Magazine article Marketing

Make a Display of Sound and Screen

Magazine article Marketing

Make a Display of Sound and Screen

Article excerpt

Smart use of audio-visuals can get the message across to delegates.

The exhibiting environment is changing. A stroll around any working exhibition hall will reveal a high proportion of plasma screens, video walls, monitors and other forms of audio-visual equipment, all competing for the visitor's attention.

Even low-budget exhibitors are incorporating at least a monitor showing a looping corporate video into a stand's design. An awareness of the potential impact of audio-visual technology has sent stand design budgets rising. But creative minds argue that simply spending lots of money will not ensure maximum exposure. It is what you do with the technology that counts.

"Audio-visuals no longer need to be the focal point of stand design, because consumers are already exposed to the technology in everyday life so the immediate impact is reduced," says Quodos Design director Anton Jerges. "The key is to look at stand design as part of the overall exhibition environment and use audio-visual technology to enhance that environment."

Enhancing the stand with audio-visual was an integral part of Quodos' strategy when designing Concert's stand for the eighth World Telecom exhibition, Telecom99, in Geneva.

The nature of the exhibition meant the hail was full of the latest telecommunications developments, all displayed on high-impact technology.

"We devised a stand display using glass that turns opaque when an electric current is passed through it. When visitors tripped various infra-red triggers, parts of the glass cleared to show different visuals containing a series of information," says Jerges. "We concentrate on how the message gets delivered and wouldn't advise using expensive video walls and big screens to create a focal point if they add nothing to the overall message."

Ensuring the on-stand message is the focal point -- as opposed to the technology it resides on -- was also paramount to Hewlett Packard's (HP) stand at Telecom99.

The company needed to illustrate its services under the umbrella theme of 'Hewlett Packard -- the Ideas Accelerator'.

Brand experience agency Jack Morton Worldwide(formerly Caribiner International) produced a walkway with moving video imagery that led to internet-based information stations providing details of HP's products and services.

The HP walkway comprised 16 wide-screen plasma monitors laid under 40mm thick glass that showed forward-moving video imagery set to a composed music track. "The challenge was to create a travelling image carrying the key messages that could be viewed by every visitor standing at any point on the walkway. The effect drew the visitor into the centre of the stand," says Jack Morton Worldwide video director Michael Hall.

Nick Matthews, commercial director of design agency Furneaux Stewart, produces exhibition work using light-emitting diode (LED) technology and argues that where moving imagery is required as the focal point of a stand's design, a singular plasma screen may not be the best solution.

"In an exhibition environment, the audio has restrictions on how far it can travel. But the visual can be seen from the other side of the hall if the right technology is used. Plasma screens will only allow the audio and the visual to travel the same distance. But an LED screen emits brighter images that can act as a moving signpost to a stand anywhere in the hall," he says. "The exhibition environment is making way for brighter stands that are not conducive to dark pictures. If a client uses a back projection screen to show slide presentations, the brightness of the stand itself will burn out the picture. LED technology allows for bright stands wishing to use strong visuals that will be seen from a long distance."

These big-budget developments in audio-visual technology are mainly seen at exhibitions where the market sector dictates their use, such as telecommunications and computer shows. …

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