MX Financial Brand Forum 2018 Booth

Spotlight : MX Booth Financial Brand Forum 2018

This week, we’ll focus on a booth that is near and dear to our hearts for many reasons, one of which is the stellar and eye-catching lighting: the MX booth at the Financial Brand Forum 2018. We had to think outside the box to come up with a lighting installation that would combine haphazard with clean, intentional with accidental. Anyone familiar with framework or construction in general knows that creating a piece with odd intersecting angles can be a challenge to say the least and takes a very unique mind.


Be Bold (and Bright)

mackenzie EXHIBIT has a tendency to enjoy going above and beyond on our booths, and luckily we have clients like MX that are happy to go along with us on the crazy journey that leads to creating something truly beautiful. At an event that has a tendency to lean more toward traditional, we created a booth that stood out from the rest — and not just because of its two-story structure.

“This two-story 20×30 island exhibit booth was a first for The Financial Brand Forum. It literally took exhibits to the next level, with two conference rooms for private meetings upstairs — both impressive and gorgeous!” — The Financial Brand

For us, what really took this booth above and beyond was the lighting. Ranging from a stark and clean back-lit MX logo to a panel of no less than nine television screens that acted as a single unit to perhaps the most visually interesting pieces of the whole exhibit: a lighting installation that looks almost like pickup sticks scattered across a floor, but created larger-than-life and brightly lit from behind.

Watch the video below to see the MX booth come to life from start to finish.

Why We Do It

Of course we want you to watch the entire video to see what went into the design, construction, and completion of the MX booth, but if you’re pressed for time, go ahead and fast forward to around the 2:15 mark. That’s why we do what we do — the look of joy and shock on our customers’ faces when they see their booth for the first time. The sense of pride that clients feel standing in their booth at a show and thinking, “yeah, this is my company and it’s the coolest thing around.” The ability to bring happiness from constructive chaos. There isn’t another industry quite like the exhibit design industry, and there’s no place mackenzie EXHIBIT would rather be.


MX Booth Inspiration

Has this gorgeous booth inspired you to set up your trade show game? Good — we’re here to help. Reach out to us here and let our creative geniuses get to work on developing a booth that will make you feel the way our client did in the video above.

Lightheaded Lighting Trade Show Booth Ideas 3

How to Be a Good Client

Turns out, sitting down and saying you want a booth that’s “cool” isn’t the best way to be a good client and get the result you want. This blog post covers what you should tell your booth company in order to get your ideas across, down on paper, and into real life. We’ll also go over how involved you should plan to be vs. when you should step back and leave the professionals to do their thing, general timelines to expect, and more.


Be Blunt

If you’ve chosen a tried-and-true booth company like mackenzie EXHIBIT, then the professionals you’re working with are just that — professionals. They don’t need you to take their feelings into account when giving input, they truly want to know what needs to be done to make you happy, and above all, they’re not mind readers. Go into all of your meetings with the exhibit design company with a clear understanding of what you want to achieve and what is necessary in order for you and your coworkers to consider the booth a success. During the ideation phase, your booth company might present you with some ideas that are outside of what you first had in mind — if you like them, great! If you don’t, then be blunt and speak your mind. The more transparent you are with the company, the better the end result will be.

Be Precise

Strike the words “kind of”, “maybe”, “sort of”, and “you know what I mean?” from your vocabulary before going into meetings with the booth design company. Even the best exhibit design companies can’t extract useful information from those phrases, and all you’ll end up with is confusion and potential delays. It’s ok to go into the meetings with an open mind and embrace the collaborative nature of booth design, but even while having a productive back-and-forth discussion you should try to be as clear as possible with the input you’re giving. If the ideation phase of your booth design is producing results that aren’t exactly what you wanted, stop and take a moment to look back and see if there were ways you could have been more precise and then adjust moving forward. Yes, the customer is always right . . . but they’re not always clear.

Don’t Hover

Don’t be a helicopter client. Hovering over your exhibit design company by emailing them every day, calling them incessantly, and requesting in-person meetings multiple times per week isn’t going to speed the process along (actually, it’ll do the opposite). They know that this booth is your baby, and these people are literally trained professionals. They have your best interest at heart; creating your dream booth is a win for them as much as it’s a win for you, because your booth serves as an advertisement of their abilities to potential clients. Be a good client and stick with your once-per-week check ins, but otherwise leave the pros to do what they’re good at. If they’re a little slow on the response, take that as a sign that they’re busy working hard on creating the best booth possible.

Mo Money, Mo Billing Schedules

One of the best ways to make sure your booth stays on track and be a good client is to stay on top of your bills. Some of the larger exhibit design companies might be able to float you for a 30-day billing period if your company has a unique payment schedule, but for the most part, pay up when it’s due. In general, a 50% deposit will be required once your booth budget is agreed upon by both you and the exhibit design company and your contract is signed. The remaining 50% will be due within 30 days after the trade show has wrapped up. Keep this in mind when coming up with your budget, make sure to give your Accounting department a big ol’ heads up, and everything will go swimmingly. This schedule can vary from company to company but is a good guide to keep in mind when figuring out when certain things will hit your budget.

