The Munich-based exhibition stand construction company MSM found an ideal way to present a virtual exhibit at a physical exhibition stand.
Architects used to actually draw their designs. But now buildings are designed virtually – in three-dimensional CAD software worlds. Graphisoft is a pioneer in the digital construction industry. The company’s latest software release is Archicad 25. Teams of architects can use this cloud-based software to work concurrently on the same design, even when they are in different locations. Every change they make immediately becomes visible to all.
According to the company, you can do anything in a team. So how do you show what teamwork looks like with Archicad? What’s the best way to present the product to architects visiting an exhibition stand? This was the challenge facing the design team at Messe Service Merkhoffer (MSM GmbH). The Munich-based exhibition stand company was commissioned by Graphisoft to develop a stand for Digitalbau 2022 in Cologne. Thanks to its modular structure, the stand can also be used at other events.
“Given that the target group was designers and architects, we clearly had to come up with some convincing exhibition stand architecture,” emphasises exhibition stand designer Georg Trengler. “Essentially, the three-dimensional nature of the software was reflected in the stand.” As a front stand, the 115 square metre stand could be viewed and entered from three sides. An LED display wall drew trade fair visitors’ attention immediately. There, and on what appeared to be workstations placed on three demo desks, impressive videos presented the software.
But, as ever, it wasn’t just about presenting the product and engaging visitors. “The entire stand did, of course, also have to reflect the exhibitor’s corporate design,” continues Trengler. “That was integral to the architecture.” The parapet-like feature around the perimeter was rendered in CI-compliant dark blue, as were the desks. The exhibitor’s other CI colour is a shade of orange. The exhibition stand designers added a striking edging strip in this colour to the parapet around the stand. “The orange strip was also symbolic of how a team is interlinked when working together on a building,” explains Trengler.
However, there were also practical considerations behind the use of this parapet: had there been any Covid-related access restrictions, it could also have been used as a boundary wall with entrances and exits. It also served as a bench, a counter and a storage space. Looked at from the outside, the parapet had something of a city skyline about it. But it wasn’t just the colours, the design and the videos that attracted visitors to the stand. The coffee bar under the LED display wall became a popular place to meet and hang out. MSM GmbH brought in a skilled barista who they often used at trade fairs. “Good coffee is simply a must. The smell of that fresh coffee is as enticing as the taste, and it’s something that seems to belong in any modern design studio. Our barista is also a great entertainer, which helps to draw in the visitors,” explains Trengler.
They didn’t want to miss the opportunity to add something to the stand that was typical of Munich. After all, both Graphisoft, the exhibitor, and MSM, the exhibition stand construction company, are based in the city. So the visitors were given chic snack boxes made of high-grade steel. “A hearty snack between meals or in a beer garden in the evening is very much part of daily life in Bavaria,” points out Trengler (www.msm-gmbh.de).
Author: Jens Kügler
This article was published in TFI issue 3/2022
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