The best exhibition design firms create unique designs and execute them at a consistently high level on trade show floors worldwide. The talent on display from these firms at major shows and events pushes the industry to perform at its best. Since 2013, Event Marketer magazine has been releasing its annual Fab 50 list, a comprehensive listing of the top fifty trade show fabricators of each year. The Fab 50 list showcases design firms whose work qualifies them as the best in the field. If you’re looking to influence an audience at a trade show through a striking and original exhibit design, you’d be well served by working with one of these design firms to achieve your trade show goals.
The Best Exhibition Design Firms: The Immersive Experience Provided By Czarnowski®
For IGT, which makes slot machines and other equipment for the gaming industry, the annual G2E show in Las Vegas is a big deal. It’s the industry’s largest annual event, attended by an average of 26,000 visitors. Since it’s in Vegas, the crowd has high standards for spectacle and showmanship, and competing for attention can be challenging.
IGT chose Czarnowski, a seventy-year-old exhibition design firm with locations throughout the US and in Canada, Germany, and China, to create its G2E exhibit. Czarnowski met the challenge head on, creating a 25,000 square-foot display. The exhibit was a large-scale recreation of a bright, colorful casino, complete with multiple banks of working slot machines lit up in dazzling color. Event Marketer’s Fab 50 citation praised the company’s many interactive kiosks and other features, including a screen practically the length of a football field.
By providing an immersive experience that showcased its products beautifully, Czarnowski left the best possible impression on IGT’s target audience, giving them an entertaining way to test out their products in a meticulously-detailed recreation of their natural environment—a casino floor.
The Best Exhibition Design Firms: The High-Tech Resources of Derse®
Event Marketer’s Fab 50 list for 2017 noted Derse’s focus on exhibits that drive audience engagement. This Milwaukee-based design firm helped client Moen, the leading faucet brand in North America, make a splash at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) for the launch of its high-tech cloud-connected “U by Moen” showering system. Visitors learned how the system could enable them to use mobile devices to control their faucets and shower heads. The exhibit featured working showers so event attendees could use the “U by Moen” technology to test out Moen’s acclaimed fixtures.
The Fab 50 list highlighted Derse’s effective use of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and noted the comprehensive research Derse customarily conducts on event attendees, which helps drive strategies for connecting with audiences. This added level of detail gives companies and brands with Derse-designed exhibits a competitive edge in the quest to influence audiences and gain loyal clients and customers.
The Best Exhibition Design Firms: The Sustainable Glamour of MC2®
MC2, an exhibition design firm operated by Swiss-based MCH Group, earned the praise of Event Marketer and a spot on the Fab 50 list for its top-tier design work, which includes a spectacular exhibit for client Toyota. Toyota sponsored the most recent Environmental Media Awards, a gala awards show honoring films and television episodes that promote environmental awareness. The red-carpet event, held on a motion picture studio backlot, drew a star-studded, sustainability-minded crowd.
MC2, which is committed to sustainable and environmentally-responsible design principles, seized the opportunity to highlight Toyota’s Prius line of hybrid vehicles. The exhibit converted a gas station into a park covered with green grass, plants, and flowers, emphasizing the way hybrid vehicles like the Prius are reducing global reliance on fossil fuels. Event Marketer referred to the event as “...one of [MC2’s] signature ‘You Had To Be There’ experiences.” Audiences at the event, already accustomed to Hollywood glamor, came away impressed by the display and highly receptive to Toyota’s message of sustainability.
The Best Exhibition Design Firms: The Grand Scale of Pinnacle Exhibits®
In its 2017 Fab 50 citation for the Portland-based exhibit design firm Pinnacle Exhibits, Event Marketer singled out its wide selection of double-deck displays and its dedication to cost-consciousness. For client Faraday Future, a tech startup that designs intelligent electronic vehicles, Pinnacle put together a sleek, stunning exhibit at CES in 2016, which took home Event Marketer’s Gold Award for Best Trade Show Exhibit. Another exhibit for Faraday at the 2016 Beijing Automotive Show similarly featured Pinnacle’s glossy and accomplished work, showcasing vehicles from Faraday in a futuristic and high-tech environment.
