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The Latest and Greatest Exhibit Concepts, Inc. News

Sierra Smith

Why Your Exhibit House's Account Management Team and Processes Matter

Sierra Smith June 17, 2019

When you’re choosing an exhibit house partner, it’s easy to focus solely on the creativity and construction quality they will provide. What you may not be thinking about is how they will achieve that level of creativity and quality through processes and partnership.

Aligning early in the process and identifying key players is crucial to the success of a new trade show build. The exhibit house you choose should not operate independently from you; they should operate as an extension of your team.

When Exhibit Concepts took on the Air Conditioning Technologies division of LG’s project for the 2019 AHR Expo, our design, account management, and project management teams held onboarding meetings with the client to better understand their needs and wants. While the Account Manager is the primary point of contact, we identify a team member to oversee each piece of the puzzle. For LG, communication with their Project Manager, Misty Boyd, was crucial to their success as she acted as an extension of their team.

“Our project manager is as much a part of our team as anyone directly on LG’s payroll. Whether it is a text, a phone call, or an e-mail, I have instant response and I have absolute trust in terms of being able to respond quickly, effectively, and I don’t fear a problem because I know she will resolve it,” said Jacki Jaynes, Senior Manager, Channel Marketing at LG Air Conditioning Technologies USA.misty and lg cratesECI project managers follow standard project management best practices and manage all their tasks using industry-leading project management software. They handle any and all questions and communications regarding the project. They are the liaison between all departments and all vendors.

“The only way to have a productive working relationship with a client is open and timely communication. When I need information or approval for any piece of the project, keeping the ‘surprises’ to a minimum is absolutely the key,” said Boyd.

To streamline communication, project managers hold regular status meetings with the client once the project is approved. Agendas are set in advance and meeting notes are distributed immediately following so as to keep ECI and the client on the same page.

“For us, equally important was the day-to-day account relationship that we had. To have that continuity, to know that there is someone that understands us dating back to day one is invaluable. To know that I have a short-hand communication with that person makes things very efficient and reliable,” said Jaynes.aaron and mistyCreating a consistent experience with outcomes that exceed expectations is important for ECI. We created a process called the 4D Methodology, which yields solutions that exceed our client expectations, achieves better results, meets budget requirements, and reduces error and rework. Project management is a crucial piece of the process that assures projects stay on track, keeps our clients informed, and coordinates numerous interdependencies to produce the most compelling and memorable physical embodiment of a brand.

Airstream Alumapalooza: Taking Design Research a Step Further

Sierra Smith June 12, 2019

Meandering through aisles of shining aluminum, Senior Designers Matthew Brandeberry and Josh Koenig looked like two kids in a candy shop.

We were at Airstream Alumapalooza 2019: an event where Airstreamers across the country come together to meet friends old and new, learn more about their travel trailers and marvel at the unique interiors their fellow fanatics customized to be “Home, Sweet Home”.

We weren’t visiting just for enjoyment. There was an important purpose for attending: we were conducting research to design the new Airstream Heritage Center coming to Jackson Center, Ohio in 2020.

IMG_9807For the last 3 years, Exhibit Concepts has worked closely with the brand to come up with solutions as sleek and modern as the travel trailers. Airstreams are well-known for their high quality build that stands the test of time. As we walked through the campgrounds, we passed units aged well over 40 years old that still travel all over North America. In a sense, it was as if we were walking through a museum.

As Brandeberry led us in and out of the aisles of travel trailers, his role changed from observer and listener to storyteller. We passed by Wally and Stella Byam’s small, golden Airstream, affectionately known as “Stella’s Dream Trailer” and Brandeberry stopped to tell us more about its history. Impressively, with each living artifact we passed, Brandeberry and Koenig had information about them all, showing us that they’d done extensive research on the iconic brand.

While walking to interview campers, I asked Brandeberry: “Do you always go to these lengths to get to know a brand?”

“The best way to come up with a design is to get to know that brand’s community,” said Brandeberry. There is truth in his statement. How could you trust a business to tell your brand’s story if they didn’t do the research to understand who you are and what makes you unique?

