For years, RSNA exhibitors have been bound to exhibit design rules rarely seen at other shows. In 2015, however, the once feared regime relaxed its grip and exhibitors were free to do things never done before. What did we learn?
CHANGE IS LITERALLY IN THE AIR
RSNA has legendarily been one of the few shows that disallowed hanging signs. In many cases, if RSNA was an exhibitor’s primary show, the rule would dictate design for their other major shows in order to save costs and retain the original aesthetic intent. The rule stated that all structures must be ground supported. But over time, exhibitors (and more notably, exhibit designers) would increasingly test the limits of that definition. And as of 2014, it was common to see hanging signs free floating during installation, only to be lowered onto a ground “supported” structure. It had become a pretty overused joke on the set up floor.
That all changed in 2015, and I for one, was anxious to see what kind of exhibit design changes would be found. Would exhibitors use this as an excuse to completely refresh their exhibits? Would they simply remove the false support legs? Or would they fly a stock shaped sign as a temporary solution?
Wait and See…
The answer appeared to be all of the above. While there were a number of exhibitors taking advantage of the new high signage freedom, many exhibitors took a wait and see position, telling me that they were curious to see what their competitors and neighbors would do. All of the feedback said that we might see a lot more new stuff at the 2016 show, which always exciting for our side of the business.
The other wrinkle in how things are now done at RSNA is the timing of space selection. The days of discovering where your exhibit location is in June are over. Following the model of many other shows, selecting next year’s spot is now done at this year’s show.
In my experience so far, this change has been met with mixed reviews. While some like getting this exercise over with early, there are drawbacks for the others who aren’t sure of future budgets. Though they can always request a smaller or larger booth later, they risk losing the primo spots snatched up at space selection. I understand this change, and perhaps it’s an effort to get through RSNA’s recent bear market.
The good news is, most of the new RSNA rules stand to benefit the exhibitors. It’s an exciting time for those looking to improve their exhibit environment, and I look forward to seeing what is done with the new freedoms. We seem to always say this around this time of year, but RSNA 2016 will be here before you know it.
If you need a new exhibit design for this year, contact me immediately and we’ll get started.
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To view my personal exhibit design portfolio at RSNA, click here.
To view some of our best work at MC², click here.
Jonathan Branca is a 10-year veteran in the Trade Show industry and Senior Account Executive at MC², a global agency specializing in design, production and management of integrated marketing programs for events, exhibits and permanent environments. You can also find Jonathan on LinkedIn and Google.
Jonathan Branca is a
10-year veteran in the Trade Show industry & Sr Account Executive at MC² Exhibits.