Guest Post by Mel White of Classic Exhibits Inc. for Sacagawea Portable Hybrid Display History & Features

10x10 inline Sacagawea displayThis is the first in a series of guest articles provided by our excellent manufacturers and suppliers. We here at Displays by Area Exhibits hope you find the information useful and informative. Should you have any questions please let us know. We are happy to help.

Today we present a detailed explanation of the Sacagawea Portable Hybrid Display as written by Mel White, VP of Marketing & Business Development at Classic Exhibits Inc. in Portland, Oregon.

Sacagawea Portable Hybrid Displays

As consumers we are rarely privy to the history of a product. Yet, all products start somewhere, whether from an inspiration, a problem, an unmet opportunity, or an accidental discovery.

For example, the Sacagawea Portable Hybrid Display, one of the most popular portable exhibit systems in North America, was introduced in late 2009 by Classic Exhibits during The Great Recession when sales were tumbling, and unemployment was climbing. Why would a company launch a new trade show product during a recession when attendance was declining?

The Recession

In hindsight, it makes sense. Two years earlier, Classic Exhibits introduced a curved line of inline Hybrid Displays. These were mid-market portable displays with large format fabric graphics, clever accessories like a backwall cubby, 3D signage, 7 frame colors, and a patented reverse S-shape. It was innovative, assembled quickly, and met an unmet price point between pop-up displays and upscale hybrid exhibits. It sold well right from the start.
Eighteen months later, those units went from mid-priced to high-priced for budget-strapped exhibitors. 

Therefore, Classic reacted. The goal was to create an appealing, less expensive display based on what our customers told us they liked about the original curved hybrid displays. They mentioned easy assembly, large format no hassle fabric graphics, backwall counters, monitor mounts, lightweight aluminum construction, and the amazing reusable packaging. Those features were untouchable. And while customers loved the S-shape of the original product introduction, they told us a display with fewer curves, color choices, and smaller graphics would be acceptable if the price was about 20% less and the quality identical.

We accepted that challenge, and for the next three months, Design and Engineering worked to create a lower-priced, high-quality inline exhibit for professional corporate exhibitors. That was the target market. It had to be durable, attractive, and modular with a variety of accessories such as literature holders, monitor options, header graphics, and freestanding counters. The display, more than anything, had to appeal to attendees at trade shows and NEVER EVER fail to perform for exhibitors.

The Product

The final design included:
  • Knob-assisted Assembly (for ease of use)
  • Engineered Aluminum Extrusion (because not all extrusion is created equally)
  • Die-cut Reusable Packaging (this is really, really important!)
  • Individually Numbered Components and Detailed Setup Instructions
  • CNC Cut and Milled Modular Construction (for precision fit and finish)
  • Workstations, Canopies, Counters, Headers, Literature Holders, and Standoff Graphics
  • Convex or Concave Sintra or Plex Wings
  • Premium Dye-sublimation Printed Fabric Graphics 
  • Made in the USA

But Why Did We Name It Sacagawea & Where Does The History Lesson Come In?

Between May 1804 - September 1806, the Lewis and Clark Expedition travelled up the Missouri River, over the Bitterroot Mountains, and down the Columbia River… and then back to St. Louis. The expedition included Sacagawea, a Lemhi Shoshone woman, who helped establish cultural contacts with Native American populations in addition to her contributions to natural history. Her presence on the expedition was invaluable on this arduous and ultimately successful journey.

What does this have to do with modern trade shows? There’s no paddling up rivers or hunting buffalo for food. But for many exhibitors, their success depends on a lightweight, attractive display that assembles quickly and, most importantly, performs flawlessly from show-to-show, regardless of the situation. To have a display that achieves all of your hardware and visual goals at events is critical to success. Sacagawea is that display. Your guide, if you will, through the adventure of exhibiting.

Success or Failure?

10x20 inline Sacagawea displayFrom Day 1, Sacagawea has done very well. It’s the single most popular portable display ever introduced in our 25-year history. And, it has continued to sell remarkably well post-recession as exhibitors have invested in their trade show marketing.  

Since Then

There were 25+ inline designs in the beginning. As the economy improved and exhibitors requested alternate shapes, more designs and accessories were added, including tablet options. Over the years, the system has gotten even lighter and easier to assemble. Adjustable leg supports were added along with more counter options, LED lights, and wing shapes.

Thousands of Sacagawea Displays have been purchased since 2009. Warranty claims? Perhaps two or three at most. That’s a fact. Occasionally, we receive requests for replacement parts, but even that is unusual because the reusable packaging ensures that parts are rarely lost. Three years ago, we upped the ante by offering a 100-Day Return Guarantee. Since then, we’ve had one claim. Yes, just one.

While Sacagawea has many competitors due to its success, some less expensive, only the Sacagawea is made in the USA and built to CNC quality tolerances and includes the latest HD fabric and direct print technology. For corporate exhibitors, there’s no substitute for an attractive, well-built, dependable trade show display.

Mel White Classic ExhibitsMel White is the VP of Marketing & Business Development at Classic Exhibits Inc.
Communication, happiness, creativity, and mission are what inspires him to open his front door every day.

Classic Exhibits Inc. is one of Displays by Area Exhibits main quality manufacturers of hybrid and custom displays. Classic has been in the exhibit industry since 1993 and has grown from a strictly portable solution provider to one of the most respected and talented custom manufacturers selling to the trade in the United States. MODUL Aluminum Extrusions are also under the Classic umbrella. Based in Portland, OR, you can rest assured that if you are buying one of our Classic product here at Displays by Area Exhibits, you are getting top notch American made quality and care that will last.

Displays by Area Exhibits thanks Mel for contributing this article.

Should you be interested in other display solutions manufactured by Classic that are not listed here on this site, just let us know. We can offer you any item you seek.