Samantha Martin, Archivist and Historian for Airstream Inc., recounted the first time she met with the ECI design team. She sent them home with packets of information about the brand and a book; Wanderlust: Airstream at 75 by Russ Banham which is jam packed with vintage photos and the company’s history and timeline. The next time Martin met with the team, she remembers seeing Brandeberry open the book to reference a piece of information. The pages were covered in jottings on sticky notes.

IMG_9825“It was apparent that everything I mentioned about Airstream during that meeting was understood by the ECI team. From the get-go, we were on the same page and and it was clear that ECI was dedicated to gaining a deeper understanding of the brand. We established a level of trust that didn’t take long to earn; there was no need for me to catch ECI up because they had already done extensive research,” said Martin.

When brainstorming designs specifically around Airstream's caravan culture, Brandeberry and Koenig quickly realized that they needed to go a step further than client meetings and reading.

“There is no other way to understand that culture other than to just become a part of that community,” said Koenig.

“For any design, we would take the opportunity to become a part of the client’s  community while also seeing firsthand how the product is made,” said Brandeberry.

Koenig added: “You can’t come up with a stellar design if you don’t understand the stories behind it.”

In a day’s work, we immersed ourselves in all things Airstream: we toured the factory, conducted video interviews, took extensive notes, explored the inside of a few Airstreamers' travel trailers and listened to the fascinating stories about where they came from and where they’re going next.

IMG_9821We learned that the lure for Airstream has largely to do with the comradery and community formed around pink flamingos and travel trailers some call home. Like the friendships formed through rallies and caravans, Airstreams are durable, safe and never seem to age. No matter where they are on the road, people approach owners with curiosity and excitement because seeing an Airstream brings nostalgia.

Iconic brands like Airstream have no shortage in stories to tell – from their employees to their loyal following – it is important that their legacy is handled with accuracy, passion and care. At ECI, we go the extra mile to walk in your brand’s shoes. We are your partner and a member of your tribe.

Exhibit Concepts’ Leadership Attends Exhibitions Day 2019 in Washington, D.C.

Sierra Smith June 05, 2019

From June 4th-5th, Exhibit Concepts’ President and CEO, Kelli Glasser and Bill Glasser, husband and company co-owner, are advocating for the event industry on Capitol Hill.

Exhibitions Day is an event that brings lawmakers together with hundreds of leaders in the business of exhibition and face-to-face marketing to address issues crucial to the event industry. Exhibition leaders are working to influence change that will positively impact our economy and the industry’s lifeblood: our customers.

RELATED: Exhibitions Day 2017: Exhibitions Mean Business for Face-to-Face Marketing 

0(Right) President and CEO of Exhibit Concepts, Kelli Glasser and Bill Glasser, husband and co-owner with (Left) Randal Acker, President of EXHIBITOR Media Group

Over the course of this two day event, attendees will be tackling the following issues:

  • America’s Transportation Infrastructure: As the Exhibitions Day website states, transportation infrastructure is one of the United States’ top 10 most problematic factors for doing business. Due to under investment in transportation infrastructure, our interstates and highways are damaged and clogged. This affects exhibition companies’ ability to transport trade show property efficiently and influences Americans to avoid road travel -- causing a decrease in travel spend and loss of American jobs.
  • Secure Travel Partnership Act of 2019 (H.R. 1996): In 2019, the House introduced R. 1996 and amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to rename the Visa Waiver Program to Secure Travel Partnership. As it stands, this program does not waive Visa requirements but enhances security standards between the United States and its partner countries. Event industry leaders are advocating for a change in the program’s name to “more accurately depict its security enhancements and demonstrate strong support for secure and better travel for international travelers who have been highly vetted,” the website states. Secure Travel Partnership will better describe the purposes of the bill.
  • JOLT Act of 2019 (H.R. 2187): Across the United States, millions of jobs are impacted by international inbound travel. This policy amended the Immigration and Nationality Act in order to entice international travelers to come to the United States. By supporting the JOLT Act, numerous existing programs will be updated and strengthen, which in turn will increase the United States’ share of the global travel market.
  • Protecting Brand USA: The FY2018 budget proposal is calling for the elimination of funding for Brand USA. This bipartisan program promotes our country overseas as a business and tourist destination and is supported by inbound airline passenger fees and private industries, not by U.S. taxpayers. As the website states, the program’s efforts “are crucial to attracting international business travel, investment, and fair and free trade.”

