It has been great to see all the tradeshow and training elements come together for the Connected Homes Summit in Niagara Falls this week. Our designers, carpenters, crews and graphic production staff have been working on new pieces for the Microsoft Canada team and it was great to finally see some live photos from the convention centre today.
Every two years Octanorm Canada hosts a conference for partners who use the German display system. They introduce new extrusions & displays, present improvements they have made, host round table discussions, and also a design competition.
The rental booths (and some purchased ones) that we custom design for our clients are built using this German display system. Unlike your traditional shell schemes provided by show contractors, most of our exhibits incorporate both rental and custom elements. Unique laminates, custom millwork and customized lighting solutions, give our rental booths a look and feel that sets our clients apart from other exhibitors.
Here are some of the designs we submitted for 2013.
We won for the 'Exhibits under 400 sq. ft.' & 'Exhibit over 1000 sq. ft.' :
For entries from previous years feel free to visit the Octanorm website: Design Contest.
Microsoft and Lenovo Canada are showcasing their products at the Staples Back2School event today. It is all about the experience: Trainers showcased the devices in a library, living room, bedroom, cafe, office and lecture hall.
The exhibit spaces are based on 10' x 10' footprints. The interior design & staging for these themed environments was focused on showcasing their devices being used in the real world. The printed backgrounds are not photographs, they are 3D environments we created, rendered in Cinema 4D & VRay, and printed specifically for these displays.
The Living Room
The Lecture Hall
More event photos here:
The Cold - the inspiration for an exhibit
With the weather we had in Toronto this past Winter, an iceberg sighting would not be impossible to imagine....but what about in Las Vegas?
Eberspächer, known as Espar in North America, brought the Arctic experience to the 2014 Catersource show at the Las Vegas Convention Centre. Perhaps this cold weather, Polar Vortex and all, provided the inspiration for Espar's new booth promoting their Mobile Flex Cool units.
The units featured at the show are compressor cooling containers for refrigerating or freezing perishable goods transported in vans or cars.
An Arctic Experience
Together with the Espar team, we crafted an exhibit that gave their clients and prospects an unforgettable Arctic experience at the show. Their new cooling units were the focus in the 10' x 20' booth space. All the other details aimed to take their visitors off the trade show floor and into an environment that helped the Sales team better communicate the capabilities and benefits of Espar's products.
From colour changing LED lighting along the entire backwall, pedestals and platforms
to the shards of 'ice' (actually acrylic sprayed with frost) everything was considered. These unique accents, were used to display brochures & control units, surround the platforms, and provided dimension to the backwall.
And not to forget: the iceberg in the middle of the booth.
Sculpted, coated in fibreglass and finished with an automotive paint - the iceberg although out of place in Las Vegas, was a feature component within the overall theme.
The response to this exhibit has been fantastic. We are very grateful to Espar for trusting us with another one of their new booths. It was fun developing and playing with their original concept to create this Arctic booth. So, the next time you are at a restaurant, catering, or foodservice show, don't be surprised to see an iceberg.
In collaboration with Starshot, a marketing agency focused on experience design, we crafted ten Microsoft Kiosks that were installed at the offices of different Toronto based advertising agencies. They were designed and built to showcase the XBox One, XBox 360, a Windows phone and Surface tablet.
As you can see, the initial concept was not far off from the final kiosk design. Our creative team worked closely with the production lead, as well as, the Account Manager to ensure that we built a display that supported the user experience the client had envisioned.
With a 10' x 20' booth space at this year's HRPA (Human Resource Professional Association) Conference & Tradeshow 2014, ADP Canada updated their exhibit with a custom back-wall, some new full height graphics, raised logos & letters (a personal favorite) and if you look closely you will see the 'walk-in closet' a.k.a. storage room on the right of the booth (a close second favorite in my books).
The EB Games Canada show takes place in a different location every year. This year it was held in beautiful Whistler, British Columbia. With a fantastic booth space (in the Grand Foyer of the Whistler Telus Conference Centre), the exhibit was spread out over almost 80 feet! We were able to take the whole foyer and turn the space into a complete Halo experience. We'd also like to thank Pascale at Gadbois Photography for the great photos she took at this event!
