DellEMC/World 2017 — The PartnerVendor Approach

cecil dorman Services, Trade Shows

Every year, EMC World and now Dell EMC World, has been the launching point for their branded messaging for the year and that has not changed. The concept of Realize Transformation was first presented at Dell EMC World in May, 2017 and then was rolled out company wide through all their advertising, branding, and marketing.

VDA Productions was responsible for designing their Storage Division booth, which aligned perfectly with that messaging. They took the theme and created a transformative environment that would reinforce the corporate message. AVFX was again selected to provide audio visual services for that booth, the Entry Tunnel and the billboard screen over the tunnel.

This blog post was the result of interviews with David G. Breen (VDA Founder/Principal Designer) and Dennis Grabowski (Senior Manager, Event Technology)

This project perfectly illustrates our PartnerVendor Approach.

Portal Arches in the Storage Booth
These are 16 foot tall structures made with 2.6mm LED panels on both sides. AVFX technicians collaborated closely with VDA designers to develop and test a technical solution that would work flawlessly on the show floor.

DAVID: “So, we came up with those big, giant, sixteen foot arches. Portals if you will. I call them transformation portals. In our booth design, guests were transferred from one divisional conversation to another, over a lit floor, past the video tile arches, running information about the product lines. It gave them a little bit of a sense of transforming, really. Transferring almost, between the different divisions, but they were all inter connected. To reinforce the transformation experience, the lighting in each area was color balanced specific to each space; blue tint in one area, green in another.

The client brought in products that were storage devices from the Dell storage division and devices from EMC, and now they were under one heading, they wanted to show that sense of connectivity.”

DENNIS: The portal arches had a video presence, motion and color but they weren’t giant edifices that you couldn’t get around. They were very transparent so it provided the footprint we were looking for but it also kept the booth from feeling like it was carved up.

I really appreciated the partnership between AVFX and VDA. Being able to exchange loaner LED tiles so that we could do test fitting and know that those LED tiles were going to be the actual chassis that would be deployed on the show site made a big difference.”

DAVID: With the vertical portal arches, you had that sense of continuity of the movement because those were double sided, that motion continued. There was a continued visual consistency, no matter from which direction you approached the booth.

When you’re trying to close that hinge door into a finite space between the two LED tile verticals. There’s a limited space, so if you have a wayward cable that’s got an extra loop, or is running across the frame or something, then it becomes an issue. So it really did become a nice pairing of responsibilities between your team and how the LED panels got wired, and our team and how it physically got assembled. So that both things could happen without crunching the cables or not allowing the door to swing to its full opening.”

Transformation Tunnel

DENNIS: Every year, we redesign so that the entry from the social area into the trade show area is fresh and new. We seek to design an immersive kind of interesting and engaging transformation from one area into the other. We’ve hit upon using a tunnel to do that.

The challenge, and there were a variety of challenges, is rigging, first of all. So, for me, it was a constant shepherding of that rigging plan and overall plan and Alan (AVFX) was right there behind me asking me the appropriate questions and making sure that it was … And every once in a while, I caught a little question mark, a little twinge of doubt in his voice or whatever. He just reinforced it with some diagrams or some rigging plans and stuff and he and Steve (AVFX) were engaged all the way. So, that was great.”

Tunnel Billboard

Above the Transformation Tunnel there was a large screen, a billboard, attracting people to the trade show. It had to be rear projection and align precisely with 3D scenic elements attached to the screen. It was a projection challenge.

DAVID: The show branding was everywhere. It’s greeting them at the airport, it’s on their key card. It is plastered throughout the hotel and the convention center. If you just sort of stick it up there again, it doesn’t get seen. It doesn’t have any presence. So how do you give it life? We take this two dimensional representation of a brand, and dimensionalize it, and have people feel like it was a consistent visual, but have it be physically there. Not just a big wall of either video or print. That’s where taking those ideas of the hexagon and playing with the shaping and the sizing and the placement, and the continuity of that shape.”

DENNIS: We had these large, three foot hexagons that we were overlaying across in sort of a honeycomb pattern over part of the screen. In addition to that, we were hanging down some dimensional letters as well that we needed to project inside. They’re hollow letters.

We had to figure out the appropriate screen size, first and foremost, to be bold enough, big enough to fill the designer’s vision, but also you had to be able to project onto it. You had to be able to fill it. You also needed to be able to avoid all these pieces of infrastructure that were hanging down backstage above the tunnel. That was a great challenge in terms of getting everything to click together. There was a lot of back and forth between Alan and myself. He was double-checking my work, which I totally appreciated, every step of the way. He and I went back and forth with project management on our end and people designing the rigging and making sure that nobody was changing anything on me.

You had to be very respectful of the space that you have and how a projected light interplays with that, over the whole canvas of the screen. So, it was really great to have Alan on board for that. He got that.”


DAVID: Much like the global economy, the reality is that you have to have strong partnerships in order to be successful now. You can’t live with an isolationist mindset in this industry anymore. There are too many challenges and too many intersections in terms of the technology.

Your technology, which is phenomenal, is enhanced by the physical reality of how we put things together. And I also think that the physical environments we create are greatly enhanced by the motion and movement and technology that your company brings to the table.”

This project perfectly illustrates our Partner Vendor Approach.


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