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Foundations for fancy footwork

Some the exhibition industry’s top solutions providers presented innovative flooring alternatives at EXHIBITOR2012 on March 4-8, 2012, that had them walking all over the competition.

The contest is no tip-toe through the tulips. Only six admissions were honored out of 44 New Product Showcase entrants. The judging criteria consisted of four scrutinized areas: design innovation, broad-based applications, product potential to enhance the job of the exhibit or event marketing professional, and whether it addresses an industry need or issue.

The Inside Track’s Illumilite Panels took home a top placement. The new technology lit a path in the dark without antiquated electrical light boxes. Its flexible, lightweight, wafer-thin paneling, comprised of phosphor layers and electrically conductive coating generate cool white light.

“Lighting products utilizing LED and OLED technologies produce light by combining multiple smaller points of light into a larger light source,” said Tim Morvay, president of Tradeshow Flooring Direct. “The platform LEC Technology is distinguished from LED and OLED technologies in that LEC panels produce a uniform source of light in a single pixel format without multiple points of electrical connection, across a larger flexible area. They are visible from a wide angle, are more durable and are not sensitive to vibration.”

Morvay calls this development in floor lighting “a genesis in an older proven technology, known as electroluminescence.” The advancement in light-up flooring has a variety of upgrades in addition to its sustainability and cost-saving factors.

“Our LEC panels provide whiter light without a blue cast, have a significantly longer life and provide a more uniform surface illumination,” said Morvay. “The panels emit less noise and electromagnetic interference, utilize power inverters to regulate power output, maintain a more constant brightness and have certain safety features not contained in traditional EL lighting products.”

Freeman's Floorprint

Freeman’s Floorprint

Freeman’s Floorprint also tripped up competitors with an idea whose time had come. In the interest of removing human error from the show site equation, their new award-winning product puts the booth’s floor plan underfoot. Gone are the days of disturbing previously built structures due to faulty measuring.

Two separate layers of printed Visqueen provide electricians and set-up crews with all the information needed for successful and accurate booth placement.

“The development of Floorprint was based on client needs,” said Stuart Stapp, GM of Freeman Fabrication. “As exhibits are becoming more complex, it has become more important to ensure the exhibit is accurately set up on time and efficiently.”

Jay Atherton, executive vice president of operations at Freeman, is credited with the concept. He devised it by serving the needs of a particular patron.

“The customer had a brand new exhibit and floor, and wanted to make sure the exhibit was setup accurately and efficiently,” said Stapp.

Using in-house services and production equipment, an engineering plan is superimposed on banner material. The product has been tested extensively and is a time-saving, cost-reducing, error-proof tool for exhibitors and their crews. There is no expenditure reduction at the show’s end, but in the interim, savings average around 30 percent on the set-up, depending on booth size.

“The production process is the same as printing a traditional banner with a client logo and graphics but on a much larger scale,” said Stapp. “Freeman uses grand format printing equipment designed for printing very large banners. This gives us the advantage of significantly reducing printing costs, which translates to savings for the customer.”

Other merchandising highlights proved they were not to be kicked around, earning their respective companies coveted placement in the New Products Showcase of the EXHIBITOR2012 website.

Brumark’s Altitude R&R Raised Flooring System, previously known as Elevation, raised eyebrows with its subfloor and interchangeable surfaces, which prevent frequent floor replacements. It is an effective solution that maximizes return on investment.

Brumark's Altitude

Brumark’s Altitude R&R Raised Flooring System

“This is extremely cost-effective,” said Dave Walens, Brumark president. “The durable subfloor can be reused multiple times. This gives clients the option of changing the look and design of their floor whenever they want, without investing in a whole new subfloor. The only cost is for a new top surface.”

Las Vegas-based Flooring Exhibits opted to develop Superior-Loc, a sophisticated inter-locking ceramic tile product that works without sub-flooring. Exhibitors will save on drayage without the added weight.

“The Superior-Loc gives a great alternative look to traditional flooring,” said Ashley Pearson, spokesperson for Flooring Exhibits. “Up until now, there was not a product available that gave the true ceramic tile look, and could be installed quickly to be used on a tradeshow floor.”

Customer requests fueled the creation of Superior-Loc according to Rich Cantrell of Flooring Exhibits.

“Up until now, exhibitors have had to use alternative materials that looked similar, but weren’t realistic looking,” he said. “Now exhibitors can accomplish a real ceramic tile floor with this easy to install system.”

The Inside Track EZ Raised Flooring

The Inside Track’s EZ Raised Flooring System

The Inside Track’s EZ Raise Flooring System flexed its muscle, demonstrating the power of being light-weight, which has a patented locking system. Set-up requires no tools and no schematics.

“The traditional Cam locking system has to be routed into the decking material, reducing the integrity of the deck,” said Tim Morvay from The Inside Track. “There are mechanical moving/locking parts that can bend or break. The ‘J’ Shaped Locking System  requires no tools for I&D. There are no moving parts to break or bend; panels simply drop into place. This creates an extremely easy and quick installation.”

This year’s flooring solutions will deliver exhibitors some much-needed price tag relief, and these companies’ spirit of ingenuity should give tradeshow-weary feet cause for dancing in the aisles. The bar has definitely been raised for EXHIBITOR2013 scheduled March 17-21, 2013.

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