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Ideas That Work
Construction-industry professionals are a fairly tough bunch. So Briggs & Stratton Corp., a maker of small engines, set up a little contest where attendees at the ConExpo-Con/Agg show in Las Vegas could show off their muscle in its outdoor exhibit. Using an arcade-style punching machine that measured the force of each blow, the company invited attendees to step up and give it their best shot.
The strongest punches, in both men's and women's categories, were listed on a leader board with the top three punchers winning a $100 casino chip at the end of each day. To make sure attendees visited the company's indoor exhibit as well, it offered a second punch to those who returned to the punching station with a stamped card from its second exhibit. Now that's a knockout traffic-building activity.
Creative Conversation Aid
Talking about computer networking and cloud computing is about as complex as conversing about advancements in rocket science. So to make conversations a bit less dense at Interop Las Vegas, F5 Networks Inc. placed two white boards at separate locations within its booth. To aid conversations and help attendees better explain their own networking configurations and needs, F5 created magnets to represent various system components and then attached the magnets to the white boards. For example, one magnet featured an image of a brick wall and the word "Firewall," while another held an image of an electronic component and the words "BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager." Attendees could move the magnets into groupings to show staffers how their own systems worked, and then staffers added or rearranged components to show visitors how F5 could solve their problems.
The Inflatable Exhibit
What's the most effective way to communicate that your company offers team-building workshops using balloon art as an interactive medium? You fill your 10-by-10-foot exhibit with little more than balloon-based characters, and attach two giant flowers made of the colorful inflatables to your back wall pipe and drape. New Balloon Art did just that in its exhibit at the 2013 American Society for Training & Development show in Dallas. Featuring colorful balloons, a table, and a staffer demonstrating various creative techniques, the balloon-art booth not only attracted attention and immediately communicated the company's offerings, but given the minimal structure (not to mention weight of the elements), it also deflated traditional exhibiting costs.
How do you convince a mostly female audience to stop and talk shop in your 10-by-10-foot exhibit? At the 2013 Healthcare Convention & Exhibitors Association Annual Meeting, Conventus Media LLC created an inexpensive yet effective exhibit featuring colorful scarves. Across the back of its space, 13 different colored scarves were tied to a clothing rack. A nearby table covered with a Conventus-branded drape held similarly colored scarves that had been packed in cellophane for easy transport. Aside from two staffers, the exhibit's only other accessory was a banner stand featuring the words "Conventus Media will help you tie it all together." Lured in by the free scarves, attendees stopped in to get their swag, while staffers seized the opportunity to explain the company's services.
Smooth-On Inc. wanted to demonstrate its concrete casting process at the World of Concrete show, but knew it didn't have hours to do it live on site. Instead, it positioned a concrete tree trunk that was 5.5 feet in diameter and made using its liquid-rubber products in a corner of its exhibit. A circular pane of glass turned the trunk into a functional table, on top of which Smooth-On placed a flatscreen monitor running looped video of the trunk's casting method, as well as brochures featuring captioned photos that illustrated the process. Showcasing the finished product along with two visual depictions of the steps taken to create it helped visitors understand Smooth-On's process at their own pace.
A Magic Cellphone Ride
ZTE Corp. took attendees on a virtual world tour at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show. Participants stepped inside a cube-shaped photo booth while a video played conveying ZTE's history, accompanied by stylized skylines representing its offices. Attendees were superimposed into the animated footage, perched atop one of ZTE's Galaxy S smartphones. Throughout the presentation, photos were snapped that attendees could later retrieve during a hands-on demo of the device. The immersive presentation allowed attendees to experience the company's global reach firsthand and score a souvenir photo to boot.
It Takes Two
Instead of giving attendees at the National Stationery Show yet another branded tchotchke, Compendium Inc. gave them a somewhat personalized copy of the latest in its best-selling "life by the numbers" book series. Titled "2," the book is all about relationships and creating "something beautiful together." While the gift-book giveaways were almost identical to ones found in bookstores and shops that carry Compendium products, the copies distributed at NSS had an inscription on the first page that spoke directly to buyers walking the aisles at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
It urged recipients to share the book with someone they love, then "watch the reaction, and you'll see why Compendium continues to set new sales records in retail gift stores across the nation." Branded with the company's logo, booth number, and the show name and date, the gift lived up to a quote from Compendium founder Dan Zadra, which was also inscribed on the page: "The true value of a gift is not its price, but its significance."