Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘Trade show’

What Not to Wear (at a Trade Show)

January 31st, 2013 23 COMMENTS
What Not to Wear (at a Trade Show)

What Not to Wear (at a Trade Show)

No blog post over the past three years has gotten more hits on Google or more comments than this one. In fact, it’s not even close. We’re not shy about recycling, even when it comes to content. Enjoy.

I’m no fashion expert. The yellow sweater I wear all winter is a dead giveaway. But you don’t have to be a member of the fashion police to spot these faux pas. Wear what you want if you’re an attendee, but as an exhibitor, you may want to consider these suggestions.

Men

  • New Shoes – Who hasn’t made this mistake and regretted it? After all, you want to look your best so you purchase new shoes. They look great, but they hurt like hell after Day 1. By Day 3, your blisters have blisters. Shoe Rule #2 – Take a little initiative sport and shine those puppies. Or at least get them shined at the airport while you’re waiting for your plane. It’s cheap even with a generous tip. Shoe Rule #3 – The belt is supposed to match the shoes guys! A brown belt with black shoes? Your mother would be appalled.
  • Golf Clothing – Here’s the easy way to decide on golf clothing. If it looks great on the golf course, it looks silly at a trade show. I don’t care if it’s the latest high-tech, super-duper sweat-wicking material. It’s still golf clothing. Now there are exceptions to every rule, such as a sports-related show, but in general, just remember there’s a reason why Fortune 500 executives don’t wear golf shirts and slacks to negotiate multi-million dollar deals.
  • Slacks — If your pants have a drawstring and elastic ankle cuffs, DON”T WEAR THEM. You can pretend they’re fashion fleece or casual Sansabelt pants all you want. Everyone else knows they’re sweats.
  • Slacks (cont.) – We all pretend we haven’t gained weight. But we have. Don’t wait until 7 am on the first day of the show to discover your pants don’t fit or they have that telltale “V” pucker between the waist and zipper. Unless I missed something important in Biology class, blood flow is important.

Women

  • Shoes – For some reason, which I’ll never fully understand, women love to punish themselves. Even more than men, they wear new shoes to the show, and then do the unthinkable by wearing high heels with pointy toes. Ladies, and I say this with all seriousness, you’re beautiful. High heel shoes do not make you more beautiful. If you are angling for a freak with a high heal foot fetish, take out a personal ad (SWF seeks MHHFFF).
  • Pantyhose – Another medieval torture device invented to punish women.
  • Perfume/CologneDo you remember the dirt cloud that surrounded Pigpen in the Peanuts cartoon? Some women (and some men) wear the fragrance equivalent by dousing themselves in perfume. Perfume should be alluring, not painful. Here’s a tip for applying the proper amount:  rub on only one free sample from the magazine.
  • Undies – Let’s just say that if you feel the need to make “adjustments” more than twice a day, you are probably wearing the wrong underwear.
  • Earrings – I’m going to catch some heat on this one. Let me be clear. Earrings are fine, but if your ears look like a Claire’s Accessories rack, you may want to remove 6-8 pairs. Lips, tongue, nose, eyebrow, and skull piercings are a matter of personal preference, corporate policy, and cult affiliation.
  • Pockets – Just the opposite actually. Men always have pockets. As an exhibitor, you need pockets for business cards, pens, trinkets, breath mints, etc. I’m not talking about a safari jacket with 37 pockets, but a dress jacket or skirt with two pockets will make your life much easier in the booth.

My sincere thanks to the fashion forward exhibitors for their suggestions, some of which cannot be printed without an R or X rating. Suffice to say that the term “cleavage” was a contentious topic between men and women.

What did we miss? Add your “What Not to Wear” suggestions and comments .

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

Additional Articles:

What Smells? The Top 10 Trade Show Odors
Love on Aisle #600 — Trade Shows and Events
Trade Shows as First Dates

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.


