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Ideas That Work
Bausch & Lomb Inc. set up an eye opener of a game in its 30-by-40-foot booth at the European Society of Ophthalmology in Geneva. The activity was modeled after the popular "Whack-a-Mole" arcade game; only instead of slamming a mallet upon the heads of vermin, attendees used their fingers like eye droppers administering medicine to clear up inflammation-riddled peepers as they appeared on a monitor. Two attendees were pitted against one another, standing before 42-inch touchscreens. For 60 seconds, images of inflamed eyeballs blinked across the two touchscreens, and two players at a time would treat them, using their fingers to tap the eyes repeatedly with the correct drug dosage to abate the inflammation. During round one, players used a competitor's drug, which required a high dosage and thus took more taps and time to clear the inflammation. During round two, players used Bausch & Lomb's product, which called for a lower dosage, and earned scores that were twice as high as in round one. The clever game proved to participants that seeing is believing.
Starr Cos. stacked the cards in its favor at the Risk Management Society show in Los Angeles. Historically, one of the company's biggest challenges at the show has been holding attendees' attention long enough for booth staffers to have substantive conversations about its offerings. So for the 2013 show, Starr hired Bryan Berg, who holds the Guinness World Record for card stacking, to capture visitors' attention by creating an epic 6-foot-tall building using nothing but the company's business cards. Passersby stopped to gawk as the installation took shape, giving booth staffers the perfect opportunity to swoop in and strike up conversations. The project not only continued to attract onlookers throughout the four-day show (culminating in a preplanned implosion of the structure during the event's final hour), but also kept attendees engaged long enough to soak up Starr's messages.
Shaking it Up
Sponsoring a press luncheon at a show can prove as ineffective as asking a Teamster to look the other way while you set up your own exhibit – unless you give the journalists a reason to remember you. Since DaVinci Roofscapes LLC was launching its new line of polymer-composite synthetic shake tiles at the International Builders' Show, company reps placed shake-themed trivia on cards at each table to incite discussion, asking questions such as "Who was the first artist to record 'Shake, Rattle and Roll?'" As if that wasn't enough to reinforce the shake-centric sponsorship, DaVinci served milkshakes for dessert. All told, the free lunch, trivia, and shake-themed desserts left a good taste in media reps' mouths and a memorable impression on their minds.
Time is Money
At EXHIBITOR2014, Zig Zibit Inc. created a scratch-off activity that rewarded visitors with cold hard cash and gave the exhibit house quality time with clients and prospects. As people approached the 10-by-20-foot booth, staffers asked them if they could use free money. Attendees that stopped to learn more received a 3-by-3-inch magnetic tile. They then used colored pens to add artwork to the front of their tiles and their contact info to the back. Then, they scratched off a small square on the back to reveal a dollar amount between $1 and $20. As attendees attached their tiles to the exhibit's magnetic back wall, staffers doled out the cash and explained that they were entered into a drawing for $500. The activity gave the company three to five minutes to explain its offerings, and gave attendees a memorable experience and a little extra cash.
More often than not, flooring-sample displays are about as sexy as Donatella Versace. But at GlobalShop 2014, a retail-design and -marketing show held in Las Vegas, Junckers Industrier A/S crafted a unique display system that sexed things up a bit yet remained utterly appropriate for the retail audience. While almost every inch of the company's peninsula space was literally covered in rich-brown wood flooring, the exhibit's focal point comprised three product-display stands that looked like retail clothing racks. Three pairs of vertical, bronze-colored, metal bars supported horizontal bars between them. Three-foot lengths of Junckers' flooring samples were then attached to iron, hanger-like devices. Suspended from the horizontal bars, the samples seemed to transform from boring boards into beautiful, albeit overstarched, garments. The effect caught attendees' eyes, and drew them in for a closer look at the fashionable flooring.
Motor Coach Marketing
There's something about a motor coach parked on the show floor that makes attendees want to climb aboard. Kohler Co. decided to tap into that intrigue at Greenbuild 2013 to promote its line of high-efficiency toilets, which were displayed inside. But instead of flinging open the doors and welcoming the masses, only a limited number of people could enter at a time. While visitors waited to board, booth staffers shared key messages about Kohler and its Green initiatives to keep attendees engaged. Every few minutes another group of people were allowed to board, proving the old adage that good things come
to those who wait.
In its booth at The Car Wash Show, Slipstream Automotive displayed what staffers claimed was $1 million in cash. Housed in a waist-high, Plexiglas case, the currency alluded to another one of the firm's claims: Its car-cleaning products generate $1 million for car-wash owners. The cash drew attendees like roof contractors to a hail storm, and it offered a perfect, product-based conversation starter. When attendees saw the currency, staffers said, "This is how much cash you're missing out on if you don't use our product."