The winners of this year’s best stand awards at WTM London have been announced, with the judges pleased to see several exhibitors ringing the changes.
Best Stand Design was won this year by Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (ME200, ME201 and ME204), for a space that successfully blends old and new. Features include a woman weaving a carpet and a virtual reality buggy ride for visitors to try.
“It really shows the breadth of the country,” said Exhibition News senior reporter Nicola Macdonald. “No matter what angle you approached from there was something to see.” The stand was also functional with a good business area, the judges felt.
The Greek National Tourism Organisation’s revamped stand (EU1200, EU1250) won Best for Business. “It is modern, with a good mix of networking and meeting spaces where you can sit and have a one-to-one,” said Intuitive Design director Russell Smith. “There is a good layout with space to mingle and have drinks and also booths with dividers that still feel approachable.”
Best New Stand was won by DMC company AC Group (GV655) who the judges felt had made good use of limited space. “It is contemporary in design, quite boutique and tactile,” said Smith. Macdonald added, “it is inviting as it’s very open and looked quite welcoming.”
A giant stooping over a bench to provide a fun selfie opportunity won Tourism Ireland (UK1400) the accolade Best Stand Feature. “It’s a feature that has relevance,” pointed out Tourism Research and Marketing partner Bill Richards, as a mock up of part of famous attraction the Giant’s Causeway lies underfoot.
“We find Europe often assumes we know the country, so stands can look very similar to each other, so Ireland here is trying to do something different,” said Beryl Preuschmann of Triporganiser.net.
Simplicity proved the winning ingredient for Fortymee Ltd (TT237), which won this year’s Best Stand Within the Travel Tech Show.
The company’s products include a new smart wristband which alerts people on excursions that they are due back and tells the tour guide who is missing, their contact details and picture. The stand displays the gadgets and also runs a video showing the system in action.
“With technology stands it’s usually hard to see what they do,” said Preuschmann. “As a tour guide, if I was on a cruise ship where we had to have them out and back within two hours, I’d use it,” she added.