CareerBuilder’s HR Tech Exhibit: Blending Beauty and Results

For CareerBuilder, HR Tech 2015 would be one of the most important trade shows of the year. The firm wanted to use the world’s largest Expo of HR technology products and services to showcase their line of comprehensive and user-friendly HR software. In addition, a totally new “look and feel” would be making its debut at the event thanks to the recent corporate rebranding.

At DesignCentrix, we’ve had a partnership with CareerBuilder for almost nine years. Three months from the show opening, they reached out to us to brainstorm their HR Tech goals, budget and timeline.
jIC7P4tc2DTlG626pS1wmBzhwA40J-KnfNnytY2pOJQCareerBuilder planned to make software demonstrations the main focus of the exhibit, with the objective of reaching 500 demos/leads during the show. Achievement of that goal became a vital component during the booth layout and design phase. The new “look and feel” was also a major consideration, making sure CareerBuilder’s new brand was presented correctly and all materials were consistent across the board.

DesignCentrix soon presented inspiration boards based on CareerBuilder’s needs, and they were thrilled with our approach to their 30’ x 50’ exhibit.

The exhibit design was sleek and new, with passageways that allowed attendees to easily enter, find their way to one of four demo stations, and depart smoothly to make way for others to enter. The creative vision was discussed and tweaked and the building soon began.

Starting at the gracefully curved greeting desk, instructions on the graphic panels guided the flow of visitors to the four demonstration stations. Free standing and each a different color, the stations featured integrated lighting and electronics and suspended ceilings with graphics that reflected their subject matter

QDaKf4F_AkdLo7Wgu43ZkkP-m0-FbR9mjn7bAhRnJKs,6xCQQ_uJWBOFeE-mecW0kqIEudjMYSIusALnGpqNcTA(#HRheadache, Recruitment Analytics, Recruitment Software and Sourcing Technology). A presentation area with a raised podium, seating and high resolution viewing screens completed the exhibit.

When finished and assembled on the show floor, the exhibit was not only stunning…it was incredibly effective as well. CareerBuilder exceeded its goal of 500 demos/leads and met with many more prospective clients.

And the experience? “DesignCentrix understands me, our business and the way I like things done,” said Traci Saliterman, Experiential Marketing Manager for CareerBuilder. “They take the time to listen – and come up with solutions to meet our needs.”

“They are also just genuinely good people. You can’t say that about a lot of vendors – they have become close friends over the years.”


SHRM 2015: What Happens in Vegas Doesn’t Always Stay There

DesignCentrix was more than thrilled to pack up and head to Vegas for this years Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Show. SHRM stands as the world’s largest HR membership organization with over 275,000 members in over 160 countries. Providing global best practices and networking, SHRM is a great opportunity for companies to not just attend, but stand out in the crowd. This year we helped our clients CareerBuilder, HireRight and Steve Gilliland do just that.

Partnering with CareerBuilder over the last eight years has given DesignCentrix the opportunity to develop a variety of booth blueprints and design concepts as the company’s needs have evolved. At SHRM, we unveiled a new 30 ‘x 50 ‘ island built from the ground up.
“For this particular show we wanted people to feel inspired by the energy of Vegas”, DesignCentrix Creative Director, Matt Zink, states, “Our goal was to provide a modern booth design that payed homage to the glitz and glamour of Old Vegas and Fremont Street. We were able to provide CareerBuilder a booth with great hall visibility that offered a variety of interactive opportunities for patrons.”

Implementation of a 3D Photo Booth alongside Custom Shoe and T-Shirt Displays created a memorable experience for all visitors. The interactive highlight was a prize wheel, where visitors spun for a chance to win a free pair of Converse shoes – at times the line was covering three sides of the booth!

DCX_HireRightHireRight’s booth DesignCentrix developed for last years SHRM was such a big hit, they decided to showcase it again. This high-end 20’ X 20’ retail atmosphere wore a crisp blue and white brand scheme, complemented with custom-built shoe displays, highlighted by integrated accent lighting strategically placed to tell the story of their design. A beautiful crystal chandelier pulled the lighting features together with a touch of elegance centered off of on screen interactive messaging provided through an inset TV surrounded by a decorative picture frame.

