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The Latest and Greatest Exhibit Concepts, Inc. News

Exhibit Concepts

Museums, Navy SEALs, and Teamwork

Exhibit Concepts April 13, 2018

Teamwork: it’s the foundation of any successful venture. Whether it’s success in business or achieving your personal goals, no one achieves their dreams without some help along the way. Nowhere is this more true than as a member of the Navy SEALs. Everywhere we go, we go there together.

National Navy Seals MuseumTeamwork is also important in creating museums. The world of museums and the Navy SEALs have intersected in recent years, as Exhibit Concepts joined forces with the team lead by Rick Kaiser, Executive Director of the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum. Rick, a retired Navy SEAL Master Chief, served our country for thirty-four years and became Executive Director of the Museum in 2012. His mission was clear: elevate the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum to new heights.

Located in Fort Pierce, Florida, the Museum resides on the training grounds of the original Navy combat divers, the Frogmen. They trained on the beaches just behind the museum, and the facility stands as an interactive way to educate the public about the role the SEALs play in our country’s military. And thanks to building additions, new galleries and displays and other projects, the Museum stands as one of the premiere military museums in the United States.

To learn more about the museum and learn more about the importance of teamwork, watch the video below.

 

EXHIBITORLIVE 2018: A Look Back

Exhibit Concepts April 02, 2018

By Kelli Glasser, President and CEO

Teamwork is an essential component of success. Our industry is certainly no exception to this idea; in fact, the only way we can go anywhere as a company is to go there together. As I think back on Exhibit Concepts’ time at EXHIBITORLIVE this year, that is the biggest takeaway: the incredible power of teamwork.

When the ECI team designs, fabricates or installs a museum exhibit or trade show space, dozens of employees are involved in the project. From start to finish, we’re all working together for a common goal: to help our clients succeed. However, a few times a year we have the unique opportunity to be our own client. EXHIBITORLIVE is just one of those occasions, where we design, fabricate, and install a trade show space for ourselves. EXHIBITORLIVE is a trade show for trade show professionals, which facilitates our ability to connect with industry professionals on the show floor and in the classroom.

It seems like an understatement to say this was a memorable show for Exhibit Concepts. Our EXHIBITORLIVE booth did what we do best: it told a compelling story. From its clean modern lines and pops of bright color and visually compelling video content, it quite literally stole the show. It was a true honor for our team to be named Best of Show: Large Booth.

The honors didn’t stop there, however. Exhibit Concepts also won the Portable Modular Award for Best Fabric Exhibit for RCS Sound Systems and was named to the premiere Top 40 Exhibit Producers list, recognizing excellence in exhibitry.

Attendees at EXHIBITORLIVE also had the opportunity to connect with ECI leadership in a classroom setting. The men and women who lead our employees have vast industry and professional experience, and each had the opportunity to share that knowledge with others. In all, five of our ECI leaders (myself included) led eight educational sessions.

Though we don’t attend EXHIBITORLIVE for the sole purpose of winning awards, it is a true honor to receive the recognition for our hard work. I’m so proud of our team for coming up with an incredible concept and continuing to work together to take our company to the next level.

How a Custom Rental Stood Out at CES 2018

Exhibit Concepts March 26, 2018

Attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the largest electronics show in the world, is a big deal for any company. There are more than 4,000 exhibiting companies at the show and over 180,000 people walking the floor. For the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), it’s a crucial platform to share the mission of their organization with the masses.

WPC-0238 WEB.jpgIn 2018, Exhibit Concepts supported WPC with a custom rental booth, graphic design services, and product integration. This open, inviting, contemporary space integrated products so visitors could see how wireless charging can be safe, easy, and even subtle. The latter feature was demonstrated through a small kitchen setup that featured charging by placing kitchen appliances on wireless “hot spots” on the integrated countertop.

Founded in 2008, the WPC is a member organization of 487 companies including major organizations like Apple and Samsung working to create a safe, reliable charging experience. Rapid changes in technology mean there are many low-quality wireless charging devices that can be potentially unsafe. The WPC has adopted the Qi (pronounced “chee”) standard that ensures they are safe and carry the Qi Certified designation.

WPC-0211 WEB.jpgThe WPC attends CES to educate visitors about Qi as a safe, energy efficient offering and they have a prime space in a hallway where thousands pass through to walk from one exhibit hall to another in the Las Vegas Convention Center.

For more highlights from CES 2018, read our post on the highlights from the show floor.

