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The Latest and Greatest Exhibit Concepts, Inc. News

Sierra Smith

Holy Toledo! How AccessData’s 10x10 Booth won in a Big Way at ILTACON 2019

Sierra Smith October 09, 2019

Households across the U.S. love the classic television show, M*A*S*H – whether you watched it on primetime or reruns following the debut of the show in 1972. Iconic characters such as Hawkeye, Maxwell Q. Klinger, Radar, and "Hot Lips" brought smiles to our faces and laughs to our bellies.

When ILTACON announced that the theme of their 2019 show would be "A Whole New World of Possibilities – a Journey Through Classic TV," AccessData jumped on the opportunity. They came up with a M*A*S*H themed booth that won the hearts of attendees across the hall.

"Everyone came up with some great ideas, but it was one of our account executives, Kristy Glazebrook, who first thought of M*A*S*H," said Lori Tyler, Vice President of Global Marketing for AccessData. "I ultimately chose it for a number of reasons. First, it's M*A*S*H! It's the epitome of 'classic TV' -- a show that everyone knows, with beloved and recognizable characters. But also because I believed MASH offered a perfect messaging platform with the staying power needed to maintain attendee interest all week."

Featuring the iconic wayfinder sign, which points in the direction of classic locations, "sandy" terrain with rock props, branded graphics, themed giveaways, and a vintage countertop styled with retro Christmas lights set the scene for AccessData. The most astonishing piece of the booth was the digitally printed, "dirt" floor.

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"The flooring Exhibit Concepts produced is what really made this booth. Our floor looked like the sandy, rocky terrain in the show. It's what helped us move the booth so over the top," said Debbie Brizendine, Event Support Contractor for AccessData.

Aside from the most apparent design details, the GES set-up team and Exhibit Concepts made sure even the smaller touches were perfect, such as the wiring matching the floor color, lining up the rock props with the print, and making legs for the counter so that it would sit over an extension cord.

"The teamwork between our Account Specialist, Jeanine [Gross], and I was amazing. She paid attention to every detail and made great suggestions. It wasn't about assigning tasks; it was 'what do we need next?' It was true teamwork," said Brizendine.

AccessData even styled their booth staff to match the theme. The sales team coordinated with matching olive green shirts, while some took a more overt approach by dressing up as their favorite characters. Attendees loved seeing Hawkeye and Radar working the booth!


Photo Provided by AccessData

AccessData also brought the real deal: Jamie Farr, who played fan-favorite Sgt. Maxwell Q. Klinger drew attendees into the booth with his friendly, magnetic nature.

"We totally won having Jamie Farr join us. He was the perfect celebrity guest. He took the time to find out about each visitor by asking where they were from or about their memories of the show. He would spend at least a minute or two with each person. He made everyone feel so special. Just watching it was the coolest thing," said Brizendine.


Photo Provided by AccessData

When Farr was not in the booth, AccessData kept the vibes undoubtedly M*A*S*H with themed giveaway items. Attendees could pick up cigars hand-rolled by a professional, army green notebooks and pens, and other branded goodies during their visit.

All the brainstorming, attention to detail, and hard work paid off. AccessData took home the "Best Booth" award from ILTACON, beating over 200 other exhibitors.

"Before the ILTA team brought the award to us, Lori already had the 'We Won!' sign printed and ready to go," Brizendine said with laughter.


Photo Provided by AccessData

Best of all, AccessData accomplished the goal we all strive for when attending a trade show: making connections with people that will lead to long-term relationships.

"We spoke to over 100 attendees during opening reception night alone and ended up with 200 new contacts in total, who wanted to follow up on our products showcased during the show. We also generated a huge buzz, which lasted all week and beyond," said Tyler.

This experience goes to show that flashy technology and large, open spaces are not what draw people into your booth. It's making human connections and creating something that will stick with people for a long time. Just like our favorite, beloved M*A*S*H characters did.

Case Study: How Omron Exceeded Their Goals at CES in 2018, 2019

Sierra Smith October 03, 2019

6.3 billion impressions and 300 scheduled media interviews. Yes, you read that right.

When it comes to advertising these days, no matter where you are in the world, channels are noisy. Many brands are vying for your ideal customer. To stand out, you must go beyond the status quo.


To exhibit at CES in 2018, Omron Corporation knew that to attract the attention of show-goers and the media they needed to create a unique experience that would lead to brand enhancement and partnership in the U.S.

Omron didn't get into the trenches without a plan; a solid partnership with Exhibit Concepts and a firm set of goals is what blew the competition out of the water in 2018 and 2019.

For a media outlet to pick up your brand's story, you need to gather a crowd and generate a buzz. Your standard booth and product displays just won't do at a show like CES. What's the best way? By incorporating your products with a fun engagement: Omron brought Forpheus, the ping-pong playing a robot as well as other robots and machinery that performed a variety of tasks to CES 2018 and 2019.

