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The Latest and Greatest Exhibit Concepts, Inc. News

Exhibit Concepts

How a Donation Led to the Ultimate Moonwalk

Exhibit Concepts May 04, 2017

As a kid, did you ever want to walk on the moon? Maybe you still dream of going into space one day. Thanks to a donation, a lucky group of second graders at St. Albert the Great School in Kettering, Ohio step foot on the moon every time they walk into their classroom.

In 2014 Exhibit Concepts produced an outdoor activation that was used for a PGA event at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, KY. The project was for Omega Watches through Engine Shop, one of our advertising agency partners. Omega’s Speedmaster Watches had been used on NASA’s mission to the moon. This event featured the timepieces in a lunar setting complete with an astronaut, planets and a floor designed to look like the surface of the moon. Recently, the owner decided they had no further plans for it and ECI came up with a novel idea.

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ECI is filled with creative engineers, one of whom obviously dreamed of being an astronaut as a child, and thought we could repurpose the property (or the flooring) for a younger audience. We reached out to officials at the school to share the idea. Several volunteers installed the flooring in one of the classrooms during the school’s winter break, transforming it into a fun and unique experience for students.

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“As a teacher, I’m always looking for new ways to help my students learn,” said Paige Spangler, second grade teacher at St. Albert the Great School. “Incorporating this floor into my classroom is just a small way to not only make science fun, but also bring smiles to my students’ faces with a unique new addition to their room.”

Now that’s what you call an out-of-this-world experience. Want to see more of our unique event work? Check out our portfolio!

Why Creativity Matters: The HIWIN Story

Exhibit Concepts May 02, 2017

We believe creativity isn’t just delivering fresh, innovative ideas to clients. It goes much deeper than that, into the realm of understanding (and anticipating) their needs, interpreting the vision, and offering solutions along the way.

This is the kind of knowledge and insight that can only come from experience. The most creative thinking often comes from places other than the creative department. For example, creative thinking and problem solving resides in the purchasing department to find new cost effective material sources or with the crate fabricator to construct a solution involving the fewest number of crates but also protecting the contents.

For HIWIN Technologies, they had very specific goals for their face-to-face marketing program: they desired a fresh look for an upcoming trade show, where they planned to introduce a new product to the market. It was important to not only attract visitors to their trade show space at the show, but also outshine the competition in the process.

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Creativity drove the design of their trade show space, but it’s the guidance and contribution of a trade show partner that has made all the difference.

But you shouldn’t take our word for it. We believe our customer, Shawn from HIWIN, says it best in the video below.

Looking to increase the creativity of your face-to-face marketing plan? Download our free Creative Brief Template or read more about how inspiring spaces lead to creative places.

Bringing History to Life: The Computer History Museum

Exhibit Concepts April 19, 2017

 

 

To truly appreciate the present (and future) one must first appreciate history. The Computer History Museum, located in Mountain View, California, with stunning views of the Santa Cruz Mountains, tells the compelling story of how computers and software have evolved. Surrounded by the headquarters of some of the largest technology companies in the world, including Google and Symantec, it’s the ideal setting to pay homage to computing’s significant impact on our society.

The 31,000 square-foot museum is a multimedia experience that immerses visitors in the sights, sounds, and stories of the computer revolution.

The inspiration for the Computer History Museum began with a compelling need: to create an immersive experience for museum visitors that covers the history of computing and also addresses the importance of software. Exhibit Concepts was selected to fabricate and install exhibit components for the Computer History Museum with design by Van Sickle & Rolleri.

The project itself covered two phases and contains two distinct areas:

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Revolution: The First 2,000 Years of Computing tells the history of how computers came to be in our daily lives. The exhibition contains over 1,000 objects in an engaging 25,000 square-foot space. Meant to be interactive, there are many multimedia experiences for visitors including audio and visual presentations, interactive games, and hands-on displays. This space chronicles the history of computing on a global scale, from the abacus all the way to the modern-day smart phone. It also contains one-of-a-kind objects and devices, explained by the innovators who started the computer revolution.

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Make Software: Change the World explores the history, technology, and cultural impact of seven applications, including Photoshop, MP3, MRI, Car Crash Simulation, Wikipedia, Texting, and World of Warcraft. This 6,000 square-foot interactive area of the museum allows visitors to interact with software, testing their texting speed, learning basic programming concepts, and trying hands-on coding.

