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Character Sketch
How does an in-line exhibitor go toe-to-toe with massive island exhibits? That was the challenge Exhibitpro faced at EXHIBITORLIVE. The New Albany, OH-based exhibit house's solution was to bypass a direct face-off and differentiate itself by focusing on its personalized service offerings. The company's exhibit offered little more than three backlit graphics, each one of which featured an illustrated character that intrigued attendees and allowed staffers to swoop in and explain. Noah Little, staffers revealed, was new to the exhibit-marketing world and needed experienced personnel to guide him. Ben Bizzie knew what to do but had little time to do it; thus, he needed help juggling all of the balls at once. And finally, Emma Smart was always on top of things and had just gotten a promotion – but that's because she'd already enlisted Exhibitpro to help her. Drawing in attendees with playful graphics and a clever narrative, Exhibitpro differentiated itself without having to lock horns with the big guys.
Knockout Promotion
ESET North America wanted to let Interlop attendees know that its software delivers a fatal blow to any cybersecurity threat that may come their way. So to underscore that message, the company put a digital punching-bag machine in its exhibit. Text printed on the machine bore the message "Be a cybersecurity heavy hitter," and staffers invited attendees to step up and throw a right hook or left jab at the contraption. The machine subsequently calculated the force of the blow and flashed those numbers for all to see. Participants walked away with bragging rights, and ESET dealt a blow to its competitors on the show floor.
On the Floor
Product displays are de rigueur in most exhibits, but it can be difficult to draw attendees' attention to those wares and quickly communicate their significance while maintaining a clean, crisp aesthetic inside your space. Global Safety Textiles GmbH (GST) killed both birds with one stone at EuroShop in Dusseldorf, Germany. The company selected key displays within its exhibit and highlighted them with circular vinyl graphics positioned nearby atop raised, white flooring. The dark circles featured bold, white text and arrows that pointed to the displays and called out their noteworthiness via a few words that GST's target audience would understand. The streamlined strategy helped the company keep its exhibit walls void of too much text while directing attendees to displays and identifying the products presented therein.
Petting Zoo
To demonstrate the lifelike movements of its robotic arms while humanizing the relatively cold concept of automation, Mitsubishi Electric turned a passive demo into a whimsical safari at Integrated Systems Europe. Nestled among plants and backed by a video wall running nature-inspired scenes, two robotic arms stood fitted with plush rhino and giraffe heads. The animal companions appeared to munch on nearby foliage and occasionally raise their heads to take stock of the in-booth action. The tongue-in-cheek tactic was a hit with attendees, many of whom snapped photos, while nearby staffers were ready to engage prospects who seemed more interested in the actual products than the makeshift zoo.
Cardboard Creation
Island exhibits don't necessarily need back walls, but if you're attempting to create a picture-perfect display, you don't want your competitors' branding visible in the background. To sidestep that snafu and provide a low-cost backdrop for its display at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York, Melbourne, Australia-based Vuue employed little more than 42 cardboard tubes positioned side by side to create a solid back wall. Simple cutout letters identified the company and tied the display together. The inexpensive elements created a branded back wall that kept the focus on Vuue's furniture instead of the booth's backdoor neighbors.
Smash and Grab
Seeing as its new services were being marketed as "a business breakthrough," American Express Open let attendees smash up its exhibit one little panel at a time. The company erected a 10-foot-tall wall in its 10-by-20-foot booth at the International Builders' Show. That structure comprised 8-by-8-inch boxes covered with hard plastic panels, and each box contained one of a variety of prizes. After successfully completing a timed game in which they matched Amex's products and services with their respective descriptions, attendees were invited to take a rubber mallet, choose a square, shatter the cover to bits, and then retrieve their prize. Talk about a smashing idea!
Instagram Ingenuity
Augmenting live events with related social-media chatter can be a challenge. But at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the Ford Motor Co. integrated Instagram into its exhibit-marketing program in a manner that encouraged booth visitors to share their experience using the #FordCES hashtag – and made the resulting images visible in the booth as well as on the app. Staffers and signage urged attendees to post photos to Instagram using the hashtag, while an on-site team monitored the activity, printed out images using a Polaroid-like layout, labeled them with users' Instagram handles, and posted them in an area of the exhibit dubbed the #FordCES Wall of Fame. The collage of images grew throughout the four-day show, creating a visual representation of the hashtag's popularity on Instagram and attracting attendees who stopped by the booth to search for their photos.
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