This is a massive show. Imagine - over 1,000 companies exhibiting their wares occupying all 11 halls of the RAI. That's about 72,000 square meters (216,000 square feet) of exhibition space. Plus, there are outdoors exhibit areas.
My two hours yesterday was really a whirlwind tour; you need at least half a day if you want to spend any time on looking at a particular company's offerings and chatting with the reps on the stands.
So with my trusty Olympus C-3030 Zoom digital camera - only 3.3 megapixels but still pretty good after four years - I captured a good flavour of the show with shots of various exhibitors' stands and other things going on. Those 75 photos are online as a Flickr photo set.
One thing that always stimulates my curiosity is the tags or strap lines companies use with their logos. Especially with companies whose names are not that familiar to me, it's a fun exercise to view such imagery and think about my interpretation of them. What message(s) do I understand? How different might that be from the message(s) the companies concerned think they are communicating? I took quite a few photos of such logo-tag combinations, included in the Flickr set.
See what you think.
It's also interesting to think about why companies include tags or straplines. I guess the less familiar a company or its logo might be, the more they feel the need to add a phrase that will help explain what they're about. Or the phrase might be used as part of the means to get across a specific message or focus about that company or a particular brand.
Then there are companies whose logos are so familiar that by themselves those logos convey a powerful image about that company and/or its brand(s) that no textual explanation is needed. The best example I saw at the show was Apple who employed an imaginative use of black and white colouring. The photo I took is in the Flickr set so you can see what I mean.
When you look at all the photos, you'll also notice one big thing - many of these exhibition stands really are astonishing creations, some almost works of art. This is brand merchandising at its most magical, in my view, where scope and scale (and big budgets) combine to enable the stand creators to really use their imaginations.
The best example of great creativity I saw was the stand for Chyron Corporation, a US company who develops, makes and markets broadcast graphics hardware, software and associated services for the television industry.
It wasn't the biggest stand at the show but the stunning mix of colour, creativity and design shows that size doesn't matter. Click on the small image to get a full 2048x1536 photo view of the stand (5.5Mb PNG image, opens in new window/tab). It won't do it justice compared to seeing the stand live, so to speak, but you'll get a good idea.
If I can find a moment to go back before IBC 2005 draws to a close on Tuesday afternoon, I'll be there again with my camera.
Incidentally, I have to mention that I am consistently impressed with Picasa, the free image manipulation software from Google. I used Picasa to import all the photos from the camera as well as create the collage at the beginning of this post. It's such an elegant program as well. If you haven't yet tried it, you really should.