Whether it’s creating a museum installation or a compelling visitor experience, it’s all about making connections with your audience. Museums are the key to captivate attention, evoke emotion, and inspire action. For a closer look at the importance of education and bringing stories to life, read about our work in The Cold War Gallery in the National Navy SEAL Museum.

Why Exhibit House Partnership Matters: The Scot Forge Story

Exhibit Concepts April 07, 2017

Two years ago, Scot Forge was on an important mission: they needed to breathe new life into their trade show marketing program. What shows should they attend? How could they get a good return on their investment?


So, they set out on a nationwide search for a company that offered an inclusive face-to-face marketing program, spanning from creative concepts all the way to production and installation. The Scot Forge team visited ExhibitorLIVE in 2015 to meet with companies in order to narrow their search for an exhibit house, seeking a partner that aligned with their company values. They needed a partner that could help them build a strong trade show program that would stand out from the crowd.

One such company was Exhibit Concepts. After that meeting, a partnership was formed: a relationship that makes Scot Forge shine on the show floor to bring booth traffic, strong leads, and that solid return on investment they sought.

A good partnership is just one aspect of a strong professional relationship. Success means something different to each of us.

Exhibit Concepts, Inc. is the Official Sponsor of EXHIBITORFastTrak Chicago, August 22-25

Exhibit Concepts April 06, 2017

Exhibitor Media Group, the leader in trade show and corporate event marketing education, has named Exhibit Concepts, Inc. as the Official Sponsor of EXHIBITORFastTrak Chicago, to be held August 22-25, in Chicago, Illinois at theWit. 

EXHIBITORFastTrak Chicago is one of four accelerated learning conferences where trade show and event marketing professionals can select sessions and workshops from four days of education. These university-affiliated courses make attendees eligible to earn their Certified Trade Show Marketer (CTSM) professional certification.

"Ongoing education is a crucial part of our industry, and EXHIBITORFastTrak is an invaluable resource for event marketers. We believe in the continued acceleration of the profession so much so that Jeff Hannah, VP of International Services & Commercial Interiors, will be presenting 4 sessions related to exhibiting internationally,” said Jeff Korchinski, Vice President of Sales & Creative at Exhibit Concepts. “We believe there is no better way to communicate than face-to-face and we look forward to engaging face-to-face with the marketers attending FastTrak in August. For nearly 40 years, Exhibit Concepts has helped organizations tell their story through compelling events and award-winning exhibits. Joining forces with FastTrak makes sense for our business to connect with and enhance the experience of attendees to this event.” 

"EXHIBITORFastTrak provides an environment and program for enhancing skills, building a solid foundation of trade show and event marketing knowledge, and building a professional network," adds Dee Silfies, Chief Learning Strategist for Exhibitor Media Group. "We're fortunate to have an extraordinary faculty of the most knowledgeable professionals in trade shows and corporate events— adding the support of Exhibit Concepts as a sponsoring partner, delivers additional acknowledgement of the value of our program." EXHIBITORFastTrak offers unparalleled access to instructors, and ample time to establish lasting connections with peers. Its university-affiliated sessions can lead to Certified Trade Show Marketer (CTSM) professional certification, awarded by Exhibitor in affiliation with Northern Illinois University Outreach, reflecting adherence to the highest educational standards of trade show and event marketing. 

A complete schedule of EXHIBITORFastTrak sessions, locations and online registration, is available at ExhibitorFastTrak.com. 

3 Reasons Why Your Face-to-Face Marketing Plan Needs a Creative Brief

Exhibit Concepts March 31, 2017

So, you want to step up your company’s face-to-face marketing presence. You need a plan: which trade shows should you attend? What’s the ideal size for your booth space? Should you rent or invest in a custom build? Where can you find a reliable partner to design, fabricate, ship and install said booth?

These are all important questions you and your company should be asking, but I’d challenge you to ask one more: What role does creativity play in your plan?

We believe that creativity is a wide reaching and all-encompassing idea. More so, it’s highly successful when we are all on the same page about what it means, how it is interpreted, and the ultimate role it plays in a successful deliverable. This is best achieved through a clear and concise creative brief.