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When approaching Omron's goals and needs, we ideated a multi-faceted and attendee-centric approach to maximize exposure. The experience was not limited to the design of the exhibit in 2018 or 2019 – it required strategic development and planning with a full-service solution. Truly, it takes teamwork to make the dream work.

"The success we achieved at CES is ongoing and momentous for Omron Automation of the Americas. It was our first time as one global company to display at CES and thanks to Exhibit Concepts' efforts, we achieved all of our goals, and then some,' said Matt Trowbridge, VP of Marketing for Omron Corporation about the 2018 CES experience.

The booth from 2018 evolved in 2019 to include large display screens, two staircases that allowed presenters to hold presentations on a deck overhead, and other robot and machinery demonstrations at the front. Forpheus also had a place at the front of the booth.


"It would be hard to top what ECI did for us at CES 2019. They are truly phenomenal when it comes to strategizing, design, and all-around support. We look forward to working with them again," said Trowbridge.

For both shows, Omron well exceeded their goals. In 2018, Omron generated 111 scheduled media interviews, 3.8 billion media impressions, won the "Sizzle Award" and ranked on the Top 20 Best of CES List from EXHIBITOR Magazine. In 2019, Omron garnered 189 scheduled media interviews, 2.5 billion media impressions, and ranked on EXHIBITOR Magazine's Top 20 Best of CES list for the second consecutive year.

Omron didn't just create a spectacular booth design; they created a memorable experience that will live in the minds of CES attendees for years to come. Through the harmony of partnership, Omron did what they set out to do: to create harmony between humans and machines.

Trade Show Etiquette 101: Tips for Working a Booth (Part Two)

Sierra Smith September 17, 2019

When it comes to trade shows, presentation is everything. One wrong move could result in your brand losing a viable customer.

In part two of Trade Show Etiquette 101, we have four more tips to help you impress attendees as they pass by or visit your booth. Did you miss part one? Check it out here.

1. You never know who’s watching – be professional, knowledgeable, and discrete.www.exhibitconcepts.comhubfs0P2A0350As stated, when you’re deep in conversation, it can be easy to tune out the rest of the world. But when it comes to trade shows, everyone is watching.

As you’re speaking with colleagues or prospects, avoid taking part in any gossip, discussing private personal or business matters, and pay attention to your movement and body language in the booth. As people enter or circle your space, it is likely that they’re listening in on the conversations taking place inside.

If you wouldn’t put it in your presentation or discuss it with your boss, you probably shouldn’t be talking about it on the trade show floor. Focus on your prospects’ questions, provide detailed information about your products or services, and don’t give away any information that could be harmful to your business.

2. Eat and drink outside of the booth.20190518_121130There’s nothing worse than approaching someone with a mouthful of gum or food. If prospects can see you chowing down on lunch in the booth, they might assume you’re unavailable to talk and you’ll lose the lead.

It’s going to be a long day and even if you want to grab a bite to eat, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to leave your station unless you and your team have made a schedule allowing for breaks. Make sure you eat breakfast beforehand and bring a bottle of water (preferably refillable – you know, save the environment AND save some change) to keep with you during the show. If there is a lunch hour during the show, make sure you’re coordinating with other staffers to make sure the booth is covered while you’re away.

3. No mobile phones except for lead retrieval. No calls. No texting. No e-mail.
We get it. The more time we spend away from our devices, the worse our FOMO becomes. But when it comes to working a trade show booth, it’s no different from holding a deep conversation with your fellow booth staffers while ignoring a prospect.

If a prospect sees that your nose is buried in your phone, they may get the impression that you’re too busy or enthralled with Facebook to talk to them and will make a beeline for the exit. Unless your mobile device is the only method for retrieving leads to follow-up with once you’re back to the hotel or in the office, grandma’s rules for the dinner table also apply in the booth: put your phone in your pocket and pay attention to the people around you.

4. Check with your colleagues before you leave the booth.
It’s impossible to stay in the same spot for 8+ hours and that’s totally understandable. We’re human and we need bathroom, snack, or drink breaks. It’s also possible that you’ll need to take a phone call, take care of a client or family emergency, or step into a meeting at the trade show. Before you step away, make sure the booth is properly staffed or WILL have staff.

When working a trade show booth, it can be tiring, but remaining aware of your body language, checking in with fellow booth staffers, and keeping your focus on potential customers will make all the difference. 

When in doubt, think of your grandmother or any other monumental figure in your life: would you say or do in front of them? If the answer is no, you probably should avoid it on the trade show floor, too.

