Interview With Nick Lovett

Interview With Nick Lovett 1

Today we talk to Nick Lovett who, after 25 years in the company has seen just about everything there is to see! Starting with Chris Marsden as a wee boy Nick is now Creative Sales Director for the company and handles our more ambitious projects.

In this interview, we highlight another incredible stand for McDowell Machining Technologies for Mach 2024.

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Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your role in this project?

My 25+ years of experience working in the exhibition industry is only surpassed internally by Mr Marsden himself. Starting with Chris back when I was 15, I have sat in almost every seat the industry has to offer, from graphic design and production through to the 3D design of double deck stands.

Due to my somewhat unique skill set, I am on hand to advise with higher-end budgets, more challenging briefs, and if a long-term client requests my involvement. On this particular project, it was my long term knowledge relating to MacDowell that brought me into the melee. I believe, if my memory serves me correctly, I sold the first stand to them back in the early 2010’s.

What were the initial requirements put forward by McDowell for the exhibition stand? What were their goal? attention/footfall/stand out from competition etc?

Stuart is not someone who wants to blend in with the crowd or likes to revisit old design ideas. And having worked on several installations for him now, the task was to do something new. He also wanted to bring technology to the mix this year with a requirement for a VR demo area.

How did you approach the design process for this particular stand? Who did the design?

This stand was one of the rare occasions where I dusted off my 3D software and designed the stand as blocks and spaces. Once I had created the structure, I then passed it to our in-house design team to finish off, as they can wipe the floor with my feeble attempts at final renders these days (don’t tell them I said that!).

Take a look at the 3D render produced for McDowell below or have a walk around it yourself in augmented reality on your smartphone by tapping the “AR” button.

What were the key elements in the design that made this stand unique and bespoke?

The feature I particularly liked the most was the slightly elevated seating area, which, with its slatted walls, provided a semi-private environment. And while the seating used was low-level, by placing it on a platform made it still feel comfortable and not intruded upon. 

Were there any specific challenges or requirements that influenced the design?

As with many stand designs, the client’s product tends to be where the design starts. This can be due to its being particularly large or small or having huge difference in weight and display requirements. With McDowell, they have a bit of everything: a small product, a large product, and one that weighs in excess of 500kg. So, trying to find a way to display the product in a uniform way is always a challenge.

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Was there a particular moment or decision that was pivotal to the project’s success?

No single moment, yet I feel that Stuart and myself re-engaging after several years certainly helped!

What materials were chosen for the stand, and why were these specific materials selected?

The exhibition industry rarely breaks the mould when it comes to most stands, and in some part, this was the same for this stand. Yet, we did need to use steel to produce the product displays. This is not a typical material in events that usually last three days. We have offset this, however, by McDowell keeping to product plinths post-show. This then means they will have longevity long after MACH 2024 closes its doors.

Were there any innovative technologies or techniques employed in the construction of the stand?

When accommodating the VR area, we sought to create more theatre. To achieve this, we had two bespoke micro switch units produced that, when the VR headset was removed from its stand, triggered a 2m diameter LED ring to illuminate within the floor, along with a LED Par-Can light in the soffit creating a blue ambience to the entire area which really created a unique and and attractive element to the stand.

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