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Musings on Exhibitor

Blogger PhotoBeing asked to be a guest blogger on Optima’s blog is very similar to being asked to be a guest host for Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show. And a post ExhibitorShow re-cap is always an easy topic!

As a card carrying member of the “Never Missed an ExhibitorShow” fraternity, I can say that 2013 was officially one for the ages. Attendance was great – both end-users and industry people. The number of exhibitors was up. But more importantly, everyone was pleased with the entire experience. The industry seems to be at an all-time high.

There were several cool things I saw at the show. I thought the Classic Exhibits booth was very well done (I can say that as a Classic employee, though I had nothing to do with the design at all). Optima made a huge splash with their 20×30 and its interesting approach to the new technology world. Lighting ideas were everywhere. I think the two “coolest” things yet were the video wall from MG Design and the Crayon wall created by Derse. Each company took a different approach; however, they both hit home runs and both left an impression on a guy who has seen a lot of cool stuff in this industry over 25 years.

Many of us were able to talk with Jim Hoffmann (former owner and CEO of Optima) and say a heartfelt thank-you for all the things he taught us and the opportunities he presented to us. It was also great to see Harold Mintz drive in from his shack in Malibu to say hello to the old gang. 20 of us have decided that if we could trade places with anyone for a day, we would want to be Harold.

ImageIt would be wrong if I didn’t mention a bit more about the show itself. Lee Knight and his staff continue to prove why tradeshows are so important to your marketing plan and your business. We had a chance to chat with so many of our customers/distributors/friends and deepen the relationships that have been forged over the years. We had an opportunity to meet some prospects that we otherwise would not have been able to connect with. That is why we do these crazy shows.

On a closing note – the rumor is true. I spoke with Ray Montague this morning. Ray is an old industry friend and officially one of the good guys. Ray did, in fact, verify that when he returned home to Jersey that he found an unused drink ticket from the opening reception. He feels awful about it and assures me that it won’t happen again. I spoke on behalf of the industry and told him we were disappointed but we would find it in our hearts to forgive him. ONCE. But never again.

Thanks again for the chance to bend your ears on the Optima blog. I hope everyone enjoys the rest of the busy show season!

Reid Sherwood
Eastern Regional Manager
Classic Exhibits Inc.

Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100.

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