2018 New York Comic-Con Booth Recap

Over 10 straight days of trade show event management accounting for approximately 1,600 employee hours worked, 4 football fields worth of trade show freight, 14,600 square feet of exhibit structure built, and 8 total New York Comic-Con Booths; A busy NYCC is an understatement but we’re not complaining.

 

Booth 1- Dreamworks | She-Ra and the Princess of Power

To promote the release of Dreamworks newest Series on Netflix we built this 30×30’ booth activation with multiple interactive elements. These ran like a maze through the entire comic-con booth which included a massive (and very heavy) 10’ tall She-Ra statue, Interactive throne, “Sword in stone” Photo-op and finished off with a gif photo booth integrated with social media posting.

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ezgif.com-video-to-gif   ezgif.com-video-to-gif (1)Throughout the booth multiple photo opportunities were placed in an effort to spread awareness and for comic-con attendees to share via social media.  

The first stop was a custom fabricated throne replica with sensors that illuminated the chair, snapped a photo and ran a brief clip when weight was added to it.

The second was a “sword in stone” photo op which was made using 3D printing as well as the actual sword being hand shaped using foam.

The last stop was a green screen gif booth where attendees could set themselves in a variety of She-Ra branded animations.

She-Ra-2

 

Booth 2 – NBC Universal | Glass Movie Promotion

For the NBC Universal release of M. Night Shyamalan’s new “Unbreakable” Sequel “Glass”, we put together a detailed 30×50’ movie set replica and activation. Being the movie was loosely based off a Comic book, New York Comic-Con was undeniably, the perfect place to promote and the lines proved it!

Glass1The movie activation included a spot-on movie set replica similar to the  Sony Pictures Spider-Man experiential display we did last year. The main attraction? An enclosed walk-through rooms set-up similar to the psych ward in the movie. Placed within each room were photo-ops, which spit out a personalized movie promo poster fans could retrieve upon exiting the activation.

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Booth 3 – Bandai | Dragonball Z Crystal Palace Sneak Peak

Bandai has taken their presence to the next level with a nationwide one-year tour starting at San Diego Comic-con International , which we have been more than happy to help manage. NYCC was no exception.

This crystal palace (lobby) 30×30’ booth was the first thing attendees would see after passing through the entry gates. It was therefore, essential that it made an impact. The trade show exhibit featured original artwork, character statues and promo’s that led them to the massive 90×80’ exhibit inside the convention center floor.

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Booth 4 – Bandai | Monstrous 90×80’ Indoor Experience

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One word – “colossal”. This was no ordinary trade show booth. This was it’s own venue inside a venue and absolutely nothing that was left out. Bandai had the space and they took full-advantage of every last square foot.

Bandai pulled out all the stops with a two-story Dragonballz custom fabricated exhibit structure reconstituted from their outdoor San Diego Comic-Con Outdoor Marketing Display and blended it with their indoor San Diego Comic-Con Booth.

The 90×80′ trade show booth design was sprinkled with everything from multiple photo ops, a full retail store, character and set replicas all the way down to interactive gaming and competitive arenas.

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Booth 5 – Imgur | Press Lounge Photo Booth Activationimgur-1

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New to us and NYCC this year was online entertainment and all-out daily comedic relief website, Imgur.  Their 10×20’ booth space was tucked away upstairs in the press lounge in what we thought was a nice quiet corner.

We were wrong. Imgur’s gif based booth drew one hell of a crowd with fans lining up for free swag and a personalized gif of their choice.

We always love see our booths drawing traffic in spots that were not meant to and this booth did just that!

 

 

Booth 6 – Dark Horse Comics & Umbrella Academy

Relatively unchanged from years passed, Darkhorse Comics did have some small changes and fun additions. Their base 30×50′ island booth featured a forward facing signing counter that has sat some of the biggest names in entertainment including Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson and the late Anthony Bourdain. The standard giveaway counter was ever present and has always been a necessity to the team.

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Multiple integrated displays lined the booth showing off the newest offerings and limited releases. A full retail store lined the back of the booth. Meeting space and press lounges surrounded the center structure, which featured a full break and A/V room.

New this year was the addition of The Umbrella Academy section promoting another new series on Netflix. The corner featured a 3D photo-op shareable in gif or standard picture formats.

