With both HDI and Aviva entrusting us to realise their new exhibition stand designs at Airmic 2019, we had plenty to be excited about. This year’s theme centred on a new world and new solutions, with both spaces needing to make real impact, showcasing the genuine value and engagement on offer.
The use of clean crisp white space subtly accented with HDI’s stand branding and LED lighting immediately presents a light open space inviting visitors in, a welcome further enriched by on-stand buzz wire competition and a bar complete with rum based refreshments. Complemented by full height light-box graphics, visitors are also invited into the HDI story. The graphics celebrate the genesis of HDI at an exciting time when HDI Global Speciality SE continues to evolve as a dynamic expert driven venture within the HDI family. With so much to share, the dual sided tower with digital displays leveraged the position of the stand and rich narrative on offer, with timed videos designed to link with the ongoing events HDI had planned during Airmic 2019.
One such event utilised a unique breakout environment to extend the HDI branding to their expert workshop, another exciting addition we were proud to provide. Designed and built as an interactive environment, a graphic floor and backdrop linked aesthetically with the larger stand space, whilst welcoming a more intimate audience. Scaled, branded props made full use of the stylised atlas floor graphic, whilst an integrated magnetic wall allowed ongoing interaction and discussion around the key points involved in the workshop. A final flourish of LED brand coloured seating ensured that small was by no means forgotten in this novel workshop space.
Drawing together multiple new custom elements, Aviva’s stand design at Airmic 2019 for their Global Corporate Specialty division cut a compelling silhouette, inviting views from all angles. Utilising the rich blue and iconic yellow of the Aviva GCS brand, colour remained a key feature of this space, from subtle accents of yellow on the structural pillars, to a two tone custom cut carpet to the yellow LED lighting to the floor. A custom light-box stretches the length of the stand, curving from the main tower to a bespoke bar counter, complete with it’s own branded light-box graphic. Each light-box draws on the flexibility and impact of our tension fabric graphic system. A globe ‘hero’ graphic is further enhanced by the addition of a bespoke ‘twinkle’ effect, reinforcing their connected, global and agile expertise and services, and of course catching the eye of those entering the venue. An inter-play of angles and curves on the stand creates an interesting but efficient space, accommodating, digital display, a barista bar, seating and ample space for networking and discussions.
Did we mention that the entire design incorporated fully reusable or recyclable elements? With a growing focus from Aviva to implement green practices, we wanted to support their goals within their event marketing whilst also enhancing our own commitments to operate in the most environmentally friendly manner. Notoriously less than green, the exhibitions industry continues to wrestle with better practices and we are proud to forward this effort in any way we can. With the opportunity to push our design and build expertise further, introduce new elements and seek new striking solutions, we were immensely proud to support both HDI and Aviva at Airmic 2019.
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Returning to the bustling BIBA event this year with a theme of ‘leading the way’, we were excited to create Aviva’s ever-popular open plan exhibition stand for the event. Evolving a three year design plan, the stand continues to provide a striking open space that the Aviva team fully leveraged in their event efforts. With fresh ground coffee, expert advice, warm bacon rolls and ‘all the support you need’, the Aviva team always strives to make their stand a place of genuine value and engagement. Supported by on-brand messaging & value driven statements like, ‘what matters to you, matters to us’, both style and substance are integral to the success of Aviva at such events.
With such a multifaceted offering, the event space needed to be just as flexible. A central tower provides the instantly recognisable branding of Aviva, tastefully accented with contemporary LED edge lighting and integrating an ample store room. Brand visibility is further increased by a large hanging banner, easily visible across the venue. A unique twist this year was the addition of a Neos SmartCam to this high level structure, providing a bird’s eye view of the buzzing stand space below & linking to Aviva’s own focus on prevention in their risk management approach when promoting such products. Again, style and substance in action, with two further cameras at ground level offering more unique live insights into the comings and goings on the stand.
