Trade Show TalesBlog

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


2016 Best Awards | Vote For Classic Exhibits (please)

January 27th, 2016 COMMENTS


We need a favor… It’s about voting… and, no it’s not about Iowa or New Hampshire. Or the Academy Awards. Or who is the best dancer or singer. It’s about who is the BEST. Classic Exhibits was nominated for a BEST Award in the Exhibit Systems Manufacturing category. We’re honored, of course, but let’s not kid ourselves, we want to win. We would appreciate your vote. See the link to vote and the explanation of the BEST Awards. And thank you.

The E2MA and Exhibit City News present the first annual BEST Awards created to honor the Best in Exhibit Servicing & Technology among trade show industry service organizations and management companies.

The company with the most votes by March 4, will receive the BEST award and will be honored at the BEST Awards Gala Banquet at the 2016 E2MA Red Diamond Congress on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld in Orlando, FL.

This year E2MA’s 2016 Red Diamond Congress will be a part of Engagement World. Engagement World is being launched by E2MA and the Enterprise Engagement Alliance (EEA). The Engagement World conference and expo is dedicated to highlighting the world of enterprise engagement in business and its many strategies and tactics.  The event is designed to help organizations in all areas of business profit from this emerging new field that many experts believe will rival advertising in scale.

red_diamondThe event will consist of co-located education and exhibit programs addressing key areas of engagement, including:

  • The E2MA Red Diamond Conference:  Focuses on best practices in face-to-face marketing and communications, on April 25-28, 2016.
  • Engagement University:  Highlights key strategies and tactics related to ROI-based enterprise engagement plans, on April 26-27, 2016.
  • The Engagement Expo:  Features exhibitors and presentations by leading engagement associations and solution providers, on April 27-28, 2016.
  • The Rewards and Recognition Expo:  Features the leading suppliers and brands in the rewards and recognition business and an interactive education program on latest trends and best practices, on April 27-28, 2016.

–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


Top 10 Trade Show Rental Designs

January 22nd, 2016 COMMENTS

Rental Incognito

When I started in the this business, waaaayyyyyy back when folding panel systems and pop ups were duking it out for design supremacy, rentals were an afterthought. Really a non-thought. The Great Recession changed that. Rentals are now HUGE.  And CUSTOMIZED. And BEAUTIFUL. At least those from Classic Rental Solutions.

04_20_15_3_RentalI would estimate, and you can disagree, that 15-20 percent of displays at major trade shows are all or partial rentals. Yet, most attendees, exhibitors, and industry professionals would be hard pressed to tell the difference. To prove my point, I’ve chosen my favorite Top 10 Rental Designs from 2015. These are shown in Past 5 Days, our photo gallery. Some were taken during setup. Others from the show.

If you have time, I’d very much love to hear your thoughts about rental trends and rental designs. Leave a comment or send me an email. Enjoy.

Top 10 Rental Designs

  1. (See in P5D) — 30 x 40 Island with Laminated Sconces with Recessed Puck Lights
  2. Continental Building Products (See in P5D)  — 20 x 20 Island with 16 ft. Tower/Storage Room
  3. Chirotouch (See in P5D) — 20 x 40 Island with 16 ft. Towers, Double-Sided Bridged Header with/Pillowcase Fabric Graphic, and Dual Conference Rooms
  4. 06_15_15_5_RentalEmployee Screen (See in P5D) —20 x 20 Island (2) RE-1250 Counters, (2) RE-1230 Large Monitor Kiosks with Custom Planter Boxes
  5. NETGEAR (See in P5D) — Ballroom Product Showcase with (8) RE-1207 Counters with Custom Laminated/Tops, (32) Small Custom Black Laminated Product Shelves, and (8) RE-1229 Large Monitor Kiosks
  6. Adaptiva (See in P5D) — 30 x 30 Island with 14 ft. High Tower/Storage Room, (3) Custom Kiosks/with 42 in. Monitors and Sintra Graphics
  7. Spectrum Brands (See in P5D) — RE-9029 Island with Double Tower Structure, Lounge Lighting, (4)/Workstation Kiosks, Curved Bridged Headers, Large Monitor Kiosks, and (2) RE-1205 Large Curved Counters
  8. Beck Arnley (See in P5D) — 20 x 40 Island 12′ High Tower/Backwall with Tension Fabric Graphics/and 18′ Wide Backwall with Backlit SEG Fabric Graphic
  9. L3 Driver Safety Solutions (See in P5D) — Modified RE-9049 Island Includes Tower with Locking/Counter, (2) Double-Sided Graphic Kiosks, and RE-1205 Large Reception Counter
  10. Clear Story (See in P5D) — Island Peninsula Design (15 ft. High) with Tension Fabric and Sintra Header Graphics, 38″ High Return Walls, RE-1228 Counter, and (2) RE-1221 Pedestals

