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Pipe Dream
Pipe and drape may lack the style associated with custom builds and portable/modular exhibits, but it remains the nuts-and-bolts way of delineating booth spaces at countless trade shows. Unfortunately, this frequent use often leads to torn slots in upright posts and, consequently, slashed drapes. But Georgia Exposition Manufacturing Corp. has remedied this problem with CastleTop, an injection-molded black plastic "cap" of sorts that fits on top of the upright pipe. The hook ends of horizontal drape supports slip snugly into CastleTop's V-shaped cutouts, resulting in tear-free fabric, reduced setup time, and flush drape walls. CastleTop is available in four size that will fit all industry-standard pipe diameters. What's more, the product can be easily integrated into existing pipe inventory following a quick and simple retrofit. Georgia Expo will also be including CastleTops as a standard feature on all upright models in its Pipe and Drape Next line. Contact: Georgia Exposition Manufacturing Corp., Suwanee, GA, 800-433-9767, www.georgiaexpo.com
The Lighter Side
Tectonics LLC is thinking thin, as evidenced by its 2" Low-Profile LED Light Box. Measuring roughly half the depth of conventional models, this wall-mounted lightbox showcases your silicone-edge graphics (SEG) in a uniform, backlit glow courtesy of continuous LED light panels in frames up to 5-by-10 feet. (Larger lightboxes can be created by placing multiple panels side by side for an equally seamless effect.) SEG panels can be quickly swapped on site to keep your marketing messages up to date. One additional inch of depth will get you a double-sided version that may be suspended overhead or turned into a freestanding display by adding sturdy baseplates. All lightboxes ship in custom crates designed to fit their dimensions. Contact: Tectonics LLC, Warren, MI, 586-755-6522, www.tectonics.com
Set Lasers to Stun
Laser Wire, the next generation of electroluminescent (EL) wire systems from Ellumiglow.com, is available in lengths from roughly 3 to 33 feet and designed to add dramatic accent lighting to both static displays and mobile applications. The optical glass fibers are lit by a small proprietary Opal Drive powered by either a rechargeable battery or a Micro USB installation cable. Additional features include blink and fade modes, as well as the option of creating multicolored gradients by attaching an Opal Drive at each end of the wire. Even cooler: Laser Wire's glow is up to 10 times brighter than EL systems. Contact: Ellumiglow.com, Portland, OR, 877-615-6556, www.ellumiglow.com
Stone Age
Exhibit elements crafted of stone and concrete convey a sense of permanence and stability, not to mention lend a space a decidedly industrial aesthetic. But often heavy elements can be prohibitively expensive to procure, ship, dray, install, and maintain. Thankfully, you can lighten your load while minding your bottom line with Architectural Systems Inc.'s assortment of Swick Natural Wall Coverings, which replicate the look of solid stone at a fraction of the weight. Measuring roughly 39-by-118 inches and composed of a two-part polymer/stone-powder mixture adhered to a fiber-weave backing, these thin (thicknesses vary from 1 to 3 millimeters), flexible veneers can be used to cover curved or straight walls, reception desks, benches, product display columns, millwork, and more. Available in a range of 15 different colors and textures, including cool, gray marble and rustic, red sandstone, Swick's realistic coverings tip the scales at only 7 to 11 ounces per square foot and can be treated to meet a Class A fire rating upon request. Contact: Architectural Systems Inc., New York, 800-793-0224, www.archsystems.com
Room Service
Managing hotel room blocks for a corporate event can be a logistical nightmare. Resiada Inc.'s eponymous cloud-based software program allows event managers to rest easy, thanks to a simple-to-use setup wizard, an event dashboard that provides vital analytics (such as the number and types of rooms available in inventory) in real time, and a variety of custom branding options. Whether blocking rooms at one hotel or several different properties, exhibit and event managers can create sub-blocks for multiple types of attendees – e.g., staff, speakers, and VIPs – and opt to absorb booking fees or pass them on to their guests. Premium options include a reservation call center and a dedicated housing manager. Contact: Resiada Inc., Chicago, 888-737-4232, www.resiada.com



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