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Creating a New Exhibit – The Design Phase

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So I promised last week to talk about what goes into the exhibit budget. When Exhibit Edge looks at a new exhibit budget that you provide we have to include all the following items. They are:

  1. Concept Design
  2. Design Development
  3. Detailing and Fabrication
  4. Permanent Graphics
  5. Carpet and Padding
  6. Custom Crating
  7. Furniture/ Equipment

It is important that you look at your budget knowing all these elements will be factored into the cost. Once we know what you want through the discovery and information phase we will then proceed with a concept design. The concept design can be in many forms and is usually determined by the type of relationship the display house has with the exhibitor. Is this a competitive RFP or is this a working relationship with your exhibit house which is your current provider? You may also be a provider pre-chosen before the design process through an RFI.

Concept sketches can be created to give a basic look and layout. They can be pencil sketches or black and white frame CAD drawings to show the basic structure. These can be done relatively quickly and inexpensively to identify the overall feel of the exhibit. The idea is to have a lot of back and forth between you and your exhibit house to narrow down a working concept before the design department goes to renderings.  A lot of little design updates and revisions are capable during these back and forth conversations.

Remember this process is not done if there is a competitive RFP. The companies involved in an RFP will go straight to a full concept rendering, sample material boards, and a design rationale knowing they only have one shot at winning the project. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. The advantage of a competitive RFP is that you get different exhibit concept ideas. The disadvantage is that you have less say in the design development process. Either way the design development usually ends up with a full color exhibit rendering with different views. There are usually three or four different views of the exhibit. They are given names like the front view, back view, perspective view (which is kind of a front corner view with a little tilt to it so you see as many of the exhibit components as possible.) Another common view is a top view, which is often referred to as a “birdseye view” for obvious reasons.

Other design drawing will include the different types of exhibit sizes that are capable using the same exhibit components.  Let’s say you are looking for a 20 x 20 exhibit size. From that 20 x 20 you may be able to get a 10 x 30, 10 x 20, and a 10 x 10 configuration from the same exhibit components.

So you can see that a lot goes into the concept design and the design development phase. This phase is a major cost to an exhibit company that can be anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 just in the hope of winning a new client exhibit. You can see how important it is to be as detailed and comprehensive as possible in the discovery and information phase of the exhibit creation process. The information you provide is crucial to the outcome of the exhibit design. Another critical piece of information is to only provide details of the exhibit requirements based upon who the person is that has the final decision.

As always, please respond with your questions or comments and let others know about EXHIBITOR LOUNGE.COM. We will see you next week. Until then, I am your host Michael Gray telling you to RELAX in the Exhibitor Lounge.