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Category: International Exhibit   Exhibitor: Wargaming.net LLP  Design: The Trade Group, Carrollton, TX, 214-343-2000, www.tradegroup.com   Fabrication: Exponex s.r.o., Brno, Czech Republic, 420-725-249-470, www.exponex.cz   Show: Gamescon, 2014  Budget: $1 – $1.9 million  Size: 79-by-99 feet

PHOTOS: The Trade Group
Battle Station
By Charles Pappas

In 72 A.D., the Roman army laid siege to the rebels at Masada in Israel, surrounding its fortress with a 2.5-mile-long wall whose traces still stand as a reminder of Rome's glory. In 2014, Wargaming.net LLP laid a different kind of siege to rivals at Gamescon, with a more than 7,800-square-foot exhibit that Exhibit Design Awards judges called absolutely unforgettable because, as one judge said, "It delivered light and energy and life in spades."

Aiming to promote its newest game, "World of Warships," Wargaming.net's booth loomed across the Gamescon arena like Tiger tanks across a World War II battleground. Inside the $1 million exhibit, which was designed by The Trade Group, a trio of upright LED rings stood near the entrance. Representing a tank's treads, the rings measured 16 feet tall and ran almost 52 feet. Holding thousands of 1.2-inch LED tiles, the stylized treads displayed custom-created video. "Every element was huge to represent the overwhelming nature of warfare," said Michael Graziani, vice president of design at The Trade Group.

Drawing attendees past the treads was a duo of 8-by-10-foot aquariums flanking an LED wall. As captivating as the video wall's 28-foot screen was, its firepower couldn't match that of the aquariums, whose watery setting referenced "World of Warships." Members of the Slovak Republic's Olympic synchronized swim team glided through the water in each tank with amphibian grace. Every 90 minutes, the swimmers performed in tandem with a live presentation on a nearby stage, where four dancers and a singer worked through a medley of songs.

In addition, three LED screens on the booth's exterior gleamed with game trailers and footage of the live shows. Crowded as the beaches on D-Day, the booth won an unconditional victory over attendees. E

The Art of War
Wargaming.net LLP's booth loomed across the huge arena of the Gamescon show floor. A trio of 16-foot-high rings symbolizing a tank's caterpillar treads held thousands of 1.2-inch LED tiles, which displayed custom-created content. Meanwhile, members of the Slovak Republic's Olympic synchronized swim team performed inside 13-ton aquariums.







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