Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

November 11 2013

This Booth Idea Could Completely Change Trade Shows

By David McMilin


Every trade show organizer knows the setup and teardown processes all too well. If exhibitors embrace a new idea, the time and money necessary for a successful show could be significantly reduced - - without much work at all.

Skyline Exhibits, a trade show display design company, recently unveiled its new WindScape exhibit system. The difference from typical trade show booths? It’s completely inflatable.

“With the push of a button, the display inflates on its own and you’re done,” Robert Watson, president, Skyline New York, said in a statement. “It is very lightweight, compact and portable, which saves companies money on shipping and drayage costs and save huge amount of time during set-up and tear down.”

SEE ALSO: What Will Trade Shows Look Like in 2016?

While some show organizers and exhibitors may hear “inflatable” and immediately assume that the technology looks cheap, WindScape appears to be much more than an air mattress. The displays are available in 46 different shapes and sizes, and the technology wraps fabric around an inner air tube to create a sturdy product.

Doing Away With Drayage

Earlier this year, I attended E2MA’s second annual Red Diamond Congress in Chicago, and one of the hot-button issues was those dreadful drayage costs.

“If we could eliminate ‘drayage’ from our conversations and encourage colleagues to do the same, we’ll be a better industry overall,” David Audrain, president and CEO of Clarion Events North America, said in his address.

Audrain was not referring to inflatable booth displays. Instead, he advocated an all-inclusive exhibiting fee to eliminate the additional costs for weight that frustrate many members of the exhibiting community. While the ideas are very different, one truth is clear: the industry needs to find a cost-effective solution to appease exhibitors.

Still, meetings and exhibits have never had an easy time parting ways with tradition. While many companies are offering innovative approaches to fuel the future of trade shows, those approaches will need the support of actual exhibitors to truly make an impact.

SEE ALSO: What Attendees Want from Exhibitors

What do you think of the technology? Would your exhibitors consider using inflatable booths? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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  1. 1 Sofia Troutman 14 Nov
    Hi Alan,
    The Skyline® WindScape™ System has an internal airframe that is very rigid
    after inflation, so show hall HVAC does not cause any noticeable movement.  Not all WindScape structures require anchoring, but there are many options available; you may use the optional feet for ground supported structures, you may rig shapes from the ceiling or another sturdy support (your sales representative can evaluate your options) or they may be tethered to a building or tent using specially designed cuffs.  Our engineers have performed extensive testing in indoor settings.  We have implemented outdoor applications as custom projects.   Up/Down Compression, shipping, thermal cycling, and many other tests showed that normal use will not damage the display, but every shape comes with a standard “Care kit” that includes a repair kit, instructions and a couple of small extra parts (just in case). 
  2. 2 Alan Fairbairn 12 Nov
    What anchors them? Have they been tested with strong drafts from HVAC?
    Do they come with a repair kit in case it is damaged in transit.?

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