Trade Show Etiquette 101: Tips for Working a Booth (Part One)

Sierra Smith September 09, 2019

We live in a digital world.

Comfortably behind glowing mobile phones or desktop screens, we have the chance to mold our personal and brand appearances on social networks, showing the best version of ourselves and our products.

It’s easy enough to show the best of the best online, but when it comes to working a trade show booth, it’s crucial that you deliver a consistent experience when you come face-to-face with your customers and prospects. Yes, we know how difficult it is to smile and maintain good posture for hours, but the benefits for your brand far outweigh the sore facial muscles you’ll have the following day.

When it comes to engaging with visitors in your booth, the number one rule is one we’ve known since elementary school: treat others as you would like to be treated. The bottom line is that wearing a smile, making eye contact, and engaging prospects and customers in conversation with a full understanding of your subject matter is the best way to forge relationships long term.

If you want to create a lasting impression, following these guidelines is a foolproof way to guarantee a positive, memorable experience that will result in the ROI you need.

1. Stand up, smile, and make eye contact.0P2A9921-1First impressions matter and people will take your body language into account before they decide to cross into your booth. Even if you’re having a bad day, making a positive impression will influence how visitors perceive your brand.

As visitors approach, smile, greet them, and make sure you’re making eye contact to engage them right out of the gate. Projecting your confidence and enthusiasm onto visitors will help you keep the conversation going and hopefully, will convert them into a lead.

Before and after visitors enter your booth, thank them for spending time with you to learn more about your products or business offerings. Always make sure you’re aware of your body language and demeanor, as crossed arms or one slouch, frown, or negative comment could result in a prospect walking the other way.

2. Greet attendees inside and in front of the entrances of the booth. If booth traffic is slow, engage aisle walkers from INSIDE your booth.
Depending on the configuration of your booth, people will be entering from a number of different openings. Make sure that your staff is standing near the entrances and inside near points of interest, ready to speak with visitors. It should be clear to visitors who is working and available to help. 

If traffic is slow, it might be tempting to wander the hall looking to entice people to come to your booth. This can be considered distasteful and is generally frowned upon by the show organizer. Never enter the booth to entice people to come inside, and especially don’t enter any neighboring booths to ask visitors to come into your booth. This is extremely off-putting and while it’s tempting to pull visitors away from the competition, it’s disrespectful. Let your booth’s appearance, engagements, and staff inside attract a crowd.

3. Speak with attendees, not colleagues or on your phone.0P2A9942When you're deep in conversation, sometimes you tune out what may be happening around you. As a potential customer, there’s nothing more frustrating than approaching staffers that are chatting away with their backs turned or eyes glued to their phone, with no hope of ever letting up to talk to you about your needs. Booth staff should spend their time greeting visitors, listening, and answering questions. That’s not to say your team shouldn’t enjoy themselves and engage with one another; just be aware of who is approaching and how you can help them.

4. Keep it short and simple and engage your prospects in conversation.
0P2A9801Take a page out of EXHIBITOR Magazine’s book: rather than immediately launching into your sales pitch, engage your prospects in conversation and ask questions. Ask them about their position and the company they work for, what their favorite thing they’ve seen at the show is, or what plans they might have once the show doors close at the end of the day.

People LOVE to talk about themselves and their experiences and allowing your prospects to do so will provide them with a positive memory of your brand. People don’t enjoy being sold to without the chance to give their why and state their needs. If you want to close a sale, it's best to ask open-ended questions and engage prospects in conversation rather than rambling on about how amazing your company and services are. Let prospects talk to you, and then you’ll have the opportunity to showcase your unique offerings.

The bottom line when working a trade show booth is the same as if you are in the office at work. Be professional, come prepared and be knowledgeable, and bring a positive attitude with you. Look out next week for part two in this installment. 

How Utilizing Modular and Rental Components Creates Cost Efficiencies

Sierra Smith September 04, 2019

We all know that exhibiting can be an expensive line item in your marketing budget. As material handling and transportation costs continue to increase, savvy brands are looking for innovative ways to control costs without sacrificing quality, aesthetics or the attendee experience.

For LG Air Conditioning Technologies USA, it was important as we developed their exhibit for AHR 2019 that the design would have maximum impact, but with an eye to cost efficiencies. Beginning with a strong discovery process and allowing time to focus on a strong design that would also reduce weight and labor time was key.

“The design ECI came up with us was very modular and lightweight. Consequentially, it was very cost-effective in terms of transportation and implementation and there was no issue in terms of impact. It was one of the strongest booths at the exhibition,” said Jacki Jaynes, Senior Manager, Channel Marketing at LG Air Conditioning Technologies USA.

By making LG’s booth property modular, the shipping, handling, and storage was seamless. The components also provide LG with flexibility, meaning that for other shows they attend, the components can be configured into different sizes and shapes. By using a mix of modular and rental components, storage fees were cut by over 60%.