 

Randy Smith, Jim Shelman, and Cindi Cody

October 26th, 2012 COMMENTS
Shooting from the Hip (trade show tips)

Shooting from the Hip by Reid Sherwood

Randy Smith

I have been in Atlanta the past few days seeing distributors and playing in The Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic. I am going to double up on this and talk a bit about both.

A few weeks ago, Rich Johnson (one of the founders of the RSMGC) asked me if I would serve on the board of The Randy Smith. Obviously I accepted. I have been a loyal fan and supporter for 11 years. The Randy is a non-political group of industry folks who provide emotional and financial support to other industry people who have fallen on difficult times.

It is the one day all year (and maybe the night before) where competitors lay down their swords and come together to raise money and help people. And this year was no exception. There were eight recipients. Every year I’m reminded of the same thing:  no matter what is going on in your life, no matter how bad you have it, there is always someone who has it far worse.

One of the recipients was the Mark Tate family. Mark and his wife have two daughters, age 13 and 10. They have both been impacted with life-threatening disease. Olivia (the 10 year old) was diagnosed with brain cancer at 2 years of age and has had numerous surgeries and treatments. Thank God she has been in remission for the past 4 years. Her sister, Elena, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2009 and has had chemo and was in remission until recently. She had bone marrow transplant this past July and continues to receive treatments.

Again, just when you think times are tough, you hear a story like this and realize that all in all, your life is pretty good.

Thank you to everyone who participated as golfers, volunteers, and sponsors. Without you, it would not be possible. And personally I would like to thank Rich and Ted Peterson for keeping this alive for 18 years

Personally, I would like to thank my team from the Randy this year. Bill Glasser from Exhibit Concepts, Cindi Cody from Xzibits, and Classic’s own Jim Shelman from Exhibits Northwest.

Jim Shelman

This was the first time I spent time with Jim without other Classic employees in the mix. He is a great guy, but he has his quirks. The day before the tournament, I had a couple of early appointments, but Jim and I were planning to play a round later that day.

I pick Jim up to go to the course, and he is complaining. Well, not really complaining, maybe whining and visibly distraught. All this because the place we were staying didn’t have the right coffee. Trying to be the nice guy, I hurry along, so we get to a gas station where he can get some coffee. It isn’t good enough — the pot is too empty and it is probably burned. Now he is borderline quivering. I am not a coffee drinker so I really don’t understand, but I try to be a good team player. We move on and he says, “Pull into McDonalds. They have good coffee.” I pull in and roll the window down and am ready to order, thinking to myself how glad I am that I am not a coffee drinker who needs that “caffeine boost” to get through the day. So he says, “Get me a Decaf!” REALLY??? But it all made sense later that evening when I saw him drinking a O’Doul’s beer.

Cindi Cody

On another note, I did a trade show with one of our Atlanta distributors, Xzibits, and it was a huge success. Cindi Cody and her crew had an attractive 10 foot exhibit. The six hour show offered up almost 30 leads. One little tidbit of information. Cindi posted on her Facebook page that they were at the show. Instantly, a new start-up company wrote back saying that they couldn’t attend but made an appointment for later this week.

I’m always interested in what customers are looking for in this economy. Many are still looking at banner stands, but many are saying it is time to step up. No more pop ups. That puts Magellan, Sacagewea, and Perfect 10 in position to answer that call. I do have to pay a tribute to Optima Graphics and Xpressions. The show I was at was a business to business show. There were about 60 exhibitors in all. But out of 60 distributors, there were six Xpressions displays. That is an incredible number.

That’s all for now. I’m headed home in a couple of days. These ten day trips make me miss my family more than usual, so I am looking forward to Tuesday evening.

Till the next time,

Reid Sherwood
reid@classicexhibits.com

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

Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions and engineered aluminum extrusions (ClassicMODUL). 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.


 

Sacagawea Video from Evo Exhibits

May 31st, 2012 COMMENTS

Kevin Fett, one of the owners of Evo Exhibits in Chicago, passed along this video of the Sacagawea Portable Hybrid Display. We liked it so much, we wanted to give you a chance to see it too. It’s a good mix of time lapse assembly and a soft sales pitch on the features and benefits of this portable system.

