Spaced: fair-stand architecture that stands out
Gone are the days when a standard-issue ‘booth’ was enough of a platform on which design manufacturers could present their latest products at trade fairs. The contemporary exhibition stand is as much a brand-marketing device as it is a product showcase. Look sharp.
A show-stopping concept at the Cassina stand in Milan this year, in the form of Sou Fujimoto's proposition for a hybridic living environment where nature comes inside
Number-crunching often throws up statistics that are somewhat abstract, difficult to get one’s head round, particular when we’re talking large figures.
But anyone who’s had to navigate their way through big-top design trade fairs like the Salone del Mobile Milano and Frankfurt’s Light+Building will have no problem in testifying to the reality of the exhibitions’ super-charged stats. This year’s Milan fair, for example, with an overall show area of 340,000 square metres, saw in excess of 1,700 international exhibitors set up their stalls, as it were, all eager to engage the 300,000 or so visitors, both professional and public, who descended on the Rho fairgrounds.
TON's expertise in steam-bending wood is elaborated into a memorable, archly sculptural fair-stand canopy in Milan
Stand-out they call it in the FMCG business. How to differentiate your product from the competition on the crowded supermarket shelf. When it comes to the business, however, of presenting your products as a manufacturer in a visually dense and loud fair environment, there’s even more thought and effort required to place yourself centre-stage. It’s not just about unveiling new products, of course. Leading design brands have long understood that the fair stand is also a marketing device, a piece of brand positioning and communication, and, as such, needs to convey a brand’s values through an as memorable visitor experience as possible. Given that most fair-goers are time-poor, with a lot of ground to cover, the stakes are high.