Using materials that give your trade show exhibit an upscale polished appearance can be an easy way to communicate the sophistication of the brand. Now brands are tapping into the latest trend in upscale looks: architectural materials that would look at home in a permanent environment like a high-end office or retail space.
The materials are substantial enough to make attendees forget that they’re walking the trade-show floor but flexible enough to install and pack up easily for the next show on the circuit.
Four elements you can incorporate into your exhibit to get that chic look.
1. Faux Brick. Foam brick mimics the look and texture of the real thing and the lightweight feel makes installation and transportation a breeze. The U.S. Postal Service recently incorporated faux brick into its exhibit at the Direct Marketing Association show in San Francisco (Agency: Czarnowski Chicago).
2. Seamless Surfaces. Bill Smith creative director for Philadelphia-based Sparks Exhibits recommends DuPont’s Corian for high-end surfaces. The material is often used for premium countertops in kitchens and bathrooms. “It’s a very dense material that you can mold into very unusual shapes ” Smith says. “It creates a very seamless and consistent finish.”
3. Thermal Foil. For a logo that jumps out without being tacky consider using thermal foil. The material often used to create upscale drawers and doors is created by heating PVC and wrapping it around a medium-density fiberboard. The effect is sleek essentially a vinyl painted surface. “It creates a nice high-end finish ” says Scott Johns project manager for Czarnowski.
4. High-end Flooring. It can literally set the stage for the exhibit’s high-end vibe. One way to accommodate design effects from the ground up is to raise the exhibit floor—it’ll create more options for lighting from below and it can be a great way to manage all of the electrical and communications wires running through your exhibit. A layer of glass on top of a raised floor paired with lighting from below can create a cool frosted look. Just make sure guests spend a little time looking at your product displays too.