Show Your Trade Show Stuff in the Exhibit Design Awards

Awards for the best trade show exhibitsEXHIBITOR Magazine announces that the 27th Annual Exhibit Design Awards is now accepting entries. The Exhibit Design Awards honor the world’s best exhibition designs and present its winners with custom trophies, international coverage in EXHIBITOR magazine, and bragging rights.

If you produce trade show graphics it’s a good idea to get the details (view the entry form here for complete details) and enter. The Exhibit Design Awards are worth their weight in marketing and PR gold. The early bird deadline is Nov. 16, 2012 ($140), and the final deadline is Nov. 30, 2012 ($185).

Categories include:

  • Before and After
  • Double-Deck
  • Excellent Elements/Applications
    • Components
    • Graphics
    • Materials
    • Product/Service Demonstration
    • Technology
  • Experiential Exhibits
  • Green Exhibits
  • In-Line
  • Interactive Exhibits
  • International Designer
  • International Exhibit
  • Island
  • Lighting Design
  • Peninsula
  • Self-Promotion
  • Small Booths
  • Small Budgets
  • Use of Storytelling

The 2013 competition will be judged by eight of the world’s most well-respected designers, including:

  • Sean Duran, vice president for exhibition and design, Miami Science Museum, Miami
  • Tom Graboski, principal, Tom Graboski & Associates Inc., Miami Beach, FL
  • Maricarmen Martinez, AIA, principal, Upstairs Studio Inc. Architects, Miami
  • Efrain Osorio, president and creative director, Designapolis, Miami
  • Laura Paresky Gould, principal, Twain Creative, Miami
  • Emilio Perez, vice president, SB Architects, Miami
  • Annette M. Piskel, founder and creative director, AMPdzine, Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Michael Wolk, principal, Michael Wolk Design Associates, Miami

An entry form and additional information are available online at Or contact Linda Armstrong, senior writer and program manager, at

Show off Your All-Star Exhibit Work in Exhibitor Magazine’s All-Star Awards

Exhibit design competitionEXHIBITOR Magazine announced its 15th Annual All-Star Awards, which are free to enter and due by Sept. 7, 2012. Though trade show exhibit managers and corporate event managers are eligible, suppliers (like graphics producers) are encouraged to submit entries on behalf of their clients.

Winners are featured in EXHIBITOR’s February issue, which EXHIBITOR says is read by more than 30,000 marketing professionals in the trade show, corporate event and meetings industries.

Winners also receive a free one-day pass to the EXHIBITOR SHOW, including three seminars, a Peer2Peer session, and admission to the exhibit hall and reception, valued at nearly $900. This could be a great relationship-building gift for your client when you nominate them. The EXHIBITOR SHOW will be held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, March 17-21, 2013.

The All-Star Awards honor exhibit and event managers who have developed innovative solutions that have improved their companies’ programs dramatically, achieving measurable, numeric results.

Members of EXHIBITOR’s Editorial Advisory Board, CTSM graduates and past winners will judge the competition.

To download the 2012 All-Star Award Entry Form, click here, and for more information about the Awards, including profiles of past winners, click here.

Printing the American Flag in all its Glory

Printing an exhibit for a museum

“It looks like the American flag exploded in this room,” says Molly Engquist, curator of exhibits for the Siouxland Heritage Museums in Sioux Falls, S.D. But that’s the point of the exhibit now on display at the Old Courthouse Museum, which is one of two museums the Siouxland Heritage Museums operates (the other is the Pettigrew Home & Museum).

Museum exhibit signs and graphicsThe backbone of the display, which is a visually-intensive fact-filled exploration of the history of the American flag, are two pop-up display booths printed on LexJet 10 Mil Opaque Display Film and finished with a 10 mil textured matte laminate.

Our department tries to make history pretty so that it’s more fun to learn. The display was so crisp and clear, even though we used a matte laminate because of the gallery lights. Everyone who’s seen it so far has been very pleased with it,” says Engquist. “We found LexJet when we were looking for the right print material to use on the pop-up booth. Erin Krcmar [Engquist’s customer specialist] has been very helpful.”

The prints were applied to the display booths with magnets in five vertical panels, three in the middle and two end caps. Lamination was done by Express Copy and Printing in Sioux Falls since Engquist doesn’t have a laminator. The fact that both the printable material and the laminate are 10 mils each helps guard against de-lamination for a more durable display.

Creating graphics for museumsThe two main pop-up booth displays are flanked by a combination of retractable banner stand graphics and framed information panels.

Durability and portability were two of the most important qualities Engquist was looking for in the print materials and hardware used for the exhibit. When the exhibit has run its course at the Old Courthouse Museum it will be sent to county libraries and smaller museums that don’t have the budget or resources to create their own exhibits.

The exhibit opened on Flag Day, appropriately enough, and is called Symbol of Freedom: The American Flag. The museum received a grant from the Daughters of the American Revolution to create the exhibit, which will make a lasting impression at the Old Courthouse Museum and throughout Minnehaha County.

Driving Booth Traffic with Full Wrap Surface Decoration

Trade show graphics wrap with adhesive-backed fabricIf the purpose of trade show graphics is to draw people to your booth, artist Lisa Rivas‘ display at the recent SURTEX 2012 exhibit was a resounding success. Of course the ultimate goal is to make sales, and lots of them, but you can’t make a sale if no one is intrigued enough to stop and look.

For exhibitors at SURTEX, the purpose of the show is to sell and license original art and designs for products like greeting cards, giftware, housewares, textiles, wrapping paper, wallpaper and just about any product that carries an image. Therefore, Rivas needed to display her artwork in the best light possible.

