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Ideas That Work
Scrollin', Scrollin', Scrollin'
How do you convey to attendees that your car-wash conveyor belts are simplicity in motion? If you're AVW Equipment Co. Inc., you merely spell out the message on a pair of your dual-belt conveyors and then turn them on, which is exactly what the Maywood, IL-based company did at The Car Wash Show. AVW crafted two identical dual-belt displays, featuring the conveyor belts that slowly move cars through automated car washes.
But rather than keeping the belts horizontal to the floor, Dual Belt raised them at a slight angle and printed the words "Simplicity in Motion" on them. Thus, as the belts continuously rotated throughout the show, the company's message scrolled by again and again. What's more, the slow, continuous motion of the belts caught attendees' attention and lured them in for a closer look.
Most exhibitors expect their products to speak for themselves on the trade show floor. But at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Klipsch Group Inc., an Indianapolis-based maker of high-end speakers and headphones, let its exhibit graphics do the talking instead. Large, textual graphics displayed throughout the company's booth featured phrases such as "Stop buying crap audio. It's embarrassing," "Pissing off the neighbors since 1946," and "A little heresy is good for the soul."
The exhibit's edgy attitude was a hit with the company's target audience, as well as members of the media. Time magazine even honored the snarky campaign with a prestigious award for "the best act of passive-aggressive marketing at CES." The brazen booth graphics demonstrated that when it comes to marketing in the new millennium, a little attitude goes a long way.
The Royale Treatment
For Rosenberg & Parker Inc., a provider of surety bonds, a James Bond theme is an obvious choice. But instead of a generic approach to the often-seen theme, the company narrowed its focus to one of the Bond franchise's most popular films and in turn created an integrated program that garnered attention on the show floor. A bag drop to attendees took the form of a top-secret envelope printed with the text "Agent 008: Eyes Only, Rendezvous Booth 1839, Mission Enclosed." Inside the parcel with the mysterious missive, recipients found a branded poker chip and instructions to return it to the exhibit for a chance to win a prize. At the booth, staffers turned Bond girls invited attendees to place their poker chips on a roulette table, while another staffer spun the wheel. Those whose bets paid off were entered into a drawing for posh prizes including a trip to the resort where the movie "Casino Royale" was filmed. But when the roulette wheel stopped spinning at the end of the four-day show, the real winner was Rosenberg & Parker, who experienced a serious uptick in booth traffic.
How do you communicate that your bearings eliminate the need for messy grease?
If you're Polygon Co., you theme your exhibit after a diner, complete with tantalizing
photos of greasy foods. At ConEx 2014, the manufacturer of composite bearings covered
its 20-by-20-foot island exhibit with images of grease-laden
burgers and fries, while accompanying messaging empha-
sized Polygon's grease-free benefit statement. But rather than
rely on graphics alone to create a diner-like environment,
Polygon, with the aid of its
exhibit fabricator Nimlok and
exhibit designer Delphi
Productions Inc. (Group
Delphi), finished the look with
black and white checkered
flooring, and a retro-style
sign branded the space as
the Greaseless Bearings
Café. The clever theme
emphasized the benefits of
its bearings and helped Polygon
stand out on the show floor.
Tribute to Heritage
At the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Annual Meeting, Claymount Technologies Group B.V. created a tribute to its Dutch heritage – and an aisle-side eye catcher. The company gave out key chains featuring miniature wooden shoes imprinted with Claymount's logo. The charming tchotchkes, displayed within a foot-long wooden shoe on a reception desk, attracted attention from the aisle, and gave Claymount an opportunity to tell attendees about its global partnerships.
Nothing makes people stop and stare like a free peep show. So at EuroShop 2014, Daikin Europe N.V., a producer of air conditioners, heat pumps, and refrigeration equipment, created a titillating shadow play in its exhibit. Visible in shadow, a man and a woman appeared to be trying on clothes and shoes in what could only be described as a "provocative" manner.
The scene, courtesy of an enclosed room, a frosted-Plexiglas wall, and colored backlighting, stopped attendees in their tracks and forced them to investigate what kind of company they had run across. This was all Daikin salespeople needed to approach attendees with a smile and open a conversation.
Arborite, a division of ITW Canada, dedicated space in its exhibit at NeoCon 2014 to a photo booth. But in addition to run-of-the-mill props such as goofy glasses and hats, it also laid out an alphabet's worth of cutout letters made from colorful versions of its high-pressure laminates.
Staffers invited attendees to strike a pose of their choice as they said "cheese" and uploaded snapshots to various social-media sites, tagged with the hashtag #AlphabetSnaps. All in all, attendees posed for more than 250 photos, with Arborite's products in the foreground of each one.