Exhibition stand construction / Design: Illustrative design

Exhibition architecture does more than just set the stage for exhibits. It can enable trade fair visitors to really experience the products exhibited, their development and their usage.

SLM Solutions Group at formnext: The idea was to transfer the technical principles of 3D printing to the booth design. (Photo: Bruns)
SLM Solutions Group at formnext: The idea was to transfer the technical principles of 3D printing to the booth design. (Photo: Bruns)

3D printers produce parts by adding material layer by layer. SLM Solutions Group AG, which has its headquarters in Lübeck, is a manufacturer of 3D metal printers for manufacturing complex components. “Our idea was to apply the technical principle of 3D printing to stand design,” explains Christian Flörs, creative director for 3D brand communication at Munich trade-fair service company Bruns Messe- und Ausstellungsgestaltung GmbH, which designed, planned and built the stand. The zones of the stand were added layer by layer. The company positioned the meeting, information, communication and catering zones diagonally one after the other. At the centre of it all were the information zone with the exhibits and the communication zone. 

The exhibits were the outstanding features in the information zone. The communication zone, which was notable for its warm ambience, was right next to but screened off from the information zone, allowing in-depth conversations about the products to be held close to the exhibits. The blockouts caught the eye – backlit 3D-effect wall graphics portraying complex case studies of printed components from a wide variety of industries in 3D-effect graphics. “One particularly impressive example was a sintering motor cooling system for the electric racing cars of a team that takes part in international design competitions. The stand thus combined impressive exhibits with the latest technology and gave an indication of what production will look like in future,” says Bruns creative director Christian Flörs. The exhibition service company developed and built the stand for formnext 2017, the leading trade fair for additive manufacturing, which was held in Frankfurt. The stand is modular and can thus also be used at other events (www.bruns-messebau.de).

Nordex at WindEurope: wind energy, nature and ecology – illustrated by means of construction. (Photo: MDS Messebau)
Nordex at WindEurope: wind energy, nature and ecology – illustrated by means of construction. (Photo: MDS Messebau)

A wind turbine is many times higher than the typical exhibition hall. Despite that, Nordex managed to come up with a way of exhibiting turbines indoors at WindEurope 2017 in Amsterdam. Models with a height of around three metres exerted quite a pull on visitors to the fair. Nordex was exhibiting at the fair together with its newly acquired subsidiary Acciona Windpower for the first time, and its new stand design was developed and built by MDS Messebau, a company based in Buchholz near Hamburg. How can wind energy, nature and ecology be reflected in a building? That was the challenge. The exhibition stand designers came up with a number of ingenious ways of meeting it. They used a life-sized model of a section of a two-part rotor blade, for example, which was made for them by a model builder. 

The wider lower half was attached to the external wall of the meeting room, and the rotor blade tip was suspended from the ceiling. “You got the impression that the rotor blade was cutting through the stand,” recalls MDS marketing director Vanessa Niemann. Rolls of turf were laid out under the wind turbines, and the scene was flanked by small trees. “The visitors really liked the models, trees and grass,” continues Vanessa Niemann. The stand’s colours and graphics underscored the symbolism: white walls for clean energy and the colour of the wind turbines. The green of the grass and the landscape-themed graphics stood for the environment and green energy. A fabric banner over the stand, visible from some distance, reflected the shape of the tapered rotor blades. “Being a modular structure, the stand is already booked in for other trade fairs,” reveals Vanessa Niemann. “Even with a much smaller stand footprint, the essentials are always retained” (www.mdsmessebau.de). 

Alpine village: The Salesforce stand was an eye-catcher among the – in part – rather sober presences at dmexco. (Photo: Atelier Damböck)
Alpine village: The Salesforce stand was an eye-catcher among the – in part – rather sober presences at dmexco. (Photo: Atelier Damböck)

Visitors to dmexco 2017 certainly wouldn’t have been expecting to come across a village of Alpine huts in the exhibition hall, so Salesforce’s stand really stood out from the rather sober and businesslike stands of its competitors at the digital trade fair. The concept behind the stand was “Trailblazer”, an outdoor, scouting theme reflecting how the company sees itself as a pioneer in the field of business cloud computing. The exhibition stand construction company Atelier Damböck, from Neufinsing near Munich, adapted the concept for the German-speaking world. The result took visitors through a kind of Alpine nature trail. Anyone embarking on it learned about the environment for the solutions just as a rambler gets to experience the natural environment. How does cloud computing result in concrete business solutions? How can you learn to use business applications, and how can they be successfully implemented? 

Forest paths marked out by high-quality photorealistic carpets led visitors from one point to the next among natural-looking artificial grass and rocks. “A rotating balloon above the stand served to draw attention to it,” emphasises Kathrin Böttcher, Atelier Damböck’s marketing director. The stand’s centrepiece was a tree house, on the ground floor of which there was a media theatre for presentations as well as a kitchen. Upstairs was one of the stand’s four meeting rooms. “This elaborate and eye-catching Alpine world couldn’t have been created using a construction system, of course: we built the entire stand from scratch manually,” explains Böttcher. “However, the concept is modular in design, and it’s being used in different sizes and configurations at other trade fairs and conventions, including CallCenterWorld Berlin” (www.damboeck.de).

Author: Jens Kügler

This article was published in TFI issue 1/2018


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