Toad&Co ORSM 2018 Article

Spotlight : Toad&Co Outdoor Retailer Summer 2018 Booth

There are tons of companies jumping on the sustainable/eco-friendly/upcycled/[insert additional buzzwords here] bandwagon because it’s all the rage and is a good way to gain some public favor. Amidst all the noise of these wannabe greenies, there stands a company that is walking the walk . . . or should we say recycling the recyclable. This mackenzie EXHIBIT Spotlight is dedicated to the one and only Toad&Co and everything they (and their award-winning booth) stand for.


Put Your Money Where Your Values Are

Plenty of companies incorporate sustainability into their workplace through providing recycling bins, using upcycled office materials and furniture, etc. — but very few carry that commitment through to their trade show booths. Trade show booths are all about saving weight, ease of assembly/disassembly, and beautiful aesthetics, but until now the green movement hadn’t quite caught up to this space. Enter: Toad&Co and mackenzie EXHIBIT, a match made in environmentally-conscious heaven.

It’s one thing to create a trade show booth that is made from sustainable materials — it’s an entirely different undertaking to make it beautiful. Thanks to the dedication and imagination of the team here at mackenzie EXHIBIT paired with the unwavering commitment of Toad&Co, we were able to deliver a newsworthy and enviable trade show booth design that made a minimal impact on the planet’s natural resources. Read on to learn more about the specific elements we incorporated to make this vision a reality.


Toad&Co ORSM 2018 Image

Image of award-winning Toad&Co Outdoor Retailer Summer Market booth by mackenzie EXHIBIT.


Old Materials, New Tricks

Here’s a closer look at some of the materials that went into creating the Toad&Co Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show booth:

  • Cork — In some ways, cork is the holy grail of eco-friendly materials in that it is both renewable and recyclable. Cork trees are not cut down in the process of harvesting the material, rather, their bark is stripped away which then regenerates. These beautiful trees can live up to 200 years while still providing materials to be turned into flooring, siding, bottle closures, and more. If you take a look at some of the pictures here, you’ll see that we used cork as wall paneling on the Toad&Co booth.
  • Falconboard — Falconboard is a rigid graphics media board that is a fully recyclable alternative to the foam boards that have traditionally been used in exhibit design. This incredibly functional board is made from renewable forest resources and is 100 percent recyclable. When checking out pictures of the Toad&Co booth, you’ll see Falconboard used as the facing on much of the cabinetry.
  • Beetle Kill Pine — Many companies want an all-natural wood look, but we took that a step further with Toad&Co by using beetle kill pine for structural and design elements of the booth. This material is exactly what the name suggests — pine that has already been killed by the voracious pine beetle that’s been sweeping through the Rocky Mountains for years. Rather than cut down healthy wood for booths, we prefer to use this already-dead pine that looks just as good as normal pine but doesn’t negatively impact the landscape because the trees already need to be cleared to make room for new growth.
  • Steel — The steel that mackenzie EXHIBIT uses is made from 98 percent post-consumer scrap, so it was a given that we use this material throughout the eco-friendly Toad&Co booth. As with many of the features in the booth, we left this recycled steel unfinished to give it a raw and rustic appearance and to minimize the use of toxic products.

Toad&Co ORSM 2018 Final Rendering

Final rendering of the Toad&Co Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2018 booth.


What’s Missing

What Toad&Co decided not to use is in some ways just as important as what they decided to use. Many of the materials used in creating this booth were left unfinished — and no, we don’t mean that we stopped making them halfway through — unfinished as in there were no harsh chemicals used to treat the finished product. The steel, beetle kill pine, etc. is all left in its original and natural beauty so as to let the character of the material itself show through while also cutting back on the harmful chemicals required.


What’s It Worth to You?

While there’s no simple math to tell you that a sustainable booth will cost you “x” amount more than a traditional booth, it’s worth mentioning that recycled and renewable materials do generally cost more than their standard “brand new” counterparts. What this means is that it all comes down to where your values fall as a company — would you rather spend a little more to create something that you can feel good about when you unveil it at a show, or something that makes your eco-conscious side cringe? As with anything, there is a give and take depending on what means the most to you, and mackenzie EXHIBIT will be glad to work with you to come up with a solution that can fit both your wallet and your ideals.


