Stand builders not only stage products indoors but also out in the open. And sometimes they even let nature into the halls.
At launch events for new cars the trade press, radio and TV stations are the most important disseminators. At these exclusive events journalists are treated to arranged test rides in select landscapes. Communication agencies develop the event concepts, exhibition and event design specialists create the right setting in hotels or at individual stops along the way. In 2012 motoring journalists enjoyed an intricately thought-out programme in Slovenia. On their arrival at the airport they could get into a new Mercedes A-class model for a ride along a coastal route followed by a driving performance test at a sports airfield. In May journalists could test the new Mercedes GLK class in a stunning Alpine landscape around Geneva and Annecy. For the new Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake sports coupé the trade press were taken on a tour of Tuscany. At Florence Airport journalists were handed the keys. Historical castles, beautiful landscapes, charming restaurants and old vineyards in the hills around Sienna awaited them on the route.
The event concepts were developed by the Cologne-based agency Oliver Schrott Kommunikation. While Bluepool Messen + Events created the installations for car and company presentations in hotels and at stops on the way. “The entire design and ambience has to fit Mercedes’ corporate identity,” says Bluepool project manager Jan Seeburger. Based in Leinfelden-Echterdingen, the company builds the platforms for the cars or glass cases for close-up displays of exhibits from their interior for such events. Bluepool also sets the stage for press conferences at motor shows. “It’s rather exciting to create brand worlds not only in exhibition centres but also in luxury hotels, conference rooms and outdoors,” says Jan Seeburger (www.bluepool.de).
Truck trailers don’t make much of an emotional impact on the road. But in the exhibition hall you can stage them more impressively. Burg Silvergreen, a German manufacturer of high-tech trailers, made its debut at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show 2012 in Hannover. The stand designers of Fey Messedesign from Ulm chose an open, inviting architecture that offered generous glimpses of the products and made visitors want to know more. On entering the 1,700 square metre stand you were accompanied by staff to the communication area. Via a wide staircase they led visitors to a tunnel-like corridor. Four tubular wall elements with dynamic images informed them about the company and its philosophy. “This tunnel, the “Brand Tube”, was the architectural highlight of the presentation. But the entire atmospheric setting also wowed the audience,” says stand designer Jürgen Fey.
Long crescent-shaped wooden tables were grouped around the Brand Tube with integrated trees as an eye-catcher. A screen at the end of the corridor lured the visitor with moving images. In the product area you could enter the trailers and chassis thanks to glass platform ramps. “Apart from the product features we wanted to convey one thing, above all: the corporate philosophy. Burg Silvergreen stands for superior quality, cost-effectiveness and, above all, environmental sustainability,” says Jürgen Fey. This claim was reflected, among other things, in long-lasting recyclable materials as well as living trees and plants. A bar offered regional, mostly organic, catering. And there were two other green aspects: Firstly, the stand was 100 per cent carbon neutral. All carbon emissions were offset by donations to certified ecological projects. In addition, the exhibitor uses parts of the stand to decorate and furnish its new administrative and production buildings (www.fey-messedesign.de).
Surrounded by rolling hills the natural gas stand of the Association of the Swiss Gas Industry (VSG) at Swissbau 2012 presented natural gas as a green source of energy. Completely covered in grass, the stand was created by the stand construction firm Holtmann and designed by the agency Office for Spatial Identity (OFSI). “Every exhibition stand is a little world of its own, but this was a very special project!”, recalls Claus Holtmann, Managing Director of the company which creates trade fair presentations for companies from all kinds of industries world-wide. Round sofa groups harmonised with the green stand image, with more grass sprouting up from the back walls as a vertical eye-catcher.
Attaching the vegetation securely to the back walls at an angle of 81 degrees was a particular challenge for the stand builders. Firmly attached, the grass and spring flowers offered a great presentation space for energy-efficient and future-forward technologies and equipment. Installation models and multimedia presentations demonstrated various application possibilities and distribution channels for natural gas in Switzerland. An interactive table model showed how complex the use and distribution of natural gas is. “With the help of a touch screen visitors could create connections between the exhibited models and find information on the selected route on an attached screen,” Holtmann project manager Dieter Schmidt describes the functions of the model, which was the central focus of the stand. Intricately designed down to the last (real) blade of grass, the stand concept also wowed the jury of Swissbau Awards, winning the golden Swissbau Award 2012 in the category of stands with a size of over 80 square metres (www.holtmann.de).
Author: Jens Kügler
This article was published in TFI issue 1/2013
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