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Futuristic Flooring
As large-scale multimedia continues to trend, droves of exhibitors are trading hard-walled architecture for LED screens and audiovisual installations. But while walls are getting a high-tech makeover, floors seem stuck in the dark ages – until now. With countless products on the market, you can add the same eye-catching illumination to what's underfoot via futuristic flooring options that are sure to make your exhibit shine. While more expensive than standard flooring, interactive and illuminated options need not cover your entire booth space. Instead, use these offerings to highlight product displays, pathways, or presentation stages. Or forego traditional exhibitry altogether, and let your flooring take center stage in your booth, adding a reception desk, product displays, and little else. By Travis Stanton
Magic Carpet
If you have the budget and time to go custom, consider this interactive beauty as inspiration. Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group for the Audi Urban Future exhibit at Design Miami, this eye-catching floor comprises little more than black chipboard sandwiched between Barco Mistrip LED modules. The so-called Magic Carpet is the space's only structural element aside from a circular bench. The interactive LED surface enables interplay between visitors and the graphic interface. Cameras track visitors' movements in the space, and the data is processed and fed back into the LED panels, making the light at people's feet color-shift as they walk. Plus, LED arrows emerge from the front of the car showing its future path, while tire tracks fade out behind it, tracing its imaginary route. Contact: Bjarke Ingels Group, Copenhagen, Denmark, www.big.dk
Magnitude Raised Flooring System
Even a little lighting can help set your booth apart. The Magnitude Raised Flooring System with LED Lit Edges allows companies to incorporate illumination around the perimeter of their booths, creating an effect that makes the space stand out among aisles of other exhibits. Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVTs) feature a magnetic backing and easily attach to the reusable subfloor without adhesives, making installation and dismantle almost as simple as playing with refrigerator magnets. Magnitude is a self-leveling and roto-locking system that stands 1.75 inches tall. A channel along the upper edge contains the LEDs, which offer practically any color of illumination to match your company's logo or exhibitry. The lit perimeter highlights the edges of the raised flooring, reducing the likelihood of trips and falls. Contact: Brumark Inc., an Exploring Inc. company, Atlanta, www.brumark.com
Series Z Convertible Touch Floor
The Series Z Convertible Touch Floor can turn the underfoot area of your space into anything you can think of, from a virtual sea of fire that parts as you walk through it to a simulated fireworks spectacle with bursts of color activated by attendees' steps. Tiles install easily into an aluminum frame that can support the weight of a car. A computer, flash files, and an LED controller create the unique effect, which offers exhibitors practically limitless possibilities with 2,500 pixels per square foot. Series Z tiles are suitable for indoor or outdoor use, and brightness controls adjust to accommodate high- and low- light environments, making them perfect for exhibits and events. And since the tiles are convertible, you can reconfigure them into an LED wall that can be suspended from the ceiling or supported from the floor. Contact: Telematics Canada Inc., Vancouver, BC, Canada, www.telematics.ca
Illumilite Panels
It used to be that having an illuminated floor meant dealing with bulky light cubes, low weight tolerances, and a pretty hefty expense, but no longer. Illumilite Panels by The Inside Track Inc. are revolutionizing that underfoot luminance with wafer-thin light panels that are flexible and lightweight but can take a boot-stomping and still give off an even glow. The panels, which can be rolled up like a newspaper, use technology (similar to that found in backlit cellphones and watches) in which layers of phosphor are printed on polyester film with an electrically conductive coating. Panels emit cool white light when the electroluminescent phosphor crystals are excited by being exposed to an electric current. The result is durable, uniform radiance from panels that range in size from 8.5-by-11 inches to 36-by-72 inches. Illumilite Panels, which are made in the United States and can be customized with graphics, will work under any slip-resistant flooring material that is translucent. Additionally, the tiles are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Contact: The Inside Track Inc., Atlanta, www.theinsidetrackinc.com
Smartfader Matrix Tiles
Your booth visitors will be tripping the light fantastic when they walk into an exhibit with Smartfader interactive floor tiles that react with touch-sensitive LED light to each footstep across them. With Smartfader Matrix tiles, embedded, quarter-sized lights in red, blue, green, white, or a mix of colors, react to footsteps by fading off wherever pressure is administered. On the other hand, Smartfader Reloaded tiles do just the opposite, with lights being triggered to turn on under the weight of each footstep. The subtle yet mesmerizing effect keeps attendees engaged and walking around your company's exhibit just for the fun of it – creating the perfect environment for striking up conversations, qualifying leads, and discussing attendees' needs. The effect lasts for about a minute until it gently fades away and the floor returns to its previous lit or unlit state. Each 39-by-39-inch Smartfader Matrix Tile can withstand 550 pounds of weight, and up to five Smartfader or Smartfader Reloaded tiles, which are 1.75 inches thick and weigh 44 pounds each, can be linked together to a single power source. The tiles can be easily installed over any flat surface to create whole floors or distinct pathways through a display. Contact: Technical Architecture Lighting, Pittem, Belgium, www.tal.be
A convenient way to add color and light to exhibits and events, the BruLite self-leveling raised flooring system is lightweight, durable, and user-friendly since modules can be assembled and broken down in 15 seconds. Comprising ultralight waterproof aluminum, translucent acrylic composite panels, and a heavy-duty hook-and-loop fastener system, BruLite can hold up to 800 pounds per module, with individual modules measuring 24-by-24-by-8 inches. The system is available for rent or purchase, and optional custom graphics may be added to put your company's logo in the best possible light. Contact: Brumark Inc., an Exploring Inc. company, Atlanta, www.brumark.com
PromoDek Modular Floor Display
Shine a little light on your next trade show booth by using Flex-O-Lite illuminated inlays. Available in sizes from 8-by-12 inches to 33-by-47 inches, the sheets measure less than 1 millimeter thick and work as glowing infills perfectly suitable for the PromoDek Modular Floor System. Thanks to interlocking deck modules that join together without tools, a 10-by-10-foot floor can be assembled in 30 minutes. Then, let there be light with Flex-O-Lite inlays, or integrate FloorCaster video monitors. The lightweight system weighs 130 pounds for a 100-square-foot space, and it packs snugly into four portable cases that can even be checked as oversized luggage on airplanes. Contact: Flex-O-Lite Inc., Inglewood, CA, www.flexolite.net
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