A fresh graphic treatment continues the use of collaborative messaging, positioning key questions from the broker community on the angled light-boxes separating the more intimate meeting areas. A cohesive white brick effect graphic finish provides a backdrop across the stand, offering a bright and modern aesthetic on which to position Aviva’s brand led stand-off messaging. These pops of colour, complete with a now entirely wood plank effect floor and modern furniture completely change the feel of the space, a light and welcoming oasis in a busy event. With new leadership pointing toward a renewed focus on relationships in the broker community and the continued success of the Aviva team at events like BIBA, we’re looking forward to delivering more quality events with them as they keep on ‘leading the way’.
Want to learn more about BIBA or consider exhibiting in 2020? Click here.
We’ve experienced a lot of change in our 30 years of events and exhibitions, from the introduction of emails to the birth of the internet to the explosion of social media to mention a few. Closer to home what has surprised us is the growth and diversification of the portable and modular display market. What was once a specialised sector of our very own exhibition and display industry, aided with the advent of online availability & marketing, this industry sector has been laid bare for all to exploit. As the name implies, these portable, easy to use, self-assembly display systems came about in the early 1990’s to provide useful DIY solutions to those wishing to promote their services or products and exhibit on a budget. Over the years we’ve seen these products both evolve into some of the most fantastic and innovative products such as Link 2, T3 and Twist, and devolve into the budget bin of banners, pop-ups and displays. Indeed a race to the bottom in terms of both price and quality with sub-standard displays failing at events, now accepted as a commonplace occurrence and fair collateral damage by those who supply such products from the bargain bucket.
So we were left thinking…you wouldn’t feed your pedigree pooch on a diet of fast food or fuel up your Maserati with lemonade, at least we hope you wouldn’t. So why would you fuel your marketing campaign with lacklustre displays not suited to the task and prone to breakage leaving you high and dry at the crucial moment?
We’ve always focused on quality and our client’s exhibition and event success, so we have never stocked the ‘budget bin’ varieties. Our main brand budget products offer a core standard build quality, guarantees and of course our uncompromising quality in graphics which we maintain across our full range. However with the ever quickening race to the bottom, which we really don’t want to be part of, we’ve seen many main brand manufacturers forced to include increasingly cheaper budget products in order to compete. This reduction in price is naturally accompanied with a reduction in quality. Consider the humble roll up budget banner stand cassette, which first came to market in the early 90’s with a retail price tag of £189.00, and that’s without a graphic. Today 25 years on, a budget version complete with its carry bag typically retails at £18.00! Just how good do we expect these to be?
So what to do? Well we say enough is enough, we’ve drawn a line and started our Campaign for Better Portables!
Subsequently we’ve audited our entire product range, with a focus on quality, function and our clients’ needs. So when it comes to your events, your business and your brand, keep an eye out for our Image Display & Graphics ‘Event Approved’ stamp.
These are products we recommend and vouch for when it comes to exhibitions and events, offering robust build, long-term use and our own high-quality graphic finish. Don’t worry if you are still looking for an economical product, we still stock these for shorter term promotional use. Although we do hope that as you invest in your business, your brand and your events, you will also invest in displays that stand up to the task, joining us in our campaign for better portables!
Be sure to head on over to our exhibition shop to explore our refreshed range of quality portables, from roller banner stands, pop-ups and display kits to fabric backdrops, outdoor event products and a full hire inventory.
Want to go further than portable displays, why not take a look at our range of custom hire packages to elevate your next event space and step out of the shell scheme?
Contact us for more information on our products, service or just to get some informal advice on your next event marketing project.
Following on from Norfolk Chambers of Commerce Chief Executive Chris Sargisson’s call for member input into a now shared column of the EDP, and the thoughtful ‘change’ themed response from Dave Wilson at Tiger Eye, we were left with plenty to think about. Moreover we were energised into sharing some of our own thoughts about change within business, especially in our field, event marketing.
For many in the business community, ‘change’ is often synonymous with themes of modernity and progress as well as perhaps disruption and challenge. Take the events industry for example, all too often the demise of live events has been touted by those riding the crest of a wave of ‘change’. The internet, digital marketing, social media, viral marketing…all examples of when a change and indeed evolution in the approach to marketing, was thought to have put a final nail in the coffin of live events. Yet events and exhibitions remain a crucial and undeniably valuable part of the modern marketing mix. So was the ‘change’ wrong? Well no, but perhaps just badly marketed (ironic eh)?
