Connecting Students To Trade Shows


For a group of exhibit design students from Bemidji State University, the recent PWX event in Minneapolis was an ideal opportunity to bring their classroom learning to the trade show floor. The Expo Group’s Creative Director Nicole O’Leary served as tour guide and in-the-field visiting professor for more than a dozen students who took a field trip to this redesigned and re-engineered convention at Minneapolis Convention Center.

It was the first time for many students to actually visit a trade show, and for all of them it was an opportunity to understand the design work that goes into the trade show overall, not just exhibitor booths.

“The students loved seeing the bigger picture beyond the exhibit, and I was able to share with them how we design for an entire demographic using research and marketing know-how,” Nicole said.

Nicole shared her personal experiences as a graphics designer and now Creative Director and walked the students through the entire process behind-the-scenes, that resulted in the spaces and structures on-site. Use of materials, spatial layouts, hierarchy of messaging and attendee interaction were four areas discussed.

Thanks for visiting, BSU Department of Technology, Art & Design!

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