I d e a   B o o k

Use this Idea Book as inspiration for your next exhibit or as examples of do's and don'ts. We make no attempt to be objective and all opinions are those of the editor. If you click on a thumbnail photo a large photo will appear in a pop-up window - please close the pop-up before proceeding.
This exhibit was one of the first 100sq ft exhibits I chaired for our local society. It appeared in the 1983 Miami Show and was realistically modeled after an exposed rocky orchid habitat, a chapada. I spent a month making fake rocks. Nice realistic exhibit but - where's the orchids ?
Orchids must predominate !
I have sympathy for all show committe members who have to come up with a 'theme' for their annual shows. The 'theme' ends up being nothing more than some lame title for the program that has the words Fantasy or Adventure in it.
In 1991 we put this 100sq ft exhibit in the Ft. Lauderdale show - I think the theme was some sort of Adventure. Anyway, we got a little naughty and had the clothing of our two adventurers strewn about as they chased each other down the disappearing path. It was the first time we used bananna plants for foliage and were extremely pleased with the look they imparted to an exhibit.
A year later we did this exhibit for our society at the Ft.Lauderdale show. We did not receive any recognition for our efforts but the exhibit brought a lot of favorable coomments. I believe the show theme was 'Orchid Paradise' and our exhibit was 'Two Tickets to Paradise' (there are indeed two tickets on the little table). This type exhibit may have done better in an area of the country that was more open to the use of props than South Florida is. Empty picture frames are a nice way to set off a special orchid
A single large prop provides a focal point for this exhibit. These large props can be created out of blocks of styofoam and painted (waterbase paint please) to look just like ancient ruins, stucco or whatever. Done in sections, the light weight make transport easy. The path leads the eye nicely into the exhibit, however a diagonal entry (rather than center) would have created more movement. More flowers would have given a better score - this is a problem that out-of-town exhibitors face.
EFG Orchids, Miami 1997
Lindsay, Fulford & Triana won First Place in the 150sq ft class with this nicely done exhibit. The irregular shape adds interest. High quality flowers from diverse genera contributed to the high score.
Miami 1997
All the props and display skills in the world will not yield an award-winning exhibit if you don't have the flowers - first and foremost is the quality and quantity of flowers. These are supposed to be orchid exhibits !
Clever use of a crate provides another level for staging this tabletop display.
Delray Beach 1998
This beautiful exhibit made you feel as if you were in the garden of a hacienda - and all in 56sq ft !. The nicely done styrofoam prop provides many nooks and crannies for display on several different levels giving the exhibitors a broad canvas to work with. The exhibit was an eye-catcher at the small Naples OS show in 1998. Kudos to hobbyists Joe & Dot Brzoza and Marc & Peggy Oberlin who received the AOS Show Trophy for their efforts.
Baskets can provide a useful way to group several plants of miniature orchids as was done with this selection of Den. cuthbertsonii. The white name tags are extremely distracting from these beautiful little jewels, they deserve better. Points would have been deducted here in South Florida.
East West Orchid Show, Los Angeles 1998
Different regions have different traditions as far as exhibits. Some are more tolerant of the use of props, there are pet peeves in other regions. If you are a first-time exhibitor be sure to familiarize yourself with local custom.
Painted backgrounds have been used to good effect in recent years. Not only can they provide additional depth but suggest a mood or a theme as well. Of course, it wasn't the painted background that garnered Carib Plants the AOS Show Trophy at the 1998 Deerfield Beach OS Show. Exceptional quality flowers and effective color flow caught the judges' attention. Display by Richard Fulford.
Clever use of large diameter rope makes effective edging and large cypress knees add interest. Unfortunately the flowers were too sparse too gain attention.
Orchid World International, Ft. Lauderdale 1998
This beautiful exhibit demanded attention as viewers contemplated the orchids growing out of dinner plates. The greater acceptance of props on the west coast encourages this kind of creativity.
East West Orchid Show, Los Angeles 1998
Important aspects of any floor exhibit are height and depth. Either can be real or perceived, a successful exhibit maximizes both. This display mimics a cliff face in a rainforest and uses driftwood and foliage to acheive height in a tiny 56sq ft hobby exhibit. Nicely done by Martin Fisher and Terry Pulver at the 1998 Naples OS Show.
This was one of my favorite exhibits at the 1998 Miami Show. Put in by Selby Gardens it won the educational class, although it had far broader appeal. The setting is a research camp in the Tropical Americas - orchids were being identified and cataloged. Complete with chirping tree frogs.
Beautiful !
Although cut flower exhibits are generally thought of as being at a disadvantage...it is easier to make dense groupings of flowers when you don't have pots and plants to contend with. Beautiful display of cuts by the Guatemala OS in Miami, 1998. Sparse use of props (bamboo) as a design element adds to the effect and lets the flowers stand out.
Table top exhibits can take many forms. This wardian case has time on its side - the exhibitor could spend as much as neccessary to get things 'just right' without worrying about exhibit hall time limits, and then transport the completed exhibit to the show.
"A Little Enchanted Garden"   Ann Anderson
Miami 1998


Want to see more exhibits? Here's PAGE TWO of the Idea Book

Another online resource for additional exhibit photos is:

Steve Saunder's Orchid Society of Nova Scotia Virtual Orchid Show

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