Buying or Renting Trade Show Pedestals: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

The start of the trade show is 2 hours away. The set up is going great. Everything so far is looking spectacular. Everything except… Except the fact that the pedestals never arrived from your exhibit supplier. OK, don’t panic. Take a deep breath. You can just set the product up on the floor. Um, no. I know! Steve can hold them, he is sometimes called the human pedestal around the office anyway… Wait! Boxes! Cardboard boxes will hold them! No… the product weighs 40 pounds – an accident waiting to happen. Alright Steve, get your haz-mat suit on we’re down to dumpster diving – just find something we can use as a pedestal!

Has this ever happened to you? Maybe it’s a slight over-dramatization. Or maybe not. Either way, no one wants to end up in a frustrating situation like this. That’s why renting vs. buying display pedestals has turned into one of the classic dilemmas for trade show planners. The lasting impression that you want to present is one that is aesthetically pleasing. Having all of your pedestals show up on time should be the least of your worries. So naturally when considering all aspects of your exhibit the question arises: should I rent or should I buy the display pedestals for the upcoming trade shows? Whether you’re a large Fortune 500 company or a small company with a local and regional focus, budget concerns will figure prominently in marketing decisions, especially where the ROI can be somewhat tricky to assess. There is no doubt display pedestals play a significant role in the look and feel of your trade show exhibit. But is it really necessary to invest your money in purchasing your pedestals? Here are five questions every event exhibit planner should ask themselves when considering whether to rent or buy the display pedestals for a trade show.

1. What are my quality requirements?

You put so much time and energy into the planning and preparation of your trade show exhibit. The aesthetic quality of the display pedestals must be top notch. The last thing you want is for this to be a wild card in your exhibit setup. So how do you ensure that the pedestals you will be using meet your high standards? Renting can offer you a tremendous amount of flexibility if your shows are seldom and if it’s acceptable that the quality and style vary a bit from show to show. However, if you have very specific needs for style, color and size, buying will allow you to control all of these aspects. It also allows you to inspect the pedestals for quality control days or weeks before the show to ensure the condition. It can be incredibly frustrating to realize at the last minute that there are damaged or missing pedestals in your rental inventory!

2. What are my time constraints for the upcoming show?

We’ve all had the last-minute trade show entry. Perhaps you have overlapping shows or need additional pedestals for a larger space. The reality is that you just may not have the time to put in an order to purchase pedestals. In these cases, renting gives you the flexibility to work on very short turnaround times. However, many quality pedestal manufacturers have pedestals in stock or pedestals that can be custom-made and shipped within a couple of days. This allows you to remain consistent with the style and color of your other exhibit pieces.

3. What do I need to consider as far as storage?

Let’s be honest: storage is an added long term cost. Sometimes it feels like you need a small warehouse just for your trade show materials! For some, this is just not an option. You can’t keep overhead costs down if you have to figure out how to store bulky trade show exhibits. Renting, however, alleviates this problem altogether. Allowing storage space to be the rental company’s concern solves a big headache. With that said, it’s probably worth the time to really consider just how much space you need to store your pedestals. Many pedestal manufacturers are aware of this problem for businesses and offer portable, collapsible pedestals that allow for easy storage and travel. Suddenly, space will become a non-issue.

4. How often will I be using the pedestals?

This question is really the crux of the issue regarding renting or buying your trade show pedestals. Do you have only one show per year that you attend? Or occasionally do you have two or more shows happening simultaneously that you need to add additional pedestals to your stock? Then renting may be the best option for you. There is simply no need to purchase and store pedestals that get so little use. But maybe you are the trade show king, a real road warrior attending multiple trade shows a year. Perhaps your pedestals do double-time and you need them to display items in your office. Then buying would be the best option. Your pedestals will pay for themselves in no time, and as stated before, you get to control the quality, style and color.

