Interview with Jurate: Designing Innovative Trade Show Stands

Welcome to our Q&A session with Jurate, our talented designer who specialises in creating our captivating trade show stands. In this interview, Jurate sheds light on the software she employs, the unique features of this year’s trade show stand, and the logistics involved in creating a play frame for a Family Entertainment Center (FEC). 

Additionally, she shares her enthusiasm for attending trade shows like IAAPA. 

Read on to discover the creative process behind our trade show stands.

Q: What software goes into creating a stand for a trade show?

A: We utilise SolidWorks for designing and generating manufacturing plans. Subsequently, Unreal Engine comes into play for rendering our concepts, bringing them to life with stunning visualisations.

Q: How does this stand differ from others that have been created in the past?

A: This year, our stand breaks new ground by incorporating three small strike arena units instead of a single play frame. This innovative arrangement adds a fresh dimension to our presentation, creating a distinct visual impact and enhancing attendee engagement.

By incorporating and making these changes to what we have used before we are able to visually show attendees how things work, as opposed to showing images, videos or a verbal explanation.

Q: How does this differ from creating a frame that would be used in a FEC?

A: The design is meticulously tailored to accommodate limited space while still faithfully representing the concept of our interactive Strike Arena. The practicality of quick assembly and dismantling is a key consideration during the design phase. Moreover, the play units can be repurposed and configured to suit spaces of various sizes and shapes, offering flexible options for FEC installations.

Q: What are you most excited about when going to trade shows like IAAPA?

A: Attending trade shows like IAAPA fuels my excitement to explore the latest industry trends and innovations. It provides an invaluable opportunity to establish new connections and partnerships, enabling us to enhance our product offerings and deliver cutting-edge solutions to our valued customers.

Thank you, Jurate, for sharing your insights and expertise. We are excited to unveil our exceptional trade show stand and connect with industry professionals at upcoming events like IAAPA Vienna 2023. 

Join us at Stand B-1401, and together, we’ll craft a play environment that captivates imaginations, promotes active fun, and leaves a lasting impression on visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a business owner seeking to enhance your entertainment offerings or an investor interested in the growing soft play market, our team is excited to connect with you at IAAPA Vienna 2023.

Let’s make playtime extraordinary! We look forward to meeting you at the event.

Unforgettable Summer Fun at Hobbledown with AIP

As you may know, we are renowned for the adventurous indoor play spaces, and were recently invited to one of our most enchanting, Hobbledown, a family adventure park, for the Association of Indoor Play (AIP) summer social. This invitation holds special significance as we constructed Hobbledown’s Soft Play area in June of 2022….. (you can read our case study here)

……AIP, a not-for-profit organisation, plays a vital role in representing and advocating for the Indoor Play Sector, encompassing various aspects such as Indoor Play, Role Play, and Baby Play. 

Let’s delve into the significance of this event and explore how The Play Company’s expertise continues to shape the world of indoor play.

The Play Company's Expertise in Indoor Play:

With a commitment to creating imaginative and engaging play environments, The Play Company has established itself as a leader in the indoor play industry. Our dedication to innovation and quality is evident in every project we have undertaken. The construction of Hobbledown’s Soft Play area stands as a testament to this exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Hobbledown and the AIP Summer Social:

Hobbledown, located in Hounslow, England, is a unique family adventure park that offers a range of activities and attractions for children of all ages. As part of their commitment to providing a memorable experience, Hobbledown partnered with us at The Play Company to develop a remarkable Soft Play area, something that at the time was our biggest and most venturesome project to date. This collaboration brought together Hobbledown’s enchanting world and stories with our expertise of soft play, resulting in a space that sparks imagination, encourages active play and continues to tell a story to go alongside the book and characters that hobbledown had written for kids to embark through at this play space.

The AIP Summer Social is an annual event organised by the Association of Indoor Play. It serves as a platform for industry professionals, operators, and suppliers to connect, share knowledge, and discuss the latest trends in the indoor play sector. This year, Hobbledown was chosen as the venue for this highly anticipated gathering, making it even more special for us at The Play Company.