Toad&Co ORSM 2018 Initial Design

Initial design for Toad&Co’s Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2018 booth.


Leading by Example: Toad&Co 

The Toad&Co booth serves as a beautiful reminder to everyone who sees it that sustainability is within reach for all of us. By thinking ahead and being creative, we can all incorporate more eco-friendly measures into our daily lives. Whether you’re a business owner who needs a little nudge to start recycling your company’s paper waste or you’re an individual who has been wanting to teach your children about creative ways to reuse household items, we hope that the Toad&Co Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2018 booth will inspire you to take the leap and go green.


Ready to get to work creating a trade show booth that will perfectly showcase your company’s values? Great! Drop us a line here and we’ll be happy to make your vision a reality.

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Meet the Company : mackenzie EXHIBIT History

What does over 40 years of experience, shows across multiple continents, 50 happy and loyal employees, and an impressive list of client companies look like? Well, you’re looking at it. mackenzie EXHIBIT is a leader in the exhibit design industry, and it’s no wonder why. With an intense dedication to customer satisfaction, a passion for details, and an unprecedented ability to think outside of the box, it’s no wonder why mackenzie EXHIBIT has been in business for decades and promises to continue on the never ending road to success for many more decades to come.


mackenzie EXHIBIT History

As with most great success stories, the outset didn’t always look so shiny. Rick MacKenzie, the founder of mackenzie EXHIBIT, had already been in the trade show industry for about 10 years when he decided to strike out on his own. He had a young family to support and a mortgage to pay, but he also had faith in his dream of running his own company and was willing to put in the hours to make it happen. In 1987, Rick started Pacific West Exhibit located in now-hipster, then-not-so-squeaky-clean Yaletown in Vancouver. With a dedicated group of employees and help from his family (including then 12-year-old Jared MacKenzie, now a prominent fixture in the leadership of mackenzie EXHIBIT), this budding enterprise grew. Word of mouth continued to spread about the level of customer service and craft received by clients, and the business began to expand.

At about this time, the housing market in Canada went haywire and mortgage interest rates went through the roof. The MacKenzies had a tough decision to make — keep the house, or keep the business. With a leap of faith, they decided to sell their house to keep the business running. Looking back, they made a good call.


Just Keep Swimming

After the housing crisis, mackenzie EXHIBIT started to really find its flow. The company was about 5 years old when it hit its stride and carved out a niche in the golf industry in Canada. Take a step into Rick’s office now in our Ogden, Utah location and you’ll see that his passion for the sport and the industry continue to this day. This success necessitated a move to a larger location, which was found in nearby Burnaby, British Columbia. Since success breeds success and satisfied clients are one of the best marketing tools, mackenzie EXHIBIT continued to grow and build an even longer list of customers, which led us to a still-larger facility in 2000.

Around this time, mackenzie EXHIBIT landed a big fish — Suunto. The president of Suunto was always a fan of the work that mackenzie EXHIBIT had produced for them, so when he made the move to become president of the entire branch of Amer Sports’ winter division, he made mackenzie EXHIBIT an offer we couldn’t refuse — set up a location in Ogden, Utah (Amer Sports’ United States headquarters), and receive the exhibit business for Salomon, Atomic, and Suunto all together.  The mackenzie EXHIBIT team had already been spending a month each year in the Salt Lake City area because of Outdoor Retailer, so Rick and Jared were familiar with the location and decided to jump at the opportunity to bring in some big business.


This Way to Ogden

Jared told the big news to his wife, Mimi, and less than 3 months later they had packed up all of their belongings, sold their apartment, and set off for this new town with their 3-year-old daughter in tow. mackenzie EXHIBIT has made some serious leaps of faith in its time, and this was certainly one of them — and like the other leaps, this, too, paid off.

When the new United States-based office was set up, the company name changed from Pacific West Exhibit to the less geographically-restrictive name of mackenzie EXHIBIT, a moniker which remains to this day. This new location took up 60,000 square feet and only had three employees — including Jared MacKenzie. Everyone pulled double and triple duty to make things work, but man, did they make it work. In less than 10 years, the team managed to expand the business into the European market while doubling the office space and moving up to a 120,000-square-foot facility that now houses somewhere around 50 employees.