5. What’s it going to cost me?

This is where the rubber meets the road and obviously goes hand in hand with Question 4. Many portable trade show display pedestals can be purchased for as low as $75 and will pay for themselves within 3 or 4 shows. Renting pedestals does offer flexibility especially where storage is concerned, but can become expensive over the long run. Again, the question of cost will be answered by analyzing how much you will be using your pedestals.

The question of renting vs. buying spills over into many aspects of your business, especially when it comes to your marketing materials. In addition, perhaps there are some general philosophical questions that need to be asked: How important are trade shows to your business? Are they part of your long-term marketing strategy? If so, the materials you use will say a lot about your company on the big stage. Consequently, your pedestals will say a lot about you as well. Hopefully, these guidelines will serve to aid you in making the best decision for your unique situation thereby resulting in achieving the right balance between aesthetics and economics.

Our Latest Custom Project

Check out this beautiful custom pedestal we made for the Ruby Slipper Cancer Foundation. Not only is it mirrored and rotating, it is lighted and fit with a custom dust cover… a complicated build if there ever were one. If you are in the market for something similar, please give us a call at 800-333-9533.

If you are interested in learning more about or donating to the Ruby Slipper Cancer Foundation, please click here.

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxFw2mIPPC8]

Product Highlight: Clear Acrylic Pedestals

Clear Acrylic Pedestal

Our clear acrylic pedestals are ideal for situations where you want to show off your art, sculpture or pottery piece and nothing more! Each clear acrylic pedestal is crafted by hand here in Colorado, and can be made to nearly any shape and size. The edges are all hand-polished for an exceptionally clean, museum quality finish.

Our clear acrylic pedestals are currently 25% OFF, so there have never been a better time to buy. Check out our Acrylic Pedestal options here>>

Artist Highlight: Andrea Rich – From Woodcut to Sculpture

Warthog Sculpture

Since 1980, internationally recognized woodcut print maker and artist Andrea Rich has traveled the world observing wildlife in their natural habitat. Madagascar, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Africa and Europe are some of the places outside North America that she has visited in search of interesting subjects.

Found ObjectWhile predominantly recognized for her woodcuts, it is Andrea’s sculptures that really caught our eyes. The animated yet true to life posturing of her art pieces are spot-on and endlessly engaging.

Hummingbird“…(S)ometimes the most striking feature is the form or posture of the animal,” Andrea explains on her website, “When the form captures my eye, I find it most pleasurable to let go the consideration of color or composition and the animal’s relation to the surrounding,  and simply concentrate on the form alone.  Sculpture seems an excellent medium for this new interest of mine.”

________________________________________

To learn more about Andrea visit her website www.andrearich.com. Andrea recently ordered a number of our Affordable Portable Pro Pedestals, and we are grateful that we could be of help. You can also take a look at our sculpture pedestals.

Pedestal Finishes: Wood vs. Laminate


Pedestal Shopping TipsAfter months of searching, you acquire an art piece that is begging to be put up on a pedestal. You heed that call and start searching through your pedestal options.  As you shop around you find that while you prefer the rich color and texture of wood, a black or white laminate pedestal of the same dimensions will save you about 20%. A tempting savings indeed!

So, just how well do laminate pedestals stack up against their wooden counterparts? Here are a few facts:

Durability

White Laminate Pedestal
White Laminate Pedestal

The longevity and appearance of any pedestal depends on what it’s made from, how it’s used and how well it’s cared for. On scratch, stain, fade, moisture and impact resistance, laminate surfaces rate better then wood. However, if wood is coated in a high quality lacquer, it will be able to resist stains and moisture quite well.

When wood veneer pedestals are properly cared for, they can last as long as your art piece. While laminate surfaces may be more scratch resistant than wood, the edges are prone to chipping, and heavy or jagged art pieces can leave unappealing scars. In order to enjoy a long life, laminate pedestals needs to remain in a permanent location, with as little moving or transporting as possible.

