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Brumark Booth

Students gather at the Brumark Flooring exhibit prior to the opening of EXHIBITOR2011.

Several students from Bemidji State University (BSU) and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) recently attended EXHIBITOR2011 to get a first-hand look at the industry. Students in attendance played the dual role of exhibitors and student visitors, as they staffed their own booth space and toured the show floor.

All the components of the exhibit were donated by Exhibit Designers and Producers Association (EDPA) members. Exhibitor Media Group donated the space, Octanorm donated a shell scheme stand, graphics were provided by Laarhoven Design, lighting was done by Display Supply & Lighting, the furniture was provided by CORT and the carpet was donated by Brumark. Installation was completed by Renaissance Management, Edlen Electric provided the juice and transportation, and drayage was completed by Champion Exposition Services.

The exhibit allowed each student to showcase their work and to conduct interviews for either their internship requirement or employment upon graduation.

3D Exhibits

Students gather at the 3D Exhibits booth.

The EDPA has been working closely with the BSU undergraduate studies program and FIT graduate studies program for years. Each year, the association organizes a two-hour tour of the show floor for the students before the show officially opens. It is on this day that the students get to witness the behind-the-scenes chaos that takes place at every tradeshow event on the night before opening.

“Understanding pre-event jitters and dealing with the unexpected are all a part of being an exhibit design professional,” said Kent Jones, senior VP of 3D Exhibits. “The magic of exhibit design is imagination and preparation.”

The tour route handpicked five exhibitors who represented different supplier services for the end user. Each company explained its own exhibit design strategy and the challenges that are faced throughout a show.

Students came away from the tour with a broader vision of the industry.

“As a first-time student visitor, I felt an element of competition on the floor, but overall, it felt more like a community than a contest,” said Adam Carnes, design student. “There was a sense that we are all in this together, emerging from recent adversity and now diving head first into an exciting global future.”


Students from Bemidji State University (BSU) and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)

“My design perspective expanded greatly with the feedback received from industry professionals,” said Yun Chu, design student. “We really appreciated the chance to show our portfolio’s to the industries senior designers. All of the fantastic introductions we made in these few days provided us all with valuable insight and experience.”

According to the EDPA, the ultimate beneficiary of the program is the industry itself.

“The success of our efforts to grow our University Affiliation Program is due in part to the generous support in time and money from our member sponsors,” said Jeff Provost, executive director of the EDPA. “It is also due to the cooperative spirit between Bemidji State and FIT to work together as one to prepare the very best students for our industry.”



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