Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘virtual exhibits’

Trade Show Design Challenges in a Post-COVID World

October 15th, 2020 COMMENTS

How will Designers Design for Post-COVID Trade Shows?

The return of trade shows and exhibitions depends on the development of COVID-19 vaccines, but how exhibits will be designed has already started. At Classic Exhibits, our 3D designers are already working on both virtual and physical exhibits for our distributor’s clients. Those exhibitors have told us that they expect to participate in smaller shows in early Q1 2021 and return to larger shows as early as Q2.

No one knows precisely what to expect about booth design guidelines, such as whether show organizers and convention halls will have specific requirements for exhibitors or if standard North American Regulations will be revised. But you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Here are some commonsense suggestions.

Island Exhibit Designed for COVID-19 Safety Protocols

6 COVID Design Tips

Hand Sanitizer: Let’s start with the easy one. Yes, there will be hand sanitizer solutions both in the exhibit hall and in booths. Regardless of the booth size. However, you still have choices other than sticking an off-the-shelf stand in your booth. Consider how it can be integrated into the overall exhibit flow and graphics. While it needs to be there (and conveniently located), it doesn’t need to be a visual focus.

Tip: Consider jazzing up your sanitizers with custom colors, vinyl graphics, and counter-mounted dispensers.

Social Distancing: This topic is complicated. For your exhibit designer, it will affect every decision in your booth. How does the designer position meeting rooms, presentation areas, and demonstration spaces to be both effective and safe? Will the exhibit have seating? If so, how far apart do you need to place the furniture? Some areas may require dividers, such as acrylic partitions. Some exhibitors may decide on a larger space to ensure social distancing. Others may elect to remove items like counters, workstations, and storage.

Tip: Schedule demos and presentations by appointment only. You’ll be able to manage the flow and create a buzz before the show even opens.

Island Exhibit Designed for COVID-19 Safety Protocols

Traffic Flow: Even before COVID-19, exhibit designers obsessed about traffic flow and the efficient use of space. Layer on safety and it’s gotten more complicated. Post-COVID exhibit designs may require more area segmentation allowing booth staff to meet with attendees away from other attendees. Think multiple workstations or counters with similar/duplicate information and functionality.

Tip: Consider a designated entrance and exit to your inline and island booth with one-way traffic flow.

Storage: We love to touch surfaces, fabric, and screens. That’s not about to change. And for many exhibitors the ability for customers to touch products or navigate through self-guided presentations is critical. However, those items will need to be sanitized throughout the show. Convenient storage of disinfectant sprays and wipes will make that easier and minimize visual clutter in the booth.

Tip: Just as important as cleaning supplies are waste baskets. Discuss with your designer how to integrate them into the look of your booth.

Island Exhibit Designed for COVID-19 Safety Protocols

Technology: Expect QR codes, scanners, augmented reality, motion sensors, and LED screens to be more common in trade show booths. These technologies limit or eliminate touching a surface and many, like QR codes, allow attendees to use their own devices to gather information. How about printed media such as brochures, product sheets, and catalogs? Those will be exclusively digital, and the smarter exhibitors will have solutions to present and send that information in real-time.

Tip: Most lead retrieval systems are designed to do much more than just capture an attendee’s basic information. You probably already knew that… but may not have tapped into those capabilities in the past.

Hybrid Design Solutions: For the first time, exhibitors and designers will need to consider both a physical and a virtual booth. Should they be identical? Not necessarily. It’s much more important that there’s a clear marketing plan that addresses your goals. For most exhibitors, the virtual and physical goals will be the same so the branding, media, presentations, etc. will be identical. However, other exhibitors may decide to present a different message or experience for their virtual attendee vs. physical one.

Tip: Want to save time and money? Treat your Exhibit Designer like a member of your team. The more information they have, the greater the likelihood they’ll hit the mark designing your virtual and physical booths.

Virtual Island Exhibits

COVID-19 Preparedness & Safety Plan

Finally, the State of Nevada just published the Large Gathering Venue COVID-19 Preparedness & Safety Plan. While it doesn’t specifically address design issues, it does provide a detailed checklist of COVID-related safety questions to consider. Many (if not most) apply to exhibitors as they start the design process, develop safety protocols for their staff and attendees, and train employees on best practices in the booth.

Got questions? Contact us or a Classic Exhibits Distributor for more information.

Are You Experiencing Virtual Exhibit Paralysis?

October 9th, 2020 COMMENTS

A Simple, Straightforward Explanation

Many trade shows have shifted to the virtual world because of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, what does that mean for exhibitors who want to continue to connect with existing and potential clients via trade shows? They need a presence via a trade show virtual exhibit.

Unfortunately, most virtual solutions are not “fully baked” by show organizers. What they offer is limited and proprietary to their show and doesn’t allow the exhibitor to fully show their products and services nor does it provide the attendees with an engaging and immersive experience.

The PlaceLyft 3D Virtual Solution has three distinct benefits compared to those provided by the show.

  • First, it’s comprehensive, allowing exhibitors to embedded media, social media, chat, polling, Zoom, and even tracking.
  • Second, it’s portable, meaning the virtual exhibit can be taken from show to show since it’s URL based.
  • Lastly, it’s both immersive and cost-effective.

