Optima at 25 Years
Have you ever put your company milestones in a timeline? We recently did this at Optima in preparation of our 25th year anniversary. Itʼs sure a blur as 25 years goes by. Just like it all happened yesterday. For us here at Optima we have enjoyed the satisfaction that comes from constant growth and change. One thing that is constant is Optimaʼs relationship with people just like you. One real good way to ground the years is to recognize and match milestones with landmark events in time.
Looking back in 1988 when Jim and Dave Hoffmann pioneered a new niche service-based product line for dealers of all things trade show, fuel at the pump was only 95 cents per gallon and the average cost of a Super Bowl ad was $645,000. That gallon of gas is now regularly and occasionally reaching four dollars! The world started replacing their vinyl records with compact discs, Super Bowl ads? I think last I heard it was over four million. Ouch. I will throw it in here for a quick plug…in 25 years Optima has never raised it’s pricing on graphics. All added processes and products remain the same price they where on the date they were launched. Only hardware items have had minor increases over the years in concert with vendor increases that were out of our control. We all recognize the overall cost of shipping has increased over the years. Based on our volume Optimaʼs shipping discounts are much deeper than they originally where and we continue to pass aggressive discounts on to you. Many people find out Optima is the best value once they add shipping to their final purchase price. Some things just do not change!
As a Graphic Artist the real shocker for me was that Adobe Photoshop was released in 1990… I still remember the first version barely, but I do remember that there was only one undo! Todayʼs Photoshop back in 1990 would have seemed like witchcraft. Surprisingly Optima didnʼt even get the Adobe digital prepress stuff for a couple years later. Two years before anyone even knew what Facebook was in 2002, Optima brought you Dye Sub Fabric graphics. In 2004 one of our most powerful product lines, Xpressions® was launched. Xpressions®, with itʼs pre-installed fabric graphics, unquestionably changed the game for exhibitors. Itʼs up and down so fast, one is off to do more important things. The Xpressions® product line is still wildly popular with exhibitors to this day. My personal opinion is that itʼs the best pop-up product on the market. When designed as an entire display itʼs also one of the best head turning displays too.
In 2005 Optima moved into itʼs new custom built 100k square foot facility. The added space allowed us to bring you new capabilities that require more shop floor space and we continue to add new equipment and capabilities like our new UV Direct Print process and Metal Fabrication Shop. In 1992 when I started at Optima there were approximately ten employees and about a dozen customers, including one time customer, now employee, Dave Brown.
Today, we have 237 employees, more customers like you, much more competition and we can carry our entire music library on our smart phone. A lot certainly has changed in 25 years. What remains the same is we still listen to music, The Super Bowl continues to be a big draw and today just like in 1988, Optima still has your back!
► ► Select the 25th Anniversary Banner to view the Optima Timeline
25 years Optima 9.16.13!
Thank you for all your business in 25 years!
About the Author
Gary Camarato is the Vice President of Marketing & Creative Development at Optima Graphics and has been in the Trade Show industry since 1992.