Stand construction / Design: United under one roof

Presenting multiple exhibitors under a uniform concept is a challenge for stand designers. Sometimes they even design a complete event. 

Bluepool succeeded in putting both brands into the spotlight: Rolls-Royce and MTU Friedrichshafen. (Photo: Bluepool)
Bluepool succeeded in putting both brands into the spotlight: Rolls-Royce and MTU Friedrichshafen. (Photo: Bluepool)

Two brands  - separated but still in recognisable unity: This is how visitors experienced Rolls-Royce and MTU Friedrichshafen at SMM Hamburg 2018, the world's leading trade fair for the maritime industry. The brand duo stands for a leading manufacturer of marine propulsion engines and systems. The 380 square metre stand was visually separated into two areas. The stand builder Bluepool from Leinfelden-Echterdingen succeeded on putting both brands into the spotlight with clear lines. Media installations were suspended from the ceiling across the entire area. Large LED screens displayed exhibits and applications that would be difficult to present in a hall in their full size. “With these installations, our stand construction highlighted an essential feature of the exhibitor: the use of the most innovative digital technology in marine propulsion systems,” explains Bluepool’s Managing Director Frank-Dieter Keinath. 

A marine engine was on display, and an augmented reality app showed visitors how it works. The images could be projected from their tablets onto an LED wall element in real time. Bluepool supervised the technical execution of the entire augmented reality area, implementing a unique augmented reality experience for the trade fair visitor. Another electronic element was also realised by the trade fair specialists: An operable bridge console simulated the technology for steering the ship. “This allowed visitors to put themselves in the shoes of the captain and second officer,” says Frank-Dieter Keinath. “Many visitors were absolutely thrilled.” A lounge area with seating cubes and side tables from the innovative Cube system rounded off the presence. “The visitor experience was all about getting an impression of the innovative technology of these machinery giants,” recaps Bluepool’s managing director (

Bruns designed four circular theme and meeting zones for Sourceability, separated by curtains. (Photo: Bruns)
Bruns designed four circular theme and meeting zones for Sourceability, separated by curtains. (Photo: Bruns)

One group of companies, four different service segments: This was how US-based exhibitor Sourceability presented itself at electronica 2018, the world's leading electronics fair, in Munich. Round shapes dominated the stand, inspired by the circular logos of the four brands. “Since we were also able to associate the logos and graphics with stage sets, this gave us the design idea for the stand’s motto.” It was: ‘Curtains up for Communication!’,” recalls Julius Kügler of Bruns Messe- und Ausstellungsgestaltung in Munich. “We designed four circular theme and meeting zones, divided by curtains and separating the stand from the aisle. Thus the curtain was part of the architecture,” adds the designer and managing director. 

Bruns was responsible for the design, planning and construction of the 200 square metre island stand. In front of the curtains, visitors were greeted by an open area with bar tables for short initial talks. The elaborate chain curtains provided shadowy glimpses of the stand’s interior, inviting visitors to enter the four round theme areas via a funnel-shaped entrance. An area for the core brand Sourceability informed them about the procurement and distribution of electronic components. The second brand, Sourcengine, offers an e-commerce solution for this purpose. In the Surcle area, visitors learned about a crowd platform for engineers in the industry. In zone four, The Burn-In presented a worldwide content community for technology enthusiasts. Further talks could be held in two meeting rooms. A bar invited visitors to take a relaxing drink. So, in the end, they proverbially came full circle. They experienced four different specialised services but still recognised that  this was a one-stop shop (

Mittelstandsforum by All For One Steeb: Messebau Süd divided the Donauhalle into ten workshop areas. (Photo: Messebau Süd)
Mittelstandsforum by All For One Steeb: Messebau Süd divided the Donauhalle into
ten workshop areas. (Photo: Messebau Süd)

How do companies react if they become dissatisfied with their original trade fair? For exhibitor All For One Steeb, the solution was to host a fair of one’s own. Instead of participating in Cebit in Hanover, the Ulm-based company already organised its third in-house fair in November 2018. Its name: Mittelstandsforum. The place: Donauhalle at Ulm Exhibition Centre and the neighbouring Hotel Lago. Digitisation was the topic of the fair. The exhibitor commissioned Messebau Süd, also from Ulm, to carry out the work. “An event of short distances,” remembers Messebau-Süd’s Managing Director Petra Hospes-Weber. She and her team divided the Donauhalle into ten workshop areas. Visitors navigated their way around the different areas under signboards with titles such as “Digital Workspace”, “Customer Experience” or “Warehouse Logistics”. There speakers introduced them to the product and solution worlds. 

In order to hold the workshops without disturbing one another, the visitors followed their contents of choice via radio headsets. This allowed them to walk freely from workshop to workshop. They simply tuned into the relevant radio channel. The entire hall was immersed in the exhibitor's corporate design. For this, the stand builders dipped into their bag of tricks: The hall was discreetly illuminated with LEDs in the corporate colour pink. The partition walls of the workshop rooms also shone in the company look. Covered and featuring textile graphics, they helped visitors navigate. In the middle were four theme islands displaying specific applications. A stage, two bars and communication tables rounded off the interior. “Hosting your own fair has a big advantage,” says Petra Hospes-Weber: “All attention is on the exhibitor alone (

Author: Jens Kügler

This article was published in TFI issue 1/2019


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