Blackbox and IBM at The Hudson

We work with fantastic agency and event professionals—Detail-oriented, creative and innovative, strong leaders, flexible and energetic. We are lucky to have the opportunity to support a group of people with whom we share the same values, work ethic, and passion for their clients’ success.

Sometimes they call on us to do site visits if they are from out of town. This was the case when we worked with Blackbox Communications and their client, IBM. We had worked with Blackbox on two previous events, The Gathering, and Energy Disruptors. This time, we were going to The Hudson for a high-level IBM event. The Hudson was a facility that Blackbox had not used before. 

Part of their program was including branding opportunities throughout the site. The staff at The Hudson are exceptional and very accommodating. We visited the site and spent time gathering information measuring the historic venue’s walls, taking photos, and filming a walk-through during small openings between the facilities’ hectic event schedule in the early months of 2020.

Shortly afterward, we had the okay to start design work for the event and had branding guidelines to follow. Not having been in the space before, the Blackbox staff needed to present visuals to their client for approval to move forward with designs. So, at our internal project kick-off meeting, we sat and brainstormed ideas for personalizing the space for IBM. It became apparent that several areas would allow us to showcase the impactful large scale images and minimalistic branding elements synonymous with the IBM brand.

Concepts were sketched, and we mocked-up the meeting spaces in Photoshop for the clients to review so they could see the graphic ideas on walls, doors, and floors. 3D renderings were completed for the displays. They picked the spaces they wanted to see and the exhibits they wanted to include, and we moved into quoting their project and making adjustments to work within their budget and priorities. 

With budget approvals in-hand, we began working on designing templates from the earlier measurements and simultaneously building the exhibits and kiosks required. We quickly discovered that the fun of working with an old building is that it is much like an old house. Not many walls are square, and not many are the same size. It meant that our designer needed to create and organize several different templates for walls that looked the same but were slightly different in size—some a tiny bit taller and others a tiny bit wider. No two walls were the same.

At The Hudson’s request, we had tested print samples first to ensure easy removal of our graphic materials from all surfaces. This was done well in advance of the installation so that we would have time to test alternatives if they proved to be necessary. Fortunately, the materials we use were perfect for this application. This was a relief as move-in day was quickly upon us. The client and facility had built a meticulous event schedule, much like Swiss train travel, which was greatly appreciated considering the challenges of moving freight in an old building with limited elevators and equally restrictive loading docks.  

The event, its installation, and dismantle all went off without a hitch; teams from Exhibit Studio, IBM, Freeman, cvent, Modern Rentals, and The Hudson all working side by side. Truly a testament to the skills of all the event professionals involved and the team at IBM and Blackbox Communications.

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