There are many reasons for you to do some long-term planning when you launch a new exhibit. The first task is determining your budget for design and fabrication. The second is projecting how you anticipate your exhibit program growing. Many elements of long-term planning have to do with size and space. As you develop a calendar of shows you want to attend, you need to consider:
- Available space at any given show.
- Cost for space, usually on a per square foot basis.
- The venue and its restrictions—is there a booth size restriction, such as nothing over a 10’ x 20’? and what about height restrictions?
- The size of your target market at the show. How much should you spend to achieve your goals for exhibiting at a show?
This was the process used by Abaxis, a company that supplies point of care blood analyzers—technology, tools, and services—to the veterinary market. Abaxis covers veterinary needs across a wide spectrum: large animals, zoos, exotic animals, horses, wildlife, small mammals—and of course, companion animals.
Because of the diversity of their markets as well as the overarching brand promise to meet the needs of all segments of animal health, Abaxis realized that their exhibit needed to start small—small, as in 10’ x 10’—and have the potential for growth, all the while
- maintaining brand consistency—no matter what the size of the space,
- providing a canvas for their lifestyle graphics, and
- reducing their expenditures on non-customer facing exhibit elements like shipping and drayage.
The exhibit would be used at a single specialty show (for instance, small mammals) as well as at larger shows that served many species. The shows would take place in hotel ballrooms as well as major convention centers, each venue with its own challenges. Abaxis anticipated that their exhibit needs could reasonably expand from a starting point of 10’ x 10’ through a number of configurations: 10’ x 20’, 20’ x 20’, 20’ x 30’, 20’ x 40’, and at its largest, 50’ x 50.’
The 10’ x 10’ exhibit could stand alone (see below) or could be replicated for use as multiples in larger spaces.
The basic exhibit structure uses extruded aluminum frames, so immediately underperforming costs are reduced. And no matter what the size, the exhibit incorporates lifestyle graphics both backlit and static, highlighting different types of animals, depending on the show.
As the Abaxis exhibit expanded and new elements were added, there was a conscious effort to make the exhibit scalable. For example, in the larger configurations there is a closet. The closet was built in thirds so that sections could be removed for smaller spaces. The larger configurations allow for a theater area, but again that is scalable. Abaxis can also configure more or fewer meeting nooks using frames with frosted Plexiglas® inserts.
To adapt to changing height restrictions, the Abaxis logo was fabricated into a double ellipse. When ceiling heights permit, the logo can be suspended below the fabric hanging sign. When the restrictions weren’t favorable, the ellipse could be hung within the sign.
Nothing shows the progression of the Abaxis environment like these photos. Enjoy—and get inspired!
Long-term planning and creative bravery go hand in hand. Download our free guide now.