Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘Rental Exhibits’

8 Things Your Trade Show Display is Trying to Tell You

August 27th, 2019 COMMENTS

Everyone and everything has a story, including your trade show display. Many displays have seen things you haven’t, like the chaos of the marshaling area of a convention hall. You might want to listen to what your display has to say as you prepare for your next show.

My Crates Require a Hammer to Open or Close Them

Most exhibit houses build sturdy wood crates designed to withstand the abuse of shipping and material handling. But even the best crates don’t last forever. Bolts and wingnuts go missing, latches get bent, and doors and lids no longer fit without a little aggressive massage. Visually, your crate looks like it lost a street fight to a woodchipper.

New Wood Crates

You need to make a decision. If you plan to keep your exhibit for a while longer, then you should probably replace the crate(s). A new crate will ensure your exhibit has the best chance of surviving future shipments and drayage. Plus, if your exhibit has changed over time, the new packaging will be jigged to protect those extra components. No one, including the labor crew, likes to wrestle with a worn-out crate at the end of the show. It’s frustrating and eventually expensive.

My Instructions No Longer Match the Parts and Pieces

Very few exhibits remain the same over time. Graphics change, accessories are added, and broken and lost parts replaced. Your booth evolved as marketing plans change and that’s a good thing. However, with each change, the instructions no longer match the current design. Now, only one person knows how to assemble it.

This can’t continue. In most cases, your exhibit house can assemble the booth in their facility, check and replace any numbering, and print new graphics. If your exhibit house didn’t build it, then they will contact the manufacture for updated instructions based on their notes.

My Graphics are Dirty, Scratched, or Delaminating

Too often, we don’t see what others do. Think of those times someone pointed out a stain on your shirt/blouse that you didn’t see. Trade show graphics have a limited life, either because your message changes or they get damaged or dirty due to repeated handling. On the show floor, first impressions are always lasting impressions.

No
Not Dirty, Scratched or Delaminating

What’s with ALL the Extra Parts?

When the booth was new, there were no “extra” parts and pieces. Replacement parts, perhaps, but no extra ones. So what happened? The answer isn’t always straight-forward. If you’ve ever seen a booth that leans a bit or graphics that don’t fit perfectly, it’s usually because someone took a shortcut assembling the display. Which means, they didn’t bother reading the instructions.

Hey, the Rental Booth Across the Aisle Looks Better Than Me!

Admittedly, a rental exhibit from a reputable exhibit house should look indistinguishable from a new one. It may not have all the bells and whistles, or be totally custom, but it shouldn’t be the equivalent of a 1978 Chrysler Cordoba. When your exhibit pales in comparison to the rental exhibit across the aisle, it may be time to consider a display upgrade. And a rental just might be the right next step.

Why is My Disassembly and Repacking Such a Nightmare?

The show is over and you want to go to dinner, go to a bar, or simply go home. But, not yet. The exhibit has to be disassembled and repacked in the crate or case. That task can be straight-forward or a nightmare. There’s a good chance your dismantle team, whether the company’s employees or the hired I&D labor crew, may be unfamiliar with the repack.

Jigged Crate with Reusable Packaging

Quality packing instructions and reusable packaging materials might be the single best investment you make in your exhibit. Not only will ensure that your exhibit looks good show after show, but it will also make the disassembly a stress-free. You’ll save money on labor, reduce damage, and ensure that no component gets left behind. Before you buy your exhibit, demand to see how the booth will be packed. And repacked. And repacked.

What’s with My Boring Flooring?

Flooring shouldn’t be an afterthought. It’s another opportunity for effective branding or creativity in your (very expensive) booth space. Some would say even more important than a hanging sign.

More than ever you have choices: an extra layer of carpet padding, foam tiles, printed graphics, or even raised wood flooring. Heck, some companies are using vinyl graphics on the concrete floor to create interesting and effective graphics. You don’t have to default to rented black or white carpet.

I’m Back in the Shop ONCE AGAIN? Repairs, Storage, and Turnkey Services

Storage and turnkey services are a given on nearly all large exhibits and most program clients. Most businesses don’t have room to store crates nor the time to inspect the exhibit before and after every show. At some point, however, those costs plus any ongoing repairs mean it’s time to consider a new exhibit.

You can minimize repairs and turnkey services by taking care of the exhibit at every stage. Storage fees are negotiable, depending on how much you store and how many other services you tap into at your exhibit house. And when it’s time to retire your display, then either sell it (via a used exhibit broker) or dispose of it. You would be surprised at how often companies continue to pay storage fees long after they no longer use the exhibit.

Still wondering what to do before your next show. Contact us. We’ll make sure you’re next show is successful, without a lot of backtalk from your exhibit.

–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.

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.

Fast Food, Banner Stands, and Trade Show Exhibits

April 11th, 2019 COMMENTS

What Do Trade Show Displays Have in Common with Restaurants?

Many inexperienced exhibitors struggle with their show display options. And who can blame them? Even for hardcore marketing professionals, trade show exhibits can be puzzling and the prices bewildering. Some displays are hundreds of dollars, other thousands, and larger projects easily climb into six figures.

