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Art of the Show Competition Winners Circle: Signage/Décor

Congratulations to 2017 #ArtoftheShow competition winners for Signage/Décor -T3 Expo and Freeman! Read how they won this honor!



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The IAEE Art of the Show Competition’s Signage/Décor category evaluates printed and/or digital signage and décor used throughout the show. Judging criteria includes: overall presentation, visual appeal and creativity; usefulness of the signage and its content; how the signage/décor contributes to the overall “theme” of the event; and effectiveness of signage placement and décor throughout the show.

In today’s IAEE Art of the Show Competition Winners Circle, we highlight the winners of last year’s Signage/Décor category:

Under 75,000 nsf
T3 Expo in collaboration with Jack Morton


DockerCon 2017 is a three-day event. Docker-centric conference organized by Docker, Inc. DockerCon is built on the success of previous conferences as it has grown to reflect Docker’s robust ecosystem and ever-growing community. The show strives to preserve the ambiance and simplicity of previous DockerCons but the 2017 edition was, by far, the largest container conference taking place in the world.

DockerCon featured topics and content covering all aspects of Dockercon and its ecosystem, and was suitable for Developers, DevOps, Ops, System Administrators and C-level executives. Participants had the opportunity to learn how others are using the Docker platform and containers. The goal of the show was to help participants to overcome technical roadblocks and challenges.

T3 Expo’s motto is: save money, grow your event. T3 Expo worked with DockerCon to maximize its budget in 2017 by moving from a hotel venue to a convention center. Their collaborative relationship also allowed them to challenge one another with interesting and different design ideas such as the design of the theatre section, the use of different fabrics, wraps and carpeting. DockerCon got more of what they wanted and more than they would have been able to afford because T3 Expo was able to get creative with its design and technology.

For instance, in the theatre/speaking area T3 Expo used its Presta magnetic panel technology to build the backdrop walls. Bean bags were used on the floor for a more casual look and feel. They also were able to utilize the architecture of the convention center to enhance the theme of the show. For example, T3 Expo used small windows in a gathering area to hang window clings that were frosted, so light still came through, but the aesthetic matched the theme of the event and its color palette.

T3 Expo’s goal is to look at every building as a blank canvas so that every show is unique. The design team takes into account the show’s look and feel, and uses its expertise to create and implement different designs using scale, form and function.

“We wanted the show to be fun and interactive,” noted Chief Creative Officer, Eventgineer Chris Young. “And we wanted the participants to feel like they were a part of something big given that it was the first year the show was moved to the convention center. We wanted the employees to feel that everywhere they walked, sat or looked, they felt a DockerCon vibe. We also wanted the theatre and speaking section to create a wade, swim or dive approach for attendees to come in and out of the section as they wanted, or sit in the front row. We made it a popular spot on the show floor for everyone.”

Between 75,001 and 200,000 nsf
T3 Expo in collaboration with Cramer + SmithBucklin for Liveworx


LiveWorx is a global technology conference and marketplace for solutions engineered for a smart, connected world. Whether attendees focus on creating elegant product designs, managing brilliant factories, delivering efficient service, or disrupting entire markets, their peers show them what’s happening now and where they are headed in the future. Attendees can learn from early adopters new ways to use existing tools and platforms and find new value born from the industrial Internet of Things.

The 2017 floor plan of the show was set up like smart city, called Xtropolis, that allowed for mixing and mingling of the exhibitors. In the center of the city was a DJ – keeping the energy high with music and excitement. The layout fostered connectivity and included carpeted pathways that led to different elements of the city, as well as a drone cage and a developer zone.

Everything on the show floor was well lit and had pulsing neon lights to provide that futuristic look and feel. There was also a huge #Liveworx sign outside the convention center for a few days, and then when the show started, it was moved inside. People took pictures in the O (which now sits in the headquarters).

In addition to the look and feel of the layout of the floor and the show, the LiveWorx logo was designed to expresses the most energy with the extended shards, which were featured on the theme graphic. There is also the use of “shards” –  colorful shards of a solid, crystalline material used to represent the LiveWorx brand. These elements gave the event a modern and unique feel.

The shards that were designed for the show represented the inward movement of the different industries that merge at LiveWorx, as well as the outward movement of that knowledge as brought back to each sector post-event. The shards emerging from the darkness represented how the industry is moving into a brilliant and technologically advanced era. This helped support the layout of the floor showing that everything is connected and the future is all about connectivity.

In addition to the use of the colorful shards throughout, LiveWorx also used icons to demarcate specific areas of the event space. The iconography gave texture and further definition to the graphic treatment of each topic that was covered at LiveWorx. LiveWorx also used color photography throughout the show on signage that depicted real audience members, presenters, and industry services and products.

“This authenticity gave a sense of immediacy to IoT technology and LiveWorx,” said Chief Creative Officer, Eventgineer Chris Young.

Over 200,001 nsf
Freeman for Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA)
National RV Trade Show 2016


The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) represents recreation vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and dealers. RVIA’s National RV Trade Show is a leading B2B trade event hosting more than 7,600 attendees including representatives from Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Italy, Germany, Mexico, South Korea, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

RVIA and the Freeman team recreated an “RV journey” atmosphere throughout the convention center with outdoor-themed experience zones. This included log cabin inspired structures, campsite signage, grass-like carpet, and landscape graphics. The adventure began at registration with routes for learning, relaxation, and engagement to experience “the great wide open.”

The “Lookout Point” wowed attendees with a 62-foot, walk-through fog wall created by projecting stunning nature scenes onto mist and invited attendees to walk through. The area also featured four interactive touchscreens to view the show floor map, “Go RVing” footage, ‘Did You Know?’ informational facts, RV photo gallery, and education session information. A customized virtual reality (VR) standing platform to experience “the great wide open” was a popular new addition to the annual event.

The “Patio” featured 80-inch “edutainment” touchscreens loaded with educational and entertainment information on new products. A custom-designed counter top featured customized RV trivia with categories including RV’s in the media, vehicles/history trivia, demographics, destinations, camping & campgrounds, and Go RVing. Attendees gathered around the “Campfire” for presentations and networking. In the “Selfie Station,” customized “Smart Panels” simulated a mountain-climbing adventure.

RVIA collaborated with Freeman (a 25+ year partner) with goals to:

  • create a look and feel to embrace the future, while respecting the past;
  • move beyond the vehicles and focus on the experience of RV-ing; and
  • increase attendee engagement in innovative ways.

“We were extremely pleased with the outcome of this show,” said Liz Crawford, RVIA Senior Vice President of Trade Shows and Events. “I spent a lot of time on the show floor talking to exhibitors, dealers, and suppliers, and overall feedback was incredibly positive. After more than 50 years, we recognized the need to refresh the brand experience. The new show décor and attendee engagement initiatives are a great start to position us for future growth.”

The 2018 IAEE Art of the Show Competition is now underway – you have until 14 September 2018 to submit your entries! Check out all the winners from the 2017 competition.

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