For many exhibitors, having a meeting space built into their booth is a must. In the last three years, Aaron Scarlata, Account Executive for Exhibit Concepts has seen many clients beginning to expand their booths with meeting space rather than purchasing secondary rooms in exhibit halls. For LG, we incorporated a 2-story rental meeting facility for a fraction of the cost of ownership, and it took up minimal floor space.

“By keeping our components modular and by using large components out of the ECI rental pool, our ongoing storage costs are very minimal and we’re so thrilled with that,” said Jaynes.

In addition, we managed LG’s show services and streamlined the ordering and billing processes which cut costs by 25%.

“I cannot stress enough how the ECI team delivers not only design innovation but takes great responsibility in delivering cost effective solutions and savings opportunities,” said Jaynes.

When partnering with an exhibit house, placing an emphasis on the discovery process and allowing for more time in the design phase, allows your partner to identify where efficiencies can be made. Trade shows are a big piece of your budget, and we know getting it right the first time is essential.

Find a partner that knows your brand and is just as passionate about it as you are. Your brand needs a team, not a robotic vendor.

Trade Show Trends 2019: Mid-Year Edition

Sierra Smith August 19, 2019

Can you believe we’re more than halfway through 2019? It feels like it was just yesterday that our teams were at EXHIBITORLive, marveling at the latest and greatest in trade show design and technology.

Earlier in the year, we predicted what attendees might begin to see on the show floor in 2019. As the year progressed, we spotted six trends that are becoming more prominent that exhibitors should keep an eye on:

Trend One: Nostalgic Engagement
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From Plinko boards to cornhole, exhibitors are taking show attendees back to a fun memory from their past. Show floors are crowded spaces, and brands are craving a more hands-on, authentic experience for their customers and prospects. Along with creating engaging experiences, exhibitors are also going retro with their booth design. “This is definitely something I’m seeing more of as I’m walking the trade show floor,” said Stephanie Matlock, Account Executive for Exhibit Concepts. “One great example that immediately comes to mind is Clif Bar, who hung records on their booth at the Natural Products Expo Show earlier this year.”

Chris Beckstedt, Account Executive for Exhibit Concepts says, “Exhibit Houses are being challenged to create these solutions rather than agencies right now. Clients are looking for that one-stop shop, and it’s now an expectation rather than just a desire.”

Taking a page from our own playbook, the booth we created for EXHIBITORLive 2019 featured a wall display of old-school lunchboxes reminiscent of comics from the 1980s. The lunchboxes were stuffed with retro toys such as a plastic dinosaur, foam plane gliders, and greeting cards showcasing a project our team completed.

If your brand is going to exhibit, making a nostalgic play is an effective way to draw show attendees into your booth. Whether you’re displaying products or reinforcing a brand message, there are plenty of ways you can factor in nostalgia – either it’s in the design or the engagement.

Trend Two: Directional Booth Design
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Did you notice that exhibits are curvier than ever? So did we.

With a multitude of configurations and design possibilities, exhibitors are becoming strategic when it comes to leading people through their booth. Curving structures keeps attendees on a path just like a hiking trail or museum would, so that attendees aren’t missing important details and messages as they explore.

“It’s similar to how you’d lead people through an aquarium, like the Newport Aquarium,” said Beckstedt. “You’re placing products or engagements along the path and the architecture leads them through the booth. It prevents attendees from leaving quickly without establishing what your brand’s message is and what action you’d like them to take. Finding the right partner that can creatively think through these details and help you tell that story is extremely important.”

Take a page from your favorite museum: your booth should function just like an exhibit as it leads attendees through the story your brand wants to tell. Don’t provide an easy way out; make sure your architecture directs attendees down the path you want them to take.

Trend Three: Living Walls
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Bringing the outdoors inside can bring your booth’s look to life, literally! While it’s not new to use potted plants – faux or alive – to fill or accent space, incorporating live plants, mimicking natural textures, or the use of natural materials in a booth’s architecture has started to appear across convention centers everywhere.

“Just about every show I’ve gone to this year, I’ve seen live greenery incorporated into the architecture of the booth design,” said Matlock.

Exhibitors are also exploring the use of natural materials such as woods or metals, as well as printing wood or brick textures onto the walls to give graphics a nice pop. Whether a brand is kitschy or industrial, incorporating these natural elements creates a clean design that nicely highlights brand messaging or product displays.

Whether it’s a trade show or a local pop-up, green is what’s in when it comes to design.

