[above: the amazing paper installation in the ceiling of the DIA/Colourways stand which won best stand award for thier category]
I love a stand where the product does all the work - I think that's the case with the Ambius display. I loved the bulbous shape of the planters that also acted as a soft glow light - how fantastic for your outdoor entertaining area. The Ambius stand had such a fresh look with great product display and bright popping colours.
A lot of the large stands were very corporate looking and not particularly creative or inspiring. I think they really let their products down in that way, I know from experience that some serious money is spent on these events and it's wasted when you don't inspire or captivate the people attending the show - designers love to be wowed. Even Laminex [above] was a little uninspiring - a stand I usually look forward to seeing at DesignEx, they seemed to opt for a very conservative approach this time around, I'm sure they had their reasons for doing so but I was disspointed.
One large stand that I thought was done well was Ilve - they created the drama needed to get the attention of the exhibition visitors. I loved the high gloss finish of the black against the magenta lighting and the follow through of the theme. Although the graffiti aspect is nothing new I still love that look [you can see it if you look closely at the splashback].
Part 2 coming up - with trends and some products I loved...