A break away for beyond today

Dec 15, 2015

I began the final month of 2015 among fellow colleges at the annual conference of the Exhibit Designers & Producers Association (EDPA), held in Vegas at Red Rocks Resort. This year’s event titled ‘ACCESS 2015: A Global Landscape’, brought me the opportunity to be a first-time learner but more importantly offered connections with an incredible variety of leaders within the trade show display industry. 

Connecting, a constantly evolving concept in our ‘connected world’, is why trade shows and conferences are thriving in all the noise we face every day as we are bombarded with marketing messages. Much like a vacation is an opportunity to focus on us personally, away from the noise of the everyday world, a trade show gives us an opportunity to focus on the respective industry at hand. When we are among veterans and new mindsets from a variety of roles all with a focus on a common goal, you find that true collaboration through conversation happens!

Organic design meets linear

Organic design meets linear extrusion

A handful of items to share…

1.) When planning for trade shows, 88% of executive buyers desire a conversation, not a presentation. 

2.) As access to information grows, exhibit buyers are typically 70% of the way into the buying cycle before seeking to speak to a person.

3.) Clients as a majority prefer an up-front, all inclusive packaging of design/build/service for their trade show budget. Itemization of value is important, but even more so is knowing the extras are anticipated and included to avoid unknown expenses during and following the show. 


4.) The median price per square foot to build island displays continues to be $150 per square foot, not including design and ownership costs.

5.) Outside of material handling costs increasing as the weight of exhibits decrease, and concrete (floor space) going up 300% over 10 years, internet services at convention centers have gone up even more so at close to 500% in 5 years. 

6.) A trend in approaching exhibit space with ‘Concierge-Centered Design’, a focus on experience, attention & attitude to ultimately drive the outcome.

Concierge Centered Design

Most importantly, regardless of what you do, consider this..

If it’s a good idea and gets you excited, try it, and if it bursts into flames, that’s going to be exciting too.”

“People always ask: ‘ What is your greatest failure?’ I always have the same answer – We’re working on it right now, its gonna be awesome!”

         –  Jim Coudal, designer