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Booth 7 – Konami & Yu-Ghi-Oh

We hear it all the time: “ Konami has a Primo spot” and we agree. We also think they have a “primo” exhibit. The 30×60′ exhibit was custom fabricated a few years back and has stood the test of time with features like full-length canopies wired for lighting, A/V and more, custom integrated display cases, touchscreen gaming stations and much, much more.

konami1New this year was enormous two-story LED lightboxes and acrylic side panels that were swapped in to replace older worn exhibit graphics. Regular maintenance is a must for any booth. This booth, fortunately, does not need much. 

We love how versatile this modular booth is. It’s seen multiple configurations over multiple shows over countless trade shows and conventions and still looks brand new.konami2

 

Booth 8 – IDW Publishing

Save the best for last? One of our favorite clients, IDW Publishing has great booth design ideas that are simple yet highly effective at shows like comic-con. We packed it all in; storage and break room, signing counters and full retail area all in a compact 20×20’ booth space.IDW

This was our biggest New York Comic-Con yet and we could not be any more proud of the Marketing Genome team that helped make it all run flawlessly. Here’s to another great year and many, many more to come!  

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8 Ways to Design Your Trade Show Booth

The average trade show has dozens upon dozens of booths. If you want to stand out from the crowd, your overall booth design has to have a number of elements that make it special. You have a very limited amount of time to grab the attention of event attendees.

Designing your trade show booth starts long before you create graphics or a layout for the booth and ends with the impact it has on your target audience. Here are eight different factors to consider when designing your trade show booth.

 

trade show booth design

 

1. Choose an Objective

Before you design a booth, you need to figure out who your target audience is and what your objective is once you attract their attention. It might seem obvious, because you likely already know your objective and target audience for your business. However, the attendees at a trade show may be a bit different. You really have to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and figure out what would make someone come to your booth.  

 

 

trade show booth design

2. Figure Out Your Layout Early

Some booths are difficult to reserve, because the same businesses attend year after year, or they are prime locations and very costly. If you do get any say in the booth, choose the best location available. Try to get on a corner or near the front of an aisle, for example.

Once you know the size and location of your booth, you can figure out the best way to lay it out so it draws people in but has good traffic flow. Think about how people will maneuver around your booth if it gets particularly crowded.

 

 

trade show booth design

 

3. Think Bigger

Think about ways you can make your booth attractive both up close and from a distance. You are competing against other booths, presentations and events at the typical trade show. Hanging large-scale vinyl banners from the ceiling can draw extra attention to your booth. If the banner has a pop of color on it, so much the better. A splash of red text can really draw the eye, for example.

 

 

 

 

trade show booth design4. Limit the Number of Colors

You might want to add a splash of color, but don’t want your booth to look like a rainbow. Just as you’d do when designing a website or print ad, stick to a palette of two or three different colors. Otherwise, you risk your message getting lost in the bursts of color. It is easy for people to get distracted with the design, when the design should actually complement your message.

 

 

trade show booth design

 

5. Choose Your Typography Carefully

Think about which fonts and type to use in your displays. A good vinyl sign supplier will help you with this element of your overall trade show booth design. However, you have to consider how different fonts might look in larger print and in smaller print, as your booth is likely to have both. How will the font look from a distance? How will it look up close? Artsy fonts and scripts sometimes do not translate well for signage.

 

 

 

trade show booth design6. Keep Text at Eye Level

Think about the impact your signage has as people approach your booth. While you want to place signage high to be seen from a distance, you also want to place it up close and personal for floor displays. You don’t want to put text down at people’s feet. Instead, you should put your tagline right at eye level. Test this out by setting up signage and approaching it in a similar fashion to the way traffic will come up to your booth at an event. Make any adjustments as needed. Keep in mind that a table banner might look nice when the exhibit is empty, but when an aisle is crowded, the back wall of your booth is the only thing attendees are likely to see over the sea of other people.

 

 

7. Bring Your Own Lighting

trade show booth design

It is impossible to know how well lighted an event might be, even if you’ve been there in previous years. Things can change, light bulbs can go out and other booths can cast a shadow over your space. Because of this, it is important that you bring your own exhibit lighting and plan to have a well-lit booth that is easy to see.