Significance of the AIP Summer Social:

The AIP Summer Social holds immense importance for both The Play Company and the Indoor Play Sector as a whole. It provides an opportunity for industry professionals to come together, exchange ideas, and explore new possibilities. By attending this event, we were able to showcase our expertise and learn from other industry leaders, further enhancing our own understanding of the evolving needs and preferences of children and families.

Through active participation in the AIP Summer Social, we were able to strengthen our relationships within the Indoor Play Sector. Engaging with fellow professionals, share in their experiences, and gain valuable insights into the latest advancements in the industry. Such networking opportunities are essential for us staying at the forefront of innovation and ensuring that we continue to deliver exceptional play spaces.


Our invitation to the AIP Summer Social at Hobbledown was a testament to our expertise and recognition within the Indoor Play Sector. This event serves as a platform for industry professionals to connect, collaborate, and share their passion for creating engaging play environments. By being a part of this gathering, we were able to showcase our remarkable work at Hobbledown’s Soft Play area while also learning from other industry leaders. 

Introducing Esther: Crafting Buzz-Worthy Designs for Bee-Themed Soft Play

Step into a world where imagination takes flight and children can embark on buzzing adventures, meet our newest indoor play installation for babies and toddlers at Mini Meadows. 

At this beloved site, we’ve prided ourselves on creating this captivating soft play frame that transports young minds to fantastic farms, and behind the scenes of this, one talented individual played a crucial role in bringing this magical environment to life – Esther, our exceptional graphic designer.

In the below, we will discuss with Esther the creative process behind the artwork at this one of a kind indoor soft play.

How did you incorporate bee-themed graphics into the design of children's soft play frames?

We tried to incorporate as many bee-themed graphics across different parts of the frame, from wall boards to floor pads. We wanted the frame to be a celebration of all things bee-related, so we used a variety of graphics to represent the different aspects of beekeeping such as honey, beehives and meadows.

Can you discuss any specific challenges or considerations you faced when designing the wonderful bee-themed graphics, and how you overcame them?

We wanted to create illustrations and graphics that were simple and contemporary, rather than relying on bee-themed clichés. We drew inspiration from simple contemporary graphics and geometric shapes that can be found within the café.

How do you ensure that the bee-themed graphics align with the branding and theme of Mini Meadows?

We knew that the frame needed to complement the natural look and feel of the café, so we used muted earthy tones and simple shapes that reflected the geometric design of the light fittings.

Where do you tend to draw inspiration from when creating graphics that are displayed within a play frame?

Inspiration can come from anywhere, but I find that I am particularly drawn to sites like Pinterest. Pinterest is a great resource for exploring a wide variety of visual material, from children’s books and packaging to spatial and interior design. It helps me to spark my creativity and to imagine and explore new ideas.

We are grateful to have Esther as a valuable member of our team, infusing our soft play frames with a touch of graphical magic and wonder. Her commitment to staying informed about the latest trends with themed graphic design ensured that Mini Meadows remains at the forefront of providing an immersive and fun, play experience for children whilst also staying true to the original client brief.

As we bid farewell to this inspiring interview, we invite you, our readers, to visit Mini Meadows and witness firsthand the incredible work of Esther. Immerse yourself in the buzzing wonderlands she has brought to life and experience the joy, laughter, and excitement that children await within this bee-themed soft play frame.

How to create your own indoor Soft Play Area – A Step By Step Guide


If you’re thinking about creating your own indoor soft play area, you’re in exactly the right place.

And we’ve got good news – indoor soft play areas are continuing to rise in popularity; children and families love them for the secure and entertaining setting they can provide, the memories they can help make, and the way they can tire the kids out too!

In this post, we’ll walk you through every step of creating an entertaining soft play area that grabs kids’ imaginations and give them hours of amusement. 

Step 1: Planning and Design

Before you get started on the actual construction of your soft play area, the first step is to properly plan and design it. 