Exhibit Concepts’ attendance at the event is not just about us as a business – it’s about advocating for our clients, our employees and our industry. Glasser puts it best: “Our lawmakers rely on us as citizens and constituents to let them know what’s important to us – when we tell them our stories and ask for their support on our issues, they do pay attention.”

Strong Discovery Process Delivers “Thrilling” Booth Design

Sierra Smith May 28, 2019

Trade shows can be loud, crowded, and somewhat chaotic. And when you’re vying for your potential customers’ attention, your booth design is likely what will initially pique their interest. But when thinking about your trade show presence, don’t stop with just how the booth will look. You need to consider the cost, the weight, how your visitors will find you and travel through your space, the time needed to successfully build your booth and the transport and I&D.

Aligning with your face-to-face marketing partner early in the design process will help you think about each piece of the puzzle. When Exhibit Concepts began working with LG, we started with a series of onboarding meetings to clarify roles, identify goals and desired outcomes of their presence. Beginning with this strong discovery process allowed us to understand exactly what LG required in order to attract attention at the AHR Expo (The World’s Largest HVACR Marketplace).
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A proactive approach was taken with LG for the design and approval of their new booth. As the design was developed, they were provided with interpretative studies, 3D digital renderings, and product elevation details. Exhibit hall pedestrian flow, how the booth would be oriented, and hanging sign elevation were also factored in to assure the design would be beautiful and functional, while still providing visitors with a seamless experience that enhanced LG’s message.

“When ECI brought their designs to us, it was like nothing we would have ever imagined. It was such a perfect interpretation of our goals,” said Jacki Jaynes, Senior Manager, Channel Marketing at LG Air Conditioning Technologies USA.

Because of the work and research completed during the discovery process, the design team was able to anticipate LG’s wants and needs. This led to a decrease in costs, weight, and labor time. Even when revisions were requested, expectations were above and beyond what LG anticipated.

“As in any design process, there were revisions that were required and again, ECI took our input and were very quickly able to interpret and bring it back to us in ways we never would have thought of,” said Jaynes.LG-7752
Discovery is the first step in the “ECI 4D Methodology” – a framework we follow to ensure on-brand and on-budget projects that our clients love. The methodology incorporates dedicated project management resources and automation tools to stay on track, keep our clients informed, and coordinate numerous inter-dependencies in order to produce the most compelling and memorable, physical embodiment of a brand.

How you and your marketing partner align on your goals, wants and needs will influence your project’s outcome. The discovery process is vital when it comes to creating a design that is not only eye-catching and interactive, but functional and cost effective.

Are you ready to take the plunge and find a marketing partner to take on your trade show build? We’re here to help.

How a Futuristic Booth Let Products Steal the Show

Sierra Smith May 07, 2019

Take yourself back to childhood: you’re sitting on the couch eating a bowl of cereal and watching Saturday morning cartoons. The Jetsons are on, and you’re in awe of the futuristic setting where cars can fly, food is concocted out of thin air by machines, and robots are members of the family. That’s what Senior Designer Chris Rank was thinking about when he designed a futuristic booth for our client RCS Sound Software for their space at NAB 2019.

For the last six years, Exhibit Concepts has worked with RCS on their booth design and overall presence at NAB. When they came to us with a new idea to position their product, Zetta Cloud, we were ready to take on the challenge. The goal was to position the new cloud-based solution with a futuristic and minimalistic look.

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The original booth design for RCS was based on the concept of an infinite loop. That booth won Best in Show at NAB 2018. Working closely with the client, Rank transformed the original design into a “metaphorical cloud”.