Amanda Flanigan of HireRight was happy with the experience, “Thank you so much for last week. I couldn’t have done it without you and we keep getting fabulous feedback on the booth.”

DCX_S-GillilandDesignCentrix goal when creating Steve Gilliland’s 20’ X 20’ island was to create traffic and silence commotion. We developed double-sided light boxes to highlight his best-selling book covers with comfortable ottomans nearby inviting visitors to relax and ultimately be intrigued to flip through a few pages. Stephen Gilliand was thankful for the new clients and relationships he was able to build at SHRM, “ First and foremost, thank you so much for providing a wonderful experience for us in our booth at SHRM this year. From the booth itself to the over-the-top, on–site service you provided, we couldn’t have asked for more.”

From creative prize wheels to best-selling book displays, DesignCentrix was thankful to interact with a variety of clients at SHRM. We look forward to seeing what next years show brings.


BLUE Buffalo is the Top Dog at the AVMA Show

Each year, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) holds a convention for as many as 10,000 veterinarians, students, and exhibitors for continued education and networking in the veterinary community. Our client, BLUE Buffalo, attended this year’s show from July 10-14 in Boston, Massachusetts and stole the spotlight, earning “Best New Exhibitor” for 2015.

The BLUE Buffalo exhibit was designed for their True Blue Vet Program, which is a new division of the company focused on marketing to the veterinary industry.  They began exhibiting at regional veterinary shows in the Northeast last year with a 10’ x 10’ booth.  After the success of those shows, they decided to increase their booth space to a 20’ x 20’ for the AVMA show.

DCX-BlueBuffalo-awardWorking with their team, David Petrie from Marketing and Dr. Victoria Carmella, D.V.M. Director of Veterinary Business Development, we designed the island booth to be consistent with their existing booth used at pet retail industry shows such as Global Pet Expo. This new exhibit features an open design with corner structures connected to a center merchandising cabinet. The highlights of two of these corner structures are 40″ monitors with a seating area custom-made from milk crates for a comfortable space during presentations.  The other two corners showcased product displays with adjustable shelving, and the center area was also used for product display, collateral, and a central storage area.  These additional storage spaces created aesthetically pleasing yet functional spaces within the open booth design. To enhance the rustic look and feel of the brand, vinyl “wood” flooring and natural wood structures were used in a consistent style to their retail booth.
DCX-BlueBuffalo-2Kevin Fitzgerald, DesignCentrix EVP of Client Services, worked on the BLUE exhibit. “The openness of the structure was a visually appealing way of drawing people in while creating a functional space. We’re very excited that their brand was able to get recognized with such a phenomenal award.”

Jenny Mezzapelle, Influencer Marketing Manager for BLUE, was thrilled to receive the award. “We can’t thank DesignCentrix enough. Their team did a great job bringing our ideas to life in a BIG way this year!”

As long-standing partners with BLUE Buffalo, we’re equally excited to see their brand being recognized at such a prestigious event and look forward to seeing where this new program takes them.



Designing Every Detail with Matt Zink

Matt-2Long before he was overseeing the creation of incredible exhibits for DesignCentrix’s clients, Matt Zink was working in a different field of design. After earning his degree in architecture from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Matt went to work designing high-end custom residential properties and boutique restaurants. Gaining experience in both design and architecture has given him a unique perspective and approach.

Today, Matt uses his multi-disciplined approach to capture the attention of tradeshow attendees quickly to draw them in. To do so, he creates engaging spaces that are more architectural and less tradeshow-esque. This makes for more than just a booth—it is a branded experience for everyone who steps inside.

Each new exhibit brings a new set of challenges. “You never know what you’re getting into every day—and exciting opportunities come with every project.” Matt’s favorite part of the process is finding creative ways to address those challenges and the client’s needs. “When it comes to designing an exhibit, you not only use architectural expertise, but space planning as well. A lot needs to be packed into their booth’s footprint.”

Once the expectations are set, then the team at DesignCentrix gets to work. They study the brand, determine the overall style, and then create ideas and initial concepts. After narrowing down the options, Matt and the team start bringing the concepts to life.

