From stand construction to trade show construction

From stand construction to trade show construction

“I am a stand constructor”. This is what I reply to people who casually ask me what I do for a living, just for convenience’ sake. It’s not my exact job title, but it saves me lots of explanation time. Try googling ‘stand construction’ and you will get plenty of different descriptions. Usually they talk about a tailor-made approach commissioned by exhibitors. We at alter expo take on a different approach and exclusively build for trade show organisers. This calls for a completely different mind-set.

Overall approach

Alter expo began as a builder of modular standard shell scheme stands for organisers. Some see this as a primitive form of stand construction. On a technical level, they might have a point, but overall a misleading interpretation. The term ‘standardized stand construction” has been through quite an evolution. We now refer to ‘uniform stand construction’, while overall concepts based on this uniformity are successfully popping up.

Emphasis on content

Participating in exhibitions is called into question. This is due to the financial crisis in combination with the digital era we now live in. The impact of face-to-face communication should, however, not be underestimated. There is no need to call for extravagant stances to achieve success, although it could be done in some cases. On international fairs, for instance, where a broader sales area can be reached or when a company does not want to make concessions when it comes to branding. Bear in mind that visitors attend fairs because they want to find inspiration and absorb information about your product or service through quality contacts, learning experiences.  

A tailor-made solution?

The visual appeal should obviously not be neglected. A new concept, with next to that a great offer of content in combination with a pleasant atmosphere, attracts visitors. This does not necessarily call for a tailor-made solution. Within a total concept, all exhibitors can distinguish themselves by filling in a  standard setting in their own creative way. It’s then up to each company to decide how much money it wants to spend on this.

Accessible concepts

It must of course remain within the budget of the exhibitor to step into these concepts (even lower the threshold to participate). Brilliant ideas of talented designers are usually unaffordable. The objective is to translate these ideas into materials and designs within a feasible budget. In order to achieve this, some aesthetic concessions will have to be made. Complex structures are replaced by standard constructions with a similar effect.

Systems thinking

This alignment requires creativity in terms of systems thinking. The focus has shifted now towards the total concept, while it used to be on the individual components without taken into account the bigger picture. In addition, systems thinking also thinks about transportation, storage, handling and reusability.

Simple and complex

This is why stand construction and trade show construction differ from each other. A trade show constructor makes complex ideas easily operational, with as little compromise on an aesthetic level. Besides that, the bigger picture is more important to him. From this perspective, ‘simple’ is no synonym to ‘primitive’. Simplicity offers opportunities on an innovation base and thus can make the world of trade shows more attractive. Or to quote Diane von Fustenberg (fashion designer):

Simplicity and sexiness, that's what people want. At a price that's not outrageous.

Want to know how alter expo can help you to work out new concepts? Send us an e-mail with your idea.

Luc De Witte