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    Exhibition Design and Technology

    Exhibition Design was sprung from ideas, concepts, urges and responses to external factors across various cultures and the development thereof, which occurred at varying rates.

    It is a method of communication that has held different meanings at different times because it is a changing and evolving element. Whilst technology has evolved, the application of Exhibition Design has remained constant throughout the ages.

    Exhibition Design was originally only exposed to the upper echelons of society whereas today, it is widely available to everyone. It has subsequently achieved recognition, because the importance of its role has been acknowledged through the success of attendee experiences. The acknowledgement flowed through to education and today, programmes and degrees are widely available, with Exhibition Design offered as a professional career.

    It has futhermore, evolved from the once static displays, to that of physical and electronic interactivity and multimedia presentations, with social media playing an integral and crucial role. Today’s exhibition environments involve intense social interaction.

    In today’s terms, Exhibition Design has an objective approach. Contemporary design is aimed toward sustainability and temporary construction.  The introduction of the modular system structure was the biggest change in the Exhibition industry, with profiles being kept for years and re-used as required.

    Today’s exhibition stands are being built with sustainability in mind, where we are mindful of how the elements could be recycled or how they could be re-used in future projects. 

    The visual construction of an Exhibition stand communicates values and meanings.  Shapes and styles placed in a particular space illustrate and represent the theme or ‘’story’’ of the stand.

    Today, Exhibition design is all about visual communication and stimulation.

    Exhibition stands were designed considerably different in 1994.  The development stage from conceptual to design realisation was much slower than that of today.  The conceptual 3D drawings were presented on boards, hand sketched and ‘’rendered’’ with copic markers.  Concepts were presented through rendered hardcopy sketches. 

    Hand sketches have almost completely been phased out, now replaced with full colour 3D visual renders created with 3D Max, idesign, Sketchbook Pro and Arch iPad, to name a few.  These design programmes have created the opportunity to reach exhibitors that are internationally based, in that we can electronically showcase our local design and build capabilities.

    The developed and marketed AutoCAD software for 2D and 3D drafting has been available since 1982 as a desktop application.  AutoCAD Version 13 was released in 1994.

    Since 2010 AutoCAD is available as a mobile web, cloud-based app marketed as AutoCAD 360.

    In the past 20 years, our world has changed phenomenally with an increased reliance on computers. The invention of the internet and the microchip has advanced technology so much so, that we can now access a huge range of services. Technology has become a very strong point in Exhibition Design, where Apps have been developed that make our life easier and create maximum audience impact.  Company branding and products are now easily presented and explained with a touch of a finger on an iPad or similar device.

    Going back in time, Exhibition stands did not have Audio Visual technology such as LED, LCD screens, Smartphone, Tablet, iPad or augmented reality display options. Today stands have incorporated technology as a means of displaying product, company profiles and branding.

    As the world becomes technically interlinked with digital networks, the Exhibition Design Empire is following suit.  Collaboration is simpler than it has ever been before, and the communication process has greatly evolved.




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    EXSA enables connections through the networking and communication of our Forums and via our website (www.exsa.co.za).

    Besides providing EXSA’s directory of members, an exhibitions calendar and news feed, the EXSA website also offers a wealth of knowledge and industry guidelines available to its members.


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