With the uptick in business, you may be answering lots of questions about the new Symphony Portable Display. We’re answering a bunch of them too as exhibitors dip their toes back into the trade show display market.
This Symphony video, which is included with all the kits in EDS, addresses the most common questions, like assembly, graphics, accessories, and counter options. But not all. Below are some recent questions you’ve asked us. Feel free to call or email us on anything else.
Q1. Why are the floating graphics limited to 23″ x
23″ overall dimension?
It’s both a suggestion and a guideline. For example, a floating graphic on the left or right side would intrude into the adjacent booth if it was much larger than 23” . However, since the graphic attaches with hook and loop, there’s wiggle room to make it larger simply by adjusting it. If you decided to attach the floating graphic bracket to the top of the frame, then the dimension could be larger, like a typical header.
Q2. Do the wall sections connect or are they freestanding
sitting next to each other?
It depends on your design. The SYK-1020 has two half-arch frames next to one another. Those are attached using a frame connection clamp. The SYK-1022 on the other hand uses the same two frames but in the design they are layer, with one slightly in front of the other. In that case, there’s a third base plate in the middle (SYM-107).
Q3. What is the size limitation for monitors?
We recommend no larger than a 23” monitor on the left and right sides. Mostly because they would intrude into the adjacent booth. See SYK-1014 for example. You can have up to a 32” monitor where there’s vertical upright in the middle, such as SYK-1015. On the larger frames, like the arch, rectangle, and concave/convex, we suggest no more than a 42” or 45” monitor.
Could you go larger in some situations? Yes, it all depends
on the weight of the monitor, the backwall workstation counters, and the size
of the booth space.
Q4. For a double-sided configuration, can you have monitors
in the center on both sides?
Yes, but one monitor would have to be slightly higher (or lower) than the other one. Or there would need to be hardware that allowed both monitor mounts to use the same holes in the vertical support.
Q5. Is there an easy solution to add LED strip accent lighting on the back of a frame to throw light onto one set back… light the right side of the exhibit for example?
Adding flexible LED tape light to the back of the extrusion is possible. We’ve done something similar on other narrow SEG frames. It creates a three to four-inch backlit halo. However, it’s not a standard option for Symphony.
Q6. Are there other surface color/appearance options for the
lockable counter, other than the light color shown?
Yes, there are hundreds of laminate options from Nevamar, Formica. Wilsonart, and Pionite. Lead times may vary depending on laminate availability. Plus, you can (and probably should) add vinyl graphics.
Q7. Can the exposed metal be powder coated?
Yes. There would be an upcharge depending on the size of the
kit and components.
Q8. Can you expand these kits to include backlit items but
We have quite a few portable LED backlit designs in Exhibit Design Search, like the VK-1960. Those designs use a deeper aluminum extrusion than Symphony. At present, Symphony is not intended to be a backlit portable system.
However, we’ve built exhibits where SuperNova LED Lightboxes are combined with Symphony frames. For example, using a standard arch or rectangle Symphony frame in the middle with the workstation counters, monitor mounts, and literature trays, and then SuperNova lightboxes on either side.
Q9. To mix standard frame combinations not shown on EDS, do
we submit a design request or are there some guidelines for making other
You don’t need to submit a design request. But you can. There
are seven frame shapes. Four are roughly 10 ft. and three are roughly 5 ft. You
simply need to mix and match the frame sizes to the overall size of the booth.
So, two 10 ft. frames for a 20 ft. booth or one 10 ft. frame and two 5 ft. frames.
Or four 5 ft. frames? When it comes to Symphony, tap into your inner designer.
Q10. Will the backwall stand with monitors but without
Absolutely but you’ll want to use the smaller sizes mentioned above. The SEG engineered extrusion frame and locking base plate connections means it can support monitors with or without the workstation counter(s).
Q11. On the layering of frames do you use the same foot for
both or does each frame have a foot of its own?
There are two base plates. One with a single frame
connection and one with a double frame connection. The single base plates are
typically used on the far left and right, and the double base plate is used in
the middle to connect two frames.
Q12. Can you guys add a small step stool to each unit?
We could but we won’t. 😉 There are collapsible step stools online for
less than $15. And there’s always the option of installing the SEG graphic with
the frame flat on the floor.
Q13. Can the open table be used as a charging table?
Not really. Even if you had a full graphic, the wire management
would still be visible on the back. We suggest selecting the enclosed counters
instead or use the two wireless/wired charging pads on the backwall workstation.
Q14. When using the display double-sided, can you still
install a monitor mount?
Yes using the hidden vertical support. Whenever you use that
monitor attachment, the graphic has to be pierced for the cords.
Q15. What is vertical load capacity of these attachments?
The attachment brackets are welded aluminum and engineered
extrusion. If you manage to break an attachment based on weight alone, then we want
to hear about it. Frankly, it’s not going to happen.
Q16. Are the shipping cases portable?
Symphony ships in our portable flat roto-molded cases with wheels and includes Classic’s reusable die-cut foam packaging. No exhibit builder does a better job with packaging, labeling, and instructions than Classic.
Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, hybrid, and custom exhibit solutions, including Symphony Portable Displays. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or www.classicexhibits.com.
In the past, elegance and structure have not really been associated with portable trade show displays. Convenience yes. Upscale no. So what do I mean when I say that some portable displays have not been like the others?
