Tag: Exhibit Builder


Cooking Up Exhibits at IHHS 2015

Our clients’ exhibits were cooking at the 2015 International Home + Housewares Show (IHHS). Located at Chicago’s McCormick Place on March 7-10, the 118th IHHS showcased the most innovative houseware products on the market. DesignCentrix is a veteran of IHHS, having gone every year since our inception. This year, we helped three companies find their spotlights at the event: Chef’N, Lodge Manufacturing, and Joseph Joseph.

Chef'n_collage_comp1 DesignCentrix has worked with UK-based creative agency HBM since opening our doors and we’ve had the opportunity to partner with them on several exhibits. In 2010, we teamed up with them on the Chef’N account, and over the past five years, we’ve updated their original 30’x30’ structure to match their business’ growth and product line expansion. For this IHHS, we collaborated with HBM’s design direction to add 5’ of space to the booth along with new graphics to freshen up the look. For an additional meeting area, a versatile conference space was created allowing for both privacy and an open atmosphere, separated by uniquely branded sliding doors.

Our working relationship with HBM/Chef’N to execute the fabrication, installation, and dismantle of this project is one based on trust. Ian Bastow, Project Director of HBM, acknowledges the challenges that come with working from different continents. “At the end of the day, we work across the world. How we approach something and how the U.S. approaches something is a bit alien to us. Luckily, we have guidance through the relationship. It’s trust as it is anything else. With their can-do attitude, DesignCentrix can work anywhere.”


Along with Chef’N, Lodge Manufacturing has also put their trust in DesignCentrix for years. Their 20’x60’ booth that is showcased today was originally designed several years ago, and we have continued to update and maintain that structure for the past five years.

June Thomas, Divisional Sales Manager for Lodge, has been working with DesignCentrix since 2011. “DesignCentrix has partnered with us from the beginning. They always provide a wide array of services during the process that helped to make working remotely easy. Their follow through at shows also gives us the confidence that we can trust them to handle whatever situation arises.”

GP8A0101We also had the opportunity to work with a new London-based client, Joseph Joseph, at this year’s IHHS. Collaborating with one of their Merchandising and Display designers on the exhibit, we executed the entirety of their 22’x40’ booth. The structures were a combination of merchandise walls, meeting rooms, and storage that surrounded an open promotional area. Accent lighting placed on beams connected these three large elements.

As our 14th year at IHHS, we were excited to see three very different exhibits come to life. We congratulate all of our clients on a successful show, and we look forward to seeing what next year will bring.


A Partnership that Feels Like Family: BLUE Buffalo and DesignCentrix

No matter how successful a company becomes, when it’s founded and focused on family, it won’t forget where it came from. In the early 2000’s, two father-and-sons teams, BLUE Buffalo and DesignCentrix, were starting two different businesses. Both companies were looking to make their own way in their respective industries, not knowing that they would somehow meet in the middle to form a symbiotic relationship that continues to flourish today.

BLUE Buffalo was founded by Bill Bishop and his two sons in 2003. The family started the company in their barn with the goal of creating a healthy, natural dog food for their family dog, Blue, who was facing a variety of health issues. At the time, natural dog foods were only available in mom and pop shops, but they wanted to make nutritious food available to more consumers. After a trial run in a major pet food store, their line took off. Today, BLUE Buffalo is the number one brand of natural pet food at Petco and PetSmart.


DesignCentrix got the opportunity to work on their first BLUE trade show exhibit in 2006. This humble 10’x20’ inline was a simple but sturdy design that was well utilized in their early shows. As BLUE’s business continued to grow, so did their booth size, moving to a 20’x20’ island with a second floor to an impressive 30’x50’. Each design was modular, allowing them to expand on each previous exhibit without needing to start from scratch. The success of these early exhibits allowed their partnership with DesignCentrix to naturally progress and grow alongside their business, eventually becoming solidified into what it is today.

