2017 and the return of craftsmanship

With the rise of the ‘craft’ market across everything from beer to clothing, furniture to food, and its association with the word artisan, what we discovered at EuroShop 2017 was that our industry is firmly following that trend.

It became increasingly obvious to us, as we wandered around the halls, that the level of detail and clever finishes to the stands was as high as we have ever seen at an exhibition. On one hand you would expect this to be the case because it is the industry showcase for what can be done, but this was done to a very high level and across the majority of the stands at the show.

If this is a trend that carries over into the UK industry it can only be a good thing. There were a few stands that looked formulaic, following the same old format, but what was noticeable was that they were the exception, whereas in many UK exhibitions it is the well designed and crafted stands that are the eye catching ones.

The choice of materials used on the stands also echoed the investment in the art and craft of exhibition stand design and build. Nothing showed this more than the use of wood on so many stands. It ranged from driftwood-clad stand walls through to lovely veneered board. But it was the small details and finishes that spoke of the craftsmanship involved.

And by craftsmanship I am referring to the level of expertise delivered across a number of disciplines – designers, carpenters, painters, lighting technicians and of professional interest to us, printers. There were some very clever designs that took materials out of context and created striking exhibition stands, cardboard engineering, paper, particle board, even hundreds of screwdrivers suspended from a ceiling.

There were so many neat touches on so many stands that it set us buzzing with ideas, and for us, the execution of some of the graphics was sublime. A glass walled stand printed to provide a transparent view onto the stand but with sufficient print to create the impression of walls.

Tensioned printed fabric is something we have been championing since we acquired our dye sublimation printer, and there was plenty in evidence at EuroShop.

Printed and backlit with intriguing images, it delivered a completely different feel to the feature areas.

Some stands were almost works of art, using their own products to create stunning effects, a wire suspension system for the retail industry was used to create a striking spiral of stainless steel. Creative, clever and considered.

More from our trip to EuroShop in our next blog…

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