Fresh Show Floor Design Ideas on a Budget












Our culture has an obsession with enhancement. This focus on fine-tuning is not unique to the western world and extends beyond borders to almost every corner of the earth. From the culinary arts to genetic engineering, there is a desire to ameliorate our craft. What has been done can be improved or revamped to make it more appealing. All of this usually comes at a cost and one that goes beyond monetary constraints.

It takes effort along with a good dose of trial and error before an end product reaches metamorphosis. But if resources, such as time and money are limited, ingenuity usually makes up for the deficiency. For busy Show Managers on a budget, enhancing the aesthetics of show floor exhibit structures can be attainable with the following suggestions.

Out With the Old

Sometimes there are methods that are timeless and stand up to scrutiny, seemingly invincible to change. Then there are designs, while helpful in the past, are tired and in dire need of modernization. It’s usually assumed that new innovations cost more while the older products and procedures are less expensive. While that can certainly be the case, when it comes to show floor structures, older is becoming more labor intensive and costly than its modern successor. Here are four important factors to consider when making a decision on exhibit materials which will impact cost:

  1. Weight: Metal is a common building material for exhibits. While it makes for a strong and durable structure, it’s heavy and cumbersome. The weight and size might require separate shipping which will cost extra.
  2. Set-up: If an exhibit requires special tools or extra labor for set-up, expect your budget to increase. Choosing a design and materials that are easy to install will cut costs and make your job easier.
  3. Production Time: It’s critical that you know up front how long it will take to have your structure built. The use of certain building materials can mean a longer turnaround time. Customization doesn’t necessarily equate to more production time, especially if you focus on graphics.
  4. Reconfiguration: Most exhibits change over time due to trends and marketing goals. It’s important that the structure can be easily modified over time to meet the demands of progression. If it will need a moderate or major overhaul in the future, it won’t be cost effective in the long run.

In With the New

Contractors are beginning to invest in sleek designs that are customizable, easy to install and dismantle. Structures that are simple in design but have high impact saves time for you and the contractor. This time savings is an opportunity to focus on other areas of design, like eye-catching custom graphics. Many contractors already have a large inventory of floor structures, offering you a variety of options to design a customized look for a standard price.

Some of the choices that may be available are:

  • A mixed material structure with a streamlined metal frame that allows fabric graphics to slip over with ease.
  • Simple structure with a focus on graphic design.
  • Modular units, such as the Bematrix system, that can be modified to suit your design aesthetic. The flexibility allows for re-sizing to maximize floor space. You can add new graphics or display areas with little effort or cost.

If a contractor doesn’t have a system like Bematrix, then they should be able to leverage the use of a skilled graphic designer to add a customized touch to their standard offerings. Graphics will elevate your design and set you apart from the rest; it is the ultimate customization and gives you a sense of ownership.

Moving Forward

When we have experienced what once was, we can gain a greater appreciation for the present and for what lies ahead. Socrates said that the “secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” It’s an enduring insight that learns from hindsight and builds upon fresh ideas without losing perspective. For Show Managers, new design improvements are always on the horizon. These enhancements provide efficiencies and cost savings with great side effects. From the old to the new, it’s an evolution worth embracing.