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Above all Else
Given the high costs of exhibit-hall concrete, exhibitors need to make the most of every inch of it — including their overhead space. But more often than not, exhibitors turn to simple suspended banners or dull identification towers to activate their above-ground presence. Instead, consider a full-blown ceiling structure, which can not only help attendees locate your booth, but also add a striking design element that makes a bold statement about your brand. Here are six exhibit ceilings that went above and beyond typical identification expectations.By Linda Armstrong

PHOTO: Oscar Einzig

Industrial Chic
Exhibitor: Samsung Techwin
Show: American Society for Industrial Security
Design: Visual Communications Inc., Aston, PA, 800-487-5964, www.visitvisual.com

Attendees are often hard-pressed to find overhead eye candy at industrial technology shows. But this exhibit for Samsung Techwin delivered. The structure featured a branded blue-fabric header and three cubes with integrated lighting positioned over demo stations.


PHOTO: Kathryn Rapier

Ribbon in the Sky
Exhibitor: Acura (a division of American Honda Motor Co. Inc.)
Show: North American International Auto Show
Design: George P. Johnson Co., San Carlos, CA, 650-226-0600, www.gpj.com

Filled with twists and turns, this ribbon-like structure for Acura symbolized the vehicles' road-hugging driving experience. Comprising polymer fabric in burnished-metal and bronze hues, the intertwining elements created an overhead attraction that was spot on with brand attributes.


PHOTO: Padgett and Co. Inc.

Big Top
Exhibitor: Qualcomm Inc.
Show: International Consumer Electronics Show
Design: Freeman, Dallas, 214-445-1000, www.freemanxp.com

Qualcomm Inc.'s exhibit was all about that (overhead) space. In fact, compared to the floor-based exhibitry, the ceiling elements — which comprised everything from semitransparent scrim and contemporary light fixtures to circular components — outnumbered them 2-to-1.


PHOTO: Padgett and Co. Inc.

Solid Matter
Exhibitor: Oculus (a Facebook Inc. company)
Show: Electronic Entertainment Expo
Design: Freddie Georges Production Group, La Palma, CA, 714-367-9260, www.freddiegeorges.com

Since it was still developing its groundbreaking virtual-reality headset for gaming, this exhibitor hoped to create a sense of permanence with its overhead space. The 50-by-30-foot aluminum, wood, and laminate structure suggested a state of stability with an eye toward the future.


PHOTO: Derse Inc.

All the Right Angles
Exhibitor: Saudi Arabian Oil Co.
Show: Offshore Technology Conference
Design: Derse Inc., Milwaukee, 414-257-2000, www.derse.com

While oil is literally as old as the hills, the Saudi Arabian Oil Co.'s exhibit was decidedly futuristic thanks to an angular design complemented by a matching ceiling element. The white-fabric arch acted as an identifying beacon that was way more cutting edge than a circular banner.


PHOTO: Koninklijke Philips N.V.

Mirror Image
Exhibitor: Koninklijke Philips N.V.
Show: EuroShop
Design: Totems Architecture B.V., Amsterdam, 31-20-509-13-10, www.totems.com

Rather than a solid whole, this ceiling for Koninklijke Philips N.V. (Philips Lighting) comprised multiple oblong elements. Fabricators Zeissig GmbH & Co. KG finished the panels with various materials, including everything from flat-white laminate to mirror-like foil.

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