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Published on Thursday, September 29, 2016

Discovery! Is There an App For That?

Three things I learned this week:

 

Penny candy is now a dime;

 

The Waze app might be too good;

 

Shipping is not cheap anymore.

 

Ben Franklin dime storeYes, I remember penny candy. Penny candy was a tradition in the 1960s. This was a time when there were different shopping patterns. Mom and pop stores and general stores were common in the neighborhoods. They sold everything from newspapers to milk, and birthday cards to bread. And yes, there was candy sold at a penny or two apiece.

 

Bubble gum wrapperI was in one of those trendy “nostalgic candy stores” the other day. You could fill a bag with Bazooka Joe bubble gum, mini pixie sticks and Smarties all for a per pound price. I filled a bag, and once weighed and priced, it worked out to about 10 cents per piece. When I informed the young girl behind the iPad cash drawer that the sign read “penny candy” not “dime candy”, all I got back was a puzzled look.

 

Bazooka Joe tasted the same. Chalky, hard and bland, and still came with a bad comic. Will someone please explain why it is acceptable for a 13 year-old kid to have an eye patch?

 

Wrigley FieldThe Waze app is great. I downloaded it a few months ago. Waze gave me a new shortcut to Wrigley Field, taking me down streets I never knew existed. What would normally be an hour and a half endeavor at rush hour was shortened to less than an hour. I pulled up to my friend’s condo just north of Wrigley at the exact time Waze said I would.

 

WazeDriving through northern Indiana, heading to Chicago on a Sunday evening can either be a breeze or traffic nightmare. Last weekend, Waze had me take a little used exit to avoid an anticipated delay. Ha! Got this one beat, I thought.

 

Cruising along for a few miles, taking unusual turns and twists, Shelley asked, “Where on God’s green earth are we going?”. Guided to the last turn, I encountered a three block long line for the left turn lane. It appeared that every other Wazer was taking the same route. There was now a major delay because of a major delay. Is there an app for getting around that?

 

Trade show freightA customer called me the other day to ask why shipping was so much for a certain project. She told me the line item from the invoice and what was shipped. My first response was, “Yea, something has to be wrong here. This should be more like $50, not $180.”

 

So I asked my shipping folks. “Nope,” they assured, “that was the cost.” I asked for the dimensions, weight and shipping destination. “Check it for yourself,” they told me. I logged into the UPS site and entered the data. Yikes! There it was, $180! And that was for ground shipping. Where did I come up with $50?

 

Steep exhibit shipping signI pulled similar jobs from 2011 and 2007. The answer was right there. My unrealistic view of today’s realities came to an abrupt end. In 2011, the cost was $83 and in 2007, it was $55.  These were the costs to ship the same size and weight case, a similar distance. I simply had been living in the past.

 

Shipping costs have gone up considerably over the past few years. Taking a look at what you are shipping has never been more important to the bottom line of your exhibit program. Sending fewer boxes of literature or using fabric for graphics instead of oversized rigid panels are just a few of the ways to reduce not only the weight, but also the dimensions, of your shipment.

 

WazeAfter all, there really isn’t anything such as penny candy anymore and Waze has done an admirable job of taking the guesswork out of determining the best route to take. The only downside would be if all 50 million Waze users took the same country road, at the same time.

 

As far as the cost for getting display properties from point A to point B, anything larger than a piece of bubble gum, is getting more and more expensive to move. Time to get out of 2007.

 

Even Bazooka Joe and Mort look a bit different these days.

 

 

Steve Moskal

 

 

Bazooka Joe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Steve Moskal
Steve Moskal

Steve Moskal

Other posts by Steve Moskal
Contact author Full biography

Full biography

Steve’s journey in the trade show and event world started in 1983 with one of the original Nomadic Display sales organizations in North America. In 1994, he co-founded Prairie Display/Chicago.

Steve was an Allied Board Member of TSEA (Trade Show Exhibitors Association) from 2007 to 2011 and recipient of the TSEA President’s Award in 2009. He also served as Financial Chair of the Midwest Exhibit and Event Professionals (formerly the Chicago chapter of TSEA) and as a commissioner with the Elmhurst Economic Development Commission from 2011 to 2016. Currently he is Vice President of Education for the Addison/Elmhurst, IL Toastmasters Club.

When not working with customers and co-workers at Prairie, you can find him trying to spend more time biking and pursuing other creative endeavors. Steve lives in Oak Brook, IL with his beautiful and equally understanding wife of 26 years, Shelley.

Steve is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, with a B.A. in Journalism and a Fine Arts minor.

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