“When I was running the design by people on the team, they told me it looked like something they’d see on The Jetson’s. When you get feedback like that, you know you’re on the right track because you’re showing a visual metaphor that’s being ground into reality for people. You’re making the design memorable and helping the business stand out,” said Rank.

In addition to the structure itself, Rank played with futuristic lighting that projected on fabric to create a cloud-in-motion effect. Inside of the booth, work stations and a demonstration bar for small group presentations were set-up to draw visitors. Any spectators would also enjoy a lounge theater set-up and larger demonstrations in front of the booth on a large screen.

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And of course, the design assured that mixers and speaker equipment were integrated to provide visitors with an impactful AV experience to optimally showcase RCS’s product line.

The outcome? By accommodating RCS’s needs and sticking to the minimalistic design, this booth allowed RCS’s Zetta Cloud Solution to shine, which earned them the “Future Best of Show” award at NAB

When our clients have a dream or an idea, Exhibit Concepts looks to the sky to create something that will create a memorable experience for their prospects and allow for their product to steal the show.

Community Treasures: Why Museums are Important

Sierra Smith April 30, 2019

We’ve all visited a museum at some point in our lives, whether it was during a school field trip or with family on vacation. Approximately 850 million people visit American museums each year, but have you ever stopped to wonder how many people that museum impacted or why it came to be?

In 1683, the first museum (the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford) opened its doors and the rest is history. For centuries, museums have played an integral role in preserving the history of our society. Exhibits tell us stories about how our nation, our communities and our cultures came to be and without them, those stories could be forgotten.

Museums serve our communities in a multitude of ways, as we have seen firsthand. In Dayton alone, the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery holds a collection of over 1.8M objects important to not only our community, but to the world.

Museums Inspire and Educate

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More than likely, you can find a museum in your area covering any core subject. From the American Museum of Science and Energy to the National Museum of the Pacific War – stepping outside of the classroom to further expand on students’ knowledge is crucial to developing our younger generations. It is possible that a student will leave a museum inspired to become a scientist, a leader, a musician, or a writer.

Museums possess what the classroom may not: the materials and information that enrich and create an experience that is memorable. In the Dayton area alone, museums tell the story of the Wright Brothers, who pioneered American aviation in Dayton, Ohio. The Mound Cold War Discovery Center brings to life the secrets of the Mound Laboratory, a division of the top-secret Manhattan Project during the Cold War in Miamisburg, Ohio.

Yes -- the information found in museums can also be found within a textbook in a school’s library, a classroom or on the web through search engines such as Google. But what those materials don’t always effectively show are the impact that those stories had on the places our students live.

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“The collections within a museum are a significant resource to the community. They allow people to experience things from all over the world without ever leaving town,” said Jill Krieg-Accrocco, Curator of Anthropology and Exhibitions with the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery.

To see it with your own eyes will create a lifetime memory that studying and memorizing information will not. The experiences someone may have in a museum can shape who they are and who they will be.

“My favorite thing about working in a museum, is when I have the chance to show children visiting from a school, a fossil or an object on display, and explain to them what it is and why it is important. When they look up at me and smile, I can see the impact that we are making,” said Krieg-Accrocco.

Academic Research

Behind the scenes, museums are conducting important research on the objects and artifacts in their collections. Not only do personnel at the museum conduct research, but museums may also partner with outside entities such as universities so that researchers, graduate students, and professors have the opportunity to utilize their collection.

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The constant research occurring in museums can tell us a lot about the organisms and the time periods before we lived and walked on our city streets. The research may also tell us about how the world around us works, our health, or how the things around us came to be.

The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery recently uncovered massive research potential from objects in their ice age collection, while partnering with the Virginia Museum of National History. In Darke County, Ohio, bones from ice age creatures such as the mastodon were excavated in the 60s and preserved by the museum. One of those bones, the femur of a mastodon, was sent for radio carbon dating. It was discovered that the animal lived and died 12,000 years ago right on our soil!

“There’s always rediscovery in our collections, which are nearing 2M. We’re always discovering something new – there are countless research projects that we’ve not yet tapped,” said Krieg-Accrocco.