Looking Back while Moving Forward

Two things keep the company firmly focused on our continuing road to success: we never forgot our roots and we never think that what we’ve done is good enough. Many companies would take a glance at our client list and decide to call it a day because they’ve won the game — but not mackenzie EXHIBIT. We continue to strive to create more inventive exhibit solutions, design more beautiful trade show booths, cultivate relationships with interesting new clients, and ensure that our existing customers always feel appreciated and looked after. This dedication is what keeps mackenzie EXHIBIT in the winner’s circle and on the path of continuous improvement.


Thanks to all of our friends, family, and clients (who have become friends and family) for the past 30 years — here’s to all of the exciting changes to come in the next 30 years.

Ready to get started on creating your own jaw-dropping booth design? Contact us here and we’ll be glad to help!

Vivint Booth

Spotlight : CES 2018 Vivint Smart Home Booth

Just building a booth is so 2017. For CES 2018, mackenzie EXHIBIT didn’t just build a booth for one of our clients . . . we built a neighborhood. The award-winning CES 2018 Vivint Smart Home Booth was built to showcase Streety, a cutting-edge communal mobile app focused on improving neighborhood security. This project was intended to showcase the app’s capabilities on a large scale, all squeezed into a 50’ x 80’ booth space at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Let the creative problem solving begin.


Identifying the Challenge

The whole point behind the Streety app from Vivint is that it helps to connect the security footage from all of the exterior home cameras in the neighborhood in order to create a proverbial quilt of coverage as the whole community works together to keep their area safe. This isn’t like a normal home security camera system where you’re focused on what happens inside a single building — it’s all about blanketing a large area. To convey this capability, we had to think outside of the box — literally — and make what would normally be a single booth structure into an entire network of buildings.

 

Creating a Solution

Rather than create a single booth, we worked with Vivint and decided to go the route of taking on the near-impossible: building an exhibit space that felt like an entire neighborhood. With over half a dozen smaller structures fit into the 50’ x 80’ booth space, we were able to create individual little homes with each one focused on a separate aspect of Streety. Whereas most booths focus on sticking to a single design, our challenge centered around how to create many individual booths that all still worked together cohesively under a single brand.

 

What we ended up with was a series of small homes complete with front doors, peaked roofs, sitting areas, televisions, windows, and more. While the structures themselves were fairly straightforward, the really difficult part came into play with the details.

 

It’s the Little Things

Take a look at the pictures of the CES 2018 Vivint Smart Home Booth, and you’ll see all of the hours of hard work that went into making sure each structure felt like a home. Throw pillows, house plants, cutting boards, and even a sink — we made sure all of the t’s were crossed and the i’s were dotted. Heck, we even custom-made the mailboxes that lined the little faux streets. This booth is a perfect example of mackenzie EXHIBIT’s commitment to even the smallest details in order to make sure the final result meets and exceeds our clients’ dreams.

 

The Big Picture

By the very nature of an app, you need a screen to be able to interact with it and explore its features. When you first enter the CES 2018 Vivint Smart Home Booth, you’re greeted with three larger-than-life touch screens with which you can immerse yourself into the world of Streety. As you continue through the different mini structures, you’ll be engaging with stories about everything that goes into making Streety so unique, including intelligent video, outdoor 4K smart security cameras, and voice control paired with Google Assistant, all leading to a giant 50’ screen standing two stories tall above a stage where product demonstrations were held throughout the show.

 

Behind the Scenes

A giant hurdle for this booth was how to run the cords needed to power and operate the slew of electronics. To do this without creating unsightly cord bundles or tripping hazards, we actually designed the booth with multiple raised floors that were built seamlessly into the design so that attendees were none the wiser. This allowed Vivint complete freedom with lighting, screens, streetlamps — you name it — anything that required power could get it without hindering the aesthetics of the overall design. When you’re thinking through ideas for your own booth design, keep this element in mind so that you can have more freedom with the placement of electronic elements.