 

2017 Museums Year in Review

Exhibit Concepts March 22, 2018

It was the late Johnny Cash who crooned, “I’ve been everywhere, man.” As the museum department thinks back on the projects completed in 2017, this is the song we can’t get out of our heads. We worked in many places across the United States. From Jackson, Mississippi where powerful stories of the civil rights movement are revealed, to Mountain View, California where visitors can experience how computer technology has enriched our lives, Exhibit Concepts has been there.  

These projects tell many tales from small towns with humble beginnings, to the sacrifices of soldiers who fought to change our world. It has been an honor to work with our clients and partners to bring these stories to life for everyone to experience. We invite you to watch the video below, and journey with us as we look back on 2017 and everywhere we’ve been.

Recap: Our EXHIBITORLIVE Speakers

Exhibit Concepts March 13, 2018

Exhibit Concepts had the rare opportunity at EXHIBITORLIVE 2018 for five of our leaders to present during the educational portion of the conference. EXHIBITORLIVE is the trade show and corporate event marketing conference featuring an educational event second to none with 180+ sessions and workshops. The educational tracks are designed for marketing professionals to learn techniques and best practices to hone their skills and to pursue the industry’s only university-affiliated professional certification program, the CTSM, with over 3,000 candidates currently enrolled in the program.

Several sessions were focused on developing general business skills applicable to any role or function. Kelli Glasser, President and CEO of Exhibit Concepts, delivered a talk entitled Letting Your Leaders Lead – Leads to the Best Results. Kelli’s premise is that whether you are a micromanager or you are being micromanaged, there are steps you can take to improve the situation. And the key to improving the situation is to understand the unseen inner motivations driving the micromanagement style.

Ellen Campbell-Kaminski, VP of Marketing at Exhibit Concepts, shared practical techniques to better align sales and marketing teams in a session titled Sales and Marketing Alignment: How to Get-and Stay-on the Same Page. Included in her session were six (6) common situations where sales and marketing teams can and should collaborate to drive improved business results. One technique Ellen shared was the practice of conducting a Stop Start Continue exercise with Sales, Marketing and other stakeholders after any event or major campaign. She also shared critical success factors, conditions and approaches, such as “assume positive intent” that increase the likelihood of success.

Sessions more directly related to the trade show and events space included a session presented by Jeff Korchinski, VP of Sales called Rent Your Booth and Still Own Your Program? In this engaging session, Jeff shared that more and more brands are adopting a rental approach for their trade shows. The key to owning your program even when renting exhibit property is to tie in attendee engagement, product integration, and categorizing shows by priority. Jeff also delivered a session titled You’ve Been Tasked with Managing Your First New Build – Now What? jointly with Dom Conti, Production Director. These two industry veterans shared that building an exhibit is like building a house. It takes a lot of time, focus, and support to do it right. If you are missing any of these items, you may be better off delaying the project. The most successful projects start with clear goals and objectives. The Creative Brief template is a great tool to get organized and make sure everyone is on the same page.

Jeff Hannah, VP of International Services, Commercial Interiors, and Creative, again delivered four (4) sessions centered around exhibiting internationally. Traveling Abroad: Important Do’s and Don’ts is a primer for anyone who is traveling outside the United States and is organized into 4 segments: planning your trip, getting there, being there and returning home. A Trip Around the World – Must Knows for Global Exhibiting follows a “road trip” format stopping at 7 major world cities and examining what it is like to exhibit or plan events in that location. The session explores various influences impacting each city including geography, industry sophistication and culture and includes a profile of each major exhibit hall in that city.

Jeff Hannah also delivered Global Frameworks: Marketing from the Context of Culture Parts I and II. These advanced level electives are based on the premise that all business operates within the context (or framework) of culture. If you want to conduct business and successfully reach audiences in other countries, you must learn to do it within the realm of understanding that culture first. This leads to the various cultural dimensions which we use to help us understand things that each culture holds dear which are summarized in the Culture Compass Infographics.

From the show floor to the classroom, EXHIBITORLIVE is the best place for event marketing professionals to meet, network, learn, and engage in a meaningful way. Our team is honored to play a small role in the overall success of this annual event.

Common Mistakes Made by International Exhibitors: Implementation (4 of 4)

Exhibit Concepts March 07, 2018

By Jeff Hannah, VP of International, Interiors, & Creative

You’ve been tasked with executing a trade show for your company outside of the United States. While at first this may seem like a plum assignment with high level executive visibility and several international trips on the horizon, it isn’t as simple as it seems. Reality quickly sets in and you realize you are likely spending in the neighborhood of $100K on a project thousands of miles away - with vendors that you’ve never worked with and probably haven’t met! Before you go too far, recognize that many companies who exhibit at international trade shows make IMPLEMENATION MISTAKES which fall into three main areas: Planning, Logistics and Procurement.

