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Tag Archives: NAB Booth

  • How we made our flashy LED sign for NAB 2015


    We are live with our flashy new LED sign at NAB 2015, that we designed and built ourselves! For those curious about how we went about making this sign, please read on.

    We used the PSOC pioneer kit to make an LED-lighted sign for our company’s booth at a trade show. Our purpose in building this sign was to A) Save on costs by re-using old materials we had lying around,as we are a small business with limited budget and B) Design a beautiful and eye-catching sign that would go well with the rest of our custom-built trade show booth.

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  • Building our NAB booth - final installation!

    The inspiration for our NAB Booth:

    How it turned out:

    How we made it happen...

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  • For those who lay the best plans: the NAB Trade Show Survival Kit

    “It went just as planned, and nothing went wrong!” said no trade show organizer ever.

    NAB is no exception. You’ve spent days designing a beautiful exhibit, hours poring over layout diagrams to ensure all your products and promotional materials works, painstakingly making dimensions to the nearest outlet.

    And then it happens. The chance tear of a poster. Or the flickering out of a single lightbulb. Or your phone dies and you vaguely remember leaving the charger by your bedside back home two nights. It’s the kind of petty mischance that can ruin a beautiful exhibit that took months to prepare. The unexpected is well, unexpected, and can ruin months’ worth of work in one fell stroke.

    That is where your Trade Show Survival Kit comes in.

    A well-stocked emergency survival kit can help you weather many of the common issues that crop up come tradeshow time, from equipment to health to spillage issues, and it can be crucial in determining the success of the show. Perhaps you can’t expect the unexpected, but you can at least expect that the unexpected will happen, and plan accordingly for it.

    Here are some must-stock items from Ward-Beck Systems’ Trade Show Survival Kit:

    Clear Tape: Trade show usually means posters. Lots and lots of posters and handouts and flyers. If an important one rips, the best thing is to have an extra lying around that you can put up instead. The next best thing is to have some clear tape to patch it up with. Tape it neatly enough, and no one would be able to spot it from a distance.

    Double-sided carpet tape and duct tape: Tape is great for sticking on any last minutes items, and for covering scratchmarks and tears on your gear from a distance. Our booth’s dominating color is black, so that’s the color of duct-tape we’ll be bringing along. Whatever colors dominates you booth, make sure to get some duct-tape in those colours…you never know when you’ll need it!

    Velcro: Remember to bring along both the hook and the loops! Velcro is handy for everything, from hanging up posters to holding equipment together.

    At Ward-Beck, an important use we have for them is for taping the large “WBS” banner to the backframe of our booth. The banner is so large that it is printed out in multiple columns, which are then Velcro-ed to the frame. The Velcro interface makes it easy to adjust the layers so they fit perfectly together, while still ensuring that the banner will firmly stay attached to the booth’s back frame.

    Velcro-ing our banner to our booth back frame.


    Office supplies: This one is pretty self-explanatory. Notebooks and pens to keep notes, take down contacts, etc. Staples, stapler clips, paper clips, a ruler…you know the deal.

    Tape measure – Since we are going to be shipping our booth dismantled to the venue, and setting it up there, a good tape measure will definitely come in handly. Even the slightest measurement off can lead to problems when you’re dealing with structures, even temporary ones.

    Tool box and sewing kit– You don’t want to be at a trade show without a basic tool box. A hammer, screwdriver, pliers and allen wrench can help deal with many emergencies that might arise in setting up the booth. A small sewing kit would come in handy too, for everything from fixing wardrobe malfunctions to stitching up unraveling cable socks.

    Extension cords: You never know when the nearest outlet will stop working and you’ll have to run a line over to the other side of the place. Not to mention the nearest outlet might not be very near at all. Extensions cords should be a must for any electronics-heavy trade shows like NAB.

    Better safe than sorry.

    Breath mints: Ready to chat up your next big client and you're ruefully remembering the garlic pasta from last night? There’s a breath mint for that!

    Zip ties: Handy for tying up cables, holding together equipment, just about everything else.

    Cameras – We all have smart phones these day, but keep a separate high-res camera for taking pictures of the exhibition and attendees. This way, you have a special set of high-res pictures that you can use in the future for promotional materials.

    Batteries and adaptors for all your various electronics: Bring along the right adapters for your computers, laptops, phones, etc. If they run on batteries, make sure you bring along the right kind of batteries for each device. For example, at our NAB Booth, we are going to be controlling the lighting effects of our sign with our phones, so it would be disastrous if they ran out of power without any way for us to recharge them. Make an inventory of all the electrical appliances you are bringing along, and list out all the chargers and adapters for them that you would need to take with you.

    Medicine kit: Band-aids and alcohol for cuts and scrapes. Some aspirin, Tylenol and ibuprofen for when you’ve been standing on the trade floor for five hours, running on minimal sleep and food.

    Snacks and refreshment: Bring snacks like granola bars and trail mix to keep your energy up, as you’re going to be on your feet for a long time on the exhibit floor. Stock up on some bottles of water too; prices for water bottles tend to shoot up directly proportional to the vendor’s proximity to a trade show venue.

    Scissors and box cutters: Tradeshows generally means boxes upon boxes of show equipment to unpack. A good box cutter will go a long way in ensuring that boxes can be cut open with maximum speed and minimum damage to vital limbs. Scissors can do the job too, but you can carry certain kind of box cutters even through U.S. customs, making them less hassle. Just do your research before hand and ask TSA!

    Tissues and wipes on hand to clean up any unsightly spills: Picture this. You’re jet lagged, you’re tired running on 2 hours of sleep from the night before, and you spill your morning coffee all over the nice table cloth. The last thing you want to be doing right then, is to be running around searching for some paper towels.

    This is by no means an exhaustive list. Everyone’s kits will vary depending on what kind of business you run, and what kind of trade show you are attending.

    One last thing, a must-have in anyone’s survival kit: Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

  • Moving forward with building our NAB 2015 booth

    When we last touched on the matter on our new booth for NAB 2015, we had already decided on a theme, and had some preliminary plans drawn up. However, it was still only an idea storming around our heads, a tentative gameplan yet to be followed through on. Now, though, it was time to put that plan into action.

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  • The beginning of the booth - sketching out a plan

    As we established in our last post about NAB, it was clear that a new direction was needed when preparing for NAB 2015, and our change of location gave us a great excuse to do exactly that. Creativity, resourcefulness and a whole lot of forethought on part of our design team, allowed us to come up with a spectacular booth design for 2015. But Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was our booth (although Rome presumably took longer, all things considered.)

    Taking inspiration from this Harley Davidson booth design by Maya Bakalars, we decided to go with a retro theme, which would further highlight our roots as the longest-standing broadcast manufacturer in Canada. We wanted to incorporate vintage elements such as a record player, while integrating that with our forward-thinking product solutions for modern-day applications. We knew from early on, also, that we wanted to feature the colour green considerably, as that is the Ward-Beck colour. We're going back, and we're going green!

    Some preliminary sketches helped us pin down the idea of what direction we wanted to go, in regards to design and aesthetic.

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