2016 Year In Review

Flapjacks and Flannels Christmas Event

Office Christmas parties aren’t boring obligations around here.   At ExpoDisplays, it’s something we LOVE to do and believe it’s a wise investment into our employees and their families.   Being a group of designers and makers of things raises the the level of expectation for our Christmas Event.  Plastic bows and a tray of chicken nuggets just won’t cut it.  We’re all about the theme.

This year’s Christmas Event was themed “Flapjacks and Flannels,” with red and black buffalo plaid adorning the guests, the interior, tables and pretty much every corner of our showroom.  A big breakfast spread and the invitation for super casual jeans and flannels pumped up the attendance this year.  Nevermind, this is how half of our employees dress every day. But it was nice to add the other half to the mix of us to that mix. The matching plaid parents and kids was a cute addition!  Guests were greeted with a donut decorating table to tide them over until the buffet style meal began.  With tons of sprinkles, M&Ms, frosting, pretzels the mess made by 68 kids was a yummy mess if anything.  Here’s the complete menu for the event:

 

  • Eggs 
  • Sausageflapjacksflannel_-01-copy
  • Gouda Grits
  • Waffle Bar with all of the trimmings
  • Hashbrown casserole
  • Donut bar
  • Pancake dippers
  • Coffee
  • OJ
  • Bacon – of course!

 

The breakfast spread was an unusual twist to traditional office party fair.  Games to keep the kids busy while they waited on Santa included a Santa Hat ring toss, Jingle Bell toss and a station to decorate ornaments.   We set up a fun photo booth with props snagged on Amazon.

 

We decided in the spirit of giving that we would make available some of our cute printables we used for
the party. Who doesn’t like kitschy little signs and free downloadables, right? Take a look at some of the signs we had hanging around our showroom and feel free to download them for yourself!

 


Downloads      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I learned designing my first exhibit

As a graphic designer who previously worked at  printing companies that dealt mostly with 2d, flat mediums, I was anxious about starting my career at ExpoDisplays. The company seemed like a great fit, but I had only minimal knowledge of what the trade show industry was about. My knowledge stopped at banner stands and pop ups. However, that was part of the appeal. Turns out, there’s a lot I can learn by getting out of my comfort zone.

In an industry this big, it’s impossible to know it all. However, working as a marketing designer in at ExpoDisplays, I have picked up a few things in the last year about exhibit design and the trade show industry. Here are some of the highlights:

 

  • Navigating trade show terminology is much like playing Oregon trail video game. 
  • Drayage is not something that involves water (like I previously thought- seriously) 
  • Trade show displays are more than banner stands and pop ups. Our custom exhibits absolutely blew my mind. I had no idea there was such a thing as a 2 story trade show exhibit. Whether it be an interactive exhibit, an exhibit that involves a LED car game, or a fully functional waterfall, the bounds we are willing to push creatively as a company is out of this world. 

Designing graphics for a booth is MUCH more difficult than I expected. As a graphic designer with a background in various forms of 2d media design, it was a hard concept to grasp designing something that had space, dimension and walls. Doing it really well and maintaining the design intent, however, is an entirely different proposition.

The booth design is as, if not more, important than the graphics that go on it. To me, designing graphics that enhance and compliment the already established booth or display is what makes the final piece so engaging. No level of graphic masterpiece can cover up a poorly designed booth. Similarly, a well designed and thought out exhibit can be diminished if the graphics are sub par.

Collaboration is key. As a marketing graphic designer, most of my projects focus on designing things for the company. How do you design a trade show booth for a trade show company that is exhibiting at a trade show for trade shows? Right?! The answer is: A lot of collaboration, brainstorming sessions, mistakes, patience, and coffee.Exhibitor2016_1

The value of a good team.  From carpenters, to dealer support, sales and of course the designers, it has been eye opening at the various ways creativity and innovation surface. 