 

It’s Showtime

The CES 2018 Vivint Smart Home Booth design process was completed two months prior to the show, meaning we had a grand total of 60 days to build an entire neighborhood. If you’ve ever done a remodel on your home or taken part in a construction project, just imagine having to build a home. In two months flat. And that home has to look beautiful and be fully functional. And it even has to have throw pillows and living house plants. And you have to be able to take it apart easily and reassemble it hundreds of miles away. No big deal, right? The miraculous timeframe in which mackenzie EXHIBIT managed to pull off this project is something we will be proud of for decades to come. But hey, just another day at the office, right?

 

One of the beautiful things about working with a full-service and highly-experienced exhibit design company like mackenzie EXHIBIT is that we take care of the setup and teardown for you. It took our experienced crew seven days of all-nighters to get the CES 2018 Vivint Smart Home Booth up and running and looking its very best. You wouldn’t want your company personnel having to do that prior to the show even opening, would you? That’s ok, because we’ve got it covered.

 

CES 2018 Vivint Smart Home Booth

To see more images and take a walk-through of the award-winning CES 2018 Vivint Smart Home Booth created by mackenzie EXHIBIT, head over to this link.

Ready to get started on creating your own jaw-dropping booth design? Contact us and we’ll be glad to help!

mackenzie EXHIBIT shipper crates

Meet the Company : Jared MacKenzie

A long, long time ago in a land far, far away, there lived a boy named Jared. Ok, so it really wasn’t that long ago. And it was Canada. But there did in fact live a boy named Jared. He spent his winters haunting the runs of Whistler honing his skills on a board and, when the snow melted off, he spent his time riding a different kind of board down the street to his dad’s shop. This young skater kid was Jared MacKenzie, the boy who would become the man behind the curtain of mackenzie EXHIBIT.


Jared’s story has as many twists and turns as his runs down the slopes of his hometown mountain, and all of them are just as exciting. The directions that his wandering feet (and snowboard) took him in might make you surprised that he’s now the man running a successful international company, but in many ways, it was those unexpected detours that enabled him to find such success.

And So It Begins . . .

Jared’s father, Rick, started mackenzie EXHIBIT when Jared was a young boy. Back then, it was known as Pacific West Exhibit, or PWE for short. Starting around the time he was 12 years old, Jared would leave school, ride his board down to the skate park, and then head off to his dad’s exhibit design shop to work until around 11:00 pm each night. The shop was located in Yaletown, Vancouver — an area that is a complete hipster’s delight now, but back then it was anything but. At the end of the day as midnight approached, Jared would wrap up whatever he was doing at the shop and hitch a ride back home courtesy of one of the PWE guys and start it all again the next day. Little did he know it at the time, but Jared was building the blocks on which his entrepreneurial, hard-working spirit would one day sit.

Like many start-ups, PWE and the MacKenzie family faced more than their fair share of tribulations on the way to success. It took about five years for the company to really start to see the light, during which time the housing market went haywire, mortgage interest rates skyrocketed, and the MacKenzies had to make the difficult choice between their home and saving their company. Looking back, choosing the company was a wise decision, but they couldn’t know that for sure at the time.

One Ticket to Breckenridge, Please

Fast-forward to 16-year-old Jared. He had graduated from high school (a year early, no big deal). Snowboarding was life, the world was his delicious shucked Pacific oyster, and his fearless desire to pursue that uncharted fresh pow was driving him onward. He and a couple buddies had heard that Breckenridge, Colorado was the place to be for the snowboarding crowd, so at 17 Jared hopped on a Greyhound bus with two friends, seven snowboards, a stereo, and three fake IDs (don’t tell Rick). Jared had saved up $3,000 from working in a fly fishing shop over the summer, and with that money he and his buddies were able to snag a tiny studio apartment that the three of them would call home for the season. The guys rode every single day for the next six months, aside from the first few days after they arrived when altitude sickness set in. This was before cell phones, email, and certainly before we had Find My Phone for stalking where your family members were. The MacKenzies back in Canada had to rely on their snow-obsessed teenage son to phone home from a payphone or write them a letter, which we’re sure he did all the time and we’re sure they never worried about him at all.

