For the fifteenth time Polish Chamber of Exhibition Industry has chosen the laureates of the PCEI competition the Stand of the Year which is organized for companies providing exhibition stands design and construction services, associated in PCEI, the only national Chamber affiliating enterprises operating in the exhibition industry in Poland. The Jury composed of outstanding specialist: Prof. Remigiusz Grochal (the University of Fine Arts in Gdańsk and Koszalin University of Technology) – the Deputy Chair of the Committee, Prof. Jacek Ojrzanowski (Koszalin University of Technology), Prof. Włodzimierz Bartczak (The University of Fine Arts in Warsaw), Prof. Andrzej Wielgosz (the University of Arts in Poznań), Alojzy Kuca (the originator of the contest, the Editor-in-Chief of Expovortal.com, Honorary Member of PCEI) and architect Maciej Sobolewski (the CEO of the exhibiting company Tecon Service from Poznań), chaired by the Vice-President of the Board of PCI Adam Gabrysiak (the CEO of the exhibiting company Abisal from Poznań), convened in order a appraise twelve designs submitted to the contest the Stand of the Year 2013 by five companies and selected the laureates. Medals and distinctions The first prize, the Gold Medal for the Stand of the Year 2013 was presented to the Poznań company Inter-Mark Group, constructed for exhibitors IGT Reno and IGT Las Vegas from the United States. The designer of the awarded stand was an American John Athey from the marketing agency DERSE. The awarded stand was constructed for the exhibition ICE Totally Gaming 2013 held in Great Britain. The second prize, the Silver Medal, was presented to the stand constructed by Meliński Minuth from Poznań, according to the design of the Israeli Studio Jeger for Israel Export Institute. This project was executed at Medica Exhibition held in Dusseldorf. The Bronze Medal was awarded to the stand submitted by Expo Linia from Buk. The design by Gizela Rozwadowska-Mylka and Marta Krawczyk of Expo Linia was executed by this company for the Polish company Solaris Bus Coach, which participated in BUSWOLRD Exhibition in Kortijk in the Netherlands. Due to the high level of submitted works, the Jury of this year’s edition of the contest also decided to award a distinction. It was presented to the company Meliński Minuth, the winner of the Silver Medal. The design was prepared by this company for the companies Veolia and SARPI during the POLEKO exhibition in Poznań. The international level Comparing this edition of the contest with the previous year, it was impossible not to notice that the level of submitted works is constantly growing and, what is more, the contest this year had a really international character. The Jury was impressed by the high level of submitted works which met the highest global standards. – I must say that it was a tremendous breakthrough, the contest last year was good, even very good, however this year we dealt with exhibition stands from all over the world. Splendid, absolutely fantastic level. The best works which we acknowledged were those which were characterized by internal coherence and were made in a way to convey a certain message, a communiqué. We were especially impressed by the Polish-Israeli project. We appraised the formal coherence consisting of not only the structure but the spatial elements and light as well. What is interesting, we evaluated the highest the designs which were the most economical as far as the outlays were concerned. We awarded the creation of a kind of a limited whole – Prof. Jacek Ojrzanowski of Koszalin University of Technology summed up the Jury meeting. – Exhibition stands are changing and, with time, our way of appraising stands is changing as well. We want to acknowledge stands which are modern and compete with others also at exhibitions in the West – Adam Gabrysiak, the Vice-President of PCEI – As it could have been observed in this year’s edition of the contest, we are facing a widespread cooperation where Western designers commission the construction to Polish companies which accomplish it at the highest level. The Jury paid special attention to the lights, toned colors and modest form of the stand competing in the contest. – Lights have always been very important; the potential of the lighting technologies today are practically unlimited. This could be seen also in the Polish projects. Additionally, the designs also clearly showed the turn away from much too colorful stands. Minimalism is the catchphrase today. The designs this year are more toned. Such a form underlines and emphasizes the content – summed up the member of the Jury, Prof. Włodzimierz Bartczak of the Warsaw University of Fine Arts, long standing CEO of Intermedia which designs and constructs exhibitions stands. Designs of the future The idea behind the Stand of the Year contest is to show and promote the latest exhibiting trends. What is appraised today becomes a benchmark for the whole exhibition industry in the years to come. – Over the fifteen years when the contest has been organized, we have noticed that the winning works inspire stands in the coming years. Even today we can predict how the next year’s designs will look like – they will continue this year’s ideas. The educational role of this contest is crucial in my view. The laureates of the contest blaze the trail for the years to come. This is natural development of art which is the design of exhibition stands – said Alojzy Kuca of Expovortal.com, the originator of the contest the Stand of the Year and the member of the Jury. This year’s anniversary edition of the contest confirms that Polish exhibiting companies are at the highest level. They execute the most prestigious stands in cooperation with the best designers. The increasing level of the contest and its influence on the stands constructed in the future is the source of satisfaction for the organizers. It confirms the educational role of the contest and its impact on the development of this kind of architecture.