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Posts Tagged ‘Word on the Street’

Portable Modular Awards | Call for Entries: Word on the Street — November 4th thru November 8th

November 9th, 2013 COMMENTS
Portable Modular Award | Call for Entries

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

You Know — The PMA’s!

In case you haven’t heard, the fine folks at EXHIBITOR have added a great event to EXHIBITOR2014 — The Portable Modular Awards. This inaugural event will be held on Tuesday evening March 18, 2014 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

This long awaited and much needed event will honor the finest in design and building within our segment of the industry. And don’t let the name fool you. These are not your Grandpa’s Banner Stands, Pop Ups and Fabric Panel Systems. NO! As you are well aware, our segment of the industry has seen an evolution over the past ten years, an evolution leading with Hybrid and Custom Hybrid Solutions for clients in all segments and booth sizes.

Deadlines for entries are soon. Entries will be accepted in 11 categories. Early Bird entries are due no later than December 2 ($100 per entry). The final deadline follows on it’s heels on December 9 ($150 per entry). DO NOT miss this opportunity to show off your company’s designs, especially the ones Classic Exhibits has built. 🙂 Really, this is a great opportunity to network at the show and brag on the talents of your designers as well as your suppliers’ designers.

Classic will be entering several designs and strongly encourages Classic Distributors to do so as well. Are there particular builds we have worked on together over the past year that you wish to enter? Work with our designers to gather the files and to pull together your entry. There have been so many beautiful projects this year. It would be a shame not to see them recognized by others in our design-driven industry.

Entering is easy! But the clock is ticking.

And rest assured, this award show will not involve any twerking! Well, ya never know what might happen when someone wins I suppose.

Have a wonderful week ahead.



Honoring Memorial Day: Word on the Street — May 20th thru May 24th

May 26th, 2013 1 COMMENT
Memorial Day: Word on the Street -- May 20th thru May 24th

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Whether you’re camping, on a road trip, outta town to see family and friends, or just hanging at home for three days like me, I trust you are enjoying your long weekend.

We all work very hard and while long weekends like Memorial Day Weekend provide us with an extra day to relax, I hope we all take time to reflect and celebrate the reason for the weekend. Please remember those who lost their lives to protect this great country.

This week I would like to share a poem I read recently by Bruce Obermeyer, former USAF Captain who served in Vietnam. As Robert Frost once said, “A poem begins with a lump in the throat.”

Their son was only two weeks old; their daughter’s years were three 
When duty called this pilot to the war across the sea.
“Let’s just pretend you’re only going on a business trip. 
Each day we’ll write about the things we’ve done and then we’ll slip
a note into an envelope and put it in the mail. 
You send me yours; I’ll send you mine, I promise, without fail.” 
He walked away with pounding heart while fighting back the tears 
with “Come home soon, I love you, Daddy” ringing in his ears.
They kept that promise, sealed with love some 30 years ago. 
They sent him tapes and photographs so he could watch them grow.
They’re married now with children of their own who, at the Wall, 
ask “Was my Grandpa brave?” and Grandma says, “Bravest of all.”

I hope you have a restful long weekend. Please take a few moments to remember the reason for the extra day. We have many to thank on Memorial Day.

Be well.

Kevin Carty


Word on the Street — October 4th thru October 8th

October 10th, 2010 1 COMMENT
Why we participate in the TS2 Show

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Worship the Moment . . .

This is not really a work subject, but it is something that a good friend and vendor rep. said to me at a dinner this week.

He and his wife were on vacation in the Pacific NW, so I had dinner with them on one of their last nights. Not only was it great to spend time catching up, but it was also a pleasure to hear about their vacation.

At one point during the dinner, he was explaining how they were driving towards the Coast and came along a fresh vegetable market at a farm in the middle of nowhere. So they stopped and grabbed a bunch of fresh veggies. I said, “You just decided to stop. Weren’t you worried about not staying on schedule?” He said, ” No, we have learned that you need to worship the moments that life provides you.” And it really made me stop and think. What a great way to view things.