When change is spoken of in industry, all too often it can been deemed ‘disruptive’. A term regularly used by the tech industry in particular, with technological advancements ready to disrupt industries and shake up the established order. Whilst we don’t disagree with the need to disrupt some industries, businesses and practices, it would be myopic to assume that such disruption has a place across all of them. Heading back to our events example, arguably this idea of disruption is nothing new. There was a time when the internet was seen as the great disruptor, why would people waste their time on events when they could video conference and email? Indeed for a while people believed this, live events saw a downturn…in fact so radical was the perception that the internet would reign supreme, that cinema and theatre were also impacted. But it didn’t last.
Yes the internet and video conferencing and social media and digital marketing and influencers and content and all that incredible ever-evolving change in how we market and communicate our business and brand, remain pivotal to our success. Yet so do events. Why? Because they have not been disrupted by change, they have been augmented by it. Far from being the butt of a digital joke that only the most ‘modern’ of brands can giggle at, events more than ever are being included and augmented into this change. Where else can you shake an entrepreneur’s hand and see in their eyes the passion they have for that product that your business needs? Far from being left guessing how to pitch or tone your communications to serve your audience, you can respond in real time to the human being standing in front of you, laughing, smiling…doing business the ‘old fashioned way’. But then again you’re not, you’re at a modern event. You’re at an event that you’ve spent time promoting digitally, pre-arranging appointments via email, engaging with live via social media, an event that has been enriched by change, an event that embodies change.
Some may say it’s purely semantics whether change is ‘disruptive’ or ‘augmentative’, perhaps so, but it’s the attitude behind that’s what we really want to get at. We revelled in Dave Wilson’s person-centric and value led attitude to change, it’s this same attitude that we apply to our own work. When change is led by values and purpose it not only leads to improvements, but the protection of those core components that already provide value to us. It’s an important reminder that whilst ideologies like ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ are insidious for business, so too are those that blindly embrace a disruptive approach to change without considering value, or purpose or people. It’s those reasons that keep events relevant in the modern marketing mix and why we are so passionate about every business having opportunity to use this unique and very personal platform. Even if it means changing, how they think about events in this ever evolving, ever more digital business landscape.
Thanks for reading! We hope you enjoyed our musing on change, if you fancy taking a look at how we and the events industry have changed over the years - check out our 30 year anniversary gallery.
Want to learn more about us and our approach to events & experiential marketing? You can find more of our articles, news and features here.
When it comes to your business and brand, the narrative you create can make all the difference. So it’s only natural that bringing in someone else to help write even a part of it can be a nerve wracking venture. Imagine our delight to be included in the Bertram Group story at London Book Fair 2019. Developing a unique and visually arresting custom exhibition stand, we worked with Bertram’s own creative and marketing teams to ensure their 6 unique brands were all served by the environment.
With a large open plan design offering up plenty of functional space, we wanted to provide accents that were sophisticated, on-brand and importantly allowed the stand to act as a hub to attract, engage and wow visitors. We all know the idiom of judging a book by the cover, but sometimes it’s getting that chance to deliver your quality content that an eye-catching cover (or stand in this case) delivers. A minimalist colour palette truly allows the large format graphic above the seating area to stand out, an effect echoed in how the carefully selected titles appear to jump off the custom built shelving. Whilst minimal, the colours are far from muted, with the characteristic teal of the Bertram Group brand instantly catching the eye from across the venue. Passing by it’s hard not to be intrigued by the carefully crafted LED edge lighting that subtly elevates the clear shelving of the displays, continued in the halo illumination running the full height of the stand.
Multiple digital displays and a dedicated demonstration area provide varying degrees of engagement, catering to the passer by as well as those looking to learn more about Bertram Group and their brands on-stand. Nestled behind the custom light boxes, a meeting area provides a further more intimate area to interact. From the split effect floor to the full height displays, it’s in the details that a character is created. We had a great time ensuring that Bertram Group’s stand had the character right for their story…and we’re excited for the next chapter!
Learn more about Bertram Books here.
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