The research done in museums tells the stories of all those that lived before us. Without those stories, we wouldn’t be able to understand our world as we know it.

Social Impact in the Community

It is crucial that our society preserves the history and cultures that shaped who and where we are today. As George Santanya, writer and philosopher said, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” Museums tell powerful stories of tragedy and overcoming adversity; they drive people to evoke change at home or across borders.

Helping the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum bring history to life is a testament to the impact museums have in our community. The mission of the museum is to exhibit the history of and educate the public about the American Civil Rights movement in the state of Mississippi between 1945 and 1970. The interactive galleries follow the journey of black Mississippians in their fight for equality – a fight that was shared across the nation and a fight that we must continue to learn from in the present day.

“It was a great honor to work with the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum,” said Steven Lowry, Account Executive for Exhibit Concepts. “This story needed to be told because of the impact it has on the community, the state, and the nation. This is an institution that will make a difference for generations to come and I’m proud to have played a role so that this history and impact isn’t lost.”

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As Steven notes, a museum may be specifically impactful to the community it affects, but those stories and lessons can be translated across the world so that our societies can evolve for the better.

The progression and preservation of society depends on our museums. At the end of a tour, one does not just leave in awe of the beautiful displays and artifacts they observe; nor do they forget the lessons they learned. When you visit a museum, you’re leaving with a lifetime of memories, knowledge and a better understanding for the society and people that paved the way for life as we know it today.

If your weekend is free and you’re hungry for knowledge, consider visiting your local museum. They’re worth your support.

How to Incorporate the Five Senses into your Booth Experience

Sierra Smith April 23, 2019

 

The five senses play a pivotal role in the learning process. Each of the five senses: smell, taste, sight, touch, and hearing are the primary means humans use to gain new knowledge. Amazingly, we rarely experience anything with just one of our senses; they are all working together to make a complete experience. So, incorporating the senses into an experience helps to make learning not just more effective, but more meaningful too.

Telling your story to both clients and prospects through a variety of mediums and delivery methods will ensure that your message is received at a trade show, and that your business has left a lasting impression. Here is how our clients successfully appealed to the five senses and increased engagement at their booth.

smell-iconSmell: Luring attendees to your booth with an enticing smell is an excellent way to pique interest in your brand. Popping popcorn or baking cookies will fill your booth area with an aroma attendees won’t be able to resist. To demonstrate their “cordless kitchen”, WPC (Wireless Power Consortium), manufacturers of smart kitchen technology, fried an egg. And to fill the area with a mouthwatering aroma to attract visitors, they dropped bacon bits into the pan. After all, who can resist the smell of bacon?

taste-iconTaste: Offering a free sample of something delicious is an effective method to attract a crowd. From granola bars to ice cream and smoothies, our client Abbott offers samplings of their products to attendees. Abbott’s goal is to increase brand exposure and give HCPs (Healthcare Providers) new options for nourishing their pediatric patients with severe allergies. By showing their product in action, Abbott is able to stay top-of-mind when it comes time for a prospect to make a recommendation to their patients. Even if your business doesn’t sell food, offering a warm chocolate chip cookie or any other snack is a great way to help attendees remember you when it comes time to convert.

see-iconSight: Does your business have something visual to show spectators? The best way to drive engagement is to show them exactly what you do best. Omron, a world technology leader, showcases the harmony between humans and machines at their booth. With the goal of maximizing media exposure, Omron showcased the star of the show, Forpheus, the tennis-table tutor that would adjust its skill level to its human opponent and offered encouragement and tips to make them a better player. The crowds around the Omron booth were five and six people deep with everyone trying to catch a glimpse of Forpheous in action. By allowing attendees to interact with their products, Omron was able to exceed all of their show goals. Plus, their booth won a Best in Show award from EXHIBITOR Magazine!

touch-iconTouch: People can't resist touching unique textures -- especially if they're soft, like a blanket. Koroseal, a wall covering company displays their products in large sheets so that attendees are able to see the patterns and feel the variety of textures they offer. For the last decade, Koroseal has continuously implemented this at their booth with success. Even if your business is not in the business of textiles, incorporating something with a soft or unique feel into the seating or displays at your booth is a great way to attract attendees.

hear-iconHearing: Sound travels. Playing catchy music or projecting the sound from an interactive game is sure to attract a crowd. At EXHIBITORLIVE 2019, we drew visitors to our booth with an interactive, storytelling robot named Orville. When visitors opened the door on his torso, Orville would introduce a client’s project with visuals and sound bites. Another great example comes from Young Innovations, who had a live band playing at their booth during a hospitality and happy hour they were hosting. If you want to engage your prospects, make a sound they can’t resist.