Because the tradeshow industry is so fast-paced, there are always new elements being introduced to exhibit design. Matt has personally seen the industry grow over the years and watches closely for new trends that emerge. “From a digital standpoint, everything is becoming more interactive. With the introduction of touch screens and virtual reality technology such as Oculus, tradeshows are as much digital experiences as they are networking.”

To make the most of this digital transition, Matt sees the best solution as integration. “Coming from an architectural background, it’s important to make any digital aspect of an exhibit feel like it exists with the space and not just slapped on at the end. Whether it’s built into the wall or encased in the structure, make sure that every part of an exhibit has a purpose.”




DesignCentrix Races for Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon Exhibit

bridge 1To encourage people to get fit and participate in this year’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, DesignCentrix partnered with marketing agency MKTG, Inc. and Dick’s for a second year in a row at the 2015 GNC Health and Fitness Expo.

After the overwhelming success of our partnership with MKTG on last year’s booth, we decided to stick with the same theme and structure in their large 50’x90’ space. The most eye-catching aspect of the booth is the fabric and metal replica of Pittsburgh’s iconic bridges, colored with a bright, golden yellow to stand out and guide attendees through the space. The rest of the exhibit is an athlete’s dream, with five retail sections featuring Dick’s products. Here, runners can purchase anything from men and women’s athletic apparel to nutritional supplements and sports medicine.

Beyond the structure itself, the DesignCentrix team provided show services and project management to coordinate shipping, installation, and dismantle. By being present at every stage of the process, we were able to eliminate any issues before they happened.

footwear 1Matt Zink, creative director on both this year and last year’s exhibit, was pleased with the outcome. “It was great to see that the success of last year’s original build for this Expo has resulted in the re-use of the booth elements, providing another dynamic shopping experience to this year’s Marathon Expo patrons.”

As well as inspiring runners to get fit and race with their individual goals in mind, over 2,500 charity runners participated in this year’s event. With such a great turn out, they were able to raise $1.5 million to be donated to charities such as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Aside from the main marathon, other events, such as a Kids Marathon and a 5K, brought many families and individuals together to participate in a weekend of events.

We’re thankful for the opportunity to partner with MKTG, Inc. and Dick’s Sporting Goods on such a charitable and health-based event, and we look forward to the outcome of next year’s race. If you’re looking to take your exhibit to the finish line, contact us today.


DCX Reconnects at ProMat and Automate 2015

IMG_1902DesignCentrix was busy running between the North and South halls of Chicago’s McCormick Place for co-located ProMat and Automate
2015 this past March. We had the opportunity to help two of our manufacturing and automation clients create their own space at the largest expos for their industries.

At ProMat, we worked with Campbell Marketing, whose clients are Daifuku and Wynright. The combined technologies of Daifuku and Wynright make them a leader in developing innovative material handling systems. After working with Campbell since opening our doors, we were given the opportunity to partner with them at ProMat for the first time. With their creative direction, we designed a 55’x25’ space to house large machinery with operating robotic arms that anchored the space. The most impressive feature was a custom hanging structure with three 80” TVs that loop content from a ground-based source.
DesignCentrix’s Account Manager, Kellie Donato, enjoyed partnering with Campbell on this show. “Having a long standing working relationship with Campbell makes it easy to provide custom rental items to their various clients without the learning curve of working with a new client for each exhibit. We know each other’s strengths and our services complement each other for a successful show experience for the end client.”

DSC_0514-2Featuring both their manufacturing and automation side at ProMat and Automate was our client, Datalogic. While DesignCentrix has worked with Datalogic for over 11 years, we welcomed the opportunity to connect directly with Datalogic’s Automation division for the first time at these shows.Matt Zink worked on the project to expand our relationship with Datalogic. “This project came to fruition as a result of the successful booth execution at the 2015 NRF show. Having familiarity of the exhibit requirements and aesthetic of our past relationship with Datalogic made the ProMat and Automate space an easy experience for both us and the client.”