In this 4-part series: Common Mistakes Made by International Exhibitors, we are identifying these mistakes and suggesting tactics to avoid them in the future. The three earlier topics can be found at: AWARENESS, PREPARATION and COMMUNICATION.

PLANNING MISTAKES

Even the best strategies fail  due to a lack of proper planning. This is especially the case with exhibiting outside of the United States when circumstances, lead times, established ways, and approaches can be very different from what you know. Often marketers fail to plan properly, assume that things will be very similar to how trade shows and exhibitions happen in the U.S., and ignore intangible cultural differences.

The old adage, “You don’t know what you don’t know,” clearly applies when you are embarking on your first international exhibit project. It is wise in these circumstances to do your homework well in advance in order to understand regional and local customs and regulations. You should draw upon the experience and expertise of colleagues (or agencies) who have significant experience outside the U.S.

LOGISTICS MISTAKES

A common mistake international first-timers make is rooted in the incorrect assumption that it would be too complicated, or that they cannot get the quality they expect without building in the U.S.

As a result, they assume that they should ship their U.S. booth to any international shows. Shipping a booth from country to country not only produces unnecessary wear and tear on the booth property, but  may dramatically increase exhibiting cost with overseas transportation. You also face the potential of damages, delays in customs, and electrical challenges, to name just a few.

PROCUREMENT MISTAKES

These days, it is common for companies to have formal procurement departments responsible for securing goods and services from new partners. However, these teams may not be familiar with the intricacies of trade show exhibiting in the U.S., let alone in other countries. In a typical RFP process, each bidder may be quoting different designs with a wide variation in materials, quality, and finishes. And so, it is rare for true “apples to apples” comparisons in the bidding process.

Many times I hear the stories of disappointment resulting from a procurement-driven process – when quality was not up to expectation, mistakes were made, or there were hidden charges and cost overruns– all because the overseas partners were not properly vetted and managed. There must be knowledgeable, international ‘trade show’ people involved in the procurement process. And you must thoroughly vet any potential partners and seek referrals from colleagues you know and trust.

Successful exhibiting outside the U.S. can be exciting and professionally rewarding. Recognize that you are outside of your home country and culture which means you need to do your homework and allow ample time for research and planning.  

This is the final post in a four-part series covering the common mistakes companies make when exhibiting internationally. For more information on exhibiting internationally, visit our International page.

Exhibit Concepts Wins Best of Show at EXHIBITORLIVE

Exhibit Concepts March 01, 2018

Exhibit Concepts was recently named Best of Show: Large Booth at EXHIBITORLIVE 2018. The event is a conference and exhibition for trade show and event marketing professionals. The exhibit hall features an array of products and services that serve the industry. ECI attends the show each year, held at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Judges said, “Exhibit Concepts utilized their prime booth space very well, incorporating a double deck structure, bold graphics, eye catching audio-visual elements, and an open, inviting layout. The second story meeting space featured past projects and judges also gave Exhibit Concepts high marks for what they called a friendly, professional, and well-dressed booth staff that functioned like an effective, well-oiled machine.”

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This year’s booth, focused on the theme, “Your Brand. Your Journey,” featured success stories of ECI’s clients in a variety of mediums.

“Every story has a hero,” said Ellen Campbell-Kaminski, VP of Marketing. “At Exhibit Concepts, we believe our clients are the hero. Our goal is to bring their story to life in face-to-face settings in the most compelling way. Our EXHIBITORLIVE booth is a testament to their stories.”

Utilizing the beMatrix LEDskin product, the booth featured video content custom made to sit inside the booth’s framing system. ECI’s booth also featured two “cabinets of curiosities” known as Object Theatre. These two stations featured eight custom crystal cubes 3D laser engraved with objects representing a different client story. When lifted from the shelf, a video is triggered on the 4K UHD TV located on the back of the “cabinet.” The custom video content takes the visitor on a journey through the client’s projects across ECI’s various lines of business including trade shows, corporate interiors, mobile vehicle tours, museums, and experiential design.

“I’m so proud of the Exhibit Concepts team,” said Kelli Glasser, President and CEO. “This booth is a testament to the incredible talent we have in our company, from the concept all the way to execution.”

Exhibit Concepts also won the Portable Modular Award for Best Fabric Exhibit for RCS Sound Systems and was named to the premier Top 40 Exhibit Producers list, recognizing excellence in exhibitry.

Want more from EXHIBITORLIVE? See our post-show resources.

