Magazine article Marketing

Moving Away from Throw Away

Magazine article Marketing

Moving Away from Throw Away

Article excerpt

In between tailor-made stands and the proven modular systems are bespoke stands with elements designed for re-use. Robert Dwek looks at an increasingly popular option

Claris, the well-known computer software firm, wanted an exhibition stand built. Although the company had used one contractor, Timescale, for this sort of work on previous occasions, it was nervous about who to commission for the job this time.

The company had recently relaunched itself with both a new image and a new corporate philosophy. As Tony Hall, marketing director for Claris Europe explains, it was essential for the exhibition stand "to reflect all this change".

Claris is at pains to stress that it had no problem with Timescale, it was simply that the new situation required a new response.

"We wanted to start again from scratch and get a totally fresh approach from a design perspective," says Hall.

Enter Farnham-based designer 2LK - "We already knew about them and their reputation," says Hall - which provided a "very different field of competence" from Timescale. Work began on the ambitious new Claris stand.

Hall and Charlotte Moremon, a Claris colleague, began briefing 2LK on a stand which would be "very different from the competition and which would bring a three-dimensional feel to our corporate tag line 'Simply Powerful Software'," says Hall.

This meant a stand which could reflect the simplicity of the company's products - in presentational terms, if not in actual programming - as well as Claris's determination to be seen as more friendly and approachable than the competition.

After all, the company is owned by Apple, the original user-friendly computer firm.

Another key criterion was the need for reusability. "We wanted to cover an extended number of shows over a period of time and didn't want to have to keep changing the design," explains Hall.

In addition to exhibitions, the stand needed to be easily adaptable for press conferences and various other corporate occasions.

A flexible, modular stand design was needed - allowing, for example, for the different height restrictions of European exhibition halls - but within a tight budget.

"Our stands tend not to be that large, we haven't got the resources of an ICL, IBM or Microsoft. We needed much more from a smaller space."

Finally, product demonstrations, the lifeblood of a computer stand, had to be presented to best effect, particularly since Claris was keen to show its new database product, FileMaker Pro 3. …

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