A couple of my favorite elements in this booth were the dimensional HALO 4 logos and the HUGE 80" TVs we used in the XBOX360 area.
yes - those are 80" TVs
I wish I could have been there - it looked like the attendees had fun (unfortunately I can't share the 'dancing' videos here!) but below is a tour of the booth.
We receive a lot of calls from exhibitors who want to make the jump from their draped table to a custom designed booth. Some already have bannerstands and pop-ups but are looking to make more of an impact and stand out from their competitors. Here are 5 tips on how to move from a portable to a custom exhibit.
Booth flooring is an important component in the exhibit design process.
Work with your exhibit house to make your space stand out - review design options, look at samples, consider 'green' solutions, think about longevity, and imagine it in the context of your booth.
Flooring can definitely set the tone for your entire exhibit. Take a look at Outotec's booth as an example. One design uses a white carpet - the other shows a grey option.
They have very different 'feels' depending on the colour choice for the flooring.
Which one do you like? I immediately fell in love with the white carpet but started worrying about visitors spilling drinks, dirty shoes leaving their marks, and all the other practical concerns I have!
Once again it's a form versus function debate: Yes, dark flooring is practical. Yes, it will be stain resistant. Yes, it will last longer. BUT - Our designer has won me over....I love the white flooring in this booth.
(For those of you who are not convinced - keep a carpet cleaner handy during the show, have your carpet washed after a couple of events, and set some funds aside to splurge on a fabulous new white carpet when the old one starts to show some wear and tear!)
Here are some tips on why carpet (don't worry - it does not have to be white) is still a popular choice:
Carpet is still the most popular choice
It comes in a wide range of colours
You can choose eco-friendly products
It is easily installed & dismantled for an event
It provides comfort (with underpad) if you are standing for hours
You can easily hide cables
Carpet is customizable (printing or inlays)
It is one of the most cost-effective solutions (purchase or rental)
Here is a short video on some of the other flooring products
we use for trade shows (I always thought the artificial grass was neat and am pleasantly surprised about how good roll-able vinyl flooring options have become).
In the video you will see samples of carpet, vinyl flooring, synthetic grass, LED light tiles, printed tiles, printed carpet & underpad.
This is Mucci Farm's exhibit where we used a 'wood' vinyl flooring along with a charcoal grey carpet.
Even though we are not always able to use residential or commercial flooring products at events - there are many great flooring solutions available that are made specifically for the 'temporary nature' of trade shows (interlocking tiles, 'easy' raised flooring, printed carpets, textured vinyls, etc.).
As I mentioned above, choosing the right flooring is an important part in the exhibit design process and in setting the tone for your booth. Look at samples, trust your designer, and take advantage of all the new flooring products available.
*If there are any cool flooring products you would like to share - please feel free to comment!*
I was looking at an image today and could not tell if it was an artist's rendering OR if it was a photograph. Today's post is not very serious, nor does it make us experts in the latest design technology - but I believe it does create a little bit more awareness and appreciation.
As recently as 10 years ago our exhibit designers only sketched and drew booths using pen and paper (As an exhibitor, or even someone hiring an architect to remodel your home, you will probably come across a rendering or two. Because we are so used to seeing pretty pictures and photographs instantly we often forget the amount of time and effort it takes to create these digital masterpieces. These drawings bring the booth ideas to life and help us imagine them on the trade show floor. In the last few years I have truly gained an appreciation for the artistry and technical skills required to develop exhibit renderings or 3D animations. Hours of work on the designers part leave you with images that are so realistic - the lines between the booth photo and the renderings start to blur. Here is an example of
2011 exhibit for
2011 annual radiology meeting. Can you tell which one is the photo?
I am excited to share the installation video of Microsoft's 'Shadow Box' exhibit!
This video was filmed using time lapse and took almost 1600 photos in a span of ~ 8 hours.
Two 10'x20' custom designed walls made up this 20'x20' booth.
Although the columns in the venue made it difficult to find a good spot for the camera - we were able to capture the set-up of one of the walls.
It took a crew a full day to install the carpet, exhibit structure, signage, lighting, AV and one day later it was all dismantled again. If you every wondered what it takes to set up an exhibit here is an example: