The Exhibit Designers and Producers Association (EDPA) continues to support exhibit design education as a key element for excellence in tradeshow marketing. Designing an exhibit as a selling environment that creates a desirable experience for an attendee is a skill that can be taught. This kind of specialty design skill requires knowledge beyond architecture, and the building blocks to success come in different colors.
In recognizing this fact, the EDPA and its member companies support the exhibit designer training programs provided by Bemidji State University with its undergraduate degree in exhibit design, as well as the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) with its master’s degree program in exhibit design. EDPA member companies provide input and classroom seminars on their areas of expertise. They also take on student interns, so they can acquire first-hand job experiences playing with real bullets.
“The success of our students is due in part to the generous time and assistance given by EDPA and tradeshow industry experts,” said Bonnie Higgins, associate professor at Bemidji State University.
Once again this year, the EDPA helped provide an educational pavilion at EXHIBITOR2012 for visiting students from Bemidji and FIT. The students were greeted with open arms and were given a tour of the show floor on Sunday before the show officially opened.
“It is important to see the anxiety and chaos that all exhibitors experience before the show opens,” said Norm Friedrich, president of Octanorm USA. “The students previewed the exhibits of seven supplier companies. Each company then shared its strategy and concerns for success at this show.”
The tour began with presentations from Randy Acker, COO of EXHIBITOR Magazine, and Carol Fojtek, senior vice president of Hall-Erikson. They each explained their role in putting on this event.
“Meeting the professionals from the industry, and seeing how the tools of the trade are applied, makes an event of this nature a priceless experience for each or our students,” said Brenda Cowen, chairman of the FIT exhibit design program.
The student pavilion also gave Bemidji and FIT students a chance to show their work and meet companies for internships or possible employment.
“The EXHIBITOR Show is very unique in that we, the experts in tradeshow marketing, are now the exhibitors and must demonstrate what we preach to a tough audience,” said Jeff Provost, executive director of the EDPA.