CES 2012: 5 Great Exhibit Design Achievements

Let’s start this with a little Q&A. Tell me, is there a more fitting city in America than Las Vegas to host the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES)? For those who don’t call Las Vegas home, the moment we step away from that overcrowded fuselage saturated with hopes and dreams, we’re immediately met with total sensory overload. The world that you once knew or thought to have known is forever changed.

CES parallels this same notion as exhibitors seemingly focus on straight-forward product advertising while attempting to change your mood through the ingenious use of lighting, sound and exhibit architecture. It’s the world’s largest consumer electronics trade show and this year was no exception, in fact, the all-time attendance record was broken with more than 153,000 attendees.

As I entered the convention center, my initial reaction was centered on the vast accumulation of attendees and the total technological immersion that quickly ensued. As an accomplished exhibit designer, my focus was less on the slim and sleek product offerings. I enjoyed the way these products were showcased, the physical exhibit architecture, the big encompassing idea and the overall attendee experience. Every great designer will draw inspiration from within while constantly (knowingly or not) staying acutely observant of the thoughtful ideas that resonate from their peers. While being known for innovative gadgets, grandiose product launches, failed experiments and technology geeks, CES also possess its fair share of crowning design achievements.

Without further ado, I present my CES 2012 “Five Great Exhibit Design Achievements:”

1. AUDI: Now the brand to watch on the exhibition floor, Audi continues to deliver brilliant, unexpected design through innovative thinking and a willingness to mold future exhibit design paradigms.

2. INTEL: Clearly, Intel was focused on total immersion and did it well through the use of sleek light-weight exhibit architecture, captivating interactive components, vast lighting effects and dynamic sound.

3. MERCEDES-BENZ: Mercedes-Benz created one of the most interesting overhead signs in existence. Though fairly simple, the beauty and creative revealed itself as you navigated through the engaging space.

4. HOUSE OF MARLEY: With the integration of quality finishes, outstanding material choices, unique architectural details and creative graphic placement; House of Marley is a perfect example of exhibit design at its best.

5. NOKIA: Though seen before, Nokia’s alluring overhead sea of colored shapes thoughtfully and efficiently enhanced the experience with a bold statement from a relatively small exhibit space.

In the end, an exhibitor’s goals and objectives determine the final outcome, but with any successful exhibit program it’s the commitment and willingness to capture an audience and tell a story. This happens through thoughtful exhibit architecture, the big idea and an engaging and captivating experience. 2012 International CES showed the design world that there is more to this show than a plethora of people and sleek gadgets and that design will continue to evolve.

This concludes our 2012 International CES design series. What did you learn? Share your favorite quotes from one of our designers on our Facebook wall!

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