One of my attractions to the exposition/tradeshow industry is the thrill and awe of seeing an exposition hall’s expansive slab of concrete and jungle of pillars morph into a market place to rival the color, vibrancy and intrigue of an inner city street market.
This time-lapse video is of the WB exhibit during fabrication in the Freddie Georges Production Group warehouse.
I recently attended the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) at the Los Angeles Convention Center, June 15-17. E3 is one of the Los Angels Convention Center’s largest shows and this year it attracted more than 45,000 attendees from 90 countries and about 300 exhibitors. Exhibit square footage sold was not provided. Produced by IDG World Expo, the E3 Expo is touted as the “world’s premiere tradeshow for computer and video games and related products” and is owned by the Entertainment Software Association. E3 Expo will return to the Los Angeles Convention Center next year, June 7-9, 2011.
Perusing the E3 Expo show floor during the setup, I was once more mesmerized by how quickly several 15,000 square-foot exhibits were erected. Several were two-story while others were split-level with mazes of meeting rooms, demonstration stations, theaters, video walls and hidden storage areas. In the case of E3, monsters and mobsters, aliens and animals, dungeons and dragons, and knights and ninjas were the dominant exhibit themes.
Freddie Georges Production Group had seven exhibits erected for E3, covering more than 40,000 square feet, including the 11,000 square-foot Warner Brothers (WB) exhibit that showcased a variety of popular gaming titles. Owned by Freddie Georges, the La Palma, California-based company has a large contingency of entertainment-focused clients, which Georges said has helped her company survive and thrive over the last couple years.
“Entertainment is a big industry, so fun, so creative, so exciting, so scenic, never just another project,” said Georges. “You have to bring the titles to life.” She added that entertainment (gaming industry) clients provide more security since the exhibitors usually have new titles, or new generations of older titles debuting at shows requiring new themes and designs.
“For Mortal Kombat, a 20-year WB franchise, the developers wanted to bring the actual elements of the game to life in the booth,” said Georges. “A big part of the next generation of the Mortal Kombat franchise is the dungeon. So what people see when they walk in the exhibit is in fact, what they would see if they bought the game. The theater is a complete dungeon. Attendees sit among cadavers and chains while watching the demo video.”
Georges and her staff have been working non-stop on the E3 exhibits since January. In fact, “buried since January 1, and thankfully so,” according to Georges. Her E3 team consists of 20 staffers and another 50 I&D workers provided by Coastal International and Renaissance Management.
The Warner Brothers’ exhibit itself consists of:
- a water tower depicting the WB’s icon brand
- 3 theaters showcasing Mortal Kombat, Fear3, and Lord of the Rings: War in the North
- 6 meeting rooms
- 25 video/demo stations showcasing a different title
“These E3 projects take a minimum of six months and usually start as a bid in December, with the bid process usually taking two months, and with contract close and design usually taking another two months,” Georges said. “That leaves us two months to produce the job. It’s tight if you have more than one project working. We prefer 90 days for fabrication.”