Every job comes with its own experiences and unique lessons that stick with you throughout your life.  I’m still a work in progress, and hope I always will be. Im thankful for a work place that I’m able to learn not only my job, but all facets of design and creativity. The atmosphere is conducive for creativity and I think its evident in our success. When you mistake work for fun, you know you’re where you’re suppose to be.


– Jordan Morrow

jmorrowpic

Why have an exhibit?

Working with your hands

The Design Process

Fall Fashion the trade show edition

Fall

PATTERN 
…what all the well dressed trade show displays will be wearing
We have  enough high resolution patterns in our library to fill a runway.  If  you need a little visual encouragement for your display, browse our pattern selections here.  Better yet, have one of our fashion consultants…err Designers put something together for you.  You never know…presenting a cool pattern could be the difference in landing a sale or losing out to the competition.
While you have design on your mind, go ahead and sign up for our Sketchup webinar below.  It’s a quick and simple way to bring your designs to life.  It’s perfect for MultiQuad®

Jumping on the bandwagon

In the words of teenaged girls and eager bloggers everywhere…”I CAN’T EVEN!”

I mean, I didn’t think I could, until it happened, and then, eyes faced downward, I got in line with the throng of millions.  I jumped on the bandwagon with a mindless effort and posted a Pokemon Go image on Twitter,  Instagram and  Facebook page.    We had one of those little Pokemon boogers in front of our building.  Phone-in-hand gamers were in and out of our parking lot all afternoon.  I was intrigued enough to get a Millennial employee to send me a screen shot of what he saw while he was playing.  So was posting the screen shot a lame marketing effort?  A drop back and punt?  Who cares.   This stuff is cool.

Although I am getting tired of looking at the top of kid’s heads and having people bump into me while I’m walking, one can’t help but be impressed with the technology. But what does this technology mean for us non-gaming, boring and otherwise productive adults?  ALOT, actually!

Pokemon GoAs a trade show manufacturer, it means more new products and technology that need exhibits to introduce their item to the marketplace.  Win for us!  We’ve got two designs underway right now for displays for companies that make AR googles.  New products and new marketplaces?  Yes, please.

In the AR/VR world, Pokemon Go is  Augmented Reality (AR). It’s taking a Virtual Reality (VR) element (orange birds and pikachus and such) and putting them into a real world scenario thus augmenting the reality that you experience.   But aside from new, cool product, is this technology just for fun?  Hang on, because this is where otherwise boring adults should get excited.

This type of technology can be life saving…literally!  It has spurred something new…Mobile Merged Reality.  Merged Reality takes two live realities and puts them into one field.  Think of  Facetiming your friend but jumping in their screen (virtually of course.)  And this is taking place NOW to perform lifesaving brain surgery.  Say a general surgeon from a rural hospital has to perform an emergency surgery following a car wreck and there’s no time for transport.  They can connect with a specialized surgeon virtually that guides them through surgery with their own    hand.  This is happening now!  How wild is that?

In our everyday walk, mobile merged reality can provide such services as guitar lessons with someone on the other side of the world, virtual plumbing assistance, the opportunities are endless.  And you can do this without special equipment… just an app!  Although I don’t see myself downloading the Pokemon Go APP… an APP that would help program my mom’s AppleTV 300 miles away?  I’m on that bandwagon for sure!

PAXPRIME 2015

PaxPrime. The biggest gaming event in North America was held in August in Seattle with tons of crowds, lots of lights and sounds, an abundance of games, a smattering of cosplay, and plenty of fun.  At $40 ticket/ per day, it sold out in less than 1 hour.

 

We had the opportunity to get in on the action. Pretty cool projects pass through our manufacturing facility and this Logitech Race Car simulator via Studio Blue is certainlyHankBasket one of them. The simulator is designed with movement to engage the senses and make it a one of a kind experience for customers. The simulators were positioned in front of a towering MultiQuad® featuring the signature colors of this technology super power.

 

People were lined up to take a “spin” in one of these simulators at PAXPRIME in Seattle.  Even celebrities wanted to take a drive. NFL football player, Hank Baskett, tested out the torque of this incredible interactive exhibit.