It seems so often that I go about my days and ignore my surroundings. Whether it is the Cascade Mountains, the  Oregon Coast, or the local fresh food markets.

Many of us travel for our jobs, and we don’t often take the time to see the sights. I know there are cities I have visited multiple times and have never visited the historical, cultural, or scenic spots that make those cities and regions special.

Don’t get me wrong, when we are traveling for business, we have schedules to keep. But at the same time, wouldn’t a business trip be much better if you just took 15 minutes every now and again to stop at something interesting and explored it?

Be well and have a great weekend

–Kevin Carty

Port Orford, OR

Word on the Street — September 26th thru October 1st

October 3rd, 2010 COMMENTS
Why we participate in the TS2 Show

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Survey Results and Responses — Part 2 of 2

Once again, thank you for participating in our recent survey. This week, I’d like to share some of the numbers from the survey in addition to answering many of your comments and questions.

Quantitative Data

“How would you rate the response time from Classic Exhibits (compared to competitors)?”

Much Faster 16.0%
Somewhat Faster 33.3%
Comparable 35.6%

“How would you rate the overall customer service from Classic Exhibits (compared to competitors)?”

Much Faster 13.7%
Somewhat Faster 43.6%
Comparable 34.4%

If we weren’t Classic, we would view these numbers as positive since you rated us 85% and 91% Faster or Comparable to our competitors. But given our history of consistently responding faster than our competitors, the 35% Comparable numbers are troubling. I’ll respond specifically to this a little later in the blog since we received a comment on this topic.

“How often do you visit the Classic Exhibits website?”

Several times a week 56.3%
Once a month 28.7%
Once a year 1.1%

These numbers are encouraging and gratifying since we’ve devoted considerable time, effort, and money to our website over the past five years. When you visit our website, you told us you use the following features most often:

  1. Exhibit Design Search
  2. Product Pages
  3. Rental Displays
  4. Trade Show Tales Blog
  5. Past 5 Days
  6. Exhibit Specials

On a follow up question, we asked, “Which features of Exhibit Design Search do you use? Check all that apply.” Again, in order, you said:

  1. Photos
  2. Filter and Sort
  3. Design Details
  4. Additional Images
  5. Email Designs
  6. My Gallery
  7. Product Videos (when available)

Finally, in the response to the question, “How would you rate Classic Exhibits on the following?”, you rated us Excellent or Above Average on these (with the corresponding percentage):

  • Ease of Purchase — 77%
  • Manufacturing Flexibility — 76%
  • Setup Instructions — 82%
  • Cases and Packaging — 85%
  • Product Quality — 86%
  • Exhibit Designs — 84%
  • Distributor Communication — 76%
  • Marketing — 82%

Comments and Responses from the Survey

Classic has long been the fastest at getting quotes, orders, and designs turned around as it relates to the industry as a whole. In the past few months this has slipped a little. Why?

Answer — Let me start off by saying that this is not something that we like to hear. However, it is also a reality, and it is by no means the fault of any one PM or Designer. Rather, it is quite simply due to market conditions. We (Classic) do not have as many people working in those departments as we did two years ago. And that is not an excuse, but from a transparency standpoint, we want to be honest with you.

Our PM’s and Designers are doing as many quotes and designs as always, but the orders are smaller than they were 24 months ago. Therefore, you have fewer people trying to do more. Having said that, we need to set more reasonable expectations on turnaround times. Over promising and under delivering is never a good thing. We realize that. And as a management team, we are addressing it.

Can your Design Team and Project Management Team communicate better at the “hand-off” stage? Meaning when a design is sent to Project Management for quoting?

Answer — While this was not an overriding theme in your survey responses, it was mentioned and deserves a response. Communication has been a consistent theme at Classic over the past four years, both internally and externally. Hearing that we are failing with some of our distributors is troublesome. Some of it may be a direct reflection of asking fewer people to do more. I know that occasionally causes people to cut corners to meet existing time expectations. However, when proper communication does not happen, it causes us to go back and forth more often which lengthens the turnaround time. I promise you that we are working on this, and we will get better.