As a rule of thumb, plan to add lighting every two or three feet within your booth. This will ensure people can see your displays and signage clearly, no matter what the lighting situation is within the exhibition area itself. You may also want to throw a spotlight on some of your back wall signage to make sure it is easy to spot.

 

 

trade show booth design8. Use Quality Images

It is important to use the highest-quality images possible. Remember that the image is often blown up to a much larger size, so think through how that will translate. You don’t want a giant family towering over people as they enter the booth. If your company is fairly well known, you might be able to simply use your logo and tagline.

If your company isn’t well known, then try to use images that show your product in action. Consider a photo of someone using your product, or a problem your product or service solves. You also want a nice balance among text, graphics and white space within your booth. Think about how people will move around your booth when choosing graphic floor displays. Make sure you allow enough room for foot traffic. 

 

 

Make an Impact

An excellent trade show exhibit design makes an impact on visitors. Every element of your booth must work to meet the objective you’ve set for that particular event. From the promotional items you hand out to the floor displays to the signage at different levels, everything should leave a lasting impact on booth visitors. A well-designed booth will help you meet your trade show objectives. trade show booth design

 

 

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About The Author

Lexie Lu is freelance designer and writer. She loves creating design mockups and working with HTML code. To connect with Lexie, check out her website Design Roast and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

 

 

 

 

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2017 New York Comic Con Booth Wrap-up

A busy week at NYCC17’ indeed for Marketing Genome! 8 straight days of work and 8 separate NYCC booths and displays. We’re so proud of our work and the success of the show, we decided to show it all off. Here’s a little snippet of the action from NYCC17. Enjoy!

 

1. Sony Pictures – “#HangLikeSpidey”

To promote the launch of Spiderman Homecoming on Blue Ray & 4k DVD, Sony Pictures reached out to Marketing Genome with a completely upside down idea – literally. We designed and fabricated an EXACT set replica of Peter Parker’s Room from the Major Motion Picture. When we say exact, we mean every little detail; the lamps, blankets, Lego Deathstar, even limited edition posters were individually sourced and then… assembled completely upside down.Sony_nycc_booth.jpg

TheNew York Comic Con booth (and room) was complimented with a data capture strategy in the form of social media posts. Each attendee was given a video of them crawling upside down on Spideys’ ceiling. After exiting the activation, attendees had the opportunity to throw on a VR headset and swing around in cyberspace as if they were Spiderman himself. We think this is the closest you’ll ever get to being Spiderman without getting bit by a radioactive spider.

 

 

2. Konami –Yu Gi Oh

If you follow Marketing Genome at all there’s no doubt you’ve seen our Konami booth. Complete with custom canopies, floor to ceiling card product displays and storage/retail rooms this booth was very much the same as what we’ve done in the past… except. The booth was rotated 180 degrees for a more inviting arrangement since the booth is optimally placed right in front of the main entry doors.

It may sound easy but every little move comes with re-configuring countless elements of the booth. This is amplified when you consider a booth of this size.Konami_nycc_booth.jpg

 

3. Dark Horse Comics

NYCC wouldn’t be the same without one of our oldest clients, Dark Horse Comics. These guys have it all; massive retail space, enormous break/ storage/ media room, giveaway section, multiple signing stations and much more. This year very little changed but, the booth was as effective as ever. We personally liked the curiosity surrounding the signing of a new Graphic Novel by celebrity guest (and hometown hero) Anthony Bourdain.Darkhorse_nycc_booth.jpg

 

4. Project Triforce

A complete overhaul this year! It seems almost every year these guys are coming up with a new way to reinvent themselves and their booth needs to follow suit. This year was no different. Complete with a tunnel connecting a gaming section and display section, this exhibit was on fire the entire show. Triforce added a photo-op where attendees could snap shots with their favorite replica. Of course the booth wouldn’t be complete without a dedicated meeting and retail room. Come on it’s comic con. We all need a way to duck the crowds from time to time…Triforce_nycc_booth.jpg

 

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5. Lootcrate

A few slight changes this show for Lootcrate. At SDCC Lootcrate was backed up against another booth. This year, their NYCC booth space was expanded to an island exhibit. So the back end of the booth was branded with a bump out wall and multi-linked monitors pushing out promos on repeat. The front photo booth was converted into a t-shirt printing area. Again, a storage room was dedicated for the huge inventory of product that they sold throughout the 4 days of the show.

