Interview with Patrick Schmidt, Liganova

FAMAB-Award: And the ADAM goes to… A-Klasse!


The ADAM award is to exhibition construction companies what the Oscar (Academy Award) is to actors. Every year, the FAMAB Association for Direct Business Communications gives the ADAM award for outstanding exhibition and brand presence. This year, ADAM sped away in a Mercedes-Benz: the A-class pavilion won the award in the L-Category. It was designed by the LIGANOVA GmbH. Patrick Schmidt is its Creative Director Live Communication and in this EuroShop interview talks about the challenge with this project and how the winning design idea originated.

Image: Patrick Schmidt: Liganova GmbH

Patrick Schmidt: "Brands need to actively take care of their customers and present themselves in an interactive and accessible way."; © Liganova GmbH

Mr. Schmidt, what makes the Daimler AG pavilion so special?

I believe what’s special was that we managed to reach many different areas in the public and interior spaces of exhibition halls with one system. Plus I believe it was a very unique space that has never before been presented as such by other brands. The booth is more like a complete sculpture versus a conventional booth, which wonderfully accompanied the vehicle in context. This way, both – pavilion and automobile combined – were able to simultaneously and yet individually shine during the trade show.

What were the challenges in terms of architecture and subsequent structural implementation of the pavilion?

For starters, the task by itself was very complex. Our customer wanted to present its new generation of car. The main objective was to meet the modern target group in its environment. To do this, the company was looking for a platform that is able to support this topic, vision and the strength of the idea of repositioning the compact car. Our challenge was to find something that is not like a traditional booth, but something that matches and reflects the materiality, visual appearance and virtually the whole dynamics of this new car design and carries it into the trade fair halls.

How did the actual design idea come to be?

One vision we had at the onset of the project was an urban living room design. Therefore, we were looking for a combination that combines the street component with the living space element. Our subsequent implementation was for the street to virtually changeover into the living room of our target customer. We took the street element as a tape, folded it so to speak and created an entire space from it. At the same time, the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of sensual clarity inspired us. We picked up on the design elements of the new A-class again in our booth design, because we believe it represents the strongest element of the product.
Bild: Haus am Wasser; Copyright: Liganova GmbH

Verbindet das Objekt Straße mit dem Element Wohnraum: Der mit dem ADAM-Award ausgezeichnete Stand, den Liganova für Mercedes-Benz designt hat; © Liganova GmbH

What topics are currently stirring in the industry?

The material mix is presently a large and quite exciting topic. Nothing is as monolithic as it ever used to be in the past. The brand message is increasingly conveyed by unique design and material combinations and no longer through mere product presentation. Exhibition construction has become more flexible: less corporate identity and more flexibility and creativity. Companies want to inspire more and have a one-of-a-kind presentation. Booths are also becoming more interactive. The salesperson no longer does his/her sales pitch at the booth. At this point, he/she is more like a mediator between the customer and the brand message.

Today’s trade show visitor creates his/her own product experience at the booth. Just like in retail during times of online stores and increasing competition, the trade show and booth experience is the only chance to really impress the customer. What is especially important is that the customer needs to also be able to understand the product. These days, technology is oftentimes too removed from the end customer. That is why you need simple communication through visual booth design to convey a message.

Which booth will excel in the future?

It’s clear that you won’t excel with standard booths and mere product presentation. It is important to be individual and interactive. It doesn’t even need to be the giant booth with the brightest LEDs.
It is the small gestures that count: an interactive experience of the booth and products and for customers to be able to control their visits on their own, try out, and experience the products as they please.

Author: Elisabeth Henning; EuroShop
First publication at