For more information, www.classicexhibits.com or call us at 503-866-2100. With over 200 Distributors in North America, Classic can put you in contact with an virtual exhibit expert right in your backyard.

Virtual Exhibits, Kevin Carty, and the TradeshowGuy Interview

September 25th, 2020 COMMENTS

Tim Patterson, aka The Tradeshow Guy, interviewed Kevin Carty this week about virtual exhibits on his Monday Morning Coffee vlog. Consider it as “Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Virtual Exhibits But Were Afraid to Ask.” Lots of helpful information in just 20 minutes.

Virtual Exhibits, Together Again Expo, and ClassicMODUL Extrusions | August 2020 Newsletter

August 24th, 2020 COMMENTS

Virtual Virtual Virtual 

Virtual Exhibits and Displays

It’s new. It’s confusing. It’s a little scary. But no one expects you to be an expert on virtual exhibits. You do, however, need to understand the basics. Let us help. 

  1. Last Tuesday, Kevin and Katina covered virtual exhibits in a detailed webinar. If you were unable to attend the live event, here’s the recorded version.
  2. We’ve added three virtual exhibit examples to Exhibit Design Search. Explore one inline and two islands. Then share them with clients who are anxious about the virtual exhibit they desperately need for their fall shows. 
  3. Every day we present virtual exhibits to distributors and their clients. EVERY SINGLE DAY. Don’t go it alone. We know the questions to ask and the answers to your client’s concerns. Invite us to participate in those calls and presentations. 

 Even if the pandemic subsides in two or three months, virtual exhibits, virtual trade shows, and hybrid events are now a permanent tool in the event and trade show toolbox. Capiche?

Together Again Expo

Together Again Expo

By now, you know that TAE was held in Orlando and that it went well. No surprises. No drama. Kevin, Katina, and Jen attended on behalf of Classic Exhibits. For those who were unable to attend in-person, here’s the recorded session

In addition, Kevin was interviewed by both Marlys Arnold and Tim Patterson on their vlogs about his TAE experience:  

What’s Selling?

Safety Dividers and Barriers

“So what’s selling?” We hear that question a lot.  

  1. Safety Dividers. Most are customized solutions for offices, schools, banks, government buildings, and medical facilities.
  2. Cubicle Height Extenders. We receive requests and orders nearly every day in all three colors: silver, black, and white. 
  3. Hand Sanitizer Stands and Dispensers. The crazy “gotta have 20 right now” is over. Customers now order one and two, especially the MOD-9004 and MOD-9009 versions.
  4. LED Lightboxes and SEG Frames. Not for trade shows, but for corporate and retail environments. Mostly wall-mounted frames. 
  5. Virtual Exhibits. This shouldn’t surprise you as exhibitors adapt to virtual trade shows in Q3 and Q4. 
  6. Exhibit Design. Not every exhibitor is sitting on their hands. Many are anticipating a return to live trade shows and asking for designs. They want to finalize their design, even if they wait to order until later in the year.

A Not-So-Hidden Website

ClassicMODUL Aluminum Extrusions for Safety Dividers

You ask us about aluminum extrusions ALL THE TIME. Like shapes, sizes, compatible accessories, and if the .dxf file of a specific extrusion is available to download.  We’re happy to provide you with that information but, we would be lying if we didn’t sigh a little when you ask. Why? Because it’s available online.  Many Classic distributors have never visited www.classicmodul.com which has been active since 2005. It’s time to correct that. Here’s what you’ll find there: 

  • Profiles like Squares, Rounds, and Rectangles
  • SEG, Lightbox, and Gravitee Profiles
  • Photos and Dimension Drawings
  • .DXF files
  • Accessories
  • Notes
  • Online Digital Catalog (PDF) 

Two examples: the Z 45 and S 40 are pretty common extrusions for safety dividers.  Do we still want you to call us when you have an extrusion question? Absolutely! After all, the CM website doesn’t have pricing, availability or lead times. But, if you just need to see your options or download a CAD file, then head to the ClassicMODUL website first

An Introduction to Virtual Exhibits

Understanding Your Virtual Trade Show Exhibit Options

July 31st, 2020 COMMENTS
Virtual Trade Show Exhibit Design Services

The suspension of most onsite trade shows in Q2 and Q3 has prompted show organizers to offer virtual show options to attendees and exhibitors. So, what does that mean? As with anything new, there are conflicting opinions and options.

As a leader in exhibit design, Classic Exhibits has always offered comprehensive design services to our distributors and their clients, in both 2D and 3D formats. The switch to virtual exhibits really isn’t much of a stretch. It all depends on what the virtual exhibitor wants to include and showcase int their exhibit. And since it’s virtual, unlike a physical booth, there are far more opportunities to show products and services in both immersive and online experiences.

If you are considering a virtual exhibit at a trade show, you should begin by talking to professionals who understand the requirements, the technology, and most importantly, what questions to ask. Contact us or your Classic Exhibits distributor for a free consultation. You might be surprised by what’s available. Click HERE for an example.