February 27, 2024 5:43 PM
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Classic Exhibits Hosts Shared Knowledge University

By Ray Smith, Exhibit City News



Classic Exhibits recently hosted vendors, suppliers, distributors, and other personnel from the tradeshow industry for Shared Knowledge University, a two-day forum that’s equally educational and social, based on the company’s core philosophy of shared success. Touted as the exhibit industry’s premier training program, Shared Knowledge University brings together about 40 professionals for interactive classroom sessions, product assembly competition, and vendor presentations. It was held Nov. 2-3 at Courtyard by Marriott Clackamas, with a tour and breakout sessions at Classic Exhibits’ production facility in Portland, Ore.

“Our core philosophy is based on the shared success formula,” says Mel White, vice president of marketing and business development for Classic Exhibits. “We believe that healthy relationships with employees, suppliers, and distributors, and their customers, depend on shared knowledge, shared responsibility, and shared innovation.”

SKU has been held twice a year, usually in November and June, for more than 15 years, with a few hiccups along the way, particularly the pandemic. Attendees are a mix of new and experienced distributors, people new to the industry, and some who’ve been there before. This year’s featured speaker was Jessica Sibila, executive director of The Exhibitor Advocate. Also speaking on relevant topics were Rob Cohen, Display Supply & Lighting; Adrienne Fitzgerald, CORT Furnishings; Eitan Magid, Popshap; Jorge Robles, 4 Productions; Glen Ruggiero and John Zipay, ON Location; and Summit Graphics PDX.

After touring Classic Exhibits, attendees dive into hands-on product training, split into two daily sessions. A team from Classic Rental Solutions then reviews their products and services. Everybody’s welcome: designers, account executives, project managers, owners, general managers, anyone in a production role. “We’ve even had Classic distributors bring prospective buyers of their business to SKU to get a taste of the industry and become familiar with their primary supplier,” White comments.

The $575 registration fee covers lodging and meals, including breakfast at the Marriott; lunch at the Food Cart Pavilion near the hotel and Bob’s Red Mill Restaurant near Classic Exhibits; and dinner at the Grand Central Bowling and Arcade entertainment complex and Metropolitan Tavern near downtown Portland. SKU closed with a Shared Success reception, sponsored by Classic Rental Solutions and CORT.

“Every Shared Knowledge University has a unique tone and personality,” White says. “This one, quite simply, was remarkable. The attendees were curious and charming, fun and thoughtful, energized and professional. In short, they were amazing.”

The next SKU is scheduled for June 13-14, 2024. Go to www.classicexhibits.com for more information.

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