Pinnacle prides itself on its ability to “...harvest [their] client’s deep knowledge” and to use its understanding of both the client and the client’s target customers to fabricate an exhibit with the ability to gain and influence a powerful audience. With their designs for Faraday Future, Pinnacle accomplished its goals.
The Best Exhibition Design Firms: The Beyond-the-Booth Approach of mg®
The Fab 50 list speaks highly of mg’s artisan approach and a level of service that goes “beyond the booth.” Formerly known as MG Design, mg prides itself on its ability to create unexpected and innovative brand experiences.
Cars.com, a large and comprehensive site to buy and sell new and used vehicles, chose mg to create its exhibit at NADA 2016. NADA is a huge annual event for the National Automobile Dealers Association, featuring nearly 25,000 visitors and more than five hundred exhibitors. The challenge for mg was to provide a “fresh, cutting-edge presence.” The display had a clean, wide-open, inviting look, reminiscent of an automotive showroom floor. While the display featured informative kiosks and seating areas, it was dominated by gigantic, striking graphics that prominently featured Cars.com’s logo and color scheme. The strategy worked: The exhibit won the show’s Best Booth Award.
The audience-influencing innovations of mg go beyond its displays: Event Marketer singled out mg for its digital solutions, particularly its mediaGO™ media players, which give exhibitors the ability to control a display’s digital content from a smartphone or other personal device—a welcome convenience that gives exhibitors more time to focus on their audience instead of adjusting their monitors and media displays.
The Best Exhibition Design Firms: The Natural Approach of ProExhibits®
Beyond being recently named to the Fab 50 for multiple consecutive years, ProExhibits also took Bronze in the Experience Design and Technology Awards from Event Marketer in 2017. The award recognized ProExhibits for its work with Stikwood, a company that designs and manufactures peel-and-stick wall coverings made from reclaimed, sustainable wood planking, at the 2017 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. Stikwood had been creating its own booths for the event for the previous five years before turning to ProExhibits for a display capable of attracting more attention. Starting with a “Factory in the Forest” theme, ProExhibits collaborated with Stikwood on a display centered around a barn covered with Stikwood’s signature reclaimed wood strips. From inside the barn, tree boughs and greenery mounted from the ceiling gave the display the look and feel of walking through a forest on a sunny day. Stenciled lettering reinforced the exhibit’s earthy, natural look.
Stikwood’s target audience—people in search of environmentally-conscious and cost-friendly design solutions—were captivated by the attention-grabbing display. According to Stikwood’s marketing director, the display was so popular that some people had to wait until the second or third day of the show before the crowds thinned out enough to visit it. That’s a true indication that a design has wielded influence over its intended audience.
Why the Methods of the Best Exhibition Design Firms Matter
The way ProExhibits operates is a big reason why we’ve been named to Event Marketer’s Fab 50 for several years running. It’s also why we’ve been able to help brands reach their trade show and event marketing goals for more than thirty years. We set department-level and management-level objectives, then receive monthly client input through performance surveys, helping us measure how well we meet those objectives. Closing the loop with this type of feedback is relatively rare among exhibition design firms, but it’s valuable to us, allowing us to perform at a consistently high level.
We also use feedback to measure customer satisfaction and are proud to have maintained a satisfaction rate greater than 99% for decades. Our surveys let our repeat clients know we care about their continued success. They also act as a line of communication to exhibit designers, fabricators, and other contributors, who receive monthly client satisfaction updates by department. Our methods allow us to consistently outperform client expectations.
ProExhibits has been creating unique, award-winning trade show exhibit designs for more than 30 years. We’ve helped some of the world’s biggest brands influence audiences worldwide. If you’re planning your event calendar or have a show on the books, let us know. We look forward to helping you reach your trade show and event marketing goals. Contact us today.