Metro Aviation asked The Trade Group to design a new exhibit for upcoming aviation trade shows. The company specializes in aircraft operations, completions and maintenance, and they needed a space that would be able to accommodate one or two full-size helicopters. Since they exhibit at a variety of trade shows and venues, flexibility was a must.
According to Senior Design Consultant John Lutton, “Changing environments can lead to configuration challenges, especially when a client plans to bring aircraft to a show. So, we designed an exhibit that would work equally well in a 110’x40’ booth space – as they used at the Dallas HELI-EXPO show – or when they need to downsize to a 40’x40’ configuration.”
Metro Aviation’s Top Priority: Soundproofed Conference Rooms
“This was the No. 1 hot button for the client. Aviation shows are typically very noisy, due to press release announcements and loud music. To ensure we could meet their sound-proofing needs, two Metro Aviation executives visited our Dallas headquarters for a ‘test run,’ where we used decibel meters, and we passed,” says John.
The exhibit includes two conference rooms with frosted acrylic windows. The size of the rooms can be easily adjusted, based on the client’s needs at different events. To make sure the soundproofing would hold up during HELI-EXPO and future shows, The Trade Group’s design and engineering teams pulled out all of the stops and even put a back-up plan in place. Here’s how:
STEP 1: The height of the conference rooms was extended from 8’ to 10’ with an acoustical style drop ceiling installed 3.5” below. The added height makes the rooms feel less claustrophobic and allows for the installation of sound-deadening insulation above the tiles. Full-size doors with weather-stripping provide another layer of sound protection.
STEP 2: The design also includes an 80 mm air gap between the interior and exterior walls. Air gaps provide natural soundproofing, but to be on the safe side, extra insulation was brought to the show. Fortunately, the air gap worked great.
The I&D crew was also prepared to add white panels to the interior side of the frosted acrylic windows and rugs to cover the vinyl flooring inside. The initial soundproofing strategy was successful though, and the client was very pleased.
Multipurpose Control Room Serves as Workspace and Hideaway
Metro Aviation’s marketing manager needed a private office to work and provide secure storage, so we built a hidden control room in the exhibit’s 8’x10’ center tower. The space also serves as a getaway for booth staff who needed to take a break, grab a beverage and store a briefcase or backpack.
According to John, “The goal was to create a functional and welcoming space that would serve as the marketing manager’s domain. We even snuck in framed photos of her family, so the room really felt like home.”
The room was equipped with a hidden laptop, Bluetooth printer, plenty of shelving and technical equipment to operate the lighting and PA system. Other features include a full-length mirror, comfy leather lounge chair, fan and a clothing rack with dry cleaned shirts for booth staff. Prior to the show, the space was stocked with gum, snacks and first aid essentials.
Worry-free Design and Other Unique Features Integrated Throughout
Backlit Silicone Edge Fabric Graphics (SEG) and Dimensional Logos. All of the fabric graphics in the exhibit are backlit, which greatly reduces the need for other lighting in the space. The client also has the flexibility to replace graphics from show to show. In addition, several dimensional, backlit “MA” logos are featured throughout the space.
Aluminum Frame and Modifiable Panels. The exhibit itself is constructed of aluminum extrusions overlaid with skinned wood panels. The panels provide a lot of flexibility, because they are easy to replace if damaged and can be re-skinned when the client wants give the booth a fresh look.
Custom flooring. Two scalloped carpet pieces – 40’ and 110’ – in light and dark gray were positioned at the front and back of the space to complement the oak hardwood flooring throughout.
Alert Light in Formal Conference Room. One of the executives asked for a discreet communication tool to alert him if he was tied up in the conference room. The solution? The team installed a light switch cover with small green light in the ceiling that could be triggered from the control room.
Additional Storage. The client uses special tugs with large wheels to tow the aircraft to and from the booth space. An extra, locking storage room was built into the smaller tower, so the wheels wouldn’t take up valuable space in the control room.
Loads of Special Touches in the Conference Rooms. The client was looking for a comfortable, functional space with a high-end look, because they need to conduct business and close deals during aviation shows. Features include:
- High-end, custom beverage station with white, speckled Corian countertop, coffee station, beverage fridge and cubby hole for trash.
- Flexible lighting options integrated into ceiling tiles, which can be added or removed as needed.
- Portable A/C units.
- Wood grain consoles to support video monitors.
- Electrical connections, Cat-5 cables and USB charging ports.
- Elegant conference table with seating for 10 in larger room.
- Round table with comfortable seating in smaller room.
To learn more about exhibit design solutions for aviation trades or other face-to-face events, give us a call at 800-343-2005 to speak with a friendly sales rep.