Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘Trade Shows’

Westeros and Trade Shows: Meet Your Game of Thrones Characters as Exhibitors

June 6th, 2019 COMMENTS
Trade Show Exhibitors and The Game of Thrones

Guest Post: Erica Dougherty, Exhibits Northwest Seattle

Yeah yeah, you’ve had enough Game of Thrones analogies, articles, and opinions about how the show ended. Me too. I get it. BUT, bear with me for just ONE MORE because I bet you haven’t read something that compares your favorite characters with — you guessed it — Trade Show Exhibitors!

So, sit back and contemplate who you are, or rather, who you want to be and see if this makes sense — unlike the ending to GoT.

*Spoiler Alert:  Read only if you have finished Game of Thrones, will never watch the show, or some jerk has already spoiled the ending for you.  

In the Order of My Favorite GoT Characters

Arya Stark – Arya exhibitors are underestimated but won’t stand for anyone’s bull. They work hard and hone their skills slowly and wisely, making a list and checking it… over and over. Arya exhibitors reach out to learn from the masters. They take notes and practice until their own skills are formidable, planning seamlessly for victory each step of the way.

They surprise their adversaries and show up fearless to every show and walk away triumphant. But don’t be fooled; they aren’t perfect. They learn from failures. Step-by-step they keep getting better, cleverer, and eventually shatter their competition like a total boss.

Samwell Tarly – OK, so these exhibitors might not always be the front-runner “winners,” but I really love them. They might be a little timid at first and need some hand-holding but, dang, are they loyal. They trust those they deem experts (like their exhibit house professional), and they are generally open to new ideas and strategies.

However, these exhibitors are not pushovers:  they are intelligent and perceptive, so don’t perceive their willingness to follow as a weakness. Their intuition is spot on, and in the end, their steady strategy pays off consistently. They also tend to befriend the right people and create meaningful and lasting professional partnerships — priceless on and off the trade show floor.

Tyrion Lannister – This “wanna be” 50 x50 exhibitor excels in a 10×10 footprint. They are smart and clever, making the best of what they are given. Strategy is their king, and they make wise trade show marketing decisions in the beginning, winning the trust of many big clients. But then, over time, their confidence (and a few bad habits) gets the best of them which leads to dumber and dumber choices as they grow.

They aren’t evil. Just overly confident in their own abilities. But don’t worry, the Tyrion exhibitor is ultimately a strategic player and will wise-up and get it together (by partnering with the right supportive team). Just in time to GROW into a brilliant 20×20 booth. Still not the biggest, but it’s perfect for their awakened goals.

Game of Thrones and Trade Shows

Sansa Stark – Sansa exhibitors are supremely confident, intelligent, skeptical and bold. They exhibit with a honed strategy based on learning from past failures (traumas). They are “under the radar” triumphant in the end and with their own loyal following who will forever be faithful.

Clients stick with them for the long-haul, and their activity in the booth is mostly current customers looking for “what’s new” from their favorite vendor. Oh, and they have a design aesthetic that cannot be beat… their booth will look stunning.

Jon Snow – Essentially, one of these exhibitors is the outcast who really isn’t. Have you ever seen an exhibitor who shows up and their booth looks a little boring on the surface, but darn-it if their booth isn’t the most popular? They are cautious, slow and steady but they listen and make real connections with their booth visitors and loyal clients.

They make bold decisions when necessary but know how to read the room. They choose their shows (battles) wisely and strategize with a team to ultimately create a winning plan. They are humble to a fault and never see all that they could be, allowing others to shine more brightly… visually on the show floor and in business. But they don’t go broke (or dead), so their ROI is impressive.

They may decide to partner with a front-runner, trusting that’s the right thing to do and hoping for mutual success. When it’s proven to them that they are actually better (their clients tell them so), they refuse to believe until they must make the ultimate sacrifice… choosing themselves to WIN (maybe they steal that larger booth space from their partner… gasp!). But it’s OK:  their fans are supportive and loyal.

Game of Thrones and Trade Shows

Daenerys Targaryen – Imagine these exhibitors were start-up companies at first and then with the help of a few huge investors, grew BIG, fast. They began with nothing and were perceived as weak and easily taken advantage of. But then, (born out of fire) they shoot out into the industry with the biggest dragon of them all… MONEY. They spare no expense, and they have it all: formidable assets (killer booth and amazing swag) and an army of booth staff in matching shirts.