According to Kevin, “Thought I’d share a video of Susan Johnson putting up a Sacagawea in time lapse.  Susan is 5’0″ — so we thought it would be cool to see her put one up by herself.”

Well done Kevin, Susan, and the entire Evo Exhibits team. Enjoy everyone!

— Mel White

http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
mel@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.

“New and Improved” Peek-a-Booth — More Webcams!

May 11th, 2012 1 COMMENT

Peek-a-Booth Webcams at Classic ExhibitsThe New and Improved Peek-a-Booth

Peeking just got better. We added another camera in the Purchase Set-up Area for a total of three. Plus, we added two to the Rental Set-up Area. The Purchase and Rental areas are on opposite ends of the Classic Exhibits facility.

If my math skills are correct, we improved your peeking ability by 250 percent (from two to five webcams). There are now three unique angles in the purchase staging area (two facing forward, one facing the backside). The rental webcams both face forward.

The webcams all have pan, tilt, zoom, and snapshot capabilities.

Take a moment to play with Peek-a-booth on Classic Exhibits website. The temporary username and password are:

Username:  classicexhibits
Password:  spring_2012

In the future, please call or email Classic Exhibits for the current password. The password changes periodically for security reasons and bandwidth limitations.

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

In the “Old Days” . . . .

May 3rd, 2012 4 COMMENTS
Shooting from the Hip (trade show tips)

Shooting from the Hip by Reid Sherwood

It was Better Back When (Except When It Wasn’t)

The trade show market seems to be back, maybe not with a vengeance, but certainly with a nice steady fire. (Yes I know all the fire comments are coming — but hey, I asked for it.) Classic Distributors haven’t complained recently about business, but they have all said, “It’s good, but still not like the old days.”

The “Old Days” are a little of what I would like to talk about here. Please feel free to add to my jaded perception.

In the “Old Days” . . . We had the Luxury of TIME

When I took my first order ever in this industry (circa 1987) from Mary Ann Kenkle at what was then Omni-Craft in South Bend Indiana, she ordered a very simple 6 ft. tabletop with a backlit, silk-screened header. We required six weeks production and needed to have a hard PMT of their artwork. PMT is photomechanical transfer. It typically came in the mail. Today, we have exhibits that look custom, are often available in “8 Days or Less,” and expect that Optima will ship us the fabric graphic in 48 hours.

In the “Old Days” . . . We had CUSTOMER LOYALTY

RFP’s were sent to three companies, and the incumbent was truly a partner. I had a conversation with a good friend and distributor a few weeks back about the fact that there are lots of opportunities out there, but not all are worth chasing. As we continued the conversation, he told me about a RFP that he received that included his company and 13 others. If they are looking at 14 companies, then the buyer really has no idea what the final goal is. Customer LOYALTY is a partnership.

Good Times?

In the “Old Days” . . . We had EXHIBIT DESIGNERS and GRAPHIC DESIGNERS

If you have a computer with Microsoft Paint, then you are a graphic designer, or if you have Google SketchUp, then you are an exhibit designer. I have often heard Mike Swartout, the Design Director at Classic Exhibits, say, “Ya know, that really isn’t a bad design, but they forgot to allow for one critical element…..GRAVITY.”

Sometimes the design can be so complex with curves, layers, great backlit images, and with every bell and whistle that you would find on a Rolls Royce. Other times, a simple Sacagawea 10 ft. exhibit with a nicely done fabric graphic and easy assembly is just the ticket. The difference is in the thought that went into creating the solution. Not how many buttons can you click on your computer and make a pretty picture.

I am sure there are many more, but these are the things that I hear about most often. Please feel free to add on whether they are sarcastic or serious. We welcome all comments (as long as they are safe for grandma’s ears).

Till the next time,

Reid Sherwood
reid@classicmodul.com