As always, it starts with a concept drawing. We had just gotten our MultiCam CNC plasma cutter before building the booth, which meant we could do some pretty amazing and fancy metalwork. The booth itself would be a showcase of our creative and problem-solving abilities.
The booth itself was part of our presentation and showcased what we did. Because we knew the booth would be handled by forklifts out of our control we purposely aged the display. Any new scrapes would blend right into those we purposefully incurred as we built the display.
We crammed our ten-foot booth with tons of our very best work. This included signs, models, concept art and dimensional displays. We even included a TV to show videos of our projects. The booth was a reflection of how our design studio looks, somewhat cluttered but overflowing with creativity.
The booth itself was part of our presentation and showcased what we did. Because we knew the booth would be handled by forklifts out of our control we purposely aged the display. Any new scrapes would blend right into those we purposefully incurred as we built the display.
The booth glowed brightly under our additional lights. We played warm colors against cool for maximum effect. The booth was informative yet simple. If guests wanted more information we had our iPads and computers at the ready. We also had the apps on our mobile phones to scan their badges and take notes to follow up with more information later.

Design a winning trade show booth

By Dan Sawatzky

Posted on Monday, February 26th, 2018

I’ve heard it said many times that creating a sign or display is much more difficult when we do it for ourselves. I’m a believer! It seems we often overthink things in our quest to make the perfect display.

We just returned from our second foray into the world market of the amusement park industry. We put a display in the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions EXPO in Florida. It is still early to judge the final results, but we are already delighted with the reaction to our display effort and we plan on returning next year. The show is attended by approximately 40,000 industry professionals and park owners from around the world. It was imperative we put on a good show.

I have attended the massive show for decades as an observer, with the intent of seeing the latest trends in the industry. More than 1,000 vendors display the creative things they do. Each year I attended I was also keeping a close eye on the incredible variety of displays and learning plenty in the process. Last year we decided to enter the show for the first time.


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Dan Sawatzky

Dan Sawatzky's shop, Sawatzky's Imagination Corporation, is in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada. Dan shares his experience in his Sign Magic Workshops on 3-D sign making, and his Sculpting Workshop.