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The Latest and Greatest Exhibit Concepts, Inc. News

Exhibit Concepts

Common Mistakes Made by International Exhibitors (Part 1 of 4)

Exhibit Concepts December 21, 2016

By Jeff Hannah, VP of International Services & Commercial Interiors

You come from a unique background that shapes your view of the world. But what if your approach did more harm than good? What if you really didn’t understand your customers like you thought you did? And, what if your strategy was flawed? Many companies who exhibit at international trade shows make these AWARENESS MISTAKES every day. The good news: there are ways to avoid these pitfalls. In this four-part series, we will identify these mistakes and help you understand how to avoid them.

Approach Mistake:

Do you have an ethnocentric view of the world? Perhaps it’s lack of exposure or even lack of interest, but when working internationally it can become a barrier to success.

An ethnocentric approach means looking at another culture through the lens of your own and making value judgments. It is the belief in the superiority of one’s own ethnic group or culture. Often, we are so surrounded and engulfed by our own culture (particularly in the USA) that we cannot see past or outside of it.

It’s a dangerous way to view the world and can lead to major problems in both personal and business settings. If not carefully managed, ethnocentricity becomes poison. 

Ethnocentricity causes you to misread signals, misunderstand culture, and ultimately miss opportunities to engage with others. This can also lead to a misunderstanding about what someone else wants.

The good news is there are specific ways you can avoid this issue, by being willing to expand your horizons and strategize your approach.

Must Knows For Global Exhibiting

How to Avoid Cultural Mistakes:

Do Your Homework

Often, companies fail to acknowledge the local cultures that they are targeting which can lead to a major miss. This is why cultural homework, even simply the basics, can lead to big results.

Don’t Ignore Intangibles

Never ignore the subtleties in international interactions. Body language, communication styles, and authority structures can be difficult to read. But these aspects of culture should inform choices, strategies, and decisions along the way.

Adapt, Adapt, Adapt

Think about how much emphasis marketers put on customer engagement and the funnel. This same care should be applied to understanding or adapting to cultural concerns, preferences, values, enigmas, and nuances.

Strategy Mistake:

Every successful venture begins with a solid plan. It is important to formulate a strategy before you begin, which will help identify and prevent potential downfalls along the way.

Bucketing your Approach

The first potential downfall is lumping “international” into a single bucket. This would be similar to saying the United States is all one culture, when in fact, we are unique within regions and states. The same goes for international; every culture is unique and has its own distinct history, values, and preferences. One size does NOT fit all! It is important to recognize that your approach needs to change - based on both country and region.

Cultural Context

All business is conducted within the context of a cultural framework, which means that you must see your business dealings (marketing, selling, and negotiating) through the lens of culture. Study and approach these cultures without judgment or preconceived notions in order to create the best strategy.

Don’t Assume

Finally, recognize that you are outside of your home country and culture, which means aspects of your experience will be very different and could feel outside of the norm. Leave your assumptions at the door and arrive prepared.

This is part one of a four-part series covering the common mistakes companies make when exhibiting internationally. You can read the second installment, about the importance of preparation, here.

Jeff Hannah is VP of International Services & Commercial Interiors for Exhibit Concepts. He consults, writes, and speaks about engagement strategies, cultures, and trade show differences between countries. He has founded companies in the UK, UAE, and USA, and has produced trade show exhibits, interiors, and events in over 50 countries for many of the world’s top brands. You can find Jeff on Twitter: @jeffnuance.  

Honoring America's Heroes: The Cold War Gallery

Exhibit Concepts December 09, 2016

The National Navy SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, Florida works to educate the public on the history and importance of Naval Special Warfare. The organization preserves the history of the SEALs through educational, interactive exhibits that tell the history of this brave group of men.

Exhibit Concepts (ECI) takes great pride in our partnership with the Navy SEAL Museum in order to bring this important story to life. In 2016, we partnered with the museum to develop exhibits which include the role Underwater Demolitions Teams (UDT) and SEALs played during the Cold War. In 2014 and 2015, we partnered with Van Sickle & Rolleri and Northern Light Productions to design and build exhibits for the Modern Day Gallery, also part of the National Navy SEAL Museum.