 

 

 

 

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6. IDW Publishing

What can we say about IDW that hasn’t already been said? A crew so great they don’t need a booth to sell! But in this case they choose to have a little backup. Working within a somewhat confining space (20’x20′ booth) we were able to fit a storage room, signing counter, custom displays and retail. The cherry? A huge rotating hanging banner.

 

 

 

 

 

7. NHK –Domo

This year NHK didn’t need much to promote itself. Nothing more than one of the worlds very few large screen 8k TV’s and a DJ-Domo – DJ Booth. But just in case we added a few little additions. Full length storage and break room, greeting counters and display cases. The 8K monitor looked flawless but DJ-Domo was responsible for drawing in the crowds.NHK_nycc_booth.jpg

 

8. Madefire

Lot’s of stanchions, and for a reason! Madefire, who combines VR and Comics draws a ton of interest. One half of the booth was dedicated to Demos. Whilst the other was info desks and sales. With 4 enormous pillars in the middle of the booth space, we capitalized on the intrusion by creating a storage space within.madefire_nycc_booth.jpg

Without writing a novel that’s the gist of it. Building 8 New York Comic Con booths was hectic and a TON of work but like all our shows, we look back while walking off the show floor for last time and can’t help but be proud of what the Marketing Genome Team accomplished.

 

Considering Exhibiting or Redesign an Existing Booth At Comic Con? 

Fill out the consultation below and we’ll be happy to brainstorm some ideas!

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3 “Above-Average” Exhibit Options For Average Exhibit Budgets

Hear the term “Custom Exhibit Fabrication” an automatically see dollar signs? You’re not alone! Truth is huge island exhibits –we’re talking the 50×60’s 30×40’s, Double Deckers and Canopied Booths here, with all the bells and whistles are in fact outrageously expensive. But one thing is for sure… they have impact.

Like opening your hotel balcony door and looking over a 100-mile mountain vista, these booths drop jaws! But how does the average event manager get the same reaction with an average event budget? How does one get that custom look without the enormous price tag? Below are some “Realistic” alternatives to getting that custom look without the custom price tag. 

hh-icons-14.svgAlternative 1:  Putting The “Shop” in “Pop-Up Shop”

If you’ve been to a trade show – a big trade show – then you have seen or at least heard of pop-up shops. There is a reason why these shops always…well… pop-up (so punny right?). Booth space at large tradeshows coupled with a big booth cost leaves average exhibitors scrounging for ways to get a piece of the pie. Welcome to our Experiential Pop-up Shop. A blank slate with a cheaper price to boot.

What does it take to transform empty storefronts, outdoor spaces or empty containers into something completely unique? More than most people realize. Patrons enter what was an empty storefront complete with counters, displays, music, the whole 9 yards, looking like it’s been there for years and that’s the point!

custom-booth-fabrication-alternatives.png

 

What’s not realized is the custom elements that need to be added to make said pop-up store seem like it’s supposed to be there. That’s the art, the creativity and skill behind good pop-up shops. The best technique to do so? You guessed it! Utilizing some common custom booth fabrication methods. There is a reason why many custom trade show exhibit houses [attempt to] tackle both tradeshows and pop-up shops and here is why:

High Impact Branding:

There are several standard material options readily available to custom booth fabricators including: banners, tabletop signage, pop-up displays, X stands and graphics.

Next up, try building more of a foundation using everything from decorated walls with featured props – to overhead signs, double-sided graphics and monitor mounts. Think of these as just the base.

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You might be asking, “Where does custom exhibit fabrication come into play?” Custom booth fabrication allows the tailoring and tweaking to happen right from the beginning.

Would a custom checkout counter, complete with light-up acrylic, embedded monitors and wireless checkouts be more impressive than just an IKEA table? Of course! Trade Show Exhibit Fabricators know the process and can make sure the RIGHT fabrication happens from the beginning, in budget and on time.

 

Timing Is Not Everything..

Timing is a NECESSITY! As pop-up shops are usually rented for a short period of time, components need to be assembled and disassembled to get ‘in’ and ‘out’ quickly. Landlord needs the building back 8 am the next day and you’re still struggling to break down a display at 12 pm? Chances are frustration will result in trashed components and wasted budgets.

