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Classic Exhibits collaborates with ELITeXPO on new Midwest depot


When Classic Exhibits Inc. opened a Midwest rental depot, it teamed up with ELITeXPO, which will help assemble and ship rentals from its corporate headquarters in Elgin, Ill.

An Oregon-based designer and manufacturer of portable, modular and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions, Classic Exhibits Inc.’s new depot will open additional markets and lower shipping costs for shows in various U.S. regions, including the South, East Coast and Midwest.

“The main challenge was duplicating the Portland, Ore., production processes with a partner who shared Classic’s values and customer service focus. When the opportunity presented itself to work with ELITeXPO, we knew it was time to act,” said Jim Shelman, general manager, Classic Exhibits Inc.

Founded in 1987, ELITeXPO began as a carrier of computer hardware, software and high-tech materials. In 1990, it transitioned into a carrier of tradeshow displays, and by 2009, the company had launched its Tradeshow Services Division.

“We already had all of the key components in place to duplicate Portland’s production process, and we were in the process of expanding our warehouse space, so it was perfect timing on our end. We’re excited to have several rental projects lined up and on our production schedule,” said Dave Mihalik, president and CEO, ELITeXPO.

Dave along with his company vice president, Chuck Michel, spent time in Portland at Classic’s production facility to understand its production process and inventory management. A few weeks later, Jim Hayes, executive vice president and COO at ELITeXPO, flew out for more intensive training and planning so he could implement the system with his staff at the ELITeXPO facility.

“We’ve worked with Classic as a distributor for over four years and with Jim on a ton of rental projects,” said Michel. “We’ve always been impressed with their operation, quality and service level.  So when I heard that there was interest in setting up a rental depot for East Coast rentals, I was all over it.”

In addition to East Coast and Midwest rentals, Classic is offering round trip delivery services and installation and dismantling supervision for local Chicago shows and events.

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