Yesterday I officially registered for next year's Surtex, which will take place May 19-21, 2013 at the Javits Center in NYC!

Provided my application is accepted, which I of course can't take for granted, this will be the fire under my * to create designs at lightning speed over the coming months.

In addition to design production, I'm already starting to think about presentation ideas (as I feel these are just as important). I've just trolled around the web for some inspiring shots of booth displays, of which I'll share a few here. My favorites are of Amy Butler's ... I know her budget and name are, like, exponentially bigger than mine, but I love the way she uses actual product samples and product photography to create, as she does, a world unto itself ...

amy butler surtex booth


amy butler trade show booth

She ties everything together so well, and her spaces are so inviting. I love how, in the middle image, she keeps the desk area tucked in a back corner, so that the front of the booth is open and inviting, with only a low table defining the space.

One of my interior designer friends once told me that lighting is SO important. I HAS to be good, or nothing else will be. If I look at these photos, I see spotlights and small lamps that accentuate the work and make the space feel warm and intimate.

Again, I'll have to puzzle a bit about how I can achieve a fraction of this effect, given that my booth will be a fraction of this size ...



I thought Jane Bridges and Louise Tiler (above), winners of the designnext competition in 2011 did a nice job at their first Surtex show. I like the relatively spare look of their booths and the variety in scale of the pieces on the walls. It looks like Louise had at least one image of her work in context, and whoever's idea it was to let the rolls of paper roll at the bottom instead of fastening them flat - genius!


Khristian A Howell's booth (above) is fuller, but I like the way she presents named collections of work in an organized way. She also uses a variety of shapes, sizes and scales to make the display that much more interesting and eye-catching.


It looks like she might have set her designs up in a book (maybe she made it with iPhoto?) instead of creating a binder with plastic sleeves. What would the advantage of that be? I think it looks great. Maybe it would be good to have both though. This seems like something potential clients could flip through themselves, while the binder with the plastic sleeves seems like the 'official' book that you could look through with them ...

Have you come across any nice trade show/craft show stands lately? What are some original ideas that caught your eye?






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