Trade Show & Event Marketing Manager: A Day in the Life

Exhibit Concepts February 21, 2018

Have you ever wondered what a typical day is like for a Trade Show or Event Marketing Manager? Is your daily experience similar to your peers or are you experiencing something atypical? Everyone has those days when you feel alone in the world, like you are the only one have crazy work hours, pressures, or juggle multiple project plans and deadlines. Based on a recent survey that Exhibit Concepts, Inc. conducted among trade show and event professionals, it’s clear the role is very dynamic with every day bringing new demands and new challenges requiring a diverse set of skills.

We compiled the results into an infographic you can download by clicking the button below.

Download Infographic

 

Respondents in the survey reported that no two days were exactly the same. The majority of their time is spent planning events and sitting in meetings. The role requires a wide variety of skills with the top three most required being:

  • Detail orientation
  • Managing multiple projects and tasks simultaneously
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

However, planning and executing trade shows and events is rarely a solo act. Respondents reported they are part of a decision-making committee between 53% - 60% of the time, depending on the type of event.  Likewise, they use a wide variety of information sources to stay current and learn about new information for their jobs including industry trade publications, internet searches, and their colleagues.

Despite the diversity of each organization represented in the survey and the ever changing aspects of the role, respondents did have similar responses when asked about processes and parts of their job that could be more efficient.  Issues related to brand management – including managing multiple brands at a single event while expressing a cohesive message – was the most common improvement area raised. Another top opportunity for improvement was around communication – between senior leaders and the event team, between divisions, between sales and marketing and between the event team and other marketers.

Despite all the demands, deadlines and managing multiple priorities simultaneously, respondents indicated a high level of satisfaction in their role. 56% percent of respondents expected to be at their same company in 5 years either in the same role or a more senior role with similar responsibilities. Another seven percent expected to be at the same company but in a completely different role.

Regardless of where you stand in the trade show and event marketing manager equation, one thing is clear: you are not alone.

Want tips on how to plan and execute a successful trade show? Download our 10 steps white paper HERE.

Top 5 Trade Show Trends for 2018

Exhibit Concepts February 08, 2018

It often feels like the only constant in the face-to-face marketing industry is that it’s continuously evolving. New design trends, innovative use of materials, technology advances-it is challenging to stay on top of the latest innovations. As we did last year, let’s look at the biggest trade show trends we can expect for the trade show industry in 2018.

trade show trends experience design

Trend One: Experiential Design

Great booth design is not simply about architecture. It’s about the total visitor’s experience, from start to finish- and beyond the confines of a booth. The use of new materials and textures that enhance the experience promises to be a game changer in the coming year. Many companies realize a trade show environment is just that—an environment-- and it is important to treat it as such. While it is true technology is a major part of our lives and trade shows, a focus on a “human centric” space is important. It could be a simple as a booth design and finishes that look and feel comfortable to visitors. It could also mean adding engagement interactives that enhance a person’s senses. Rather than starting with square footage and numbers of demo stations, the trend is to focus on the attendee experience first. 

trade show trends strategic approach

Trend Two: A Strategic Approach

Rather than approaching each event on the trade show calendar as an isolated project, we believe a new approach will take over in 2018. Experienced trade show managers are recognizing the value of taking a holistic, strategic approach to the entire calendar of trade shows, events and campaigns. We call this a program. However, a successful program isn’t simply about organizing the show calendar into tiers to maximize spend and effectiveness. It is also about aligning different elements of the marketing plan so that they work in concert with each other.

power of light trade show trends

Trend Three: The Power of Light

Light is an incredible tool, impactful both by its presence and absence. Finding new and creative ways to quite literally shine a light on products and spaces truly brings them to life. This was a big takeaway from CES 2018 and a trend that we anticipate will play a starring role in 2018. Look for exhibitors to dim the lights so products offerings are the star of the show or even turn them up with unique lighting elements that make you say, “How did they do THAT?” This is a fun (and often not overly costly) way to bring a unique element into a booth that captures attention and draws people in for a closer look.

4Trends2018.png

Trend Four: Technology: The Sky is the Limit

From OLED monitors to projection mapping and AR, technology is evolving at a staggering pace. While we don’t know where it will go next, we believe 2018 will be all about showing off the latest and greatest technology, programs, and equipment. Projection mapping is a unique way to project imagery and light onto a static object, bringing it to life. And LG’s OLED experience at CES 2018 was a breathtaking example of showcasing the awe-inspiring power of a product offering.