Trend Four: Lighting in Booth Design
Incorporating theatrical or special effects lighting into an exhibit’s design is a HUGE trend, and it’s one that won’t be going away any time soon. Exhibitors are using lighting in a multitude of ways: to accent products and displays, to lead attendees down a path to complete the exhibitor’s desired tasks, or to beautifully accent minimalistic graphics on the booth.

Something to keep in mind if your brand decides to incorporate lighting into your exhibit is that convention centers are shutting lights off in spaces to conserve energy which creates dark spots, or they've not yet made the switch from super-hot halogen to LED lighting, all of which can adversely affect the way your booth looks in the hall. To compensate for these changes, exhibitors are moving to LED lighting to conserve energy, better control the light temperature to create a beautiful glow and illuminate graphics to give them a pop.

Depending on where you’re exhibiting, the color and temperature of the lighting in the hall can affect the way your lighting will display on your booth. “Pay attention to the hue of the lighting in the show’s hall. Different hues can completely change the coloring of the lights on your booth, ultimately affecting your overall look,” said Aaron Scarlata, Account Executive for Exhibit Concepts.

Prior to the show, Beckstedt recommends calling the show hall to find out what type of lighting you’ll be dealing with once the booth is ready to rock-and-roll.

Using lighting to accent products or graphics, or by creating a path for attendees to see something specific is an excellent way to capture the eyes of onlooking prospects. If you’re not already incorporating lighting into your booth, get with your exhibit house to strategically plan how your booth will “glow up”.

Trend Five: Data Collection
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Technological advances in the last decade has given many marketers gobs of information about their audiences, their interests, and what led them to convert. When it comes to a trade show, tracking data isn’t a new phenomenon; it’s how we track the data that has become trendy.

Exhibitors are exploring new ways to capture information, whether it’s through Bluetooth or RFID tags integrated into the booth’s design, creative solutions to capture attendee engagement is a trend that will become best practice before we know it. Relying on busy booth and sales staff to capture the data alone is difficult and finding ways to automate the process is key in a fast-paced environment.

“Data becomes especially important if it’s about the customer experience and if the brand was effective. If an exhibitor wants people in a specific booth spot, the analytics help them figure out how to bring people there and once they’re there, identify if sales is helping them through the brand’s experience,” said Scarlata.

Matlock also notes that combining engagement and analytics is an effective way to capture data.

“Surveying attendees after they’ve sampled a product is a great example of engaging data capture. In Omron’s booth, we’re using survey technology to get people’s take on the harmonization of humans and machine. This is a great way to make attendees feel like they’re being included in the conversation, rather than just being talked to by booth staff,” said Matlock.

As people come in and out of the booth, having a plan to capture the right information is becoming more important as marketers think of creative and innovative ways to get their attention and meet their needs. While using different data collection technologies is trendy, it also determines whether your brand will sink or swim on the trade show floor or online. Make sure you’re talking to your exhibit house about how to best capture the data your brand needs to tell a compelling story across all your marketing efforts.

Trend Six: In-Booth Meeting Space
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Rather than purchasing secondary space for meetings, exhibitors are making use of their own real estate by incorporating meeting space into their booth. The sole purpose of a trade show is to come face-to-face with prospects and having two different spaces to meet can make that challenging, especially if you’re forced to book space outside of the show hall.

These meeting spaces aren’t limited to conversations that were scheduled prior to the show. By incorporating welcoming lounge space, attendees will likely feel more willing and comfortable to have a conversation. “Rather than building a demo station or having booth workers engage with attendees standing up, I’m seeing more of these lounge and casual spaces being set-up so that exhibitors can reacquaint with customers or welcome and engage new people,’ said Scarlata.

In the last year, we’ve seen several clients take advantage of meeting space in their booth. Most notably, World Fuel’s large trade show booth provided 24-26 work spaces for FBOs (Fuel Based Operations) to meet and work with prospects, and LG Air Conditioning Technologies USA, utilized a 2-story rental meeting space that also created cost efficiencies, as it took up no additional real estate in their space.

Talking with new vendors or business can be daunting for show attendees, and they have tons of brands vying for their precious attention. By giving your space the feel of a cozy living room and cutting out a secondary location, you’ll be able to engage and relax prospects that may not have felt quite ready to convert.

As we near the end of 2019, trends will continue to change, and we guarantee we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled and our clients educated as we enter 2020. As you make plans for the rest of the year and next, make sure you’re keeping an eye on the trends so that your booth can compete. Need help refreshing your booth or engagements? Let’s brainstorm!

6 Innovative Trade Show Technology Solutions

Sierra Smith August 14, 2019

Technology is attractive to any trade show goer and over the years, it’s evolved and become a staple on the show floor. Innovative and interactive technology draws a crowd, as people can’t resist shiny new gadgets and games to play from their favorite brands.

