Martin Knowles Photo/Media at IDSWestIf you're visiting here, you might know that we exhibited recently at IDSWest, and if you stopped by our booth…well, it was great to see you! (And if you didn't make it to IDSWest, you missed a rippingly good show full of inspiration and creative goodness. Hey, there's always next year…).

In addition to meeting a lot of wonderful people, I received a huge number of positive comments on our display design, along with more than a few interior designers "peeking behind the curtain" to see how we put things together. The design fits a number of our values, including being highly effective and economical at the same time, providing a clean and modern look, and minimizing waste. As you can see, it's pretty straightforward stuff. Just a couple of 46" flatscreens on flat mounts and a mask that's built from black foamcore with vinyl lettering. The foamcore and lettering work were done by our friends and fellow GVHBA members over at FastSigns Coquitlam. The two screens are controlled and coordinated by a piece of custom code I threw together, running on my MacBook Air in back; if you're building a display like this and don't care about synchronizing all the screens, finding a display with "digital photo frame mode" will probably do the trick and save you a lot of frustration and anguish.

The total expense for the display itself was under $800 (that's not counting the cost of actually exhibiting at IDSWest, of course) given that we got the two screens on auction and the mounts from a local liquidation store. The rest of the bits and pieces came from our location grip kit or our usual tradeshow display setup.

There were a few little wrinkles: that's a full 4x8 sheet of foamcore, and the van I rented to bring everything in was about 4 inches too short (and foamcore with most of the central portion missing won't travel well on a roof rack). I also got to do a bit of reinforcement on the wall: there's a lot of weight up front, so it required a couple of torsion bars and a few sandbags in back to offset the weight and reduce the possibility of having the whole wall coming down on us and our fellow exhibitors. (The back wall at Studio North was composed of two pieces of 3/8" MDF; heavy bolts and fender washers were a must). 

If you've been to a recent IDIBC or GVHBA event, you've probably seen the "baby" tabletop version of this display, which sports three smaller screens. It's the same concept, just with a bit of extra wiring, more complicated mounts, and some extra structural support and design work so as to make the whole thing break down into a large hockey bag that slides into the back of a subcompact car with the seat down or (with a hand truck and a couple of bungee cords) can be transported in one piece on Skytrain or Harbour Air.