Appearance

Real Walnut Veneer Pedestal
Real Walnut Veneer Pedestal

Without a doubt, real wood veneer is more rich, warm and appealing than laminate. While wood can be finished to any color, it is a natural product and the grain and color will vary slightly from pedestal to pedestal. If wood is exposed to direct sunlight for a length of time, the color can change. Typically, darker woods will lighten when exposed to direct sunlight, when some lighter woods will darken slightly.

The standard laminate pedestal finishes are black and white. While those colors do provide a clean backdrop, they do not add any life or depth to a display. In recent years a few laminate patterns designs have emerged that provide an appealing stone look, but they are a far cry from the real thing. When it comes to exposure to direct sunlight, laminate surfaces do a great job at resisting the sun’s effects.

Maintenance and Care

Laminate may be slightly easier to maintain than wood, but it is harder to repair. If scratched, dinged or marred, wood veneer pedestals can be refinished. Laminate surfaces cannot. Cleaning of pedestals, whether wood or laminate, should be done with a 50/50 solution of rubbing alcohol and water. Cleaning with water alone can cause wood finishes to become dull, and will usually leave streaks on laminate surfaces.

Personal Preference

While both wood and laminate finishes have their pros and cons, the most important factor in your decision should always be personal preference. Ask yourself the simple question:

Do I want my pedestal to blend in or proudly display?”

Pedestals finished in black or white laminate are best at blending into the surroundings. If you would like your pedestal to simply lift up and display your art piece without getting in the way, then a laminate finish would be your best bet. If you are looking to accentuate your art piece, and would see the pedestal as a worthy addition to the furniture in your room,  a rich wood veneer is the way to go.

See our available laminate pedestal options >

See our available wood veneer pedestal options >

Artist Highlight: Eric Cahan, Sunrises and Sunsets

Artist HighlightEric Cahan’s fine art photographs and sculptures inspired by color, nature, and memory are consistently shown in galleries in and around his native New York. A devotee of contemporary art, Cahan’s influences include Mark Rothko, James Turrell, and the Light and Space movement, a brand of minimalism that originated in Southern California in the 1960s and focused on perceptual phenomena such as light, space, volume and scale. When he visited Turrell’s Roden Crater Project, Cahan felt an intense connection to the visionary masterpiece. As Turrell stated, Cahan believes that “light is not so much something that reveals, as it is itself the revelation.”

SunriseThe photographs in the ongoing Sky Series are initially captured as sunrises or sunsets. Cahan uses as many as four different cameras ranging from 6 x 7 film to digital. Employing dozens of graduated filters traditionally used by filmmakers, his objective is to create a window into a time and a place, and to demonstrate how memories and colors shift and become abstract. Cahan produces chromium prints of each image numerous times until the result is seamless, free of banding or blemish. Beyond technical description, the picture evokes the presence of, and the artist’s reverence for, nature at its most sublime.

Eric CahanMade from the same surface material as surfboards and sailboards, Cahan’s polyester resin sculptures are three-dimensional interpretations of his photographs, similarly meant to capture light and conjure the sensation of looking into the sky or the ocean. “My work is meant to capture a moment in nature, asking and empowering the viewer to be fully present, involved, and uplifted. I want the viewer to be drawn in, and be completely absorbed by, rather than separate from, that fleeting moment in time.”

We are indeed grateful that Eric selected Pedestal Source to build custom  fixtures for displaying his fine art pieces, and look forward to watching the expression of his creativity for years to come.

ericcahan.com              twitter.com/ericcahan

Greg Glebe: Company Founder, Master Woodworker… Underground Dumpster Designer?

Aside from his hours spent leading the team here at Pedestal Source, our company founder Greg Glebe tends to lead an active lifestyle. His post-workday energy is typically invested into projects that allow him to express his hands-on creativity. Examples include designing and flying paraplanes in the Arizona desert, building a massive climbing tower in front of our old shop and teaching the old shop dog how bowl. Info on these projects will appear in future posts.