Consider that panels can be engineered to weigh just 18lbs for effortless set-up and dismantling. Or that light boxes can be integrated quickly and painlessly. Or that the ‘snap’ together pole system of tension fabric exhibits requires just 1-2 people to create and expand the number of configurations, literally like putting on and pulling off pillowcases.


 

hh-icons-07.svgAlternative 2:  Beefing Up Boring Pop-Up Exhibits

We get it; huge budget restrictions but a need to exhibit happens all the time. These cases often result in “settling” for a basic pop-up exhibit. A few shows down the road and a slight increase in budget lends only enough budget for either a new pop-up or a sub-par custom exhibit. Custom Exhibit Fabricators can help!

Stick with that original pop-up booth but sprinkle in some custom booth elements to spruce up the exhibit. Below are some more common add-ons.

 

  • Display cases in an array of textures, materials and graphics, from sustainable designs and LED light boxes and stands, to floating graphic displays and pop-ups with shelves, slat-wall and waterfall brackets.custom-booth-fabrication-alternatives3.png
  • Lighting for display areas, which can range from elaborate chandeliers to integrated wall fixtures. You can add lighting over top hero graphics, within 3D letters or inside fabric panels themselves creating entire light box booths.fabric-exhibit-fabrication.png
  • Greeting counters, which can take the form of simple pedestals and counters to custom rectangular, bi-level or curved counters, all featuring your 3D brand logo and illuminated graphics or even better – recessed monitors.custom-booth-fabrication-alternatives5.png

We find exhibitors are constantly being dragged down to by restrictive trade show budgets in a big budget industry. As a result, a little open-mindedness and creativity can go a long way in standing out. 

 

hh-icons-04.svgAlternative 3:  Hybrids – The Best Of Both Worlds

 

Ever heard of hybrid exhibits? Hybrid exhibits are a sought-after option among businesses attempting to get the best of both worlds – balancing cost without the sacrifice of quality.

This mix of modular and custom fabricated booths basically looks like this:

 

  • The modular booth element is the framing and extrusion. Our metal extrusion -in this case- is constructed from anodized aluminum to make it lightweight yet highly durable. You can opt for hard graphic panels or SEG Fabric, curved walls, straight walls, canopies and more. Really, there’s no limit of what can be integrated to a versatile modular exhibit system.custom-booth-fabrication-alternatives6.jpg
  • The customization can also include just about any prop or product that can be instantly associated with your brand. Mannequins, robots, video game consoles, original concepts for a nostalgic effect, and miniature models or mock-ups are just a few examples.custom-booth-fabrication-alternatives7.jpg

Hybrid exhibits can be arranged to ensure a balance of form and function, which is especially useful when the products in question include irregular layouts like bathrooms or kitchen mock-ups, automobile parts, electronics and gaming consoles.

Finally, the reduced weight of hybrid exhibits can drastically reduce shipping and drayage costs. They are also easy to install, keeping labor times down, allowing you to focus on the engagement side of your tradeshow or brand activation efforts instead of obsessing over the cost of slow labor.

custom-booth-fabrication-alternatives8.jpgFinal Advice:

Don’t think you need to beg and barter for an increase in budget. The right exhibit fabricator (if they have your best interests in mind) should be able to give you ideas to:

– Get that custom look by blending a few different fabrication techniques.

– Beef up what you already have.

– Find a completely different alternative (pop-up-shop) if exhibiting is not an affordable option.

If not, chances are you are not working within their budget. A.K.A. “Not worth their time”. Move-on! This is not the path best traveled. We’d assume you now have some questions and we’re all ears. Give us a shout. We’re happy to give advice even if we never end up working together. This is a difficult industry and our goal is to make it just a tiny bit easier for the average exhibitor.

 

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3 Future-Proof Trade Show Booth Display Ideas

From a run of the mill, everyday product to the groundbreaking, tech advanced gadget, often times it’s not the product itself that sells but rather the ingenuity behind how it’s displayed. If you are worried that your display may someday become obsolete, here are a few new and unique trade show booth display ideas to future proof your investment. 

 1.Recessed Product Displays

A recessed trade show product display is a great solution for improving existing exhibit structures. Placing boundaries around the object focuses greater attention towards the inset display, making it stand out from a distance. You could think of it as the importance of a frame surrounding a picture. Below are several ways to make recessed displays even more attractive.