Can you include Distributor News and Updates in Design Monday along with new designs?

Answer — Yes. And to some extent we already do. Several years ago, we discontinued our monthly newsletter because we felt we were inundating you with email broadcasts. Instead, we shifted those routine updates on products, services, and specials to periodic emails, Design Monday (via “Word on the Street”) and postings in the Trade Show Tales Blog. Please let us know if you would like us to resume the monthly newsletter. In the newsletter, we would be very happy to discuss Classic updates as well as information in your world — whether it is new hires, current projects that you wish to share, or other pertinent news as it relates to the industry within your local markets.

Classic needs to do a better job of Customer Appreciation and Acknowledgment.

Answer — Ouch! That really hurts. While I feel like we do a good job of this “on the fly,” for the most part, I do agree that we need to do this more publicly. And more often. Our management team will make this a focus moving forward. You are our lifeblood. No one can deny that, and I am sorry if we have not done a good job of acknowledging that daily, monthly and quarterly.

ClassicMODUL is great. The variety of extrusions and accessories are unmatched. Why do you not promote the variety more in your Classic Exhibits designs and broadcasts?

Answer — At first I thought this comment may have come from Tom Jones, who manages our ClassicMODUL division. 😉 But it didn’t. I spent a lot of time thinking about this. In looking through past Design Mondays and other e-broadcasts that the Classic Exhibits division has sent over the past several months, it is clear that while we use a variety of extrusions and accessories in our broadcasts, we do not always “highlight” them. Recently, we have been promoting the TSP profiles which hold Silicone Edge Graphics, but we do need to do a better job of describing the extrusions in particular designs so that you gain a deeper and better sense of what is available from Classic and ClassicMODUL. Great suggestion. Thanks!

In conclusion, we have work to do and some issues to resolve. Thank you for your feedback, and we sincerely appreciate your constructive criticism.

And thank you for the many, many kudos we received as well in the survey (which we elected not to share). I am not going to lie, hearing that “Classic Rocks!,” that the “Customer Service Team is Wonderful” and that you appreciate coming to work each day knowing that you get to “Work with friends,” makes me not just happy, but exceptionally proud of our team.

Thanks again!

–Kevin Carty

Word on the Street — July 13th thru July 17th

July 17th, 2009 COMMENTS
Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Last Minute Preparations for TS2

We all go to a lot of tradeshows and events, right? After all, we are the industry professionals. We are the ones who exhibitors rely on to take care of all their needs and to make sure all their “i’s” are dotted and their “t’s” are crossed.

So why is it, that many of us scramble so much at the last minute to complete crucial details for our own industry events . . . both business details and personal details? Or maybe it’s just me. 🙂

It was about 10:30 pm last night when my wife says to me, “Excited for your trip? Do you feel like you have everything prepared?” I responded “YES!” Then she said, “Hey, when you pick up your dry cleaning tomorrow, can you drop something off for me?” . . . which triggered the proverbial “Oh  S&#T!” moment because I never actually dropped my stuff off.tsa20text20new

Then, there is the business stuff. Every show I seem to end up with an extra bag of small stuff that I need to bring on the plane with me. Have you ever tried to explain to TSA what a Stand-Off is?? Especially since it looks like some sort of pipe-bomb on the x-ray. Normal people need an extra bag for all the items they receive at the show. Not me! Apparently, I need it for my explosive devices. 🙂

In the end, it always comes together just fine. And I make comments like “I’ll make sure to remember that”. . .”lessoned learned”. . . and my personal favorite, “You would think by now I would have learned”.  But of course, being a creature of habit, I never do learn. It will surely happen again.

I hope to see you all next week in Chicago at TS2. Stop by our booth #601 and say hi. I’ll be the guy with the Lo-Jack on my ankle, compliments of the TSA.

Be Well!

–Kevin Carty