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Vibram booth at FN Platform 2018.

Spotlight : Vibram Booth at FN Platform 2018

mackenzie EXHIBIT is proud to announce that the Vibram booth at FN Platform 2018 has officially been awarded the Most Innovative Use of Space Award. We relish the opportunity to work with such inventive and creative companies such as Vibram and look forward to working with them to create many more iterations of award-winning booths in the future.

FN Platform

FN Platform is a chance for leaders in the footwear industry to gather together to share ideas and fashion-forward creations that provide inspiration for the global market. These companies represent the best-of-the-best from over 30 countries and showcase designs for men, women, juniors, and children; needless to say, competition among these creative companies is pretty strong. Because FN Platform represents a concentration of some of the most respected footwear brands in the world, it’s even more impressive that Vibram was able to so clearly stand out and win the Most Innovative Use of Space Award.

Vibram Booth

Vibram booth at FN Platform 2018 wins  Most Innovative Use of Space Award.

Vibram booth at FN Platform 2018 wins Most Innovative Use of Space Award.

The Vibram booth by mackenzie EXHIBIT drew heavily from the global nature of both FN Platform and Vibram’s international brand presence to create a design that truly represents our worldwide culture. The booth interior featured an installation with a constellation-style representation of the globe with pins placed at international hubs around the world all leading to design aspects of the Furoshiki “wrapping sole” design. This innovative structure allowed for a maximum amount of information to be conveyed in a beautiful and succinct manner and is one of the many reasons why the Vibram booth was tapped for the FN Platform Most Innovative Use of Space Award.

Striving for Innovation

mackenzie EXHIBIT is constantly reaching for new and fun ways to bring our clients’ ideas to life, a perfect example of which can be seen in the Vibram booth. Do you have an idea in mind but you’re not quite sure how to communicate it to attendees at your next trade show? Contact us and let our expert team of designers and project managers take it from here.

 

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.

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.

portfolio-suunto-03

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!

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.

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.

Custom-Trade-Show-Exhibits-SilencerCo

Create the Best Trade Show Booth Design

Creating the best trade show booth design is no small task — there’s a lot to keep in mind. What do you want people to feel when they first walk into your booth? Should they feel cozy and enclosed, or open and free? Do you want to have an on-site meeting space, or will you have a conference room reserved elsewhere? In this article, we’ll take a look at these and other considerations to take into account when creating the best trade show booth design.

Enclosed vs. Open

There are two main types of booth designs: enclosed and open. This is one of the first design element decisions you’ll need to make, and it’s a big one! This will determine the overall feeling of your booth and what the client experiences when they first step into your floor space. We’ll take a look at two trade show booth examples to show you the potential benefits of each style.

Custom-Trade-Show-Exhibits-SilencerCo

SilencerCo Trade Show Booth by mackenzie EXHIBIT

Here we see an enclosed trade show booth by mackenzie EXHIBIT. This particular design won the Best Booth Award at SHOT Show, and it’s easy to see why. This was considered the best trade show booth design because it completely altered the attendee’s experience from the moment they entered the space. All experiential elements were controlled, from the lighting to the flow to the flooring underfoot. An enclosed booth design allows you to create a completely custom experience regardless of the exhibit hall your booth space is located in. This design also ensured that all focus was solely on the products that were displayed — no focus was lost on neighboring booths, loud passersby, or any other distractions.


Trade Show Booth Ideas Zagg 2

ZAGG Trade Show Booth by mackenzie EXHIBIT

On the opposite end of the spectrum is this ZAGG booth design. The objective here was to create a free-flowing space that allowed the attendee to explore at their own pace and leisure. It welcomed flow-through from various angles and had several “pods” of product display spaces, which in turn allowed potential customers to take their time and feel like they had the space to interact with the booth as they liked. The separate counter spaces and open design also enabled ZAGG sales team members to have focused product showcase areas where they could give undivided attention to potential customers.


Enclosed and open booth designs yield very different attendee experiences. Think through the vibe of your company and the experience you want your customers to have before deciding which one of these great design styles to go with.


Meeting Spaces

The trade show floor can be a busy, noisy, and bustling place. Trying to have an important meeting while standing in the aisles is nearly impossible, not to mention unprofessional. It’s crucial to have space for your sales team and product managers to meet with clients and end users, which is why the best trade show booth design should include a dedicated meeting space.

Salewa Trade Show Booth Ideas 3

Salewa Trade Show Booth by mackenzie EXHIBIT

Salewa opted for a meeting space that pulled double duty as both a product display area and an out-of-the-way spot to have focused discussions. Thanks to some clever brainstorming, they also managed to include a backlit wall in their product display which gave the space a warm ambient glow. A meeting space that is adjacent to a product display allows you to easily grab specific products and replace them once the meeting is over, keeping things efficient and effective. A space like this one also clearly says “this is a spot for business” and doesn’t really invite people to loiter around, which helps to keep your day moving along smoothly.


Arcteryx Trade Show Exhibit Ideas 4

Arc’teryx Trade Show Booth by mackenzie EXHIBIT

If your booth space has the room for it, adding a second-story meeting area is a great way to preserve the first floor for product displays while still having plenty of room to meet with clients. A second-story meeting space has a very grand presence about it, which also helps to elevate the perception of your brand as a major player. This type of meeting area feels more like a lounge space and invites people to take a break from the show floor, which is perfect if you want to create a relaxing place to have sit-down discussions. Just be sure to double check the fire codes and exhibit hall guidelines to make sure you’re allowed to build a booth of this height in your particular space.


Product Displays

Product displays can be as unique and varied as the products they contain. Do you want to replicate an in-store shopping experience? Are your products small and expensive and need to be secured? Versatile trade show booth design companies like mackenzie EXHIBIT can craft a product display to suit your exact needs.