Our team worked alongside the museum to design and build all the exhibits in the Cold War Gallery, which opened its doors on November 4, 2016.

The Cold War was a state of political and military tension after World War II between powers in the Western Bloc (US and NATO allies) and powers in the Eastern Bloc (USSR) from 1947 to 1991, the year the Soviet Union collapsed. The term “cold” is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, although there were major regional wars supported by the two sides.

ECI partnered with the museum to develop, design, and install exhibits which include the role Underwater Demolitions Teams (UDT) and SEALs played during the Cold War.

To see more of our museum exhibition work, visit our portfolio page

An Illuminating Rental Exhibit Solution

Exhibit Concepts December 07, 2016

We believe a rental shouldn’t look like a rental- it should embody a company’s message.

When Adwerx, a digital marketing agency for real estate professionals (referred to us by Take Success), approached ECI about their tradeshow booth design, they had a specific vision.

The primary goals were:

  •  Reinforce their “Shine a Light on Your Brand” Campaign
  • Keep the Budget in Mind
  • Deliver a Big Impact on the Tradeshow Floor

ECI had the perfect solution from our own inventory. We created a custom booth in early 2016, using it for our own tradeshow presence at Exhibitor LIVE 2016 and the WBENC Conference , with an industrial angle.

The use of rental exhibits is a great way to design an innovative space for clients and repurposing this booth was the perfect fit for Adwerx. Smaller organizations or those with small booths can benefit from our vast inventory of rental components.


“I heard the client’s needs and realized we had property sitting in our building that was designed perfectly for the Adwerx campaign,” said Account Executive Stephanie Matlock. “The ECI booth was a great fit for them, and it was something that could simply be repurposed to meet their needs.”


The booth, constructed of reclaimed lumber, incorporated Edison bulbs and custom graphics to deliver the Adwerx message to booth visitors.

"Exhibit Concepts was able to interpret our vision for a booth that was warm, inviting and representative of our company culture. We wanted to bring this authenticity to the trade show floor and bring a piece of Adwerx Durham on the road. We won fans and new business alike because our booth's glow pulled people in. Thanks to Stephanie who used her expertise to offer a solution that fit the budget and our big expectations." 

When clients have a big dream and small budget, there is always an innovative solution to their problem.



Come shed some light on your brand at Booth #285 😄 #NARAnnual

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ECI Names Ellen Campbell-Kaminski as VP of Marketing

Exhibit Concepts November 28, 2016

download (4).jpgExhibit Concepts, Inc. (ECI) has named Ellen Campbell-Kaminski the Vice President of Marketing. Campbell-Kaminski is working to drive marketing strategy and branding, demand generation, content marketing, analytics, marketing operations and corporate communications for the company.

“We’re thrilled to add Ellen to our executive team,” said President and CEO Kelli Glasser. “Her vast experience in marketing and business development is a huge asset to ECI as we look to drive growth and increase our presence in the branded environments industry.”

As part of the ECI executive team, Ellen develops and oversees the company’s marketing activities, corporate strategy and development of new and emerging products and services. The company has an outstanding reputation for creating branded environments for trade shows, events, and museums. Campbell-Kaminski will work to leverage that strong reputation to grow the company.

Ellen Campbell-Kaminski is an accomplished B2B Marketing Executive with demonstrated ability to grow revenue and deliver results through innovative go-to-market strategies, customer insights, analytics, data-driven marketing and continuous improvement initiatives. She holds a BA in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Georgetown University. 

Our Favorite Holiday Tradition

Exhibit Concepts November 22, 2016

At Exhibit Concepts, people are our most valuable asset. So much so, we take time each year to celebrate the comradery that makes us successful.

