Packing up the display.

The booth showed extremely well over the last our days as about 25,000 people came by. Our display did exactly what it was designed to do and that was attract attention of all those who walked by. We handed out a lot of business cards, scanned many badges. We met so many great people in our industry!

At the end of the show there is always a mad scramble to pack up the displays. Most vendors wait a long time for the carpets to be rolled up and their crates to be delivered. With our booth it was a simple matter of swinging the two wings of the booth and doing up four bolts to fasten them securely in place, We packed our chairs and supplies into the center space and zip tied the plastic snow fence across the front of the booth. The last thing was to stick the four decals to the sides of the booth and turn in the paperwork to formalize the arrangements to ship it home tomorrow. In well under an hour we were ready to head for supper. 
Another successful IAAPA show is now history!

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Trade show setup

It’s been a very busy month of almost non-stop travel for me, with most of the trips to Trinidad as we wrap up the Skallywag Bay Adventure Park. It’s looking very cool these days. I’ll be posting some photos of that project next week on my return. This week we are attending the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions EXPO in Orlando, Florida. The trade show is massive with over 1000 vendors and 40,000 attendees from around the world. This is our second year as a vendor.

I arrived in Orlando, straight from Trinidad. Since I was the first onsite (the rest of our new was coming from home the same evening) it fell to me to do the booth setup. I waited a few minutes for a connection centre forklift to position our booth in the enter of our space. Then it was a simple matter of undoing four bolts, swinging open the two sides, rolling out the carpets and plugging in the power. As quick as that we were ready for the show.

As I set up our booth I watched hundreds of other vendors unpacking and setting up their displays. Some had been labouring for days and were no where near done. I was grateful for the wonderful CNC tools we enjoy that help us do our work so efficiently. Everything fits together so nicely which makes things go much smoother in the field.

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IAAPA EXPO trade show booth almost ready

We’ve had our trade show booth for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions EXPO in our show for a number of weeks now. Each time we have a few spare minutes we work on it. Our goal is to have it finished in plenty of time for the show – without having to burn the midnight oil or have to do a rush job getting ready. The show is too big an investment and far too important to do that.

Since my last post here on the blog we’ve done a lot of work. Many routing files have been prepared and we’ve routed two or three sheets worth is signs and display pieces for the booth. Lots of steel has been cut and welded into place as well. We added new wings to the booth to stretch it out to twenty feet wide. This will allow us more room to meet with those who drop by and show our work much better than the crowded booth we had last year.

Once the frames were all welded up we fastened on the plywood. Then the hundreds of faux rivets were glued on. Some 25th anniversary medallions were added to the structural steel centre posts.The holes in the centre portion were patched and then a coat of textured primer was applied. We opted for a slightly warmer blended background colour with lots of aging. 
It was out with the green and in with a metallic copper for this year. The bright copper colour was aged down with some faux green patina. The ship in the moon logo was repurposed to go in the centre this year. This mean reworking the mounting base and the building of a stand.
The dimensional lettering was routed from a full sheet of 2″ thick 40 lb Precision Board. It then got a coat of FSC-88 surface primer to add a subtle texture to the tops of the letters. We then applied there coats of each colour for extra deepens and durability.

Once the lettering was mounted to the display things really started to come together. Everything was looking pretty good but we had lots more to add to good effect.

As good as the lettering looked painted we knew it would jump ten times more if we added real 23K gold. And we were right. It added so much class to the booth. There is nothing like real gold. The textured, dimensional letters looked fabulous with the gilding.
Some old samples were given a fresh coat of bright coloured paint. This sample was first created about e

ight or nine years ago when I was learning ENRoute and the ins and outs of running the machine. Sporting it’s new colours it looks even better now!

The ogopogo submarine model also got a fresh coat of paint. 

New shelving was cut with the MultiCam plasma cutter and welded up. We still have a few details to finish up. I need to design and route a border for the cork board on the right side. On the left we’ll create some texture sample board which will go behind the viking ship. (brown paper marks the spot.) And in the centre panel we’ll mount a couple more small samples. Then we’ll go over the whole display from top to bottom and give it a good clean and touch up any small dings before we package it up and send it on the way to Florida. The trade show is coming fast!

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IAAPA trade show display progress

Work continues on our trade show booth for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions EXPO in Orlando, Florida. As I posted previously we decided to rebuild our booth which we created last year. We first stripped down last year’s effort and cut off all of the structure we no longer needed. 
Since this year’s space is to be twenty feet wide instead of only ten we added two five foot wings to the sides of the booth. These fold in and fasten for shipping. The entire structure is of welded steel and the paneling is 3/4″ thick fir plywood. It’s far heavier than most booths but also much more sturdy. Every element and showpiece will be bolted to the backdrop. Setting up is as easy and quick as unfastening the two sides and swinging them open.
Once the new structure was welded up we bolted on the plywood. The faux rivets were glued into place and then the texturing and painting began. As with all of our projects we laid on the base coats and then the glazes.
A stand will bolt to the middle of the floor with a showpiece on the top – our dimensional logo.

We routed all of the dimensional signage from 40 lb Precision Board to make sure it survives the tough use it will see during transport ad at the show. These pieces will be painted, with the letting sporting a brilliant 23K gold leaf finish. On each side of the structural wings are our 25th anniversary medallions. It’s hard to believe we have been active in the business that long! The rich copper structural components will be carefully aged with a green patina to add character.

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This year’s display

We were delighted with the display booth we put together for last year’s showing at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions EXPO in Orlando, Florida. The booth was good enough to garner a first place Brass Ring Award in it’s size class. The experience of displaying at the massive show for the first time taught us many things. Our idea to ship a complete display piece with all of the show pieces attached was a brilliant move. We were able to set up in mere minutes. Take down at the end of the show was just as fast.

The display garnered a whole lot of positive attention during the show but in retrospect the display was a bit cluttered and busy. We learned that people are overwhelmed at a show of this type and scale with wall to wall eye candy everywhere they went. We needed to get our message across simply and in a hurry. We had many fine dimensional signs on display but these signs confused some people. We made a note to have no words in our next display except our concise message.

We needed to answer only two questions. ‘Who are we?’ ‘What do we do?’

This year’s display will be twenty feet wide instead of ten feet. Rather than scrap last year’s effort we would rebuild in a simpler fashion. The booth will effectively be divided into three areas. The left hand side will be ‘our design studio’. It will be labeled DESIGN in bold letters. The desk area will be smaller than last year’s effort. I’ll be sitting here drawing up some digital drawing concepts during show hours with a TV screen behind me showcasing my drawings. Pinned on the wall behind me will be concept drawings of various past projects.

The center area will be our ‘fabrication shop’. We’ll have a single large piece ‘in progress’ in the center. On the back wall in large dimensional letters will be ‘IMAGINATION CORPORATION’. We will have some ‘tools’ handy in the display. The purpose of this area is to show our name boldly and that we build what we design. We will dress in ‘work clothes’ to further tell our story.

On the right side of the display will be an area with some concept study models. Above, on the back wing wall in bold letters will be the word ‘BUILD’.

Today we began work on the new booth, first gutting last years display and then beginning the new fabrication. As with last year’s display the structural elements are all heavy duty plasma cut and welded steel.

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