In the trade show and exhibit industry, creative briefs are not the norm like they are in other disciplines like advertising and direct marketing. A creative brief is simply a communication tool that outlines the requirements, expectations, goals, and resources for a project. This living document is incredibly useful for any size project and it gets both parties on the same page to ensure a problem is solved with a satisfactory result.

Here are three compelling reasons your face-to-face marketing plan needs a creative brief:

Reason 1: Complete Understanding of the Project Scope

In life, some of our most significant issues arise from poor communication; business is no different. The creative brief works to eliminate that possibility by laying all information out in a simple, easy to understand format. Think of it as a comprehensive creative overview, highlighting the project name, objectives, scope, timeline and of course, budget. This ensures both parties have all the available information and resources to deliver a mutually satisfactory end product.

Reason 2: Identifying any Problems or Challenges

There is a solution for every problem and a creative brief serves as a documentation of the identified issue agreed upon by both parties, submitted and approved by the client before a project kick off. It could be as simple as, “The client needs a better way to identify quality leads in their booth during a show.” Identifying the problem means asking meaningful questions in order to discover the root of the issue so that we can work toward a meaningful end design.

Reason 3: Offering a “True North” for the Entire Team

Written by the client, a creative brief is a veritable treasure map for a creative team, but it does so much more than that. It’s a useful tool that your entire team can refer back to throughout the course of a project. It’s easy to get lost as a project progresses and as more opinions are added to the mix, particularly on a longer or more complex project. This is where the creative brief really works its magic, serving as a “true north.” The brief is useful for the entire team and keeps everyone on track, well beyond members of the creative team.

Ready to get started? We’ve created a simple downloadable Creative Brief Template that you can view and download HERE.

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Bright Lights, Big City: 5 Impressions from My First ExhibitorLIVE

Exhibit Concepts March 30, 2017

by Ellen Campbell-Kaminski, VP of Marketing

What do a mascot, mad scientists, 169 classes , virtual reality, four magicians, video testimonials, skate boards, exams, balloons, Vegas, and aching feet have in common?  Well, if you throw in some of the most innovative and creative trade show booths imaginable, you’ve got ExhibitorLIVE:  the Annual Professional Development Conference for Trade Show and Corporate Event Marketers.

After months of planning our presence: objectives, theme, trade show booth design, visitor engagement, client video testimonials, pre-show marketing, and brand ambassador training, it was finally time. My reservations were booked and my luggage was packed and our marketing materials were saved onto thumb-drives and securely packed in my carry-on luggage.

5 Impressions from My First ExhibitorLIVE

Impression 1:  Education is Serious Business

On the first morning of conference, I attended a beMatrix breakfast meeting where Exhibit Concepts was named Finalist in three categories: The One That Got Away; Best Use of the 360 Solution; and Most Innovative Use. Walking down the hall I passed an enormous wall filled with the class schedule.  I was struck by the sheer number of offerings.  A few that caught my eye, in addition to the four sessions on exhibiting internationally that my colleague Jeff Hannah delivered, included: Build a Better RFP and 11 New Rules of Trade Show Marketing.  Our industry is changing rapidly and at the same time, there is a proliferation of ways to reach our target audience which means we, as marketers, need to develop sophisticated, integrated campaigns in order to reach our intended audiences, wherever they may be.

Impression 2:  The Value of Face-to-Face Marketing

I was recently asked why I joined a company that focuses on trade show exhibits, permanent installations, museums, events and mobile tour marketing.  I think of our industry as “Face-to-face marketing, the original Social Media™.”

I believe that human beings are inherently social and at the end of the day, people buy from people.  We want to be able to examine what we are potentially buying and we want to know who we are doing business with;.  hence, I think face-to-face marketing will be required for years to come. And here I was, attending a conference of thousands of people who understand and are invested in advancing the profession because they too understand the value and necessity of trade show and corporate events

Impression 3:  Materials, Lighting and Special Effects

Oh My Goodness! The beauty and variety of materials used in the exhibits on the show floor was astounding.  Everywhere I looked, there was something new to see and wonder, “How did they do that?” Woods and metals.  Fabrics and laminates.  Every surface told a story- one of innovation and really thinking outside the box.  The hall was bright and every booth was brightly lit, inviting attendees in at every turn.  Special effects included a dancing wall of water and even holograms with eyes that followed you as you walked down the aisle.  