The company is divided into teams and they head to the lanes for our favorite annual event: frozen turkey bowling. Employees don gloves and with the help of cooking spray coating the visqueen lanes, turkeys are tossed, spun, and even hurled toward bowling pins. There are many victories and defeats along the way, but with one goal in mind: enjoying the experience.

After the Turkey Champions have been crowned, the company gathers for a meal and White Elephant exchange. We also recognize employees for their years of service to the company.

The event is not only in appreciation of our associates, but for a good cause. Throughout November, employees collected non-perishable food items. In total, ECI employees donated 400 pounds of food, which was delivered to the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry in Dayton, Ohio. 

Turkey Bowl 1.jpgTurkey Bowl 2.jpg


How to Get the Best Outcome from Your RFP

Exhibit Concepts September 12, 2016

Exhibit Concepts, Inc. VP of Sales, Jeff Korchinski, spoke with EventsinAmerica.com at this year's Exhibitor LIVE! show about the importance of defining success for your next trade show exhibit and how to improve outcomes from the RFP stage through the finished project.

Jeff Hannah to Lead Commercial Interiors & International Business

Exhibit Concepts July 27, 2016

download_6.jpgExhibit Concepts, Inc. appoints Jeff Hannah as Vice President of International Services & Commercial Interiors. According to CEO and President Kelli Glasser, Hannah's mandate is to position Exhibit Concepts as a leader in the marketplace for international trade shows and events. As a member of the ECI executive team, Hannah will create the infrastructure and operations needed to successfully deliver trade show and event projects anywhere in the world. Glasser stated, "an important component of our long-term growth strategy is to significantly expand service offerings to meet the international needs of our client base." Hannah will also be expanding ECI's commercial interiors business, with a focus on executive briefing centers, retail interiors, and luxury environments.

Jeff Hannah is an industry thought leader, speaker, international business strategist and an expert in cross-cultural engagement. He has led multicultural teams in the strategic development of complex projects in over 50 countries for many of the world’s top brands. Glasser stated, "when our executive team began to look for the right person to lead the growth and development of our international services and our commercial interiors businesses, Jeff Hannah was at the top of our list." He has been an international show organizer, and has founded companies in London, Abu Dhabi, and Atlanta.

With a long history, Exhibit Concepts has an outstanding reputation for creating branded environments for trade shows, events and museums. According to Jeff Korchinski, VP of Sales, "we want to build on our solid history and expand our capabilities into these new markets - while maintaining the customer service and quality that defines Exhibit Concepts. Jeff Hannah will help us do that."

Hannah frequently speaks and writes for various industry forums, such asEXHIBITORLIVE, EDPAEXHIBITOR Magazine, ABPM, Exhibit City News, Tradeshow and Exhibit Thought Leaders Journal, Global Exhibitor, Biz LABS Podcast, and others. Hannah is an award-winning designer, and holds a B.S. in Industrial Design from Georgia Institute of Technology.

Kelli Glasser Inducted as 2016 President of EDPA

Exhibit Concepts December 29, 2015

Kelli Glasser, CEO and President of Exhibit Concepts, Inc.At the recent EDPA ACCESS Conference and Showcase in Las Vegas, Kelli Glasser, owner and CEO of Exhibit Concepts, Inc. was inducted as the 2016 President of The Exhibit Designers + Producers Association (EDPA).  Kelli has been active in the EDPA since 2000 and served on its Board of Directors in addition to the research, finance, and certification committees.

Kelli is the second-generation owner of Exhibit Concepts Inc., which was founded by her father in 1978. In addition to running her company and interest in EDPA, she is also active in the National Federation of Independent Business, for which she was recently the chairperson of Dayton's Area Action Council.  Kelli has been in the industry over 20 years, having joined ECI not long after obtaining a classics degree from the University of Cincinnati.  

As President, Kelli will continue to support EDPA’s purpose, which is to champion the prosperity of member businesses engaged in the design, production, and service of exhibits, events and experiential environments through education, networking and advocacy. 

For more information about EPDA, please visit http://www.edpa.com/

The Latest and Greatest Exhibit Concepts, Inc. News