This year, BLUE Buffalo attended Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida on March 4th through the 6th. This Expo is the pet industry’s largest annual trade show featuring the newest, most innovative pet products on the market today. BLUE wanted to go all out to showcase their four major brands, BLUE Life Protection Formula®, BLUE Freedom®, BLUE Basics®, and BLUE Wilderness®, in a store-like setting to give retail partners an idea of what BLUE products will look like on their shelves. To do this, they took up the most real estate yet — a two floor, 60’x80’ exhibit — to expose themselves as an industry leader in natural pet foods.


After collaborating on multiple concepts and renderings over a one and a half month period, they decided to go back to their roots with a rustic, barn-like setting with a weathered feel. The DesignCentrix team got to work, creating an innovative and architecturally interesting space to fit their style. BLUE also wanted DesignCentrix to incorporate one large and two small conference rooms where they could present to potential buyers within the double deck structure. Keeping with the rustic feel, they used more relaxed, comfortable seating and furniture as opposed to the traditional conference room effects. Because of the great brand they’ve built up over the years, the conference rooms were booked for all three days long before the show opened.

Another feature in their exhibit was a three by three video wall with nine 55” digital displays. These screens showcased their top brands in a visually appealing format. To complete the look, the walls of the booth were wrapped in seamless, digitally printed wood paneling.

Vice President of Marketing for BLUE Buffalo, David Petrie, was thrilled with final exhibit. “We’ve come a long way with DesignCentrix, and I have all the confidence in the world when we work with them. Their wide variety of experience gives them the expertise to create the best booth year after year. These guys just get it done.”

Not only was David happy with the finished product, but their collaboration as well. “Over the years, this relationship has gone beyond just business; we consider the DesignCentrix team our friends. We couldn’t ask for a better partnership.”


A Vision of Success: Bringing our Clients’ Ideas to Life at NRF 2015

No matter the size, we always build our booths with your grand vision in mind. At this year’s National Retail Federation (NRF) show, we helped our clients achieve many great successes in a variety of different booth sizes and styles.

One of our notable clients is Datalogic, a global leader in Automatic Data Capture who has been working with DesignCentrix for many years. Dennis Fitzgerald, President and Founder of DesignCentrix, has been working with them from the beginning.

“They started almost two decades ago with a 20’ x 20’ booth. Over the years, we’ve been able to develop a wonderful partnership as Datalogic has morphed into the rapidly-growing company it is today.”

This year, we created a stunning 30’ x 40’ space to incorporate their four new product lines. Featured in the booth was a tiled 1 x 4 video wall made up of 80” monitors, and a custom 30’ x 40’ edgelit hanging sign drew customers in from above. Their grand display showcased their revolutionary retail solutions to give retailers an enhanced shopping experience.

Earning a top spot on the Retail Info System (RIS) News’ Best of NRF 2015 was our client Shelfbucks, a provider of beacon-based technologies, for one of the most eye-catching booths. Their 20’ x 20’ design highlighted their work with Gamestop in Texas, where they’ve been piloting their new promotional interaction with shoppers. The Washington Post also recognized Shelfbucks’ innovative shopping solutions in their “5 new technologies that may change how you shop.”


We had to think outside of the box to create a unique booth for Zebra Technologies, a top provider of real-time visibility into organizations’ assets, people, and transactions. Instead of a traditional booth, Zebra wanted to have four separate meeting rooms setup within their 30’ x 30’ space. They recently acquired Motorola Mobility and wanted to use the rooms to create a sense of privacy when discussing the merger with potential and existing clients.

With an array of successes, NRF 2015 was the perfect place to see our variety of clients. Matt Zink, Creative Director of DesignCentrix, was pleased with the show’s outcome, stating: “It was a good year for all of our clients at NRF. From the 10’ x 10’ booth for Wolters Kluwer to Datalogic’s 30’ x 40’ space, we were able to show our dedication to creative design for booths of any shape or size.”

Whether you’re a large corporation or a small start-up, DesignCentrix can turn your dream into a reality. Contact us for your next trade show booth, and we’ll bring your vision to life.