Word on the Street by Kevin Carty
Love thy Neighbor (Unless They Own a ’79 Chevette on Cinder Blocks)
Most neighborhood developments in America since the early ’90’s have covenants. These covenants specify what you can and can not do to your house, your lawn, and even whether you can park your land yacht in your driveway or paint your house bright pink. Why do neighborhoods impose these covenants? Basically, so you do not end up living next to neighbor with 4 ft. tall grass, plastic pink flamingos, and a ’79 Chevette on cinder blocks.
I propose that we consider similar guidelines for the trade show floor.
This past week, I walked the Greenbuild Show in Phoenix. Let me start off by saying that the show was gorgeous — It was seriously one of the most beautiful and well-managed events I have attended in years. Kudos to Champion Exposition Services for putting on such a great event. Kudos to most of the exhibitors for their creative and stunning exhibits.
However, like all shows, there were still some black eyes. On Wednesday, Tim Morris, the President of Eco-systems Sustainable Displays, and I walked the floor for most of the day. And we both had a few moments where we shuddered a bit. I’m not including photos to protect the exhibitors in question, but man-o-man were there some doozies!
We were walking down an aisle filled with beautiful 10 x 10 and 10 x 20 inlines, mainly hybrid display systems, when we came upon Mr. Blue Fabric Pop Up planted between two of the most spectacular 10 x 20 inline exhibits on the aisle. Well, this pop-up looked like a dress shirt that had been balled up in the closet for about 24 months! Panels were wrinkled to the point that I am pretty sure they were folded and not rolled. Detachable graphics were nothing more than printed pieces of paper that had been stapled into place . . . CROOKED! And the topper (pun intended) was the header graphic . . . or lack thereof. It was the black and white sign provided by show services, hung haphazardly and off-center.
Now, I realize that we are in a rough economy and that people are pinching pennies — but REALLY!?!?
As Tim and I walked past, we couldn’t help but comment to the other exhibitors. They were not amused by Mr. Blue Fabric Pop Up. Their exhibits were beautiful and their neighbor was a ’79 Chevette on cinder blocks. It really did detract from their professional exhibits, and, it seriously made people walking past not want to engage the exhibitors surrounding Mr. Blue Fabric Pop Up. We watched it happen.
I know it’s a slippery slope, but I really think there should be some basic “aesthetic” guidelines that exhibitors must adhere to.
What do you think? And please share your examples of Mr. Blue Pop Up. Photos are optional.
Have a safe and restful weekend!