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Behind the scenes – DCE Design Team

For every one stand we build, there are a number of excellent designs that remain on our server, unseen, but with all the same excellence invested in their conception.

We want to showcase the brilliance of our design team, and demonstrate that every brief that comes across the threshold is given the time and attention it deserves.

About a year ago, Iain (head of design) and myself (marketing manager) had a meeting to discuss the design/pitch process. Currently any brand deciding to exhibit, can go out to tender to a number of production companies and ask them all to pitch, by providing a design. Sometimes we are lucky and have a full documented brief, other times we have to work with limited guidelines, and that involves a lot of inspiration from our team.

We spend the same amount of time in creating an idea or concept, as we would for a paying client, and hope that our dedication, inspiration, and our examples of previous work, will sway the customer’s decision in our direction.

Iain and I both worked in the industry during the heady days of large budgets and face to face presentations. In the 80’s/90’s, it was the norm to pay around £2k for a ‘concept’. The creatives would arrive with large foamex boards, images and sketches, but this would only happen after we (the marketing department) had spent a good couple of hours in a meeting room thrashing out ideas with the appointed agency team.

We, at DCE, understand how things have evolved, yet there is something to be said for a good old fashioned brainstorm, so Iain and I decided that we should incorporate some of the ‘old’ with the ‘new’ and meld together how things were before, with how they need to be now.

We can’t always get the opportunity to have a face to face design briefing with the client, but nonetheless Iain and I always have one here in the office. We dissect the written brief, we brainstorm ideas, and explore wild and wonderful concepts to inspire the finished result that Iain and his team then create. When we present to the client, we do so with the entire creative journey explained, and our client can then come on that journey, and our interpretation of their story, with us.

We think this makes us different.

We also think that this must make the decision making process a nicer experience for our customer.

Take Canadian Solar for example :


Canadia Solar

Canadian Solar is one of the three biggest solar companies in the world by revenue, and we were excited to be offered the opportunity to pitch for building their stand at Intersolar Europe in Munich.

Keen to embrace our theory, Iain and I sat around the table thrashing out some ideas. He’d already decided to embrace the ecology of the brand, and a wonderfully sunny design had come to light using real wood, and rich panels of live plantations to showcase the environmental message of the brand.
A huge advocate of multi-sensory marketing, we explored fragrances and textures to create a multi faceted experience for the stand visitor.
Unfortunately, we didn’t succeed in the pitch, but it still goes down as one of our favourite designs.

Hey Menu

Hey Menu 2

We’d taken the brief for the Take Away Innovation show, from the owners of Hey Menu, and understood their requirement to make a massive impact with the launch of their software, and stand alongside their competitors Just Eat at the show.

Our 6m high, ,double decker, video walled booth showed different cultures, street markets, and close up shots of delicious platters. Meanwhile, a number of vintage bicycles were to be pushed through the aisles of the exhibition, with another delivery of fast food to the Hey Menu stand. Our presentation walked the client through the different elements of the concept, showing renders, tech drawings, and photography as well as statistics of the take away food market.


Skyworth 3

Another client was facing a major issue as they approached IBC2018. Having been an established brand in the broadcast industry, after rebranding completely, the management team were concerned about making enough of an impact to stand out from their competitors.   After several briefings over the phone, including discussing their global marketing strategy, we started our creative juices flowing

Iain’s impactful stand demonstrates his creative skill at raising the brand presence via a neat, yet hugely impactful, design that provided all the aspects of the client’s brief.

With some of our designs not making it into production due to a high level of competition in this field, our design team remains a hidden gem within the DCE Walls.   Collaborating with creative minds when required, we’re certain we can interpret your brief, and ask the right questions to ensure that you get the most from your show.   We also take into consideration your longer term event programme to ensure that we can re-use elements of the stand in smaller spaces, or add to the design to expand the ideas along with your objectives.

We want to showcase the team that make us who we are – and we want to celebrate our upcoming 30 year anniversary in 2020, so please watch out for other blogs in this series “Behind the Scenes”  with DCE.