Student wins contest to design booth for European trade show

Mug-2013-Stelton-DanikaDanika Stelton, a design technology major at Bemidji State University, has won a competition to design a booth for the Exhibit Designers and Producers Association that will be used at a trade show in Europe early next year.

The association will use Stelton’s design (right) for its booth at Euroshop, Europe’s largest exhibit and retail design trade show held every three years in Dusseldorf, Germany.

For winning the contest, Stelton, a senior from International Falls, Minn., will travel to Dusseldorf and attend Euroshop, held Feb. 16-20, 2014, as a representative in the association’s booth.

“Our art and design program works closely with EDPA,” said Dr. Bonnie Higgins, professor of technology, art and design. “In this particular case, they came to us and wanted to hold this contest.”

The contest also included students from the Fashion Institute of Technology, a graduate-level design program in New York City. The association provided BSU and FIT faculty with a creative brief outlining expectations and requirements for the booth space, and also required pre- and post-show marketing materials.

The competition became a project for students in Higgins’ Exhibit Design/Trade Show course, and over the course of the fall semester more than 30 students developed proposals. Stelton’s was one of 17 proposals advanced to the association by BSU faculty for consideration in the contest.The winner was announced at the association’s ACCESS13 conference, Dec. 4-6 in Marco Island, Fla.

EDPA-view1_web“EDPA prides itself on knowing industry trends and on its knowledge of the exhibit world,” Stelton said. “My overall concept was to support their goals and objectives for increasing membership and their name recognition globally.”

Stelton said her process involved not only research about the association and its goals and objectives, but also about design trends in Europe. She said knowing the booth was going to be used in Europe affected her design approach, and she also considered that budgets for trade show booth installations tend to be higher in Europe.

“Since the booth is going to be in Europe, you have to design with those design ideas in mind,” she said. “That’s why in my booth there is a raised floor and a lot of lighting, because these are trends seen over there. And EDPA wants to be seen as knowing the industry trends.”

Mug-2013-Higgins-BonnieHiggins said that Stelton’s proposal combined a strong design that was well-matched to the requirements the association had for the space.

“This project was a lot of work for our students,” Higgins said. “Danika’s submission was 20 pages long. The creative brief was quite in-depth, and her design was great. She submitted excellent concepts in marketing, design and functionality of the space.”

Bemidji State’s art and design program is one of the few in the United States offering extensive coursework in exhibit design. The program combines 3D design and marketing, allowing students to work independently and as part of teams designing exhibits for trade shows, museums and other educational exhibits, point-of-purchase displays and other retail environments.

Since 2010, 23 BSU exhibit design students have participated in an EDPA mentorship program, and 19 of those 23 have been hired by EDPA-member companies.

Exhibit design at BSU
Exhibit Designers and Producers Association