Impression 4:  Reaching New Heights

When I first entered the hall, I remember thinking how tall the exhibits were and was amazed by how many had adouble deck for private meetings or engagement.  This was an impressive use of space for booths that had a set size and exhibitors who (literally) chose to take their booth to new heights. These exhibits felt unique and really drew my eye to the space, making me want to take a closer look.

Impression 5:  Attention to Detail

Exhibitors didn’t rely on gimmicks to draw attendees into their spaces. Rather, they focused on their story and focused on the details so that attendees were just in awe. In our own booth, I saw numerous attendees staring up at our “word tower” trying to figure out where we were projecting the words from.  The secret is that the words on the tower were lit from within. It was clear that other exhibit houses took the same care in planning and building their booths as we did.  This is our store front, so it has to be our best foot forward.  And this is evidence of the same care we bring to our client’s projects.

And so, my first ExhibitorLIVE is in the books.  We’re following up with all the great people we had a chance to meet in the booth, at the Welcome Reception, in the classes and just walking through the convention center. And I am already looking forward to next year.

P.S. For Exhibit Concepts, the fun isn’t over yet—not by a long shot. We are thrilled to be the sponsor of EXHIBITORFastTrak in Chicago, August 22-25. Ongoing education is a crucial part of our industry, and EXHIBITORFastTrak is an invaluable resource for event marketers; we are thrilled to be part of the event.

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Millennials vs Everyone Else: Can't We All Just Get Along?

Exhibit Concepts March 23, 2017

By Ellen Campbell-Kaminski, VP of Marketing

I recently attended a marketing conference and there were many great session topics, but one in particular caught my eye. The session write-up described a dialog between a Millennial and a Boomer, suggesting that their differences made it challenging for these two generations to connect with one another. As a Baby Boomer myself, and parent to two Millennials (and one Gen Z), I often think there isn’t a generational gap between me and my children, but rather a cosmic divide of two completely different species. One species is practical, planful, respectful, caring, and picks up after themselves and the other is…not. And if it isn’t clear which is which, I am the first species and my children are the second. However, I hazard a guess that my mother would have expressed the exact same complaint.

As a marketer, I’ve been taught to segment, target, and focus in order to build buyer personas and journey maps. And I believe in the benefit of focusing my efforts on specific segments to tailor my approach so as to ensure relevance to their needs. But as I sat in the session with the Millennial and the Boomer, I was struck by how surreal the situation felt. Here was an audience, largely comprised of Boomers and some Gen Xers, observing the Millennial as if we were on safari, observing an exotic animal in its natural habitat.

Boomer to Millennial: “What is it that you want from a brand?” Millennial: “I want an authentic experience.” As I sat in the audience, I couldn’t help but think, “Who wouldn’t want an authentic experience? Not me, I’m a Boomer. I want brands that lie to me. I want to be oversold.”  There is also a wealth of research focused on how Millennials think about work, such as this 2016 Gallup study which found that 87% of Millennials say “professional development or career growth opportunities are very important to them in a job.” I may not be a millennial, but I want that as well. And I also want to make an impact, which tops the list of what millennials care about according to the Second Annual Korn Ferry Futurestep Millennial Survey.

Of course, there are legitimate differences. Millennials “have never known a world without computers” as MarketingTeacher.com points out. I have to learn new technologies. I look for the “how to” manual. I want the step-by-step instruction guide. I don’t want to break anything and I also don’t want to look foolish. Millennials just know how to use a new device or app. They are fearless, and were seemingly born knowing. And they are much more comfortable sharing details of their lives that I was raised to believe were just too personal to share, or frankly too boring for anyone else to care about. But these are the main differences I see and not the 598,000 search results that appear when you Google “millennial differences.”

So, what does any of this have to do with face-to-face marketing and the trade show business? Well, it is a fact that our attendee demographics have and will continue to change. And our workforce is changing too. It is a good idea to be mindful that not everyone thinks like I do, likes the same music, or responds to the same popular cultural references. But I don’t think that means we need to obsess about generational differences as if we were conducting a scientific experiment or observing an alien species. Be cognizant of the most significant differences and their implications for event marketing by finding new ways to deliver your message to a changing audience. And embrace where there are similarities.