For Datalogic’s Promat exhibit, the 15’x25’ space included four LED backlit workstations that floated off the back wall structure. Two 50”
TVs also displayed the story of the products being displayed at the show. Their Automate exhibit was larger, a 25’x30’, and had a double-sided TV stand in the center of a conveyor belt display. This booth also included four interactive workstations offering information on their products.

ProMat and Automate 2015 allowed us to reconnect with two long-standing clients to create exciting new exhibits. We value their partnerships and look forward to our next opportunity to collaborate.


Cooking Up Exhibits at IHHS 2015

Our clients’ exhibits were cooking at the 2015 International Home + Housewares Show (IHHS). Located at Chicago’s McCormick Place on March 7-10, the 118th IHHS showcased the most innovative houseware products on the market. DesignCentrix is a veteran of IHHS, having gone every year since our inception. This year, we helped three companies find their spotlights at the event: Chef’N, Lodge Manufacturing, and Joseph Joseph.

Chef'n_collage_comp1 DesignCentrix has worked with UK-based creative agency HBM since opening our doors and we’ve had the opportunity to partner with them on several exhibits. In 2010, we teamed up with them on the Chef’N account, and over the past five years, we’ve updated their original 30’x30’ structure to match their business’ growth and product line expansion. For this IHHS, we collaborated with HBM’s design direction to add 5’ of space to the booth along with new graphics to freshen up the look. For an additional meeting area, a versatile conference space was created allowing for both privacy and an open atmosphere, separated by uniquely branded sliding doors.

Our working relationship with HBM/Chef’N to execute the fabrication, installation, and dismantle of this project is one based on trust. Ian Bastow, Project Director of HBM, acknowledges the challenges that come with working from different continents. “At the end of the day, we work across the world. How we approach something and how the U.S. approaches something is a bit alien to us. Luckily, we have guidance through the relationship. It’s trust as it is anything else. With their can-do attitude, DesignCentrix can work anywhere.”


Along with Chef’N, Lodge Manufacturing has also put their trust in DesignCentrix for years. Their 20’x60’ booth that is showcased today was originally designed several years ago, and we have continued to update and maintain that structure for the past five years.

June Thomas, Divisional Sales Manager for Lodge, has been working with DesignCentrix since 2011. “DesignCentrix has partnered with us from the beginning. They always provide a wide array of services during the process that helped to make working remotely easy. Their follow through at shows also gives us the confidence that we can trust them to handle whatever situation arises.”

GP8A0101We also had the opportunity to work with a new London-based client, Joseph Joseph, at this year’s IHHS. Collaborating with one of their Merchandising and Display designers on the exhibit, we executed the entirety of their 22’x40’ booth. The structures were a combination of merchandise walls, meeting rooms, and storage that surrounded an open promotional area. Accent lighting placed on beams connected these three large elements.

As our 14th year at IHHS, we were excited to see three very different exhibits come to life. We congratulate all of our clients on a successful show, and we look forward to seeing what next year will bring.


A Partnership that Feels Like Family: BLUE Buffalo and DesignCentrix

No matter how successful a company becomes, when it’s founded and focused on family, it won’t forget where it came from. In the early 2000’s, two father-and-sons teams, BLUE Buffalo and DesignCentrix, were starting two different businesses. Both companies were looking to make their own way in their respective industries, not knowing that they would somehow meet in the middle to form a symbiotic relationship that continues to flourish today.

BLUE Buffalo was founded by Bill Bishop and his two sons in 2003. The family started the company in their barn with the goal of creating a healthy, natural dog food for their family dog, Blue, who was facing a variety of health issues. At the time, natural dog foods were only available in mom and pop shops, but they wanted to make nutritious food available to more consumers. After a trial run in a major pet food store, their line took off. Today, BLUE Buffalo is the number one brand of natural pet food at Petco and PetSmart.


DesignCentrix got the opportunity to work on their first BLUE trade show exhibit in 2006. This humble 10’x20’ inline was a simple but sturdy design that was well utilized in their early shows. As BLUE’s business continued to grow, so did their booth size, moving to a 20’x20’ island with a second floor to an impressive 30’x50’. Each design was modular, allowing them to expand on each previous exhibit without needing to start from scratch. The success of these early exhibits allowed their partnership with DesignCentrix to naturally progress and grow alongside their business, eventually becoming solidified into what it is today.