In this post, we wanted to focus on one of Greg’s latest projects: Engineering a one-of-a-kind, fully-automated, underground space saving trash receptacle for an high-end apartment complex he built here in Fort Collins, CO. Inspired design? We think so. Take a look…

Top 3 Things to Consider when Lighting a Sculpture

Illuminated glass globe on spotlighted pedestal
TipsOne of the most fascinating aspects about experiencing a sculpture is how many ways there are to do it. The setting, lighting and point of view can all have a dramatic effect.

The process and decisions involved in lighting sculpture can go in a number of directions depending on a handful of factors. Here are the top 3 things the team here at Pedestal Source ask our customers to contemplate when lighting a sculpture:

1. Medium

What your sculpture is constructed from has the greatest influence on the approach you take with lighting. From a illumination standpoint, all mediums fall into one of three basic categories: clear, semi-opaque and opaque.

  • Etched glass sculpture on ambient lighted pedestalClear: Glass, acrylic, crystal, etc. Sculptures made from a clear medium have the most options when it comes to lighting. These range from spotlighting, ambient lighting, overhead lighting and back lighting.
  • Semi-Opaque: Lightly colored, milky or frosted glass, acrylic, crystal andsemi-opaque vase on ambient lighted pedestal so on. Lighting requirements for sculptures in this category vary dramatically. Spot lights are generally not able to penetrate deep enough to have an effect on most semi-opaque pieces, leaving ambient lighting, overhead lighting and back lighting as the remaining options.

Quick Tip: If you are unsure of your art piece’s level of opacity, we recommend grabbing a high powered flashlight and holding it directly under the base. More opaque pieces will only allow the light to pass an inch or two from the bottom, and ambient lighting would not be recommended.

  • plaster sculpture on ambient lighted pedestalOpaque: Examples range from densely colored glass, acrylic and crystal to bronze or stone. With opaque sculptures, lighting is typically limited to its ability to amplify levels of contrast via cast shadows. Options include ambient lighting and overhead lighting.

2. Scale

Large sculpture on ambient lighted pedestal w/ backlightingWhile smaller scale art pieces can be adequately lit by a light source embedded within a pedestal, larger scale pieces may require an external source to get the job done right. Here are some general rules when it comes to lighting large scale pieces:

If your sculpture is…

…large and opaque, a directional light emanating from a ceiling mounted light source is usually the best choice.

…large and clear or semi-opaque, a combination of ambient light, back light and/or an overhead light would be ideal.

…large and broader at the top than the bottom, ambient lighting typically works best and overhead lighting would be out.

…large and broader at the bottom than the top, overhead lighting typically works best and ambient lighting would be out.

3. Warm or cold?

Frosted sculpture on ambient lighted pedestal with clear acrylic dust coverNo, this is not in reference to your personality or your sleeping temperature. It is about the desired mood of your art piece. Standard lighting elements are typically one of two flavors: yellow (warm light) and blue (cool light).

For most sculptures, selecting a light color is entirely personal preference. The questions you should ask yourself are:

  • When I first laid eyes on this art piece, how did it strike me from an emotional standpoint?
  • Was that emotion more on the calm and soothing side or the intense and dramatic?
  • Now that it is in my home/office, is that still the mood would I like it to convey?

While there are many predefined rules for lighting a sculpture, there is plenty of room for creative expression. Lighting is a medium just like anything else. We recommend you take the time to experiment and see what lighting method best captures the spirit and mood of your art piece.

Artist Highlight: David C. Roy, a Kinetic Master

Few artisans have mastered the complexities and intricacies of kinetic art as David C. Roy. His sculptures are comprised of delicate, precise wood forms put into motion by the constant force of a wound spring.  After a simple winding, they entertain with motion and soft sounds for hours.

His website “Wood that Works” showcases his portfolio, his blog and is loaded with embedded YouTube videos showing his kinetic sculptures in action. If you have a few minutes to blow, we would highly recommend you check it out!