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Ideas That Work
Xi3 Corp. wanted attendees at the 2014 International
Consumer Electronics Show to keep its Piston gaming computer top of mind. And what better way to position a product in the forefront than to elevate it above attendees' heads? The company suspended six supersized Piston computers from truss in the Xi3 exhibit.
But to add a little eye-catching movement to help its overhead element attract attention, each Piston rotated independently. The kinetic effect demanded attention, while the chrome components of the Pistons reflected theatrical lighting mounted to the same overhead truss. Couldn't miss and cool to boot, this ceiling structure drew attendees' eyes to the skies – and Xi3's brand awareness followed suit.
Most exhibitors want to tell attendees a story, but at EXHIBITOR2014, an annual conference and trade show for exhibit and event marketers, Kubik Inc. decided to give them one instead. The classic fairytale of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" ends when its heroine is still a young girl, but Kubik decided to write its own sequel as a giveaway for attendees. The 2.6-by-3.5-inch, 22-page book begins when Goldilocks, now a 30-something marketing manager, is searching for the perfect exhibiting firm. Similar to how she struggled to find porridge that was neither too hot nor too cold, grown-up Goldilocks was frustrated with exhibit houses that provided great service, but were too small to offer stability, and with big firms that offered perks, but lacked personal attention. At the sequel's conclusion, Goldilocks finds Kubik, which she declares "just right." Kubik gave the book to every attendee who visited its 20-by-20-foot exhibit at the show, providing them with a tangible, creative takeaway of the company's core message.
Benefit Resource Inc. banked on an age-old attraction to make its future a little brighter at the Society for Human Resource Management Annual Conference & Exposition at McCormick Place in Chicago. The administrator of tax-free benefit programs put a fortuneteller in its display to dole out predictions
to booth visitors. Seated at a table where attendees could take turns joining her, a scarf-wearing woman gave free five-minute readings for which show goers lined up throughout the day. The wait time for a reading gave booth staffers the perfect opportunity to strike up conversations with prospects standing in line, slipping in their own on-point prediction that attendees would definitely have a great future if they partnered with Benefit Resource.
Some products are easier than others to demonstrate on the trade show floor. If you're selling blenders with superior speed, you can whip up a few smoothies in seconds
and you'll attract a thirsty crowd ready and willing to drink in your key messages. Or if you're offering up indestructible hard-sided luggage, let attendees test your claims by hitting your wares with ball-peen hammers to evaluate their durability. But what if your products are elastomeric acrylic finishes for exterior walls? And what if the products' primary benefit is their
ability to flex rather than crack under pressure? Stuc-O-Flex International Inc., based in Redmond, WA, faced that very problem at the International Builders' Show in Las Vegas. So to demonstrate the material in a crystal-clear and memorable manner, the company coated a basketball and the top of a trampoline with two different colors of its elastomeric acrylic product. When booth visitors inquired about the material's flexibility, staffers invited them to bounce the basketball or even jump on the trampoline, both of which flexed without cracking. The unusual, interactive product demonstration proved the company's claims and attracted attention from passersby.
It's not easy to make a big impact with a small booth space. After all, with a laundry list of goals and objectives, it can be difficult to cram everything into your exhibit without rendering it a cluttered mess. But Edelman Leather LLC managed to tick multiple exhibit-objective boxes with one multifunctional element at the National Business Aviation Association show. A lone, freestanding wall functioned as tier-one graphics, as well as a tactile product display and representation of the company's creativity and its materials' versatility.
The roughly 6-foot-tall wall, completely clad in a variety of Edelman's leathers, housed large letters – each upholstered with a different material – that spelled out the company's name. The swatch/signage hybrid contained more than six individual product samples, while the bigger picture branded the booth as Edelman territory.
What if you didn't attach screens to your exhibit but instead used them as the exhibit? Screen Rent e.K. did just that at EuroShop 2014, creating a brilliant and ever-changing stand. The back wall, reception desk, and floor all comprised LED screens that allowed the entire exhibit to display a series of still images and video, transforming the space into various environments. For example, in one sequence, the screens on the floor featured a static pattern of black and white squares resembling tiled flooring, while the back wall took on a wood-grain façade.
During other sequences, the LED screens featured psychedelic arrays of blue orbs, and later pink and purple waves of light. The effect successfully underscored the allure of Screen Rent's multimedia products, while attracting and mesmerizing a nonstop flow of attendees for booth staffers to qualify.