Just because your company might not be in the tech realm doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate technology to increase engagement or to share your message. From video games to motion sensor video displays, there are a multitude of experiences you can create for attendees by using technology. Here are six ways our clients created a memorable, engaging experience with unique forms of technology:

1. If you want to gather people in your booth, using video game technology is an excellent way to engage visitors and put smiles on their faces. When Scot Forge decided to promote their aerospace offerings, they knew they needed to create an interactive experience that would align with their products. We created and coded an 8-bit game using the same concept as the classic Atari “Space Invaders”. Instead of a space ship, an 8-bit version of the Scot Forge logo was programmed to shoot the aliens as the attendee scrolls. When a visitor wins or loses the game, a custom screen appears and tracks the score. The game was programmed to run on keyboard controls, but we were able to map the keystrokes to a joystick for a better gameplay experience. Think you can beat the highest score? Make sure if you see Scot Forge at a show, that you drop in for a little game play.

2. The force was strong with Fabtech 2018 visitors. OTC Daihen, a Japanese company produces advanced welding products in the industrial and manufacturing industry and are well-known for their entertaining and thematic booth experiences. To draw a crowd, we drew inspiration from Star Wars for the entrance of their booth. We created two tall pedestals at the front of the booth which featured retention fabric, LED lights and fog machines for dramatic effect. At the top, two robots programmed by OTC Daihen stood and dueled with custom light sabers. We wired the light sabers’ sound effects into the booth’s speaker system, which played in sync with the movement of the robots to create a complete, immersive experience. When it comes to creating tech solutions, we live by Master Yoda’s words: “Do or do not, there is no try.”


3. When Collins Aerospace exhibits, the best way to show their advanced solutions is by engaging and educating visitors with interactives that showcase their products and how they work. . We’ve created multiple interactive projects for their trade show booths that resulted in high engagement and success. One facet of their business is supporting the U.S. Navy and Allied surface and submarine fleets. On a display, we CNC’d a submarine, which slowly rotates on the screen. The display included movement sensors that when triggered by hand movement, played video detailing a part on the fleet. For their aerospace division, we created a display with a table that had receptacles carved into it. In these openings, glass blocks that represented either personnel, a place, or a type of machinery sat and could be picked up and moved by a visitor. At the bottom of the blocks and in a center opening, RFID tags were placed so that when a visitor moved a block to the center opening, a video would trigger on a display screen. If you make learning interactive, it’s a surefire way to burn your brand into a visitor’s memory.


4. For EXHIBITORLIVE 2019, we decided the best way to make our brand’s story unforgettable was with our own “magical” robot named Orville, along with his not so talkative friend, Wilbur. What makes Orville magical? When visitors pull open the “magic door” on the robot’s torso, a video plays introducing the visitor to one of our clients’ projects. From the moving performance of “This Little Light of Mine” at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum to children playing at the Mansfield Independent School District Early Learning Center, an unforgettable experience was burned into the memory of our visitors. Now, Orville sits in our cafeteria for all our employees to enjoy as their regular lunch date.


5. Borrowing from our experience designing interactives for museums, we conceptualized and Pufferfish brought an interactive touch screen globe to life for the World Fuel 2018 National Business Aviation Association Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) booth. When a spot on this rear projection touch screen globe was tapped, information about a World Fuel FBO (Fixed Based Operation) would display for the visitor. In partnership with Proske and Pufferfish, our client, Abbott, also uses the globe technology at international shows to showcase where their products are available, all around the world.


6. Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger mascot is a beloved and huggable character. When the brand goes to shows, Tony is always at the booth to greet and interact with guests. To add some fun and create more of a draw to the experience, we designed and fabricated a photo booth kiosk that included a built-in touchscreen display and social aggregator software. The kiosk allows guests to take their photo with Tony the Tiger and then have the option to share the photos with friends and family via social media networks or direct messages. This all happens in real time, with the social aggregator displaying a continuous loop of all the visitor’s photos on the opposite (aisle facing) side of the kiosk. Visitors are sure to never forget this experience – it's all captured on camera!

Whether you’re a leading-edge technology company or not, it’s a great way to create an engaging experience for your booth’s visitors. Not sure where to start? Let us brainstorm and help you take your engagement to the next level.

4 Award-Winning Museums You Must Check Out

Sierra Smith July 30, 2019

When you’re looking for something to do on the weekend or on an upcoming trip, consider visiting a local museum. 

Museums are a great way to feed your brain, create new memories and inspire you to make a positive change in your community. Whether you live near or are traveling nearby, these four award-winning museums tell powerful stories that are worth a visit.

