exhibits for our 200+ Distributor Partner Network. All of our rental components are produced right here, and we’re able to make last minute modifications.

I like to make it clear that we don’t just offer rentals, but that we offer a complete rental program. From start to finish, we have detailed processes that are followed by our production team and project managers. Every rental project gets staged and photographed before shipping. The highest quality standards are strictly enforced. We include setup instructions, and staging and packing photos with every order. After orders are returned, we provide a complete check-in report to close-out the project.

Several years ago, we implemented our Rental Rewards Program, which offers a reward discount of 2% of the total rental and graphics order when your exhibit returns without major damage and/or missing components. The program also offers two annual prize-drawings, and other rewards for our distributor network.

Q3. What are your biggest challenges headed into 2019? Biggest opportunities?

The seasonal nature of the trade show industry is always challenging. Everything hits at once several times throughout the year, which makes it challenging at times, but we plan and adjust accordingly. I’ve been doing this for a long time, so it’s never a real surprise, but it can hit at slightly different times.

2019 should be an amazing year for us. I would say that our biggest opportunities will be to continue to work on larger island design projects. We’re doing larger projects all the time, and I expect that trend to continue.

Another big opportunity that I’m anticipating is doing more large quantity component orders. We do large quantity orders for workstation kiosks, monitor stands, iPad kiosks, counters, and charging stations. Our large inventory, and willingness to add more, allows us to offer quantities that others typically don’t have available.

Trade Show Island Rental Exhibits from Classic Rental Solutions

Q4. What do you think the typical exhibitor gets wrong about renting a trade show exhibit?

Some of the newer exhibitors think that they are limited to standard designs, and they’re surprised when we start the design process and realize that we offer so much more than they were expecting.

Q5. What do you wish the typical Classic Distributor Partner understood about Classic Rental Solutions?

For those who aren’t aware and haven’t worked with us, I wish that they understood our full capabilities, and our design flexibility. And that we offer a complete rental program with nothing but high-quality “like-new” components. I want them to understand that we can offer something unique for their client base. Something that has proven to work successfully for distributors all over the country.

Q6. Have you seen more event-related rentals vs. trade show rentals? Are their more similarities or differences?

Yes, we ship a fair amount of event-related projects. In the last couple of months, we had multiple large quantity orders for charging stations. And last week we shipped (49) backlit counters to the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.

Q7. How has the Gravitee One-Step System impacted your rental options?

Our Gravitee Modular System has been a great addition to our rental program. It works extremely well for towers and conference rooms, but also for entire island and inline designs. It’s super-fast and easy to setup and disassemble, so it’s used as much as possible to save on labor costs. We see a substantial savings in time during our staging process here in our shop as well. We have a large inventory of standard and custom panel sizes, and we’ll continue to add to it.

Q8. Assuming you’ll be at EXHIBITORLIVE 2019, what are the three questions you want attendees or Distributor Partners to ask you about CRS?

Yes, I’m planning to be there, and here are three of many questions that I would welcome during our conversations.

  • How can Classic Rental Solutions assist us with our current rental program?
  • How do we get started working with Classic for our rental projects?
  • What are your customization capabilities?

I’m looking forward to the show, and I’d be happy to schedule meetings during, before, or after show hours.

You can contact Jim Shelman at jshelman@classicexhibits.com or at 503-345-0525 ext, 103. 

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

Two Full Buckets of Exhibit Design Search Upgrades

July 20th, 2018 COMMENTS

Exhibit Design Search Updates

Recently, we made multiple upgrades to Exhibit Design Search, which probably isn’t a big surprise. 😉 The upgrades fall into two buckets:

EDS Bucket #1: 

We reorganized the EDS Home Page.

1) Modern Islands & Inlines now has 12 galleries.

It includes ALL inlines and islands, except for the tension fabric pop-ups from Optima (like the X1 and NEXT!). We kept all the Optima (OP) products together (see gallery header #4). 

2)  The ecoSmart line from Eco-Systems Sustainable Displays expanded to three galleries: 

3)  The Price and Display Type drop-down menus include more price ranges and products. 