Timing is Everything

You only need a few months to throw together a kickass booth, right? Well, maybe if you have a time machine to rewind by a few more months. No time machine? Then you’d better start at least six months prior to when the trade show is happening. Larger booths with more intricate designs should be given eight months up to a year of prep time in order to make sure designs can be finalized, materials can be sourced, iterations can be reviewed, and all details can be put to bed. This is especially true if this is your first time working with the exhibit design company. If you’ve worked with a company before and plan to reuse pretty much the same booth design, you might be able to shave your timeline down to three or four months to make sure everything is in order, but we still suggest at least opening the dialogue six months in advance.

How to Be a Good Client

Speak your mind. Know what you want. Let the pros do their thing. Keep your finances in order. Be on time. Follow these five things, and you’ll be well on your way to being the dream client that every exhibit design company hopes to have.

Did this just make you realize that your trade show is five months away and you don’t have a booth? Panic a little, breathe into a paper bag, then give us a call at 801-621-7500 or email us here.

Trade Show Booth Ideas Marmot 2

Sustainable Trade Show Booth Design

As the Green Movement continues to sweep the country (thankfully), the demand for sustainable trade show booth design continues to escalate. You’re probably familiar with how to be more sustainable in your everyday life — but how do you incorporate sustainability into your exhibit? In this article, we’ll walk you through a handful of options for how to go green with your trade show booth.


Think Light!

Opting for lightweight materials is a win-win-win. Win #1: You win on the costs associated with shipping your booth. The lighter the booth, the lower the drayage expense. Win #2: The planet wins because a lighter booth requires less fuel to ship and therefore results in less pollution. Yay! Win #3: Your trade show booth design company, such as mackenzie EXHIBIT, wins because lightweight booths are much easier to assemble and take down. See? Win, win, win. Somewhere, Charlie Sheen is very happy with this level of winning.

Some lightweight materials you can use are tensioned fabric, aluminum, interlocking cardboard, high-density foam, and inflatable structures (think couches, chairs, and other in-booth accessories).


Breathe New Life

The American West is experiencing an epidemic of pine beetles that are sweeping through forests and killing trees. While this is bad news for our trees, it does mean that there are eco-friendly options for those who want to include wood in their booth design. Rather than harvesting healthy trees, instead opt for breathing life into pine that has already been killed by pine beetles. This helps to clear unhealthy growth and make room for new trees — the forests get a boost and you get to have that beautiful au naturel pine look in your booth. Again with the winning.


Reuse Your Booth

The title of this section is a pretty big giveaway — you should reuse your booth! Designing a trade show booth that is meant to last season after season might mean putting a bit more money into it in the beginning, but it will save you big in the long run when you don’t have to sink money into a new booth every year. What’s even better? You’ll be drastically cutting down on your company’s contributions to the local landfill by avoiding tossing out your trade show booth.


Have a Light Bulb Moment

We’re big fans of using dramatic lighting to highlight products, entryways, and to create ambiance. Light is a crucial element of any successful trade show booth design, but it can also be an important part of sustainable trade show booth design. Opt for energy-efficient CFLs or LEDs to create the beautiful glow you’re going for while being conscious about the health of the planet. After the trade show is done, consider using these bulbs in your office as a way to save even more money and reduce your energy usage.


Trade Show Chic

You’ve put a lot of time, effort, and moolah into creating your trade show booth — so show it off! Your office space can probably use a facelift (1989 called — they want their cubicles back), so why not use your sustainable trade show booth design as a way to revamp your business? Exhibit walls can be repurposed as avant-garde decor for conference rooms or break rooms, countertops are perfect for reception areas, and carpet can be used just about anywhere. Put your thinking cap on, and you’ll be able to come up with a bunch of ways to use your trade show booth as office decor.


Sustainable Swag

All of those catalogs, brochures, t-shirts, stickers, hats . . . where do you think they go when attendees return home from trade shows? We don’t want to burst your bubble, but the majority area headed straight for the trash. The amount of waste this creates is almost unfathomable, but there are ways you can combat the issue. Rather than handing out a bunch of paper materials, try adding a television screen to your booth design that can display the information normally included in your pamphlets. Upload this same information to your website and direct people to that page instead — you’ll get more website traffic and the landfill will get fewer donations. You can also try upping your swag budget a little and opting for giveaways that attendees will actually want to hang onto long after the event is over, such as reusable water bottles. These are a great option because they reduce waste while also acting as mobile billboards as people carry them around. Some other ideas for sustainable swag are t-shirts made from hemp or pens and notebooks made from already-recycled materials.


Sustainable Trade Show Booth Design

We hope this post has opened your eyes to some easy ways to create sustainable trade show booth design without having to make any sacrifices to your brand’s style. If anything, going green will help to show customers that you’re up on current trends and care about the planet as well as your bottom line. So much win!


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.

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