Designing our booth for IDS Vancouver was a lot of fun and a very collaborative process that involved the majority of our team. We brought in our crating company to actually build the walls of our booth so that they would be able to design the crate at the same time. It was a unique experience for all of us, as most of the shows we've done are smaller and we've never used a show to launch into a new market before. We started with an initial design meeting to discuss the location and size of the booth and from there it was a fairly simple process to decide where we wanted the walls to go. Trade shows are always interesting because you want your booth to be inviting but you also want it to have a wow factor or inspire creativity. The space should welcome show guests into it and be easy to move around in. Hard to do in a 10x10 space. On paper the concept seems simple, but in reality its a completely different story.
After our initial meeting we decided to have one full wall of stone, showing a favourite from 3 of our collections. The second wall went under quite a few changes as we wanted to be able to show the full collection, but space was limited. One of our main selling features is our ability to create thin slabs of stone and cut them in series that can be easily book matched. We HAD to have a book matched set on the wall. It wasn't up for negotiation. Since we needed the remaining wall space to sample the rest of our collections, our fifth collection favorite ended up on the floor. Obviously, we didn't just want to lay the full panels onto the floor, so we came up with a variation on the herringbone pattern to add a little more interest and show the versatility of our product. From there we chose 4 simple chairs and a coffee table from IKEA. After that it was up to Eric to build it.
The toughest challenge with construction was decided how to make the walls freestanding. Stone is heavy - yes, ours is relatively light compared to traditional slabs, but still it was going to be heavy. We needed to ship the walls with the product installed to minimize damage and reduce setup time. Seemed simple enough, - then came the bracing. To support the 500 lb walls, we had to lose some floor space. Becki and I, then decided we would just make the walls thicker and add our marketing materials on the side. Problem solved - space would be maximized and we'd have space behind to store our marketing materials.
Then came the fun! Shipping. In our wonderful planning, we never really thought about the size. Luckily, we used our crating company to build the booth so he had a plan. The crate by the way, was very exciting for the on site helpers. Everything had a place and was very thoroughly marked.
Once the crate was shipped, all we had to do was make our way to Vancouver. What better way than a good old fashioned ROAD TRIP! We do love the drive. Those views - amazing.
Since our crate was scheduled to arrive on day two of setup and would be quick to set up the walls and cut the floor, we spent the first day running errands. We went to a few meetings and then hit IKEA to pick up the chairs and table we had selected months before. When we got to IKEA we decided we no longer liked the look of the chairs we originally selected. They didn't fit our new branding, or really work well with the style of the booth. To our surprise, we found these amazing yellow chairs that were almost identical to the gold in our branding. Once that was done, we were very excited to get in and set everything up the next day.
When the booth came out of the crate, Becki and I had mixed feelings. It was beautiful, don't get me wrong, it just wasn't exactly what we pictured in our heads. The walls were grey, not white. The end caps were missing and there was a small gap at the bottom of one of the stones. All minor things and once the walls were clipped together and the flooring was uncrated. We then started planning how to adjust it so it was more like our vision.
We stopped at Home Depot to buy some paint supplies and white paint to fix the wall colour. It needed touch-ups anyway, and we might as well make it look exactly how we wanted while we were at it. We also stopped at a metal shop and had them cut us a few brass pieces to cover the ends. These would tie in nicely with the other brass elements we already had in the booth. From there we went back to the show and began our makeover. The two of us worked tirelessly, cutting the floor planks to size, painting the walls, fixing trim, installing our brass side panels, hanging lights and building furniture. It took well over 24 hours of work in all (girl power), but we couldn't have been happier with how it turned out. From concept to completion, this booth is by far the biggest challenge we've taken on for a trade show and it also happens to be our best booth we've ever done. It pushed us as a team and it gave us a lot of insight into who we are as a company. We have a few ideas on what we'd like to change for next year, but we loved every minute of designing and building it.
We had so much fun and laughed a lot along the way. The booth got a lot of attention and our launch into the market couldn't have gone better. We're very excited to be working with our Vancouver clientele and can't wait to see what the next year brings. Stay tuned to find out what's in the cards for next year. You're not going to want to miss it.