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For many exhibitors, fabric architecture is an obvious choice. It can replace traditional exhibitry at a fraction of the weight, and it affords designers the ability to incorporate organic forms and semitransparent partitions. But sometimes it's those exact same qualities can leave fabric-based booths looking flimsy and ephemeral, which are two attributes no company wants associated with its brand. So here are six stable structures that prove fabric architecture can look just as permanent and enduring as hard-walled exhibits that weigh – and cost – far more. By Travis Stanton
PHOTO: Padgett and Company Inc.
Angles Overhead Exhibitor: Autodesk Inc. Show: Autodesk University Supplier: Freeman XP, Las Vegas, 702-579-1543, www.freemanxp.com
A series of five angular tensioned-fabric structures created intimate spaces within Autodesk Inc.'s 100-by-100-foot exhibit. The pillars were strategically placed to improve acoustics, alter the exhibit's visual scale, and act as landmarks to direct attendees to various areas of interest.
PHOTO: E4 Design
A Tall Order Exhibitor: Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals Inc. Show: Mr. Olympian Supplier: E4 Design, Norcross, GA, 770-717-8665, www.efourdesign.com
This 20-by-50-foot booth for Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals Inc. made the most of every vertical inch by extending upward to the peak of the show's 22-foot height restriction. Crisp, seamless fabric walls with backlit display cubbies highlighted the company's entire portfolio of herbal products.
Photo: Cal Gaines Photography
Up, Up, and Away Exhibitor: Pall Aerospace (a division of Pall Aeropower Corp.) Show: Helicopter Association International Heli-Expo Supplier: DesignShop Display Communications Inc., Orlando, FL, 407-251-1800, www.teamdesignshop.com
Inspired by the company's ovular logo, this exhibit comprised a 20-foot-tall, double-sided fabric structure that rose up from the floor. The exterior of the element featured the
Pall Aerospace logo, while the interior was printed with a cloud motif, a fitting context for the helicopter on display.
PHOTO: Skyline Sector 5
Good Genes Exhibitor: ProPath Services LLP Show: American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting Supplier: Skyline Sector 5, Arlington, TX, 972-522-0500, www.skyline.com/dallas-sector5
ProPath Services LLP employed a custom double-helix fabric structure that referenced the company's logo. To further brand the space and draw attention from aisles away, the company hung a fabric sign from the ceiling bearing large-format graphics and the company's moniker.
PHOTO: Proto Images
Power Tower Exhibitor: Snail USA Inc. Show: Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) Supplier: Astound Group Inc., Oakville, ON, Canada, 905-465-0474, www.astoundgroup.com
Meant to represent subway seats, these benches for Nipro Medical Corp. feature thick foam padding in a corporate blue hue. Wood and laminate bases and accompanying tables provide stability and ample room for eight people.
PHOTO: Padgett and Company Inc.
Purple Haze Exhibitor: Wizards of the Coast Show: Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) East Supplier: Pinnacle Exhibits Inc., Hillsboro, OR, 503-844-4848, www.pinnacle-exhibits.com
Designed for role-play gaming company Wizards of the Coast, this sizable booth was enclosed in semitransparent fabric that towered up to 20 feet tall. Mesmerizing exterior
graphics branded the exhibit as a gamer's paradise, while theatrical lighting and fog lent a mysterious air to the space.