EXHIBITION NEWS June 2017 - Page 37

SECTOR FOCUS Standing out from the crowd EN meets the industry’s stand designers, who are helping change the face of exhibitions around the globe E veryone has seen at least one exhibition stand that completely blows them away. Whether it’s the design, the scale or the ingenuity, exhibition stands have never been more innovative. For this feature, EN sat down with John Sanders, head of strategic client engagement, GES EMEA; Lesley Russon, managing director, ShowOff Display and Chris Criscione, managing director, Equinox Design to hear about the latest developments in the world of stand design – and to learn their favourite thing about working in the sector. Tell us a bit about your company – who are you and what do you do? LR: ShowOff Display was established in 1992. We specialise in the design and build of exhibition stands at venues throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. JS: We are GES, a leading global full service provider for live events. In the UK alone, we work with over 30,000 individual exhibitors annually – from entrepreneurial start-ups with a 3m x 3m shell scheme through to 5,000sqm pavilions for national trade delegations. CC: We’re Equinox, and we’re a worldwide exhibition stand design and build company. We’re based in Leeds, and have been since I formed the company in 1983, when I realised there was a need to have the whole stand design and build process brought under one roof. How has stand building changed over the years? JS: So me of the fundamentals have remained the same – we still create architecture – but it’s about much more than that, just creating beautiful structures is no longer enough. The form has to have function, not just on a practical level, but in terms of creating the customer’s journeys within the space. Combining the physical with digital to create those journeys and that engagement is central to what clients want these days. CC: When I fi rst started in the trade, 44 years ago, the basic was an 8x4 panelling, with a chip paper covering, available in different coloured paint. If you wanted an upgrade on that, you could get a felt fi nish. Today the world of exhibiting is like I could never have imagined when I started out as a young designer. We live in a superb, creative world and it’s exciting every time you walk in to an exhibition hall, wherever you are across the globe. LR: The industry has become more sophisticated, as designers and stand builders compete to win clients. Clients themselves are ever more ambitious, stand designs and structures are becoming bolder and more innovative, and stand builders are challenged to create structures, which, just a few years ago, would have been unthinkable. Has new technology had any impact on stand building? CC: Defi nitely, technology is moving so fast at the moment. But we’re at the forefront of this and we’re responsible for bringing the newest and most exciting forms of technology to our clients’ stands. This keeps us ahead of the game, and keeps our clients ahead of their competition at any exhibition or trade show. JS: The world has changed, yet the world continued ➞ stays the same. What we build has THE NAME IN EVENT HIRE CW Plant Hire.indd 2 19/08/2016 15:19 exhibitionnews.co.uk | June 2017 37