The editorial board of Kongres magazine thought the idea of creating booths from wooden crates was quite daring. There is no in-between. It could only be good or bad. What do you think?
I agree, it is a daring project, but we believed in it and got the Slovenian Tourist Board (STB) intrigued as well. The image also impressed the participants of SIW.
The idea turned out to be well received by the client and participants – did you encounter difficulties in its realization?
Yes, the endeavour was risky, but well thought out. I first had to convince myself about the project and figure out the details, and then convince the client.
How did you get the idea?
I got the final idea one Saturday at two in the morning (laughter). I thought about the starting points I had set for myself at the beginning of the project a lot. That is when I got the idea for wooden crates, yet the key factors were the starting points I had set earlier.
Which was your key starting point in finding an innovative solution for the booths?
There were a few. I tried to see it through the eyes of the client – the STB and on the other hand the venue Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre (GR).
Were the wishes of the STB your number one priority?
No, I treated them equally as the requirements of the Exhibition centre. It might be more accurate to say the Exhibition centre had set more conditions as the Tourist Board. The STB focused mostly on the requirements regarding the price of the project, since the booths created for SIW 2010 couldn’t be much more expensive than the ones from previous years.
What were the other requirements of the STB?
The boots had to be functional above all. The exhibition space had to look attractive and functional, since its size was limited by the price. The space needed to be useful – it needed to make the most of the small space and include room for all that is needed – from exhibits to promotion material.
You also considered the perspective of exhibitors, the people, who will actually be using the booths.
Of course. I had to consider that my client, namely the STB will ultimately be as satisfied as its clients – the exhibitors using these booths. The exhibitors were mostly marketing tourist destinations in Slovenia. If I were in there place, I would want the foreign guests (from agencies marketing these destinations abroad) to see the destination as one that can be found in the midst of unspoilt nature in Europe. The booths were aimed at convincing the congress visitors that these destinations are full natural beauty, healthy living and active family vacations in this unspoilt environment which is unlike any other in Europe. I tried to make the booths look unique. These two components – recognition and impression were a part of the set up of the booths. If you ask the participants of the congress if they remember it in a few years, they will surely remember the interesting booths.
The booths included wooden crates full of apples. Was that symbolic?
The apples were a part of the whole concept of enjoying in unspoilt nature. We can live healthy with nature, we move in it and also enjoy its natural products. The idea was strong in itself, so the fresh fruit merely added a special touch.
How did the Exhibition centre dictate the terms of work?
The only limitations from their side were technical. One of the demands was to ensure the construction was sturdy and safe, so it could easily be moved and stored in the end. Despite that, the presentation had to be elegant as well. This was done with exact composition of the crates. The key in their manufacturing was a tiny pattern, which highlighted the amount of craftsmanship and thought put into the making of the crates. Each crate was made accurately to avoid possible trouble in putting together the entire construction, since the size of the crates had to be identical. To ensure minimal size deviations (less than half a millimetre) was one of the most challenging tasks of the entire project. We also had to take the time constraints into account, since we only had one month to put the crates together.
A wooden crate is a product which can be used in our everyday in this form.
We thought of that as well. The wooden elements can be used for the same exhibition next year or for other exhibitions. We even considered the possibility of exhibitors keeping the crates when the exhibition is over – that way we would avoid clean-up costs. By the time the exhibitors leave, the exhibition space is already empty.
Very well thought through!
As well as cost-efficient.
Do you have any ideas for an upgrade already?
This setting tested the response of users to booths from wooden crates, now we can make daring structures, sets, unusual booths from these crates…There are still a lot of ideas for upgrades.