Custom Trade Show Display Suunto

Suunto Trade Show Booth by mackenzie EXHIBIT

Suunto watches are in-demand, have a higher price point, and are very portable — all of this combines to make them something that can easily “walk away” during a busy trade show. To cut down on the risk of product loss during the show, Suunto opted for a product display case that fully enclosed the products while still clearly showcasing them at every angle. A standalone case such as this one can be easily incorporated into any trade show booth design and allows attendees to get a great look at your products without sticky fingers becoming an issue.


Trade Show Booth Ideas Neve

Neve Trade Show Booth by mackenzie EXHIBIT

Neve clothing wanted a product display that pulled double duty — they needed to show their products on mannequins while also creating an in-store vibe with their booth space. For all wearables, it’s crucial to show various ways in which a customer can use the products while also allowing potential clients to browse through a large volume of items. Displaying everything on mannequins isn’t an efficient use of space, so here we combined the mannequin method with an on-the-rack display to simulate a shopping experience. This product display allowed for the greatest use of space while still effectively showcasing a wide range of designs.


Creating the Best Trade Show Booth Design

There isn’t a single cookie cutter answer for how to create the best trade show booth design — it all comes down to your company’s booth space, product requirements, and, most importantly, how you want attendees to feel when they enter your booth. Luckily, by teaming up with an experienced trade show booth design company such as mackenzie EXHIBIT, you’ll have access to decades of experience in best practices for how to create a stunning booth display.

To make sure you’ve crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s on your trade show booth design, head over to our article about the Top 5 Most Overlooked (But Crucial) Booth Elements.


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.

Vivint Booth

Creating a Trade Show Booth Part 3: Walkthrough

Congratulations! You’ve arrived at one of the most exciting stages of the trade show booth design process: the walkthrough. Now is when you’ll see your booth come to life, be able to walk through it (as the name would suggest), and imagine how attendees will experience the final result.

While the ship has likely sailed on making large structural changes at this point (hopefully Part 1 and Part 2 helped you sort out the big ticket items), most of the time you can still make small adjustments such as where certain products are displayed, lighting temperatures, and details like that. Let’s take a walk through the walkthrough and learn a bit more about this particular stage.

What to Expect

The walkthrough is where you really start to get an understanding of what your attendees will experience when they arrive at your booth space. This is also the time when you’ll be able to see just how transparent you’ve been with your trade show booth design company to enable them to create your dream booth. If there’s been cloudy communication, there might still be some things that need to be decided on at this point — but if you’ve been straightforward and detailed with your expectations, prepare yourself for an “oh wow” moment.

When you arrive at the booth design company’s offices, they will have cleared out a patch of warehouse space and literally built your booth. It’s a great feeling to round a corner and BAM, there it is! Enjoy this opportunity to see your vision brought to life for the first time. If some of the wall wrapping isn’t yet on or the lighting isn’t finished, don’t fret — there’s still plenty of time to finalize the details. Think of this as your chance to make sure the big picture is what you want.

Make the Most of It

This is your last chance to make any esthetic tweaks or rearrange an item or two, so make the most of it! Really take your time during the walkthrough — if you’re working with a seasoned trade show booth design company like mackenzie EXHIBIT, they know that this is a crucial stage and will let you take all the time you need.

This is a great time to bring some people along from your own company to act as guinea pigs. Choose people who haven’t been a part of the design process at all so that they have a completely fresh view and then listen to their feedback — there’s a good chance they’ll look at things in a new light and give you some invaluable thoughts to consider.

Once the walkthrough is complete, the booth company will make any final changes and then box everything up to be shipped to the trade show.

Tweaking the Trade Show Booth

Don’t give your trade show booth design company a heart attack by walking in and telling them that you want to move walls or change the entire flow of the booth — those are things that should have been addressed in Part 1 and Part 2.

What you CAN change at this point are esthetic details. If you want a picture moved from one wall to another or want to rearrange the shelves within a storage column, that can be done. A great detail to pay attention to at this point is the lighting: is it the temperature what you want? Is it pointing at what you want to showcase? Take some time to imagine the exhibit hall and space you’re in and think about the surrounding light that your booth is already bathed in and how you want your own lighting to interact.

Also stop to consider the add-ons that will need to go with your booth. Is there room behind the counter for a few stools for your employees to use? Or that corner over there — would a standing table fit well and give some room for sales people to review your catalog with potential clients? Really envision how your trade show staff will utilize this space and think about what will make their lives easier and your clients’ experience more memorable.

Say This not That

As the previous parts in this series have said, be as detailed as possible when giving feedback to your trade show booth design company. Professionals like mackenzie EXHIBIT might have been doing this for a while, but that doesn’t make them mind readers — be honest and open with your first, second, and third impressions as you walk through your booth.

Finally, let’s take one last glance back at that list of three to five crucial things you wanted this booth to accomplish. Did all of those boxes get checked? Hopefully so! If not, speak up and your booth company can tell you what is still within the realm of possibilities.

What’s Next?

We hope you’ve enjoyed the walkthrough process! It is truly one of the most exciting stages of the entire trade show booth design experience.

What comes next is even more exciting: seeing your booth in the wild. Your trade show booth design company will now make any final adjustments that you requested during the walkthrough and will then break everything down, pack it safely into crates, and deliver it to the exhibit hall. If you choose a full-service company like mackenzie EXHIBIT, you’ll also be able to have them set up your booth in the exhibit hall so that the stress on your employees is minimal and you can walk in the day before the show to a beautiful, fully-assembled trade show booth.


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.