This year, BLUE Buffalo attended Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida on March 4th through the 6th. This Expo is the pet industry’s largest annual trade show featuring the newest, most innovative pet products on the market today. BLUE wanted to go all out to showcase their four major brands, BLUE Life Protection Formula®, BLUE Freedom®, BLUE Basics®, and BLUE Wilderness®, in a store-like setting to give retail partners an idea of what BLUE products will look like on their shelves. To do this, they took up the most real estate yet — a two floor, 60’x80’ exhibit — to expose themselves as an industry leader in natural pet foods.


After collaborating on multiple concepts and renderings over a one and a half month period, they decided to go back to their roots with a rustic, barn-like setting with a weathered feel. The DesignCentrix team got to work, creating an innovative and architecturally interesting space to fit their style. BLUE also wanted DesignCentrix to incorporate one large and two small conference rooms where they could present to potential buyers within the double deck structure. Keeping with the rustic feel, they used more relaxed, comfortable seating and furniture as opposed to the traditional conference room effects. Because of the great brand they’ve built up over the years, the conference rooms were booked for all three days long before the show opened.

Another feature in their exhibit was a three by three video wall with nine 55” digital displays. These screens showcased their top brands in a visually appealing format. To complete the look, the walls of the booth were wrapped in seamless, digitally printed wood paneling.

Vice President of Marketing for BLUE Buffalo, David Petrie, was thrilled with final exhibit. “We’ve come a long way with DesignCentrix, and I have all the confidence in the world when we work with them. Their wide variety of experience gives them the expertise to create the best booth year after year. These guys just get it done.”

Not only was David happy with the finished product, but their collaboration as well. “Over the years, this relationship has gone beyond just business; we consider the DesignCentrix team our friends. We couldn’t ask for a better partnership.”


A Vision of Success: Bringing our Clients’ Ideas to Life at NRF 2015

No matter the size, we always build our booths with your grand vision in mind. At this year’s National Retail Federation (NRF) show, we helped our clients achieve many great successes in a variety of different booth sizes and styles.

One of our notable clients is Datalogic, a global leader in Automatic Data Capture who has been working with DesignCentrix for many years. Dennis Fitzgerald, President and Founder of DesignCentrix, has been working with them from the beginning.

“They started almost two decades ago with a 20’ x 20’ booth. Over the years, we’ve been able to develop a wonderful partnership as Datalogic has morphed into the rapidly-growing company it is today.”

This year, we created a stunning 30’ x 40’ space to incorporate their four new product lines. Featured in the booth was a tiled 1 x 4 video wall made up of 80” monitors, and a custom 30’ x 40’ edgelit hanging sign drew customers in from above. Their grand display showcased their revolutionary retail solutions to give retailers an enhanced shopping experience.

Earning a top spot on the Retail Info System (RIS) News’ Best of NRF 2015 was our client Shelfbucks, a provider of beacon-based technologies, for one of the most eye-catching booths. Their 20’ x 20’ design highlighted their work with Gamestop in Texas, where they’ve been piloting their new promotional interaction with shoppers. The Washington Post also recognized Shelfbucks’ innovative shopping solutions in their “5 new technologies that may change how you shop.”


We had to think outside of the box to create a unique booth for Zebra Technologies, a top provider of real-time visibility into organizations’ assets, people, and transactions. Instead of a traditional booth, Zebra wanted to have four separate meeting rooms setup within their 30’ x 30’ space. They recently acquired Motorola Mobility and wanted to use the rooms to create a sense of privacy when discussing the merger with potential and existing clients.

With an array of successes, NRF 2015 was the perfect place to see our variety of clients. Matt Zink, Creative Director of DesignCentrix, was pleased with the show’s outcome, stating: “It was a good year for all of our clients at NRF. From the 10’ x 10’ booth for Wolters Kluwer to Datalogic’s 30’ x 40’ space, we were able to show our dedication to creative design for booths of any shape or size.”

Whether you’re a large corporation or a small start-up, DesignCentrix can turn your dream into a reality. Contact us for your next trade show booth, and we’ll bring your vision to life.