4)  There’s a new P5D Button (no longer buried in Photos)

5)  EVEN MORE Rental Designs from Classic Rental Solutions

EDS Bucket #2:

Exhibit Design Search UpdatesAdditions to our Strategic Partner Galleries.

1)  Display Supply and Lighting (DS) made extensive changes to their Lighting gallery, including: 

  • Zig Zag LED Tape
  • RGB Modular Strips
  • LEDSTRAND Lights: Magnetic LumiRail System (Rail, Magnetic Light Modules, LUMIRAIL Kit, LUMI Power Supply)
  • LED Stick Lights (High Output and Super High output – Flat, Round and Angled options)
  • “U” Series LED Slim Line Fixture
  • LED Flex Panel Quick Kits
  • LED Pendant Lights
  • LED Ceiling Mount Fixtures
  • LED Wall Sconce Fixtures

 2)  Brumark (BR) added new products and revised existing ones, such as:

  • Image White Flex Floor
  • Chilewich Tiles with BioFelt in Basketweave, Lounge, and Rib Weave
  • NextGen Carpeting

3)  The CORT (CT) Furniture Rental Galleries are REVISED with a larger assortment and the latest designs. Definitely worth reviewing the changes. 

That’s it. Well…. for this week.

–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.

Exhibit Design Search | All New EDS Changes!

March 29th, 2018 COMMENTS

EDSBlogHeader

Yes, EDS has changed… again. Now, don’t shake your head. You should be excited about these changes since they are all based on suggestions from you, our Classic Exhibits Distributors. I’m going to refer to them as “3 Modifications” since the word “change” makes some of you sweat like a cold watermelon on the 4th of July.

Modification #1

Exhibit Design Search

This one is BIG. About three weeks ago, we reorganized five galleries from product-centric to functional galleries. In hindsight, we should have done it before. It took a few weeks to make the switch since it required shifting hundreds of kits to new galleries. In short, the new galleries are more logical. Now, instead of Sacagawea, Magellan, SEGUE, and Perfect 10 galleries, there are the following:

  • Trade Show Islands:  All islands from Classic Exhibits with some from Eco-systems Sustainable
  • Modern Hybrid Exhibits:  Upscale, mid-priced inline exhibits, whether modular or custom
  • LED Lightbox Designs: Inline LED lightbox designs, whether custom, modular, or portable
  • 10 ft. Portable Displays: All 10 ft. Sacagawea and Perfect 10 kits, plus portable SEGUE, Magellan, and Visionary Designs. It does not include the Quadro or FGS pop up displays which are in separate galleries
  • 20 ft. Portable Displays:  Same as above, except 20 ft. inlines

Same kits. Same information. Just reorganized to make it easier to find the ideal design.

Modification #2

Exhibit Design Search -- Rental Feature

Several months ago, we expanded our rental design offerings, adding over 200 new kits — inlines, islands, and accessories. At the same time, we added a price comparison feature making it easier to compare rentals and purchases. That’s been HUGE hit with distributors, since it opens the door to chat with clients about rentals.

It also said to Classic Distributors, “Talk to us about what your client wants for a rental whether or not you see it in EDS. We’re open to any and all design suggestions.” And boy-oh-boy you have embraced that enthusiastically. We love the ideas. Keep them coming.

However, the additional kits made the Rental Gallery somewhat overwhelming, so we split them into two galleries — islands and inlines. There are now three Rental Galleries in EDS:

Modification #3

Advanced Exhibit Design SearchPersonally, I love the Advanced Search feature in EDS, but I suspect that few distributors use it. That’s not surprising since the link isn’t a fancy button or surrounded by flashing lights. But if you are a power-user of EDS (feel free to add that skill to your LinkedIn profile), then the Advanced Search can make your life much easier when narrowing down the perfect designs for your clients.

With all the gallery changes, we had to decide whether to keep the product search functionality or migrate to the new search options. We chose the later, since you’ve told me (many times) that the product names often confuse your clients. While that hurts my feelings, a little, I need to be the better person and not hold a grudge for the rest of my life (Internal voice:  “Suck it down Mel. Just suck it down!”)

I encourage you to explore the Advance Search feature, using it to search select galleries, conduct text-related searches, or drill-down to very specific design options such as a “lightbox with shelves.” No, it’s not Google good, but it’s still pretty darn impressive.