At the end of the day, I want to be “wowed” in an authentic way, just like my twenty-something colleagues. Even if they’ve never seen an episode of M*A*S*H.

 

The Significance of a Long-Term Partnership

Exhibit Concepts March 17, 2017

When you hear the word Partnership, what comes to mind? Perhaps it’s a reliable friend or coworker, one you can count on through the ups and downs of life. For LexisNexis, Partnership goes much deeper than simply being helpful or delivering on a promise.

Speaking of which, our partnership with LexisNexis has spanned over thirty years. They are one of our longest term clients, which make this particular relationship all the more meaningful.  

We are proud to partner with LexisNexis for their robust trade show program, helping them to bring their company’s vision to life on the show floor – and beyond. Partnership is about a personal touch and a lasting relationship that lets you know you aren’t just a number. It’s also a mutually beneficial relationship that offers support and guidance along the path to a destination.

Partnership is an all-encompassing idea, which means offering practical suggestions, listening to what clients have to say, and meeting a target budget. Our team brings that (and more) to the table. But you shouldn’t take our word for it; we believe our clients say it best.
 

4 Reasons Your Trade Show Program Needs a Timeline

Exhibit Concepts March 07, 2017

By Bart Sakosky, VP of Production

When Mick Jagger proclaimed that time was on his side, I can’t help but wonder if he was actually talking about timelines. They are a great way to use time to your advantage. At Exhibit Concepts, we believe that creating an inclusive, realistic timeline is critical to a successful project, particularly when it comes to optimizing productivity. Better yet, it makes putting time on your side a real possibility.  

When considering the art of productivity, the Japanese serve as a compelling example of successfully changing an industry with a simple philosophy about waste: Muda. Translated, it means “futility; uselessness; wastefulness” also known as lean manufacturing.  This approach to eliminating waste has completely transformed the heart of the automotive industry. It has guided many automakers to properly allocate resources in order to find the most effective way to increase profitability. 

The elimination of waste is also very important in the trade show industry, and one of the aspects we have focused on is using a timeline to guide us to a path of prosperous productivity. With over 80,000 square feet devoted to manufacturing and prep at our headquarters in Dayton, Ohio and another 10,000 square feet in our Chicago office, efficiency is key. Creating a detailed timeline and sticking to it from concept through all phases of production and shipment is how we get there.

Here are a few ways timelines can benefit your trade show program:

1.    Reap the Rewards of Anticipation
While we cannot predict everything, there are many trade shows that our clients attend consistently, year after year. When we know a show is coming, our team can properly allocate resources to deliver the best possible experience for clients. 

Better yet, incorporating the trade shows we know will occur gives us flexibility to handle the other shows that appear in the schedule along the way. 

2.    Time to Take Responsibility
Timelines aren’t just about scheduling; assigning responsible parties to each task along the way is a crucial component. The success of any company lies with good communication, and making individuals responsible for the outcome of important tasks is essential. Likewise, client responsibility should be noted in the document. Ownership and accountability ensures all parties stay on track and sets expectations with great clarity.  

3.    Decrease Stress & Reduce Errors
We are human, and human beings make mistakes. It’s just par for the course in any industry.  However, when timelines are compressed, stress increases and stress can sometimes lead to errors. Creating and sticking to a comfortable timeline ensures we catch any mistakes along the way and have the time to fix them before they become a serious problem. 

As an added bonus, this can bring peace of mind, project readiness, accurate and dependable delivery, and ultimately our client’s overall fulfillment of their project. 

4.    Inspiring Perpetual Learning
The best thing any of us can be is a student of life. This means allowing ourselves to learn from our mistakes while also finding new ways to produce a better outcome. We are always learning and we are always making changes to streamline processes, increase profitability, and ultimately deliver a seamless experience for our clients. 

With dozens of tasks attached to each show’s timeline, trade show managers rely on our ability to maintain cohesion between each stage of the process. Exhibit Concepts’ transparency with each task helps our clients identify, participate, and take ownership in the timeline. The result is a successful show for all involved.  And like The Rolling Stones also said, “You can’t always get what you want.” But if we embrace timelines and stick to them, we can get a good outcome.

The Latest and Greatest Exhibit Concepts, Inc. News