One Of These Is Not Like The Others
Pop-ups and Panel Systems
First a little portable display history lesson. Over the years, portable exhibits have come in many shapes and sizes. The most common had Velcro-compatible fabric panels, like pop-ups and folding panel systems. You could print graphics and Velcro them to the exhibit. They were revolutionary at the time, and there have been a lot of product advancements with these systems, like the introduction of photo mural panels which elevated them to another level. Many exhibitors continue to use them.
There have been other portable displays systems over the years.
One of the most popular is tube stands, an aluminum tube system with a pillowcase graphic that slides over the frame. There have been advancements in this system such as adding different frame sizes, accessories and more. Different frame sizes are used together to make modular displays.
Tube stands with pillowcase graphics are lightweight and easy to set-up. And the pillow case allows for two-sided graphics.
They are beginning to look dated
Graphics, unless done well can be saggy
The cheap versions are unstable (usually sold by promotional product companies or others with no business selling trade show exhibits)
Most carry limited warranties (you break it, you replace it)
They really have become a commodity item
Everyone seems to have them now
Now, why would I tell you the downsides of a system that we sell a lot? Total Displays has always provided good quality products. We do sell a lot of tube systems. Typically the people who are buying them are upgrading from an old school pop-up display, or they are often replacing retractable banner stands with simple tube stands.
If you love the look of a tube stand, be sure to buy from a reputable trade show exhibit company. If you want to see the difference in quality, let me know and we can do a Zoom meeting where I can show you one of ours vs. one that was produced by a promotional products company. Trust me when I say they should stick to pens and hand sanitizers. They really know nothing about trade show exhibits.
Next time you walk the show floor, take notice of them. How many look good, how many do you see?
Another popular portable option has been retractable banner stands. Again, really a commodity item. Seriously, everyone has them. I have seen 10 x 30 and 10 x 40 exhibits filled with retractable banner stands. They may be easy, but do they really represent your brand in the best light possible? When used in the right situation and environment, retractables banner stands can be a great solution. But if you really want major impact? Look for something else.
Why do you exhibit at a trade show? What is the purpose of your exhibit materials? One of the whole points of a trade show exhibit is to make you stand out in a crowd!
So what we would recommend?
We have a new line of products, called Symphony PORTABLE DISPLAY ELEGANCE. In the past, portable exhibits have generally looked portable. The tube systems were a step in the right direction. But now we have the next step.
Do These Look Portable to You?
Multiple frame shapes/sizes to build customs looks
Large monitor support.
Cell phone charging ports on backwall counters.
Sturdy, aluminum extrusion frames.
Professional tight fit, silicone edge graphics.
LOCKING storage in counters.
COMPLETELY Tool-less assembly
Elegant Portable Exhibit Ideas
Call or email us at 952-941-4511 or firstname.lastname@example.org to review components and build your own custom look with this amazing new system. P.S. They are on sale right now. BONUS
Lori (and David) Hanken own Total Displays in Edina, MN. Since 1984, Total Displays has been the leading one-stop shop for exhibit marketing needs in the Upper Midwest. For more information, see www.totaldisplays.com or call 952-941-4511.
Throughout the design and engineering process for the Symphony Portable System, we focused on several guiding principles: relevance, ease-of-use, adaptability, and beauty. In short, practicality and elegance. Those can be challenging concepts to communicate… but not for Seth Godin.
Every morning, I receive an email with Seth Godin wisdom. Today, he perfectly explained “practical elegance.” Thank you Seth! You are the master! The blog post is below and on his website.
Practical Elegance | March 11, 2021
The 16-foot canvas Prospector canoe made by the Chestnut Canoe Company is not the fastest or the lightest or the cheapest canoe but it is an elegant canoe.
Practical elegance is something that is available to all of us. If we choose, it can become the cornerstone of our work.
Some of us make a thing and many of us make a system. What makes something practically elegant is that it’s better, smoother, cleaner, more understandable, kinder, more efficient, friendlier or more approachable than it needs to be.
Microsoft Windows was never particularly elegant, as you could see the nuts and bolts underneath it. It was clunky, but it got the job done.
On the other hand, the Macintosh-for at least 20 years-was surprisingly elegant. When it broke, it broke in an elegant way. It knew things before it asked us to type them in, it had a smile on its face–it seemed to have a sense of humor.
When we create something with practical elegance, we are investing time and energy in a user experience that satisfies the user more than it helps the bottom line of the company that made it. Ironically, in the long run, satisfying the user is the single best way to help the bottom line of a company that doesn’t have monopoly power.
When a designer combines functionality with delight, we’re drawn to whatever she’s produced. That’s the elegance we’re searching for in our built world.
An enemy of practical elegance is persistent complexity, often caused by competing demands, network effects and the status quo. The latest operating system of the Mac is without elegance. When it crashes, and mine has been every few hours for the last week, it crashes poorly. The kernel panic reports are unreadable, by me and by their support folks. The dialogue boxes aren’t consistent, the information flow is uneven and nothing about the experience shows any commitment to polish, to delight or to the user.
Practical elegance doesn’t mean that the canoe will never capsize. It means that the thing we built was worth building, and it left the user feeling better, not worse, about their choice.
Too often, “customer service” has come to mean “answer the phone and give a refund.” But customer service begins long before something breaks. It’s about a commitment to the experience. Creating delight before it’s expected. Building empathy and insight into the interactions that people will choose to have with you.
Of course this takes effort. So do all the other things that go into a product or service. Apparently, though, this effort is perceived as optional by some.
As soon as a product or system creator starts acting like the user has no choice, elegance begins to disappear.