After consulting with a LexJet customer specialist, Courtney Borders in this case, Rivas settled on Photo Tex, a fabric with a removable adhesive that’s perfect for wall coverings. “Working with Courtney is like a dream, and everyone I work with at LexJet is very helpful,” says Rivas. “They seem to know what you need beforehand and tell you about it before something becomes an issue.”

As you can see in the accompanying photo, Rivas wrapped just about every possible surface in her booth with her designs, from the back wall provided by SURTEX to the front counter, and even the sample boxes.

Rivas plans to repurpose the prints made for the booth with follow-up direct mail pieces wrapped in Photo Tex, as well as offering Rivas designs for wallpaper applications.

“People came by and asked how I did it. A lot of people I talked to thought I used a lot of ink when I printed it, but the design was open and I used a very intricate pattern for the background that was on the pale side so it didn’t require a lot of ink,” explains Rivas. “I didn’t want it to be a cave; I wanted it to be a fresh garden you walk into. The counter was a similar surface and the application went very smoothly.”

Excellence in Trade Show Exhibits: Exhibit Design Awards

Award winning trade show and exhibit designEXHIBITOR Magazine recently announced the winners of its 26th Annual Exhibit Design Awards, which was judged by a panel of professionals from the exhibit design market in Miami earlier this year. Entries came around the world – including Israel, Spain, Turkey and China – and were narrowed down to 17 winners.

This year’s winners came from a variety of industries, from real estate to aerospace, with designs that ranged from simple to eclectic. EXHIBITOR Magazine says that the winning exhibits averaged $125 per square foot, $35 per square foot below the Exhibit Designers & Producers Association’s 2011 average of $160 per square foot for single-tiered island exhibits.

Here are this year’s winners. Click on the link to see the story behind each exhibit and why each was recognized…

EDGE Award (for Exhibit Design and Graphics Excellence)
Brunner GmbH

Gold Awards
Burkhardt Leitner Constructiv GmbH & Co. KG
HTC Corp.
Holtmann GmbH & Co. KG
Formica Group
Blomus GmbH

Silver Awards
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. LLP
Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.
Kohlhaas Messebau GmbH & Co. KG
Stepevi Carpet

Bronze Awards
Atelier Damboeck Messebau GmgH
Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc.
Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.
Sigg USA Inc.
Brookfield Properties Inc.
Comverse Ltd.

Raising Awareness about Human Trafficking and Slavery through Photography and Print

Steven James Collins, a professional photographer based in San Francisco, aims to help eradicate the scourge of human trafficking and modern day slavery by raising awareness through a traveling photography exhibition that begins this Saturday, May 19, at 7 p.m. at the HourGlass Art & Wine Gallery in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Human trafficking and slavery photo exhibition
The traveling Modern Day Slavery Awareness Photo Exhibit by Steven James Collins Photography was previewed at the Oscars Gifting Suite. The Sunset Photo Metallic Paper prints were signed by celebrities who viewed the presentation at the event.

The Modern Day Slavery Awareness Photo Exhibit has been printed on LexJet Sunset Photo Metallic Paper, donated by LexJet to help support the goals of the project, and printed by Sam Hoffman on a Canon iPF8300, owner of LightSource San Francisco. The exhibit features 21 large iconic and luminescent images created by Collins to represent the horrors of human trafficking and slavery.

“Just as important as the content itself is the delivery medium on which it is displayed. We feel blessed to have found the LexJet Sunset Photo Metallic Paper as the medium,” says Collins. “The impact is exponentially greater to our viewing audience with this product. These images reach out of the paper and grab you from the first glance. And believe me, this is not just our professional opinion; the feedback we already have received of how unique and powerful the prints are on this paper has been nothing short of remarkable. We are so exceedingly happy to have LexJet Sunset Photo Metallic Paper as the visual backbone of this vital cause”

The Modern Day Slavery Awareness Photo Exhibit will be showcased at the HourGlass Art & Wine Gallery from May 19 through June 9. From there, the exhibit plans to travel to San Francisco, Berkeley, Los Angeles, New York City and Maysville, Ky., home of the National Underground Railroad Museum. Other dates and locations are being negotiated with galleries and museums across the U.S., as well as plans to take the exhibit to international venues.

It is estimated that 10 to 30 million people are in some form of slavery (debt bondage, sex slavery, child soldiers and labor slavery); 75 percent of those in bondage are female and more than 50 percent are children. Sex trafficking is the most common form of modern slavery and is the fastest growing and second-largest existing crime worldwide.

The premier of the Modern Day Slavery Awareness Photo Exhibit on Saturday, May 19 at HourGlass Art & Wine will include a press preview from 3-5 p.m., a VIP cocktail hour from 6-7 p.m., presentations by activists Dr. Ken Morris and Aaron Cohen from 8-9 p.m., as well as talks by Collins and spokesperson Shannon Johnson.

“Our team’s philosophy is rooted in the basic human need for the connection and love we feel for our families. For us, activism stems from rejoining families torn apart,” states the Team Philosophy and Goals of the exhibition. “Once you’re aware of the horrors other families are enduring, such as daughters or sons being kidnapped, raped, tortured and forced into underage sex slavery debt bondage/labor, how can we not take action?”

For more information about the traveling exhibit, how you can help, and updates on the dates and venues of future exhibitions, go to For more information about LexJet, go to and the print provider, LightSource SanFrancisco, go to