So how do you choose? Oddly enough, trade show displays are a lot like restaurants. Yes, restaurants. There are fast food displays and fine dining exhibits. Don’t want fast food or fine dining… how about casual dining displays? Where you eat depends on your budget, your taste preferences, and your priorities. So, let’s take a moment to compare the familiar (restaurants) with the unfamiliar (trade show exhibits). Hopefully it will make choosing your next display much easier.

Fast Food

A fast-food restaurant provides the quickest food and service at the cheapest prices. The décor is simple, and the selection limited. Going to Taco Bell, KFC, and of course, McDonald’s is almost always convenient, predictable, and inexpensive but perhaps not always healthy depending on your choices.

Finding fast food displays is just as easy and convenient. There’s no shortage of imported banner stands or tension fabric displays on the web, all available for a click or two. These displays serve a purpose for local events or for small businesses not participating in professional trade shows. They are cost-effective, graphic mediums with limited accessories and an uncertain lifespan. Just like a burger, fries, and COKE, they taste great but should be consumed in moderation. The experience is nearly always transactional, not consultative. Click here for examples.

Fast Casual

Unlike fast food restaurants, fast casual restaurants are more likely to serve healthier choices and offer more comfortable dining rooms. Customers usually order their food at the counter, although drive -thru and takeout is available. Think Chipotle, Boston Market, or even Panda Express. And while you have choices, those choices don’t include cooking the Kung Pao Chicken, for example, without chicken or peanuts.

Fast Casual Displays are typically purchased from a local exhibit professional, although they can be ordered online. These displays offer more accessory options such as shelves, monitor mounts, lightboxes, etc. There’s usually a conversation or consultation between the buyer and seller about their specific trade show product or marketing needs. Packaging is better. Quality is better. And while they are often based on pre-configured “kits,” those kits can be re-configured within limits. Click here for examples.

Casual Dining

Casual dining restaurants offer a wider menu selection, table service, and a family friendly environment. Servers/waiters offer advice, take orders, and serve food. The prices are higher than at fast casual but more affordable than fine dining restaurants. Some are chains like Applebee’s or Cheesecake Factory but also include local establishments with either highly specialized menus or a broad range of cuisine.

Most corporate exhibitors who participate in industry-specific trade shows fit into this category. They work with local or regional exhibit designer/builders to design a system solution or a customized exhibit. As exhibitors, they want an exhibit that reinforces their brand, presents a professional appearance, and adapts to their trade show marketing program without breaking their budget.  More often than not, they are receptive to custom rental solutions if the design offers more flexibility and visual impact, but at a cost lower than purchasing an exhibit. They appreciate selection, value, service, and welcome guidance from a knowledgeable exhibit marketing professional. The experience is almost always consultative if the exhibitor doesn’t have an extensive exhibit marketing program. Click here for examples.

Fine Dining

Fine-dining restaurants come with the most elaborate menus and expensive prices. Owners of fine-dining restaurants want to present an atmosphere of elegance and grace. They employ chefs who attended culinary schools and possess many years of experience.

Fine Dining exhibits, like fine dining restaurants, are equal parts atmosphere, presentation, quality, and experience. They are almost always memorable, and their size and creativity can be a magnet for attendees throughout the show hall. Most are pure custom, both in design and construction, although subtle and effective modular construction has become more common.

These exhibits are more likely to include LED Video Walls or A/R. We often associate Fine Dining Exhibits with larger island exhibits or double-deck structures, but inlines (like 10 x 20 or larger) can project the same elegance and upscale appearance. It’s possible to achieve this level of sophistication without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars but it requires the right exhibit partner and a commitment to all facets of trade show marketing (and not just the display). However, a steady diet of fine dining, just like one of fast food, is rarely healthy or cost-effective for most exhibitor. Click here for examples.  

Hungry for successful trade show results? It all starts with choosing the right display for your marketing goals and budget and working with an exhibit professional committed to your long-term success. And yes, we all love french fries and chocolate milkshakes, but a more balanced diet is always a better choice. And don’t forget to treat yourself from time to time with something extravagant.  

–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, 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.

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.

NEW Rental/Purchase Price Feature in Exhibit Design Search

August 30th, 2017 COMMENTS

We Heard You. Loud and Clear!

Nearly every day we get the following request, “My client can purchase the VK-1233 for $9208. What would the rental price be?” We’re happy to answer that question…  but wouldn’t it be nice if those prices were in Exhibit Design Search? Yes.

That’s a HUGE project! And we’re up to the challenge, but it will take a little time. Effective on all Exhibit Design Search websites, you can now find 72 kits with both rental and purchase prices. You can see them in Visionary Designs, Islands, SEGUE, eSmart, and the Rental Galleries. Click HERE to see an example.

Another 50 kits will be updated in September. Then we’ll continue adding more each month. Let us know if you have any questions. We are excited about this new EDS update and hope it makes your life a little easier (and more profitable).

EDSNewRentalPricing

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

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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.