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Ensuring Proper Lighting:

When it comes to lighting, a greater deal of focus should be on the housing. The housing is the design that will hold and surround the lights which in most cases, should be hidden. LED strip lighting is a common method that also allows for full spectrum color adjustments. Make sure the housing is properly supported and is attractive to the eye

Creating Contrast:

_trade-show-booth-display-ideas-recessed.jpgThink of the contrast as the look that your product gives off against a backdrop. You can embellish contrast in a few different ways;

1. Vary the background against the product. If the exhibit wall in question is graphic heavy a solid color is best. Inversely, a plain wall will have more opportunity to use image heavy boxes.

2. Again, use lighting to create contrast or emphasize colors within the product. Is the product green? Use a dark wall, a white box and green lighting.

3. Mirrored and textured boxes also amplify the product but in some cases could detract from the exclusivity of the recessed display and product itself.

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Small Product Strategies: 

Small products offer the flexibility of experimenting with different recessed display design ideas such as varying backdrops dependent on that day’s promo/availability and creating a rhythmic effect with multiple versions of the same product at different angles.

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Large Product Gusto:

Got a big product? Go for the gusto with products appearing submerged into the floor. Heck, if your booth was large enough, say a 20×20′ booth or above, you could dedicate an entire section of the booth, say cutting a closet, and make it a full glass demo room!

Recessed Product Displays are relatively easy to execute when using the correct modular exhibit system. Of course, custom exhibit fabrication allows for greater flexibility in design, placement, sizing, etc.

2.Product Demo Displays

With product oriented exhibits being the large majority of all trade show booths, attention-grabbing demonstrations could mean the difference between a quick glance or a sale. Here are a few unique trade show booth display ideas you can incorporate into your product demos:

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Adding Motion:

People are attracted to activity. Your tradeshow-booth could seek to incorporate your product in motion. This could be as simple as a rotating turntable display or as intricate as full demo manned with booth staff, neither of which will become obsolete in the near future.

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Turn it into a game:

Involve the audience! Get the crowd hands on with the product by designing an activity that they might find engaging. Lego does it right every time. Being a 100% hands on product they always have a way to interact collaboratively with their product. Almost all video game booths we’ve designed have had consoles or VR stages set-up waiting for competition. Take it a step further and project the demo up high for added exposure.

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Repurpose and Recycle: 

You can incorporate unique ideas of positioning your product at trade shows. A common idea we’ve done is to ditch the booth setup entirely and repurpose a mobile marketing vehicle where interested parties can walk inside and have a look at your products from within. The multipurpose concept allows for reduced costs in unison with an experiential mobile campaign but if not executed correctly, they can look “lazy” to the savvy attendee. As long as we continue to drive, these will never become outdated.

3.Tablescaping Displays

A more cost-conscious technique is product tablescaping. Tablescaping involves communicating a story about your product through many small items placed strategically (you guessed it) on top of a table. Although tablescaping does not scream “future-proof”, it is a technique that has been around for ages and will most likely continue to do so. It’s classic feel makes it a prime candidate for themed trade show booths. Beware!!! This is not the standard pop up table. If a tablescape is on the…table, here are some best practices:

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Match the Style: 

Make sure to set the display to match the context surrounding your product! Nothing will look worse than a tablescape that looks like it was randomly set-up as a result of a missing display or poor trade show planning. This means table material (do not use a pop-up with a drape!), accessibility, placement, etc.

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Proper Lighting:

Lighting should be arranged around the important elements of the tablescape in order to draw additional attention. Again, match the style! This is critical when tablescaping.

If you are using backlit SEG panels, do not use standard desk lamps! Careful planning should be taken to ensure electrical drops are properly placed as well. No extension cords with duct tape over them!

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Product Usage:

The involved components should maximize the use of the product to onlookers. For example, companies that are launching a fitness watch and app could layout the table displaying the watch accompanied with a mobile device with the app ready to use. Is it waterproof? Why not stick it in a mock beach setting it in sand next to water?

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Touch Tables:

If budget allows, full-size touch tables are now available. These tables allow are a huge attention grabber and can display virtually anything on them. They’re a statement piece and future-proof for sure!

