Trade Show TalesBlog

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

July 7th, 2015 COMMENTS

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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.

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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
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
https://twitter.com/melmwhite

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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 www.classicexhibits.com.


 

What Your Customer Doesn’t Know

July 1st, 2015 COMMENTS

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We recently introduced a 100-Day Money Back Guarantee on the Sacagawea Portable Hybrid System. No one in our industry has offered a money back guarantee before. It’s a first and in our opinion long overdue. As you can imagine, we’ve had a few distributors ask us about the logic behind this. So here goes.

Online Shopping

Most inline display shopping starts online. That won’t surprise you. Customers use the web to learn about their options, see designs, and check prices. Then they make that critical call or email to an exhibit sales professional. And, unlike the “old days,” they now come to the table with some knowledge and preferences — whether it’s right or wrong.

Sadly, the web isn’t always a proud beacon of transparency, particularly when it comes to online products. Renderings, text, and videos have a way of suggesting quality and features, even where none exists.

Masquerade Ball

VK_1233More and more, we’re seeing lower quality displays masquerading as upscale exhibits, especially basic hybrid displays. We’ve all experienced this trend with pop-up displays. And, sadly, many view pop-ups and banner stands as disposable. That’s unfortunate and not our opinion (Quadro). But that’s a different fight.

We have no issue with a $3000 hybrid as a $3000 hybrid. Those should exist for customers with a limited budget. However, we shouldn’t mistake a low-end hybrid as identical to a Sacagawea. It’s not. Yes, there may be visual similarities, but that’s where it ends.

Preaching to the Choir

Are we preaching to the choir? Yes. You know there are differences — but your customer doesn’t. Here’s what they don’t know.

VK_2113 A4 Render 1f1. Thousands of happy exhibitors have bought the Sacagawea — The World’s Best Hybrid.

2. Every Sacagawea comes with die-cut reusable packaging, numbered components, custom instructions, easy knob-assisted assembly, and the industry’s best HD fabric graphics. Yes, THE BEST Dye-Sub Graphics!

3. There are high-quality accessories such as monitor mounts, counters, standoff graphics, canopies, hostess shelves, literature holders, and tablet enclosures that are innovative, easy to install, and will last years and years. For example, the Sacagawea support legs are adjustable, meaning you can reposition them to compensate for heavier loads on the workstation counter.

4. Sacagawea is built with MODUL extrusion, the highest quality, most durable engineered extrusion in the world. No other aluminum extrusion has the same thickness, strength, and finish as MODUL.

So… why the 100-Day Guarantee? Your customer will ask why they should buy Brand X vs. a Sacagawea. And you’ll explain the differences. Then, should there be any doubt in their mind, you’ll tell them that only the Sacagawea comes with a 100-Day Guarantee. No one else offers that guarantee because the Sacagawea is the highest quality, most versatile portable hybrid anywhere.

In the end, we believe that quality and engineering matters to serious trade show exhibitors. And we’re willing to stand behind that philosophy with a guarantee.

Should you have additional questions, please let us know.

–Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
https://twitter.com/melmwhite

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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 www.classicexhibits.com.


 

Mi Design NOT Su Design: Word on the Street — June 22nd-June 26th

June 26th, 2015 2 COMMENTS
Kevin Carty, VP Classic Exhibits

Kevin Carty, VP Classic Exhibits

Intellectual Property

Protecting your Intellectual Property is nothing new (IP). Companies of all sizes are faced with companies (and governments) stealing their designs and ideas. Some folks view it as a way of doing business — leveraging the work of others for their own professional gain or sales. I once attended a business symposium, and the featured speaker of a Fortune 1000 company blatantly said his company doesn’t invest in R&D. They borrow the work of others. It was shocking to hear.

While some of our biggest challenges come from offshore companies trolling our corporate websites and blog posts to steal our images and ideas, it stings the most when it happens stateside.

Sadly, our industry is not shielded from these unethical practices within our own ranks. As a proud member of the EDPA Board of Directors, I can attest that protecting design IP has been a hot topic for many years. As a group, the EDPA-member companies do a good job for the most part honoring that unwritten rule.

Recently, a Classic distributor was presented with a competitor’s rendering by an end-user and asked to quote the design. The Classic Distributor explained to the end-user that they, along with their manufacturer (Classic in the case), do not partake in the practice of leveraging someone else’s hard work in design. Rather, they would sit down with them, determine their tradeshow marketing needs, and design a version that would meet their needs perfectly.

The client was delighted that the distributor and the manufacturer held that philosophy. Something the end-user was not used to seeing in their own industry.

Closer to Home

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Having said that, we all fight these battles each and every day. Domestically and abroad. But it’s the ones closest to home that ave the most sting. An unfortunate example of that happened just this week for us. One of our talented designers put a great deal of work into designing a beautiful linear exhibit for a distributor and their potential customer several months ago. Fast forward to this week, when we saw a LinkedIn update highlighting a beautiful new build. Sadly, it was the very same design but built by some company other than Classic. We don’t know who built it, but we know who sold it, which makes it even more painful since we’ve known them for some time.

Don’t get me wrong. I know there are a lot of “kits” that can look similar from manufacturer to manufacturer. I totally get that. But when it comes to a “ground-up design,” you would hope, as we do, that some integrity would be left in the process.

Even in a stronger economy, when the fruits are fresher than they have been in sometime, there are still those companies more than willing to eat from other people’s plates.

Can anything be done about this on a large scale? Probably not. But I go back to the first example, the one where the Distributor explained to the end-user their ethical stance on the matters of protecting others IP… and still won the business.

How do you protect your designs beyond branding them with your company logos etc.?

It’s an age old question I suppose. But would appreciate your comments and feedback

On a lighter note, this June has been a HOT one! For sales and for weather. We greatly appreciate all the orders, large and small, and the opportunities sent our way. Just a reminder about our Gimme a GiftCard promotion on all inlines. Plus, as I’m sure you saw, we just launched a 100-Day Guarantee on the Sacagawea Hybrid System — An Industry FIRST.

Have a great weekend with your families and a strong work week ahead. July 4th is on the horizon.

Be well.

–Kevin
http://twitter.com/kevin_carty
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/kevin-carty/3/800/32a


 

Alaskan Cruise Photos

June 24th, 2015 COMMENTS

Alaska

Some Freaky Big Crabs

Several weeks ago, Cynthia Geddis, a Project Manager in our Customer Service Department, took a seven-day Alaskan cruise from Seattle on the Princess Line with her husband. For those who have never been on an Alaskan cruise, we thought you might enjoy seeing photos.

Yes, it’s a bit like you would would expect — eagles, glaciers, fiords, icebergs, totem poles, etc — but her photos take the expected and make them unexpected. Excellent shots of Mendenhall Glacier, Ketchikan, Skagway, shy whales, and some freaky big crabs. Our thanks to Cynthia for sharing these with us.

–Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
https://twitter.com/melmwhite

**********************************************

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 www.classicexhibits.com.


 

A BRILLIANT Video about the Trade Show Service Desk. Very Funny!

June 19th, 2015 COMMENTS

They Did It Again!

Service Desk

Another spectacular video from the folks at TS Crew. Pass it along. It should seriously go viral. That’s how good it is. Well done guys and gals. I’m already sharpening my pencil for you to win an Eddie Award for outstanding marketing at EDPA in November. “Costman” — What a hoot!!!!

I hear there’s a Pt. 2. Stay tuned.

–Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
https://twitter.com/melmwhite

**********************************************

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 www.classicexhibits.com.