I plan to conduct several Exhibit Design Search training webinars this spring so look for the email notification. These usually last about 45 minutes and move pretty fast. If you’ve ever spent more than 10 minutes with me, you know I have a lot to say about EDS. Clearly.

Got questions? Give me a call or send me an email. In the meantime, explore EDS on the Classic site, the unbranded version, or your unique branded Exhibit Design Search. Confused about whether you have a branded version, contact me or Jen Labruzza, the National Sales Manager.

–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.

New Faces and New Designs from Classic Rental Solutions

December 23rd, 2017 COMMENTS

JessicaMarchant

Happy New Year!

We are celebrating with new faces, new designs, and a New Year promotion (coming in early January).

Classic Rental Solutions welcomes Jessica Marchant (No, she’s not French, but she does have a Southern accent). Jessica was kind enough to share a little about her roots, experience, and personality in this interview.

What is your home town?

Charleston, South Carolina

BeachComparisonBest part about South Carolina?

The beaches are beautiful. They’re very tropical and the water is always warm.

How do you like the Oregon coast?

[Laughs] No comment.

What brought you to the Northwest?

To be completely honest, it was pretty random. My husband traveled through Portland on a train and really liked it. He wanted to move somewhere with water, and I wanted to be near mountains, so it was a great compromise. Plus, we really like the Cascade Mountains.

How did you find out about Classic Exhibits?

I found out about Classic through Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits, when they had an available project management position. I was really intrigued by the design elements and was offered a position with the rental team.

Leon 2[2]What is your educational background?

I got my Masters in Design Management at Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD), which is the second largest design school in the world. There was a focus on branding and business strategy. While there, I was in the Research Club, which involved researching methods and emerging methodologies. John Malkovich was our guest speaker when I graduated.

What are a few skills you have attained that you’re bringing to the team?

Leadership qualities, problem-solving, and I am well-versed in design, to name a few.

What’s an interesting fact about yourself?

I rescued a hairless cat named, Leon (aka The Ladies’ Man or Lele).

What are you most excited about with joining the Classic Family?

I think I am most excited about having different projects and not doing the same thing over and over. I don’t like repetition. I like variety and working with different people.


Recent CRS Changes

RentalsIslands

Business is booming. And Classic Rental Solutions has refined our workflow procedures and inventory to make your life easier. We believe, as we hope you do too, that CRS provides the highest quality displays available on the market. It’s no accident that repeat business has been the key to our (and your) rental success.

Your clients never have to worry about their booth looking anything but perfect. Plus, they always have the added benefit of modifying their design for each show at a low cost. This helps them stay relevant to potential customers on the show floor. Ultimately, it’s all about HAPPY CLIENTS, show after show.

Classic Rental Solutions is thrilled to be a finalist (once again) for EXHIBITOR Magazine’s Portable/Modular Awards. The PMA’s will be announced at EXHIBITORLIVE in February, but you can vote for your favorite on the PMA People’s Choice page. Our thanks to TPS Displays Richmond for choosing us as their rental provider for the ForRent island. We encourage you to vote (and vote often).

Finally, we’ve GREATLY EXPANDED the Rental Gallery in Exhibit Design Search. Over 150 additions, all with both rental and purchase prices to make the comparison easier. If you haven’t seen our latest additions to the gallery, please sneak a peek. It’s gone from impressive to AMAZING.

Stay tuned for even more updates in 2018. We’re on an exciting roll.

On behalf of Classic Rental Solutions and the Classic Exhibits family, we wish you a Prosperous New Year.

Kevin Carty — Video Update October 2017

October 16th, 2017 1 COMMENT

Kevin Carty’s Vlog.

In this video, Kevin shares his thoughts about fall business, Shared Knowledge University, Classic Rental Systems, and EDPA Access (in late November). It’s been an exciting fall season at Classic Exhibits with increased orders and a HUGE bump in custom builds.

A sincere thanks to the Classic Distributor Network for trusting us with your orders. It’s very much appreciated. See the video below for your complete update.

To view recent projects, go to Past Five Days in Exhibit Design Search.

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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.