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Helping a client understand the three dimensional impact of a great exhibition stand design used to be easy. We used to build scaled cardboard models, print out tiny versions of the graphics and apply them to the walls, use coloured paper for the carpet and ceremoniously present them to a client. Amazed and impressed the client would pick up the model, turn it around and view it from all angles imagining that they were tiny and could happily walk through the space. It was fun, building stuff is in our blood and and we love to handle materials and explore the endless possibilities of bending card and stretching acetate. But there was a draw back, these models couldn’t easily be modified so if, once our client had seen the model, they required a little amendment it was a huge undertaking often requiring a total rebuild.

CAD saved us, we could virtually model a concept and present a photo realistic image to the client on a board or screen. We could even give them a little animated fly through. No more glue, cutting boards and late evenings meeting the deadline. The clients were happy and so were we. But now Augmented Reality has entered the arena. Witha little technical knowledge and an ipad we can have the best of both worlds. We can now provide a way of showing our clients the stand, they can explore the space, move around and once again imagine what the stand will look like in the hall.

We are just beginning to explore AR at Ignition but so far the results are very positive indeed.

We love it when a new exhibition brief is passed to our creative team, we revel in the challenge to create something really special. To deliver a proposal that is both creative and appropriate demands an acute understanding of our client’s aspirations: what is being offered, to whom and how will the process be measured?

When approached by the University of Salford Energy Department to help them deliver an exhibition stand for the Greenbuild exhibition in Manchester the brief had another key requirement – the stand should be sustainable. The exhibition industry is gathering a green momentum in response to calls for greater sustainability. Increasingly, stands are designed for reinstallation over a number of years, keen project management can radically reduce waste and designers and specifiers are eager to be responsible in their choice of materials.

Our challenge with the University of Salford project is to look at everything in more detail and have a serious think about every aspect of the exhibition stand. To build with FSC MDF, Reeds Evo-Velour recyclable carpet, low VOC finishes and reusable system floor was an obvious route to go down but we can go further. By cleverly designing a bespoke exhibition stand that can mimic an Ikea unit by flat packing into a space a quarter of its size allowed us to minimise transportation and storage requirements as well.

The exhibition is in Manchester in May and looks like it is going to be a fascinating event.


There’s a new sheriff in town, well not really a new one, but one one a mission……….new business (oh, how we love the months of January and February) As we all have a responsibility to let those interested know how well our (lovely) little company is doing, I suppose I should reveal how things went on my recent trip to Poznan, Poland, to oversee the installation of the Formica exhibit at Budma.

As it’s still relatively early in the year and also due to the fact that I hadn’t visited Poland before I found myself getting quite excited at the prospect of the trip. Adding to the above the fact that the project was with one of our longstanding clients @ Formica Group Scandinavia and also the fact that I had been booked into a 5 star hotel (more about this later) it looked as though it had the makings of a really good trip.

Poland in january, would it be cold? After the final piece of project management had finished I decided to have a quick look at the weather forecast to see what I could expect. Oh, it will be cold, -10 to -15 on a good day! Time to get down to Marks and purchase some heavyweight thermals (at my time of life comfort always wins over fashion)

After waging a war against the demons of drink at Munich Airport for 5 hours (what do you do with such a large connection time?) I arrived at Poznan Lawica Airport ready for what would be sent my way over the next few days. The first thing to consider on entering a new country is how much money should I have, what will things cost? I withdrew what I thought would suffice for the immediate future and headed off to the information desk to enquire about my bus ticket into the city. How much for a ticket to my destination I asked, 240 came the reply. I reached for the first hundred Zlotty note ready to take a couple more, but was asked if I had any change. 240 was actually 2.40, which equates to around 48 pence. I could get to like it here.

After a very short time the bus arrived at my stop so I grabbed my case and headed off in the direction of the hotel. The snow was crisp and the air was dry, -15 didn’t feel that cold (not for the first minute or two that is) Arriving at the hotel I walked up the steps and opened the door to the lobby. What was that smell? This was a thought that would often enter my mind as I would enter/exit the ground floor over the next few days (more of this to follow)

After checking in and being shown to my large but rather sparse and cold room on the top/2nd floor I decided to forget my disappointment and go for a walk to see what the neighbourhood had to offer. I remember being told about a good bar just a few streets away so I set off in that direction. As luck would have it there was a really nice collection of independent shops, restaurants and bars set within some old industrial units virtually behind my smelly 5 star hotel.

It was still early at about 6 o’clock, but I had been up since 4 so I was feeling a little jaded. A nice glass of Rioja and a few nibbles would set things straight so I entered what would be a good second home for me over the coming days. What would you like sir? A good Rioja please………a few moments later the waiter (Polish but with the looks of a Spaniard and the accent of an Italian. This would be an interesting place) returned with a rather nice looking bottle of Rioja. How much is that I asked, about €5 came the reply. Wow, Poland is really cheap I thought.

I managed to shrug aside my tiredness and around 4 hours later after some olives, bread, sausage, more bread, and cheese (plus the remainder of the yummy Rioja) I asked for the bill. It turned out that €5 was for each glass. Doh! A schoolboy error! Never be lulled into a false sense of security by the currency of a country if the place you are in looks a little on the posh side (note to self)

I suppose as the aim of this article was initially to highlight the brilliance of the company I should relay a little bit about the outcome of the stand. After three days of installation I’m happy to say that the stand looked exactly as planned and we received very positive comments from both Polish and Scandinavian clients. Whilst the concept of the design was well received it was felt that the reality exceeded the expectations.

After many months of planning we can now place a tick against Budma and start to plan the next project for Formica in Kortrijk, Belgium in April.

More tales of a traveller to come.




Regent Innovations, trade only suppliers of promotional digital devices asked us to put together a proposal for their 3 by 2 metre shell scheme at Trade Only at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.

The challenge was to create an exhibition stand that had a very high impact but established Regent Innovations as a key player in the promotional sector. Not only that but there were all the practical requirements as well with a need for ample display space and room for storage. Oh, and one last thing, it all needed to fit into the back of a large estate car!

This was going to require a creative shell scheme exhibition design

Regent Innovations had already developed a really strong corporate identity that lent itself to adaptation to the exhibition environment. The colour palette is vibrant with a simple use of copy.

The results… we negotiated with the venue to remove the shell scheme fascia, change the carpet colour, lined out the space with full height fabric graphics and then placed some custom built display units into the space.

Success? Of course. The lively and bright stand attracted many new customers and Regent Innovations has the potential of generating many new business leads.

Bernard Payne, Commercial Director, Regent Innovations said

“With no prior experience of exhibition stand design Ignition was one of three companies we approached. From the beginning Lewis gave us input on critical points in the project, went through the technical side of the stand erection requirements (Health and Safety, electrics, furniture hire etc) and assured me they were experienced in all these matters and would undertake the project management. We ended up with a fantastic stand, praised by many of the clients who visited us, on time, within budget and worry free. I would heartily recommend Lewis and the team particularly for companies like us who are new to the exhibition game.”

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