Consider the available space, target age group, and the theme you want to incorporate.

Once you’ve put those considerations down on paper, the next step is to brainstorm ideas and consider several layouts that make the most of the space available, promote flow (so the kids can easily get from one thing to the next), and ensure safety. 

Once you’ve got some ideas, we have a team of professional soft play designers who can help you create a customised space tailored to your specific requirements.

Step 2: Choose High-Quality Soft Play Equipment

Investing in high-quality soft play equipment is essential for ensuring the safety and durability of your play area. 

Creating a soft play area isn’t cheap, so it’s vital that your area stands the test of time and enables you to continue generating revenue, without you constantly having to replace or repair.

All our soft play equipment is made by us, right here in the UK; it’s long lasting and hard wearing for all the visitors you hope to attract. 

When you’re thinking about soft play equipment, it’s important to consider a variety of components: slides, climbing structures, ball pits, tunnels, interactive panels, foam shapes and sensory area equipment and so on and so forth. 

Also remember to choose equipment suitable for the age range you’re targeting – it’s no good specifying a load of drop slides if you’re only looking to cater for toddlers.

Step 3: Safety First

Safety is the first and most important consideration in any soft play area. Everything you produce should always be to the EN1176 standards (which we are able to do!).

Prioritise the installation of appropriate safety measures to protect children from potential hazards and regularly inspect equipment to identify any potential hazards and address them promptly.

Step 4: Installation

Once you’ve signed off your design and it’s been manufactured (hopefully by us!), it’s time to proceed with the installation. 

Our proven  installation team have put together scores of soft play areas over the years, and we ensure all equipment is securely fastened, any potential risks are mitigated and everything is checked and triple-checked.

A well-executed installation will contribute to the long-term success and safety of your soft play area, so don’t rush it, or cut corners on it.

Step 5: Creating a Captivating Atmosphere

The ambiance and aesthetics of your soft play area play a crucial role in attracting and engaging children and adults.

Incorporate a themed colour palette, themed elements, and eye-catching signage to create an immersive and visually appealing environment. 

It’s also well worth considering the addition of soft lighting, playful music, and interactive features to enhance the overall experience. Incorporating unique and imaginative details will make your soft play area stand out from the crowd. You can check out some of our themed builds here (link to another blog post talking about our favourite themed soft play builds)

Step 6: Maintenance and Regular Inspections

Once you’re up and running, regular maintenance and inspections are essential to guaranteeing the longevity and safety of your soft play area. 

Create a maintenance routine to look for signs of wear and tear, missing parts, or harmed equipment, and stick to it.

To preserve hygiene, take care to promptly address any problems and do thorough cleanings. Staff employees should receive safety and hygiene training and be urged to alert you if anything needs to be addressed.

Ready to create your indoor soft play area?

Whether you’re looking to create your indoor soft play area in an entertainment centre, standalone location, or trampoline park, it’s an exciting time, and hopefully the above advice will help you to create the right soft play area for you.

Plan carefully, choose quality equipment, prioritise safety, and you’ll ensure an engaging atmosphere for endless joy and adventure. 

Remember, finally, safety comes first! 

Stay proactive with maintenance and inspections to ensure a delightful and secure environment. Get ready to see smiles and hear laughter as children enjoy fantastic playtime adventures. Start building your dream soft play area now!

Get in touch with us now to find out how we can help you create the soft play you’ve been looking for. No matter the size, we are able to create a bespoke soft play for you!

Planet Volt is finally open!!

Planet Volt is finally open!

Planet Volt, Radstock is finally open!

Yes, that’s right, after a few weeks of our soft play installation, alongside the refurbishment of the previously unused site, we’ve finally got everything open for babies, children and teens to explore and play!

We installed a whole host of indoor playground equipment from a four lane astra slide, miniature games room and baby area complete with Jolly Heap Cubes. These combined into the whole design help the site appeal to a whole host of age groups.

If you’re interested in starting your own play area and would like a free design, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

You can get tickets for Planet Volt, HERE.

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