Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘tradeshow’

Visual Guide to Trade Show Success Infographic

October 1st, 2018 COMMENTS

I’m a sucker for a well-designed, informative Infographic. I appreciate the creative artistry and exhaustive research required for the infographic to be successful. Which is why the “Visual Guide to Trade Show Success” from US Event Management caught my attention. 

First, it’s beautifully designed. It’s cohesive yet each section is distinct and there’s a practical north/south flow. On top of that, the information is useful and logically arranged. I especially like the “Questions to Consider” which poses questions every exhibitor should ask themselves. 

Sixteen total tips. Click on the link to Download the Infographic. And our thanks to the folks at US Event Management for creating it. 

–Mel White


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

The People’s Almanac of Trade Show Knowledge

April 6th, 2017 COMMENTS


In 1975, David Wallechinsky and his father Irving Wallace published The People’s Almanac. Two more followed — one in 1978 and another in 1981. I bought them all. These were not your grandparent’s Farmer’s Almanacs with weather predictions, quotes, and gardening tips. The TPA was a big fat book with obscure facts, lists, and esoteric information. Reading it made you feel smarter, dangerously so at parties, family gatherings, and bars. If you had any social skills, you quickly learned that a 20-year-old know-it-all isn’t endearing.

Knowledge is NOT the SAME as Expertise

I’m reminded of that all too often. Recently, a distributor asked me an exhibit design question. I’m not a designer, but I feel comfortable answering basic design questions. This question, however, required the expertise and knowledge of 3D exhibit designer.

If I was cocky, I would claim that 20+ years of experience makes me qualified. It doesn’t. I have exhibit design knowledge, but that doesn’t make me an exhibit designer.

Trade show questionsYour Ego, My Ego, the Client’s Ego

We all love working with an informed client about trade shows and trade show marketing. They ask our advice. We give it. Sometimes we state facts. The booth guidelines for an inline space in North America are XYZ. Sometimes we offer opinions. It’s better to hire the Exhibit-Appointed Contractor than the GSC labor. If you are like me, you occasionally wade into information quicksand, and then keep talking until you are way over your head. I would encourage you not to make that mistake. Defer to the experts, like those listed below.

Exhibit Designers

You probably knew I would start with this one. It’s a pet-peeve of mine. Having a pen and a napkin doesn’t make you a designer. It means you can (and should) share your design advice based on your experience. But at some point, you should seek the advice of a professional. That’s why every exhibit house and display builder hires folks who do nothing but design exhibits. They understand current design trends, materials, and accessories. They know how to translate “this is what we do and these are our goals for the show” into a stunning 3D structure.


Now this just seems obvious… but just because you made a bread board in woodshop, it doesn’t make you a carpenter, mill-worker, or electrician. I speak from experience. I see their craftsmanship every day in our shop. We design and detail every project, yet they find ways to improve these projects in both big and small ways.

Show Labor

Whether you chose labor from the GSC or from an Exhibit-Appointed Contractor (EAC), you can be sure the crew has done it at least 1000 times more than you. Not necessarily your exhibit, and sadly not necessarily every laborer. It’s been my experience that they know what they are doing and are amazing at problem solving. You’ll be rewarded if you respect their skill set, provide them with helpful supervision, and don’t freak-out when they take their required breaks. They deserve them.

Trade Show People on the floor

Account Executives and Project Managers

You probably know them the best. They guide you through the exhibit buying experience. They assist you with show regulations, shipping, repairs, and trade show marketing. They are the ones who pester you about the next show, graphic files, collateral, and promotional products. They want you to succeed because then you are happy. When you are happy, you continue to invest in trade shows.

Consultants, Talent, Service Providers

Our industry has a wealth of seasoned professionals with insider knowledge about improving your trade show ROI. There are trade show consultants, booth staff trainers, in-booth presenters, lead capture specialists, A/V gurus, models, international exhibiting experts, etc. The list is vast and the talent impressive. I’ve learned over the years that we can only know so much about trade shows. We do a disservice to our clients when we don’t steer them to someone who has the talent to elevate their trade show return.

trade show freightFreight

No offense, but do you really want to spend time learning about freight and logistics? No you don’t. You want to go to your grave with the least amount of information regarding freight, wait times, LTL, and the Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Find someone who thinks about it on weekends and holidays and offer them your first-born child. Think of it as your contribution to a better world.

Clearly, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to experts in our industry. Graphic designers, detailers, show organizers, etc. all have unique skills acquired through specialized training or on-the-job skills. Too often, we delve into areas best left to those with more knowledge. While it’s flattering to be “the source” for all trade show questions, it’s smarter to be the one “who knows the person who knows.” That’s not something I learned from The People’s Almanac.

–Mel White


The 100-Day “Love It” Guarantee | A Classic Exhibits Exclusive

June 6th, 2016 COMMENTS

100 Day Trade Show Display Guarantee from Classic Exhibits

You’ll Love It — Guaranteed

Don’t like your steak. Send it back. Need a larger shirt. Exchange it. Not the right color. Return it.

There’s not much you can’t return or exchange these days… except a trade show display. Not anymore. Classic Exhibits announces the only 100-Day “Love It” Guarantee in the exhibit industry. Within the first 100 days after receiving your Sacagawea, Perfect 10/20, Quadro, or Quadro FGS Display, you can return it for a refund if you’re not completely satisfied (minus graphics and shipping).

How can Classic Exhibits make this exclusive offer? It’s not like we’re not rolling the dice. We design, engineer, and build the VERY BEST hybrid and pop-up displays. Just ask a Classic Exhibits Distributor.

What’s makes them better?

  • Engineering — Every system, kit, and part is engineered to excel show after show. No excuses.
  • Design — Our award-winning designers sweat the details. Your display is their next performance.
  • Build — We’re proud to be the industry standard for exceptional packaging and quality.

Choose the Sacagawea Portable, Perfect 10/20 Hybrid, Quadro S Pop Up, or Quadro Floating Graphic System. The only display systems with a 100-Day Return Guarantee.

Love at first sight… that lasts and lasts. Now that’s a happy ending.

100 Day Trade Show Display Guarantee from Classic Exhibits

–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


EDS Training Video by The TradeshowGuy

February 2nd, 2016 COMMENTS


Tim Patterson, aka The TradeshowGuy, created a quick video tutorial on Exhibit Design Search. He covers the major EDS points in just 7:34 min., something I couldn’t do under any circumstance. You’ll learn how to conduct a quick search, review details, create a gallery, see exhibit photos, and share trade show marketing tips. Frankly, it’s hard not to be a little jealous of Tim’s video and audio panache.

Well done Tim. Once again, you prove why “You are the Man!”

Got a few minutes. Visit Tim’s YouTube channel for lots of videos about trade show marketing, including his 12 Steps to Tradeshow Success series.

–Mel White


New Charging Stations — Q&A Video with Kevin and Mel

July 7th, 2015 COMMENTS


When we introduced our newest Charging Stations at EXHIBITORLIVE, we expected them to do well. Our definition of “well” should probably change to “Yowsa!” They’ve been a big hit. As with any new product, there are questions so Kevin and Mel sat down for a casual Q&A video about the charging stations. You’ll need to boost your volume a bit. That’s what happens when your production shop is also your studio. Sorry.


Since we’re on a Q&A theme, here are two recent print interviews:  (1) Katina Rigall, Senior Designer in Exhibit City News and (2) Mel White, VP in Tradeshow and Exhibit ThoughtLeaders

–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