04_29_15_1_RentalSheesh! I almost forgot to include inlines which represent about 50% of our orders. We designed quite a few beauties last year. Here are a few:

  1. Alaska Communications (See in P5D) —  20 ft. RE-2030 Design with Wave Canopies, (2/ RE-1216 Connected Workstations, RE-1207 Counter, and RE-1205 Counter
  2. Blue Sky (See in P5D) — 10 ft. RE-1004 with Tension Fabric Graphic, Sintra Wing Graphics, and/(3) Halogen Arm Lights
  3. Schock Logistics (See in P5D) — 10 ft. SEGUE Hybrid Display with SEG Fabric Graphic, Halogen Arm Lights, and Frosted Wing Panels

Jim Shelman, GM Classic Rental Solutions


Backlit Retail Kiosk with Monitor Mount and iPad Insert

January 20th, 2016 1 COMMENT

Classic Exhibits designed and built these Backlit Retail Kiosks for an auto dealership. The kiosks include a large monitor connected to an iPad, USB charging connections, LED lighting, vinyl graphics, and a backlit SEG fabric graphic.

This is a permanent install with four kiosks forming a large perimeter. The backlit graphics are on the outside. The monitor/iPad kiosks face the interior. The LED lights have a 50,000 hour life rating. For more retail solutions, see the Retail Displays Gallery.

–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


Classic Rental Rewards Winners

January 15th, 2016 COMMENTS


It’s often the simple things that are the most rewarding.

Several years ago, the Classic Rental Solutions division had a problem. A large percentage of our returns were coming back with significant damage and/or missing components. We weren’t sure what to do, but we knew we had to do something. We couldn’t restock those components since our policy has always been “If it doesn’t look like new, we won’t ship it. Period.”

Distributor Rental Rewards LetterIn many circles, the obvious solution would be to charge for the damage. But we weren’t looking to be punitive. It’s kind of like insisting on guests clean your place the morning after the big party. Instead, we decided to  fix it with a positive rather than a negative program.

In July 2014, we launched Rental Rewards, a program designed to reward distributors for returning rental exhibits in good condition and without missing components. In other words, reward good behavior first, then, if necessary, charge for bad behavior.

As part of the program, Classic Distributors earn a 2% credit for every successful rental return. This credit is applied to their next rental project and is based on the entire invoice (excluding shipping and I & D supervision). After six credits, a 15% credit is issued toward their next rental. In addition, with every rental credit received, the distributor’s name is entered in a bi-annual Rental Rewards drawing for exciting prizes.

In return, we ask that distributors stress the importance of treating the rental components with a little extra care during installation & dismantle, and to pack everything securely, so it will arrive back at Classic in good condition. You receive Rental Rewards credits, and have the opportunity to win prizes. And we save money on repairs and replacement parts Win. Win.

Since its inception in July 2014, we have issued 207 Rental Rewards credits to 74 different distributors. We’ve given away 15 Amazon Gift Cards, and we just added a new exciting prize — RT airfare to Shared Knowledge University (SKU), our distributor training seminar.

DSCN5459December Winners — Amazon $150.00 Gift Card:

  • Lara Davie — ELITeXPO
  • Chase Howells — Frontline Exhibits
  • Michael Grossberg — Trade Show Emporium
  • Shannon Plaster — Exhibitus
  • Laura Magdalen — Exhibits Northwest

Shared Knowledge University (SKU) Airfare:

  • Exhibitus

Thanks to you, Classic Rental Solutions continues to grow by double-digits. Last year we added many new designs to our rental gallery, including islands, inlines, and a wide range of new charging stations. Watch for more exciting designs in 2016. And if you plan to attend EXHIBITORLIVE next month, please stop by our booth to see an exciting new product line. This line will be integrated into future rental designs. It’s incredible! And it’s a game changer!

Thank you for your continued rental business, and here’s to a super successful 2016.

–Jim Shelman and the CRS Team
Classic Rental Solutions