simply.enthusiastic! Students Collaborate at ExhibitorLIVE 2017

Ryan Scholtes | March 28, 2017

As lead designer on the ExhibitorLIVE simply mg™ exhibit, I was extremely excited to interact with our guests. And on this particular day, a special audience was sharing the experience with me – students from FIT and Bemidji State, the nation’s only undergraduate and graduate design programs targeted at the trade show industry.

A rush of adrenalin suddenly washed over me. With my blood rushing, and ideas flowing, I realize that I had appreciated a new sense of enthusiasm from these students.

Enthusiasm is that boost of unexpected energy that makes us vibrate and takes us out of ourselves. It is the desire to do something, to live, share and dive headfirst into things. Enthusiasm allows us to experience new ideas and to savor new experiences. I have learned that it is being open to and curious about new opportunities that embrace our desire to do something great. Enthusiasm takes us by the hand and arouses the best in us, supported by the impulsive confidence in our gifted abilities.

I have had the privilege to critique and push creative abilities while mentoring FIT students in New York on projects the last couple months. On this day, I was surrounded by students from both Bemidji State and FIT who made the trek to Mandalay Bay to take part in the ExhibitorLIVE show firsthand. Now it was their turn to critique my work.

My personal tour of the design and our new brand launch has enabled the students to experience simply mg™. They were eager to share their perspectives. The critique quickly turned into a professional discussion. Many of the students had outstanding feedback, but more importantly, the dialogue quickly transitioned into real-world application regarding the exhibit industry and a vision of what being a creative designer in this industry is like.

One of the topics we tackled is how important problem solving is as a designer. Every day we come across a series of challenges that need to be addressed. Finding the best solution is a key characteristic in great design. I shared real-life examples of problems that I needed to solve right before the show opened and how the answer produced a far better result. Through my examples, I encouraged the students to be great story-tellers and presenters while showing potential employers their portfolios, hard work and passion.

Finally, we talked about pushing creative limits and how important it is to improve not only our vision but also the inherent functionality in our design. It is so vital that we keep evolving and innovating so our industry continues to showcase the unique creativity that builds awareness and interest in our clients’ brands.

You know, I might have encouraged and voiced some real-life situations to these talented students, but I think they showed me a new sense of enthusiasm that subconsciously taught me new outlooks on our industry. That sounds like a win-win situation for all of us.