Final Thoughts:

It may not seem to be worth the time, investment and energy to future-proof these outside the box trade show booth display ideas but when you picture your product next to an almost identical one in the booth next door it suddenly starts to make sense. We have talked to too many exhibitors that look back on how the show went and wished they took that extra step.

Tongue in cheek moments like these should not be taken for granted. It’s the brave and risky exhibitors that see gains in success. Your product may not be future-proof but your trade show display can be.  

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Is Your “Free” 3D Booth Design a Fake?

Trade show booth design is a vital part of the industry without which booths wouldn’t look half as amazing as they do today. But before we take a step into the future, a brief history lesson; Tradeshows were birthed from industrial revolution of the late 1800’s. When typical brick and mortar storefronts alone did not provide enough marketing authority to compete with big box retailers. 

TRUE-3D-Booth-Design-Oldschool.gifOnce the word spread about the exposure “trade fairs” presented, everyone jumped on board. It was only a matter of time before pipe and drape exhibitors started looking for a way to compete. So from the birth of one revolution spawned yet another new industry. “Behold! The trade show exhibit house and their trusty exhibit designers. Now you can have a booth nicer than even the biggest competitor”

Jump forward a few centuries and we’ve ditched the drafting tables for laptops making anyone with a little creativity and access to a few vendors a “custom trade show agency”. Today floods of “Exhibit houses” are all competing across multiple industries for new business. One way to distinguish the impostors from the experts is by their design skills. Many claim to provide free 3D booth designs many of which that are spit out from concept to completion in an hour or less but are a far cry from true 3D.

True 3D designs are a carefully calculated art and should be designed around a large number of factors. If you are expecting a 3D booth design, know what you should be looking for by reading below.

 

The 4 Basic Stages Of A True 3D Design

 1. Complete Framing Layouts

Framing and extrusion is usually the bulk of exhibit pricing. Therefore a complete “skeleton” is often rendered prior to “skinning” the exhibit. This is done to improve accuracy for packing orders between warehouse/ designers and decrease build times for high rate trade show labor. If you’re curious about where your money is being spent, ask for a framing layout or at very least, the number of panels and price per needed for your build. You’d be surprised how much prices are inflated…TRUE-3D-Booth-Design-1.jpg

2. Graphic Templates

Graphic templates should ALWAYS be provided which indicates what graphics will go on which panel, the exact size and file requirements and whether it is an SEG fabric display or hard panel. There are different requirements for back lit panels, which should be indicated as well.TRUE-3D-Booth-Design-2.jpg

3. Final Renders

3D Booth designs should put you in the booth as if you were an attendee. This includes any interior shots of any storage closets, meeting rooms, counters, monitors, display cases, etc. When receiving final 3D booth designs they should include as many viewpoints as possible. Depending on intricacies and size, it’s not uncommon to see 6-10 renders on an RFP or proposal. From dead-on front views to top downs, every angle desired to make a final decision should be provided.

When professional 3D exhibit designs are executed they are typically done so in a program that can manipulate the viewpoint in any dimension. Spin, zoom, upside down – want to see the inside wall picture frame of the northwest corner? No problem. Some of the better exhibit designers can even do a real time live trade show booth design over a simple screen share!

Live 3D booth design!

 
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Types of Trade Show Booth Designs

2-Dimensional Renders.

These are the “napkin sketches” of exhibit design. Used for simple pop-up displays and preliminary layout purposes, they take much less time to put together. They only give 2 perspectives at a time. (I.E.) length x width, height x width, etc. These are more suited for space allotments.

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3-Dimensional Renders

3D undoubtedly provides much more detail with the 3rd perspective giving a glimpse into the “feel” within its space. This again can be any angle of the booth- top, front, back, side, etc. as well as any interior shot you may need. If there’s a TV build into the back left wall and you want to see it this should be no problem for the exhibit designer

 

Full Virtual Reality Renders and Augmented Reality Renders.

With use of a phone or tablet and an easy to use app (Augment) this method can take you on a complete tour of your booth as if you were actually there sitting on top of your desk! You can literally place your booth on a coffee table and walk around it. If you think seeing is believing than this method is as close to the real thing as you’ll get. See below.