1. Mississippi Civil Rights Museum: Jackson, MississippiCRM-23This compelling museum opened its doors on December 9th, 2017; the day of the bicentennial celebration year of Mississippi statehood. As the first state-sponsored civil rights museum in the United States, the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum’s mission is to educate visitors about the men and women who fought the battle for equality in Mississippi. Within the museum, you’ll find eight interactive galleries taking you through the movement’s history, from 1945 to 1970. In the eighth gallery, visitors are met with a beautiful, colorful, glowing sculpture that increases in intensity as more people enter the space. In addition to the lights and colors, the space is filled with the sounds of “This Little Light of Mine” and “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around”: a powerful experience that is sure to leave you with goosebumps. In 2018, the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum won the Gold Muse Award in the Video, Film, & Computer Animation category. Ready to plan your trip? Visit their website for more information.

2. B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center: Indianola, MississippiPortfolio_bbk8Feeling soulful? Saunter on over to Indianola, Mississippi and immerse yourself in the sights and sounds surrounding legendary blues artist, B.B. King. The museum chronicles King’s life from social challenges in the 30’s, his popularity in the 50’s and how the Civil Rights movement shaped his music in the 60’s. With so much history, iconic music and fun events, it’s no wonder the Museum won the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Award for Best Mississippi Attraction. The thrill is never gone here so plan a trip and let the good times roll!

3. Bradford Railroad Museum: Bradford, OhioBradford-Railroad-Museum-09In the 1920’s the railroad brought economic growth and prosperity to small towns all over our nation but many of these boom towns crumbled once the railways disappeared. Bradford, Ohio was greatly impacted by the demise of the iron horse and this museum tells the stories of the people who lived through it all. Carefully preserved artifacts, fun interactives and a whole lot of history awaits any train enthusiast. In 2017, these stories were honored as the Ohio Museums Association awarded the Bradford Railroad Museum with the Best Exhibition Under $500,000 award. If you’re in the Bradford area, the museum is worth a visit.

4. Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum: Oklahoma City, OklahomaOKC-Thumb
On April 19, 1995, tragedy struck Oklahoma City after car bomb was detonated in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building, killing 168 innocent people. 24 years later, the magnitude of the destruction and the lives of those lost are still remembered through interactive exhibits, murals, artifacts, and dramatic presentations at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. Housed across the street from the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in the historic Journal Record Building, the museum’s mission is to educate visitors on the impact of violence while remembering those killed and those who survived. Over the years, the museum was awarded the Redbud Award in 2014, ranked at 21 on the Top 25 Museums in the U.S. list in 2018 and was awarded the inaugural Tripsavvy Editors’ Choice Award. Every year, the museum hosts the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, which Exhibit Concepts’ employees had the opportunity to participate in this year. Our employees had the opportunity to visit the museum, testifying the powerful impact it had on them.

Whether you’re traveling or just need something to do on a Saturday afternoon, a museum is one of the best options for creating new memories and experiences. Not only will you enjoy your visit, you’ll leave exhibits with a lifetime of knowledge and lessons you’ll use for the rest of your life. Looking for other possible museums to add to your must-see list? Check out our portfolio.

The Qualities to Look for When Partnering with an Exhibit House

Sierra Smith July 23, 2019

You can’t do it alone.

As you strategize your plan for your trade show, don’t limit your thinking to your booth’s structure, the engagements within it, the booth flow, how you’ll advertise your presence, or the staff you’ll need at the event. Yes, all these things can make or break your trade show but so can the partner you choose to assist with your project.

Draw from life experience. Would you become roommates with someone that owns a dozen large snakes? More than likely, the answer to that question is a firm “NO” (If it’s yes, no judgment). In that case, the same thought process applies to choosing an exhibit partner. Think about what exactly you’re looking for in a partner and what you’re not. You wouldn’t want to partner with an exhibit house that doesn’t take the time to listen, or who assumes they know your goals and objectives before you’ve told them.

Ask yourself – what goals am I trying to accomplish at this show? What do I value most in a partner? What process for this project works best for my team and my company? What is my budget and timeline? What services or products will I need for this show to be successful? If you're going through an RFP process in selecting a partner, tailor your request to your company’s unique needs and market position.


There’s nothing more frustrating than working with a partner that doesn’t look beyond the design of your booth. You need and deserve a partner that understands your business as well as you do, takes care to tell your brand’s story, listens closely, and troubleshoots any issues as they arise.

“From my perspective in looking for a trade show partnership, it’s absolutely critical that the partner listens and understands what our goals, hot points, and the things that are important to us are instead of just bringing us a design without really thinking about what’s important and what we are wanting to communicate,” said Jacki Jaynes, Senior Manager, Channel Marketing at LG Air Conditioning Technologies USA.

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When we begin working with a new client, our priority is to become an extension of your team. In the beginning, our approach is to identify the teams needed for each piece of the puzzle. As we worked on LG Air Conditioning Technologies’ presence at AHR 2019, LG recognized the value in each leg of the process and those ECI team members responsible for each segment.