However you choose to incorporate the senses, you’re sure to leave a lasting impression. When you increase interaction at your booth, your visitors are much more likely to remember the experience they had after they’ve left the trade show floor. If your business is ready to take your trade show booth experience to the next level, we’re ready to help!

Omron ranks on EXHIBITOR Magazine's Best of CES list

Sierra Smith April 18, 2019

It can be challenging to stand out and make an impression at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) where there are over 4,400 exhibits covering 2.9M square feet of exhibit space. Ranking for two consecutive years (listed at number 12 in 2018) on EXHIBITOR Magazine's Best of CES list, Omron did just that.

A world leader in technology, Omron’s founding principle is to improve human lives and contribute to a better society through automation, AI and robotics. Ranked at 18 on the list, Omron’s 3,000 square-foot booth showcased robots and other machinery performing a variety of tasks, as well as a series of displays that show how humans and machines will one day work together. Most notably, the company’s must-see machine wonder Forpheus, the table tennis-tutor, attracted visitors from all over the conference.

By allowing visitors to interact with their machines and robots, Omron was able to accomplish exactly what they set out to do: create harmony between humans and machines.

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Exhibit Concepts is proud and honored to be named on this list of innovative and impressive exhibits from CES. Our team is full of creative and passionate people dedicated to providing unique solutions and excellent customer experiences, which is what makes incredible booths like Omron’s possible.

For more about how we bring our customers’ vision to life, visit our portfolio page. To see more on Omron’s booth or all the businesses featured in the Best of CES list, visit their website.

Exhibit Concepts Receives “Small Business of the Year” Award from DOE

Sierra Smith April 17, 2019

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Located in the “Secret City” of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the American Museum of Science and Energy (AMSE) tells the story of the Manhattan Project and the continued innovations of the Oak Ridge National Library.

Exhibit Concepts played a critical role in bringing those stories to life in 2018.

AMSE had an ambitious goal: to relocate the museum and revamp the space in just one year. The museum engaged Hilferty & Associates, Exhibit Concepts, Boston Media Productions and Communication Electronic Design to take on the project.

A museum project of this size – 6,200 square feet – would normally take approximately three years to complete. But through partnership and hard work it was finished in only 8 months. Exhibit Concepts was responsible for exhibit fabrication and installation, which includes a variety of interactives, graphic panels, and AV components.

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Hard work, passion, and dedication led to Exhibit Concepts receiving the Department of Energy’s (DOE) 2018 Small Business of the Year Award on April 16, 2019. Each year, the DOE recognizes a small business that develops innovative and technical solutions that ultimately contribute toward the fulfillment of national security and energy missions.

“ECI exceeded expectations for quality of service by doing whatever it took to provide expected results, adherence to a constrained budget, attention to detail, and the passionate pursuit of perfection to help DOE get the wow factor for museum visitors. ECI quality was extraordinary through the entire project,” said Laura Gideon, contracting officer with the Department of Energy.

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Through our work with AMSE, Exhibit Concepts has helped contribute to the education of the Oak Ridge community on their historic past, present, and future as they continue ground-breaking work in the energy field.

"The attention to detail, diligence, passion, unique solutions, and dedication to our client’s success from the people that worked on this project is the backbone of what we do," Kelli Glasser, CEO of Exhibit Concepts said, “we’re extremely honored and proud to win this award and contribute to a project so meaningful and important to not only a community, but to our nation.”

The Latest and Greatest Exhibit Concepts, Inc. News