The boys were known affectionately around town as “the Canadians” and spent every evening living off of 50 cent happy hour beer. After the dishwasher at their local haunt got arrested for stealing a tourist’s video camera, Jared stepped up to fill the role and used the money to keep him and his buddies running on beer and bar food. The proprietor of the establishment quickly became like family to the boys, and on the morning of Canadian Thanksgiving (yep, it’s different from American Thanksgiving), he showed up at the boys’ doorstep with bags full of groceries and took all three of them back to his home to celebrate the holiday. He made such an impression on Jared that, 20 years later, he tracked this Saint of Breckenridge down in Frisco, Colorado just to see how his was doing.

Homeward Bound

Eventually, the snow of Breckenridge started to melt and the boys missed the mountains of home. After six months, they headed back to Vancouver to enjoy their home slopes. Jared was pretty darn good — good enough to gain a few sponsors and ride the competitive circuit — but then a career-ending injury to his talus bone in his ankle would take him away from the sport he so loved. While this was disastrous for his snowboarding career, it helped to push Jared toward spending more time focused on mackenzie EXHIBIT.

The busy season for mackenzie EXHIBIT was usually during shoulder season (the awkward times between fall and winter and then between spring and summer when ski resorts twiddle their thumbs), so Jared would call upon his snow-happy friends who suddenly found themselves with some free time to help him with shows. Many of these friends earned their livings in the service industry, so they brought a very customer-centered focus to their time with mackenzie EXHIBIT, which helped to establish the exhibit company’s reputation as one of the best and most dedicated in the industry. With this, the “customer first” pillar of mackenzie EXHIBIT was born.

We’re Moving to . . . Ogden?

Then came the move to a small town with a weird name in a different country: Ogden, Utah. Let us help you connect those dots to how their now-hub came into existence. Ever since he was 16 years old, Jared would spend a month each year in Salt Lake City, Utah for Outdoor Retailer, the largest outdoor sports expo and conference. mackenzie EXHIBIT already had Suunto as a client at this point, and then they were asked to design the showroom for Salomon, Atomic, and Suunto. The parent company (Amer Sports) was so impressed that they decided to offer mackenzie EXHIBIT all of their trade show business for those three brands . . . if they opened up a location in Ogden, where Amer’s US headquarters were located.

Jared spent about 0.27 seconds considering this offer and said “deal.” Three months later, Jared, his wife Mimi, and their three-year-old daughter Ginger were living in Utah. It takes a special kind of relationship and a special kind of crazy to agree to your husband’s life-changing decision to sell your apartment and move your young family and all of your worldly belongings (packed into two exhibit shipment crates, of course) to a new city sight-unseen, but that’s exactly what Mimi did. They say that behind every great man is a great woman, and in this case I think we’d stretch Mimi’s “great” to extraordinary.

It was in this way that mackenzie EXHIBIT set up shop in Ogden with three employees (including Jared) and a huge international client to keep happy — no pressure. Even though his name was on the company letterhead, Jared pulled duty as designer, shipper, janitor — you name it, Jared did it in order to keep the ship sailing along smoothly. This complete and total understanding of the operations of mackenzie EXHIBIT makes Jared a one-of-a-kind leader who can put himself in the shoes of his employees because he’s been there, too. This gives him an appreciation for the work that everyone at his company does, which shows through in the commitment mackenzie EXHIBIT makes to each one of its personnel.

All Grown Up

In 2017, mackenzie EXHIBIT celebrated its 30th anniversary overall and its 10th anniversary in Ogden. They are now up to around 50 employees and have clients all over the world that keep them busy with trade shows throughout the year (with 60 shows in January alone). If you can’t find Jared at the office, chances are he’s driving his Porche 911 (an upgrade from his skateboard) through the gorgeous canyons that surround Ogden, hitting the links at the local golf course, or spending time with his beautiful family (which has grown by one since they first came to Utah, a son named Jack).

While Jared has found great success through mackenzie EXHIBIT, that doesn’t mean he’s resting on his laurels. What keeps him moving forward and excited to start each day is the opportunity to always strive to be better — a sentiment that sets true entrepreneurs apart from the herd. Take a stroll through the mackenzie EXHIBIT warehouse and you’ll see a forest of orange-colored exhibit shipper crates with the names of some of the most well-known and well-loved brands in the world.

Something tells us Jared and the team at mackenzie EXHIBIT are doing things right.


mackenzie EXHIBIT

There’s always cool stuff going on here at mackenzie EXHIBIT, so stay tuned to the blog for more to come!