5Trends2018.png

Trend Five: Engaging the Senses

Much like the first trend, a trade show can be a multi-sensory experience, rather than engaging only one or two senses. This goes well beyond typical hospitality. Think tactile elements like wood or cardboard, paired with beautiful sound, stunning lights, and a fragrance that sparks a beloved memory. While engaging all of the senses simultaneously could be overwhelming, finding different ways to pull out those unique elements isn’t—and can bring a space to life. Look for sights, sounds, smells, and experiences that wow in this category.

Want to look at last year’s trends? Read our Top 5 Trade Show Trends for 2017, and then check out the updates we made in the Top Trade Show Trends for 2018 Planning.

Exhibit Concepts is headed to EXHIBITORLIVE 2018!

Exhibit Concepts February 06, 2018

EXHIBITORLIVE is the Trade Show and Corporate Event Marketing Conference featuring the industry’s largest exhibit hall with nearly 300 exhibitors and an educational event second to none with 180+ sessions and workshops. The exhibit hall is where you will find the latest products and resources shaping the future of exhibiting and corporate event programs. And the educational tracks are designed for marketing professionals to learn techniques and best practices to hone their skills.

Our team will be onsite for the show in Vegas at booth 1101. In addition to our presence on the show floor, five Exhibit Concepts leaders are presenting eight diverse educational sessions. EXHIBITORLIVE offers the industry's only university-affiliated professional certification program, with more than 3,000 candidates currently enrolled.

If you are headed to the show and want to meet with our team, you can find more information here: https://www.exhibitconcepts.com/el2018

Monday, February 26

M510: A Trip Around the World – Must Knows for Global Exhibiting

Presented by Jeff Hannah, our VP of International Services, Commercial Interiors & Creative

Take a fast and fun trip around the world as we discover fascinating insights into seven major world destinations! You'll improve your working knowledge and increase your confidence in handling shows and events in Abu Dhabi, Tokyo, São Paulo, and other locations. 

M512: Traveling Abroad: Important Do’s and Don’ts

Presented by Jeff Hannah

Whether you are managing your own personal travel or that of your executive team or colleagues, there are some important do's and don'ts that you should know about traveling abroad. This knowledge will help keep you safe, save you money, avoid typical scams and make your experience go more smoothly. Leave this session, feeling prepared to travel internationally.

Tuesday, February 27

T505: Global Frameworks: Marketing from the Context of Culture – Part I

Presented by Jeff Hannah

Understanding national culture is key to creating a successful international trade show program, while neglecting subtle nuances in cross-cultural business can damage business relationships and nullify marketing efforts. Learn to see things from a totally different perspective by recognizing that all business is conducted within the context of culture. We will share practical insights to help you understand the cultures you are trying to reach, and share strategies for building bridges across cultural divides. 

T506: Global Frameworks: Marketing from the Context of Culture - Part II 

Presented by Jeff Hannah

Understanding national culture is key to creating a successful international trade show program. Recognizing that all business is conducted within the context of culture, we provide practical insights to help you understand the cultures you are trying to reach-and strategies to overcome cultural divides that could diminish the success of your trade shows and events. This session also explores specific cultural profiles of China, Mexico, Germany and the UAE.

T445: Letting Your Leaders Lead – Leads to the Best Results

Presented by Kelli Glasser, our President and CEO

Whether you report to a micromanager, or you personally display micromanager tendencies, this session is for you. Learn how the "un-micromanager"-who doesn't hover over people or dictate how to do tasks-gets better team and organizational results, improves productivity and engagement, and reduces everyone's stress level.

T650: You’ve Been Tasked with Managing your First New Build – Now What?

Presented by Dom Conti, our Production Director and Jeff Korchinski, our VP of Sales

This is a must-attend session for people embarking on their first exhibit build or that want to improve their process. Hear a fabricator share creative-yet-efficient ways to control costs while maintaining the craftsmanship and trade show presence your boss expects and your brand deserves. Take away a top 10 list that will reduce your stress and ensure you achieve your objectives. 

Wednesday, February 28

W647: Rent Your Booth and Still Own Your Program?

Presented by Jeff Korchinski

There is more to a great exhibit rental program than simply choosing a killer design and a great price. Benefit from the experience of others to learn best practices and understand how to maximize your investment and reduce the risks associated with your decision. 

Thursday, March 1

R348: Sales and Marketing Alignment: How to Get-and Stay- on the Same Page

Presented by Ellen Campbell-Kaminski, our VP of Marketing

It's no secret that alignment between sales and marketing is critical to optimizing business results. However, most organizations find it very difficult to achieve said alignment. Join us to discuss three strategies you can use to get sales and marketing on the same page.

The Latest and Greatest Exhibit Concepts, Inc. News