Building Materials and Finishes

Building Materials and Finishes

Everything is not as it seems here at the mackenzie EXHIBIT warehouse . . . In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the magic that goes on behind the scenes and explore the building materials and finishes used to make our clients’ dreams come to life.


You Dream It; We Do It

Every beautiful booth we’ve created has started at the same place: the imagination of our clients. From there, we take the mockup, sketch, idea board, or even Pinterest inspiration you give us and create a real-world version of what’s previously been trapped in your mind. We welcome all input from our clients during this process as we work together with the single goal of creating a mind-blowing end result that will wow your trade show attendees and create a lasting brand impression.

Once you’ve given us your initial inspiration, we’ll set to work coming up with out-of-the-box ways to achieve that desired result. As our exhibit esthetics extraordinaire Chris Larsen says, “That’s the creative side of us.”

Let’s take a look at some of the materials we use and the techniques applied to get the desired end result while saving time, money, and weight — the trade show trifecta.


Faux Brick and Stone

Building Materials and Finishes

Faux Brick

Real stone masonry is no friend to the exhibit industry — it’s heavy, time consuming, and does not travel well. To get this same look while using trade show-friendly building materials and finishes, we turn to our good friend foam. The above picture is an example of how foam can be injected into a mold and then finished with your desired color treatment to achieve an end result that is shockingly lightweight while still giving you the artisanal look of stone masonry. Trying to recreate the look of a low stone wall in the English countryside or want your structure to have a cobblestone pathway through it? Faux bricks and stones made from foam are the answer.


Steel the Spotlight

Building Materials and Finishes

Galvanized Steel

Galvanized steel is amazingly versatile for all types of trade show exhibits. Whether you’re a tech company looking for a clean and cutting-edge vibe or you’re an outdoor industry brand wanting to convey a more earth-toned and weathered look, galvanized steel is a great option. The thin profile of this material allows us to save weight and cost while still giving you the unbeatable look of metal. Here you can see a before and after of corrugated galvanized steel — on the left is brand new; on the right is after we’ve allowed it to naturally rust outdoors for two days. We can also apply an acid wash to create a more targeted and stylized patina. Thanks to a variety of available patinas and rusting methods, galvanized steel ranks toward the top of our favorite building materials and finishes.


Concrete or Not-crete?

Building Materials and Finishes

Concrete and Faux-Concrete Comparison

So not-crete isn’t really a thing, but it sounded funny, right? Either way, we invite you to take a guess at which of the above panels are concrete and which are a lightweight substitute. Can’t tell? Good — that’s the point! Concrete is great for permanent installations where weight isn’t an issue, but in the trade show world, weight is king. Using a lightweight faux-concrete saves you money on shipping and makes your exhibit much easier to put together and take down, which also saves time. No list of building materials and finishes would be complete without faux concrete; get creative in your trade show booth design by using this as a wall, pathway, product display, or any number of other options.


Embrace the Aging

Building Materials and Finishes

Antique Wood

As the sustainability movement continues to grow, so does the demand for reclaimed and antique wood. mackenzie EXHIBIT partners with Trestlewood in Brigham City, UT, to give our trade show booths that beautiful weathered look by reusing antique flooring, hand-hewn timbers and beams, barnwood siding, and more from the local area. We also like to use Beetle Kill Pine from the Rocky Mountain region so that we can preserve as much healthy forest as possible. Beetle Kill Pine is caused by the pesky pine beetle which leaves a wake of dead trees. In order to make room for healthy new growth, this pine is harvested for use in building materials such as those used by mackenzie EXHIBIT. By utilizing Beetle Kill Pine we can help to restore our forests while at the same time giving our clients the beautiful wood finish they desire. Still want a weathered look even though you’re using new Beetle Kill Pine? No worries! We use a vinegar solution to give the new pine an aged look for an antique result in a hurry.


Building Materials and Finishes

Steel, concrete, wood, brick . . . these are just a handful of the materials we can use, recreate, or up-cycle to create your ideal trade show booth. Bring us your inspiration for your ideal trade show booth design and then let us put our decades of experience to work as we bring your ideas to life.

Ready to get started or have some more detailed questions on the booth design process? Give us a call at 801-621-7500 or email us here.