 

 

 

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Augmented Reality Trade Show Booth Demo


1
. Download Augment app

2. Click on “View Live” button below

3. Scan QR code on page using Augment app

4. Enjoy the experience!

View Live

 
 

 

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When To Jump To 3D

TRUE-3D-Booth-Design-5.jpgObviously true 3D is better for visualization. Basing how your exhibit will perform on a 2D design could become quite difficult. Is a greeting counter too hidden by a wall? Is a monitor clearly visible above a display case?

Most exhibitors trying to work off a 2D design will find themselves over designing to the point of 3D anyway. Conceptualizing how an exhibit will look based on a 2D design in unison with a graphic template takes a very creative imagination and in our opinion becomes frustrating and counterproductive. Almost impossible. 

2D has it’s place and it works very well for preliminary layouts as it can be done quickly. 3D should really only be used for the last 2-3 trade show booth ideas as they (should) take substantially more time. While some companies will require a deposit or contract prior to starting a design others simply enjoy designing and are motivated to flex their creative muscle ;-).

 

Final Thoughts

If you find yourself sketching on paper, then picking up rulers and a calculator you’re design skills undoubtedly outdated. Try your hand at a few beginner convention booth design programs. It can be useful educational experiences but if you’re ready to get serious, find yourself a good 3D booth designer. It could mean the difference between attendees passing by and having to get security to maintain crowds.

 

 
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Recipes for Amazing Trade Show Booths

Amazing trade show booths: create one that is unforgettable

What are the first words that come to mind when walking through amazing trade show booths? Breathtaking. Risky. Colorful. Vivacious. Interactive. What sets a trade show booth apart from its competitors is its degree of interactivity and engagement. Booths that tell stories are the trade show booths whose stories are retold on the trip home. The creation process of trade show booths stems from one major entity: a concept. Once a concept is melded, the following factors make the difference between a mediocre trade show booth and a line of amazing trade show booths: creativity, strategy, logic, and a little bit of operational efficiency.

Need some inspiration? Visit our Modular Booth page for a gallery of images. Modular Trade Show Booths.jpg

Creativity

What’s the difference between a booth you see passively and one that you scrutinize actively? It’s the creativity factor. A high creative factor will lure your eyes to the center of the product or service. A trade show team’s creativity is the single most important factor during the research and development phase of creating amazing trade show booths. This is the part where endless ideas are discussed. Make sure you spend a decent amount of time in this part of the phase.

Logic

Logic is the following phase where fantasies need to be converted into reality. Basically, this is the part where we take creative ideas and turn them into realistic plans. Many ideas fall out, but most, if not all, can be used. This is the time to sit down and discuss how these creative ideas could be incorporated on the floor. Whether this is duplicating an experience done before in another medium (i.e. a movie experience) or a brand new experience involving different components (i.e. Refreshing Coca Cola in the North Pole), sitting down to add realistic materials to create the visual display is essential.

You cannot have just something pretty sitting on the floor of the the convention. The strategy component is where your team needs to decide how to incorporate the audience. Do you give them a sales pitch? Do you allow them to test out the product? Do you view a video? How does the audience and product meet? Coming up with marketing strategies for how to incorporate the audience may need to be a factor in the design of your exhibit. Remember, the exhibit is no longer a model after you see your renderings. Once they are produced, they are a part of your marketing –your place that will support your ability to obtain consumers. That may entail stunning audio/visual in your amazing trade show booth or as simple as your company’s mission imprinted on a banner that hangs over your display. Strategize how to capture your audience’s attention, pull them into your display, and sell them, all in your amazing trade show booth.

Operation

What your consumers see on the day of the convention does not magically appear. Once you have completed the creative, logistical, and strategical components of the process for your amazing trade show booth, you need to plan out how these booths will be constructed, transported, set-up, torn-down, transported back, and stored/destroyed. These are time-consuming tasks. From researching materials to physically transporting the booth, time is limited and decisions need to be made for a smooth process. This is also the place where most show-stopping errors occur. Make sure you are very organized during this process. No matter how effective and precious the booth, an error in the final steps of operations can cost you dollars in the end.

To ensure a smooth process from creativity to operations, we recommend connecting with a marketing and advertising agency who can provide amazing trade show booths. With many years in the business, we fully understand the trends in the industry and can give you a cutting edge booth design for your next show.

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