The Crystal Cove Historic District in Newport Beach, CA, has an unusual, long-standing tradition: Every evening, locals raise the Martini Flag on their porches to signal the commencement of happy hour. And so, Visit Newport Beach Inc. replicated that pastime in its exhibit at IMEX America 2014 in Las Vegas. A small, black flag bearing an illustration of a martini glass was affixed to an 8-foot-tall pole mounted horizontally at one side of the 10-by-20-foot exhibit. Underneath the flag was a small bar where Visit Newport Beach booth staffers served libations to parched guests. But in a break from tradition, the happy hour stretched all day long. The simple strategy gave attendees a taste of what a meeting held in Newport Beach would be like, and a handmade cocktail to boot.
To showcase its new LK Life Khaki clothing line at Magic Market Week, Haggar Clothing Co. intentionally kept its exhibit relaxed. Instead of a fancy display, it simply placed open, unfinished wooden crates along two sides of its booth space and stacked folded shirts and pants on shelves inside the boxes. Posters featuring the Haggar logo and a strapping young lad decked out in LK gear were adhered to the outside of the crates with bright yellow duct tape and metal clips, adding to the no-nonsense aesthetic. The straightforward display set the casual clothing apart from Haggar's more sophisticated lines without being a total departure from the company's established branding.
Off Your Rocker
To draw attendees into its booth and promote its "Recognize Your Rock Stars" theme at the Society for Human Resource Management Annual Conference & Exposition, Boost Rewards, a Boost Technologies LLC company, sprinkled props such as electric guitars and director's chairs throughout the space. It also hired a Bono impersonator to pose for photos on a red carpet against a branded backdrop. Guests could then share their pseudo brush with the famous — and the company's message — with their social-media circles. By choosing a rock star that would resonate with the show's demographic and inviting show goers to feel a little famous too, Boost Rewards stole the show.
Seeing is Believing
Show and tell is the epitome of the exhibit-marketing experience, especially at the American Institute of Architects Convention, a show jammed to the hilt with building products. So to demonstrate how its Lotusan façade coating can resist moisture and mud better than a competitor's product, STO Corp. pitted the two materials against each other. Jets inside a display splashed dirty water onto two pieces of material — one coated with Lotusan and the other with the competition. The sample treated with Lotusan remained mud free, while the other swatch became dirty. Meanwhile, a screen above the demo detailed the science behind the product's mud-resistant qualities. All in all, the display conveyed Lotusan's effectiveness and proved the product's superiority.
Letters of Introduction
When it comes to design, sometimes the obvious is apropos. Hoping to highlight its creative capabilities and upscale offerings, Umdasch Shopfitting Group GmbH designed a one-off display in its exhibit at EuroShop 2014, a triennial global retail trade fair in Dusseldorf, Germany. The Austrian firm fabricated a 3-D representation of the word "premium" in roughly 3-foot-tall uppercase letters positioned atop glossy black flooring. However, to suggest the company's creative side, each letter comprised a different building material, including everything from welded metal to individual pieces of firewood kindling that had been bound together. The inventive display no doubt captured attendees' attention and clearly communicated Umdasch's brand attributes in eye-catching, textural style.
Most exhibitors feel hamstrung by small booth spaces. But Captio, a division of Ongest Gestiones Y Servicios Internet SL, managed to turn its pint-sized booth into a memorable, brand-appropriate exhibit at the 2014 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, without sacrificing functionality. To promote its app, which allows users to take photos of their receipts and capture relevant information for expense-reporting purposes without having to hold on to hard-copy invoices, Captio topped its exhibit with dozens of helium balloons attached to overhead truss. Hanging from each balloon's string was a faux paper receipt. Clever and eye-catching, the display also reinforced Captio's "Let your receipts fly away!" tagline.
Of Mice and Men
To keep its small, in-line exhibit from getting lost in a sea of large displays at the Print show, United Business Mail built a better mousetrap in its exhibit. With a hammer, nails, and
some construction materials, staffers created a 15-foot-long course reminiscent of the board game Mouse Trap. Attendees turned a crank handle that caused a volleyball to tumble into the contraption. The ball then rolled through various channels and levels, eventually landing in a bucket. That triggered a suspended cage to drop, covering a cardboard image of a rat. The whimsical activity proved to be a great conversation starter with attendees who, after getting their fill of booths featuring technology and equipment, were happy to pause for a different kind of rat race.