They are coming for a fight with the confidence to win. And they do win… until they break. Emotions get the best of their strategy and something bad happens. Can they recover? Hmmm…

Cersei and Jaime Lannister – Cersei exhibitors think they are ruling the show floor and take no help or compromise from anyone. Other exhibitors sense their arrogance and are out to attack and overcome this misguided leader. Their “twin,” maybe a sister-company (ok, brother, but that’s not the colloquial term), is along for the ride and follows the lead. This sister (brother) company may have a wandering eye seeing what others do and their success, but ultimately stays loyal to their leader, for better or for worse.

This talented hero is known by all the land, but all of a sudden, that fame is taken swiftly and #thestruggleisreal. These exhibitors once had it all, fame, fortune and literally the world in both of their hands (ha ha), but when they least expected it, someone took their most valuable asset (maybe their biggest client?) and now they feel lost. Loyalties realign, and a new beginning is on the horizon… but old habits die hard and well… the end.

Ok, I think that’s enough. I could go on and on, but with over 150 main characters in Game of Thrones, we’d be here literally until Winter. On that note: Ready for one last GoT cliché? Winter is Coming. And in the #TradeShowLife, Winter is the TIMELINE.

Your show is coming and planning ahead is the only way to defeat the White Walkers = RUSH FEES. Knowing this… I think GoT got at least one thing right. #AryaStark

Erica Dougherty, Exhibits Northwest, erica@exhibitsnw.com

Trade Show I&D Tips: Wasting Time = Wasting Money

May 29th, 2019 COMMENTS

Guest Post by Jamie Edwards, Director of Marketing, Momentum Management

Trade Show Installation and Dismantle

As your National Trade Show Labor Service Partner, Momentum Management wants to help you save money during your trade show or event installation and dismantle. When it comes to saving money, it comes down to “time used” or “time wasted.”

Some Tips to Save Money

Items to consider for Labor Service Estimate – It is important to provide the most accurate information possible in order to avoid additional costs that weren’t factored in at the time the estimate such as:

  • Will there be hanging signs?
  • Any specific equipment needed?
  • What are the booth materials?
  • Who will install your flooring?
  • Will electric need to be installed?
  • Is there furniture to be assembled?
  • Who will provide the supervision the show floor?

After the estimate is complete, place your order early – Many show cities have multiple events going on simultaneously. The sooner you submit your order, the sooner Momentum can identify the best labor.

Installation and Dismantle on the trade show floor

Shipping Direct to Show or Shipping to the Advanced Warehouse – If timing permits, it is almost always best to ship to the advanced warehouse. Your freight is more likely to be in your booth space by your targeted move-in time. When shipping directly to the show, there can be extensive delays due to the truck driver having to check into the marshaling yard, getting the paperwork, and waiting to be called up to the docks to unload. Always delay your labor start time by at least 4 hours after your target time to allow your freight to make it to the show floor.

Scheduling Dismantle Start Time – When scheduling with your labor and shipping companies, always take into account the entire move out schedule to avoid delays. The return of empty freight can take a long time based on the size of the show, so it is often safest to schedule labor for the next morning and your shipper for that afternoon. Please note:  there are many shows that require the floor to be cleared by 12 pm the next day. In this case, you may want to schedule your labor a couple of hours after the show breaks. While this will add some additional over-time vs standard-time, it will save money compared to having your labor waiting on the freight to return.

Momentum Management is happy to help you save money on Labor Services, and we welcome the opportunity to work with you on your next project.  Momentum Management has been a national provider of outstanding installation and dismantle labor for over 25 years.

New Unbranded “Under” Brochures

April 29th, 2019 COMMENTS
Unbranded Literature from Classic Exhibits

Did you know that Classic creates unbranded marketing literature as PDFs for our Distributor Partners? One of those is the “Under Sheets” which shows Classic Exhibits designs under certain prices, like Under $6K or $12K. Recently, we updated these sheets (except the Under $2K and $4K).

Below are examples, including the NEW Islands Under $60K. Click on the images below to download the latest unbranded PDF set (10 pages). The $2K and $4K will be available in early June.  

CLICK To DOWNLOAD the NEWEST “Under” Literature

NEW Unbranded Literature from Classic Exhibits

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.

Classic Exhibits | EXHIBITORLIVE 2019 Video Recap

March 11th, 2019 COMMENTS

For over 20 years, Classic Exhibits has participated in EXHIBITORLIVE, the trade show for the trade show industry. This year, it was held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center from February 25-28. Our theme was “Knot Your Typical Exhibit Builder,” which highlighted our ability to solve the knottiest design and build challenges for our Distributor Partners.

Our thanks and gratitude to the Distributor Partners who visited us at the show, and to the Classic Exhibits Family for all their hard work before, during, and after the show. Enjoy the video… Who knows? You may see someone you recognize from the show.