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While functionality is paramount in any exhibit, aesthetics can be just as vital, especially when it comes to in-booth presentations on a crowded show floor, where competition for attendees' attention is fierce – and literally right next door. In this kind of environment, a cramped classroom or oh-so-ugly stage just won't do. To inspire you to ramp up the design quotient of your next stand's stage, here are six examples that paired purposeful functionality with exquisite beauty. By Linda Armstrong
PHOTO: Impact XM
Color Blast Exhibitor: Ricoh Company Ltd. Show: Print Design: Impact XM, Dayton, NJ, 732-274-2000, www.impact-xm.com
It only takes one glimpse at this theater to understand the power of a pop of color. Amid Ricoh Company Ltd.'s black-and-white stand filled with cityscape imagery, these corporate-red benches and Plexiglas backdrops didn't just catch attention – they practically demanded it.
PHOTO: Czarnowski Display Service Inc.
Dental Drama Exhibitor: Koninklijke Philips N.V. (dba Philips Sonicare) Show: American Dental Association Annual Meeting Design: Czarnowski Display Service Inc., Chicago, 800-247-4302, www.czarnowski.com
The Philips Sonicare brand proved that dental care can be dramatic. While a black material adorned with bubble imagery enveloped the space, open sides maintained an airy feel. Aided by technical support from Production Resource Group LLC, the setting hosted up to 19 visitors.
PHOTO: Line 8 Photography
Intelligent Design Exhibitor: Intel Corp. Show: International Consumer Electronics Show Design: Taylor Manufacturing Industries Inc. (The Taylor Group), Brampton, ON, Canada, 905-451-5800, www.taylorinc.com
Simplicity reigned in this Intel Corp. theater featuring straightforward forms. Stadium-style bleachers delineated the space, and three massive benches offered additional floor-based seating. Paired with a minimal color palette, the rectangular elements were effective and effortless.
PHOTO: DisplayWorks LLC
First Class Exhibitor: IGN Nordic (formerly THQ Inc.) Show: Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) Design: DisplayWorks LLC, Irvine, CA, 949-654-0400, www.displayworks.com
Nothing generates show-floor attention like a lifelike Lear Jet suspended over an exhibit space. Video-game developer IGN Nordic (formerly THQ Inc.) did just that and then devised a themed interior to preview its latest game release in a detail-rich environ.
PHOTO: Show Ready
Contemporary Classroom Exhibitor: Palo Alto Networks Inc. Show: Ignite Design: Blueprint Studios, South San Francisco, 415-922-9004, www.blueprintstudios.com
Mixing inventive textures and contrasting hues, this theater design turned an otherwise lackluster lecture hall into a contemporary classroom. Designers juxtaposed sleek metal finishes on the tabletops and overhead signage with plush seating and faux turf to craft a lavish learning lab.
PHOTO: Padgett and Company Inc.
Game Changer Exhibitor: Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (dba 2K) Show: Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) Design: Freddie Georges Production Group, Huntington Beach, CA, 714-367-9260, www.freddiegeorges.com
The presentation space for Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (dba 2K) recreated the world of 2K's Carnival Games line of electronic entertainment. Bathed in theatrical lighting
and adorned by overhead flag streamers, the environment transported visitors to a carnival kingdom.