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BRONZE AWARD
Category: Island - Less Than $150 per Square Foot
Exhibitor: O.C. Tanner Co.
Design: Mauk Design Inc.,
San Francisco, 415-243-9277,
www.maukdesign.com
Fabrication: General Graphics Exhibits, San Francisco, 415-641-3600, www.gge.com
Show: Society for Human Resource Management, 2008
Budget: $120,000
Size: 30-by-40 feet
Cost/Square Foot: $100

hen O.C. Tanner Co. of Salt Lake City wanted to attract attendees at the 2008 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) expo, the employee-recognition firm went in search of an exhibit that would stand out from a sea of comparably boring booths.

Answering O.C. Tanner's call for something out of the ordinary was Mauk Design Inc. which derived initial inspiration from the vibrant colors and whimsical illustrations in the client's promotional literature. To break the SHRM mold of polished metal and fake marble exhibitry, Mauk designed an airy 30-by-40-foot space dotted with kinetic sculptures that communicated O.C. Tanner's message of "appreciateology" - a term coined by the company and meant to represent a scientific approach to recognition.

Built of cheery-hued Sintra over aluminum extrusions, the moving sculptures included a pair of hands slapping a high five, silhouettes of people growing from a flowerpot, and a giant paper airplane.Each sculpture used gears, motors, and drive belts to keep its parts on the move. The motors were all connected to a master switch, and when the switch was in the "on" position, the sculptures whirled and twirled as an O.C. Tanner staffer discussed how employee appreciation keeps a company's work force moving. Then, at a scripted point during the in-booth presentations, the staffer flipped the switch, bringing everything to a screeching halt, and illustrating how companies that don't reward and appreciate their employees are likely to see a drop in productivity.

"In many so-called experiential spaces, you end up experiencing the exhibit or the activities inside it," one judge said. "But this exhibit effectively communicates the value of the exhibitor's offerings in a memorable and moving way." †E

Brian Todd, staff writer; btodd@exhibitormagazine.com

A Moving Story
Little more than a mosaic of colorful carpet tiles and a 16-foot-tall back wall, the bones of this exhibit played second fiddle to the kinetic sculptures. The whirling mechanisms illustrated O.C. Tanner Co.'s theory of "appreciateology" while emphasizing the importance of employee recognition.


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