“We didn’t see a design in the first couple rounds of meetings. They were listening, asking excellent questions, and helping us think through our goals and objectives. So consequently, when they came back with a design, they were almost right on the money,” said Jaynes. “We worked together to make some modifications to tweak a few things but because they were so careful, listening, and guiding us in our thoughts through good questions, the actual design process went very swiftly because they took the time upfront to listen and properly interpret.”


A beautiful booth that impressed everyone on the show floor isn’t the only benefit partnership brought to the table. Coordination between Exhibit Concepts’ Project Manager, Site Supervisor, and third-party vendors streamlined the flow of project, bringing peace of mind to the LG team. Because there was a clear understanding of the goals, objectives, and needs, ECI was able to create cost efficiencies: a 25% reduction in show service costs and a 60% reduction in storage fees by utilizing light weight, modular components and rental inventory in the design.

Once the booth was packed, shipped, and returned to our office to be safely stored, our team got to work reconciling the final invoice and bringing creative thinking into pre-planning, storage needs, and experiential design before the next show.

When you’re looking for a new exhibit partner, their ability to listen and understand you is key. Don’t feel like you must shout your message from the top of a mountain so that your story is understood. Your partner should fit into your business just as if they are an employee of your own. They should bring creative ideas, a solid process with proven results, a team that will act as if they’re a part of your business, and the ability to anticipate your needs to the table.

We make your business, our business.

FORCAM Case Study: Going Beyond a Trade Show Design Concept

Sierra Smith July 15, 2019


From the digital space to your office’s interior or trade show – it is imperative that all your brand’s touch points are consistent.

When vetting an exhibit partner, you want to make sure that they’re on the same page and understand your brand identity, vision and purpose as they ideate exhibit designs. When Sandy Abraham, Director of Global Marketing and Brand Management at FORCAM set out to find a new partner to help the brand exhibit in the U.S. at IMTS, she needed one that could bring her vision to life within budget while exceeding expectations.

The booth needed to look modern, smooth and sleek while also showcasing that FORCAM is a classic company with traditional values. This space needed to show prospects that they create top-notch shop floors known as the “Smart Factories”.

As she moved through the selection process, she looked through portfolios from many different exhibit partners and tried to put herself in the shoes of her customers. She asked herself: Was the message clear? Is this booth appealing? Is it bright? Was the product displayed well? Does it showcase FORCAM's vast partner network? If I saw this on the show floor, what would be my reaction?

With her search narrowed, she brought a design concept to several different exhibit partners to see if they could capture her brand’s essence while staying within budget and keeping an eye on quality.


 â€śOther vendors literally took what I said in my concept and put it on paper. They seemed to not have tried to create something that went beyond my initial concept. ECI provided that service and delivered an outstanding concept integrating all of my ideas,” said Abraham.

The new FORCAM booth used a combination of existing and rental elements. The most eye-grabbing feature of the booth, the heart sculpture, was enhanced with lighting and mounted to draw attention to the brand that delivers an innovative IIoT platform with pre-installed MES applications. In addition, product pedestals were added, and all the power connections were converted from European standard to US standard with ease.

“What really impressed me is ECI understood what I was looking for from the beginning. They made it look more expensive than it could’ve looked somewhere else. It was a mixture of meeting my budget needs and looking top notch,” said Abraham.

The end result was a showstopping booth that achieved their brand awareness goals and left visitors with a positive impression.

“Thinking about the quality, it’s not just about the material used but about the people that make it happen. Attention to detail and care bring a concept to reality. I recommend for all companies to pay special attention to quality graphics – a clear message, and a certain height to the booth back walls. In FORCAM’s case it created a simple but powerful look,” said Abraham.


If you’re looking for a new exhibit partner, Abraham gives great insights on what to look for in order to achieve your goals on the show floor. Look for a partner that will bring more to your booth than what’s on paper: you need someone that can bring expert recommendations to the design, layout, visitor experience and booth flow while staying true to your brand’s identity. Hold meetings with potential exhibit partners, request an RFP (request for proposal), bring your design ideas to the table with a creative brief, look at their portfolio and then evaluate the designs they bring back to you compared to other potential partners.

Ask yourself: Is the branding cohesive and clear? What improvements did the exhibit partner make to your design? What types of materials are being used? Is the exhibit partner meeting your budget without compromising the booth’s quality? If you were a visitor, what would your opinion be of the booth?

Your space reflects your brand and it’s important that your exhibit partner represents you while creating a unique, memorable experience. Through strong discovery processes, your exhibit partner should be able to showcase your products in remarkable ways you’ve not yet dreamed.

Ready to find that partner? Let’s talk.

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