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Ideas That Work
Sweet Treat Tactic
The food-truck trend isn't losing steam, and sometimes the "snack-mobiles" even pop up on the trade show floor. But the treats they serve often have little if anything to do with the sponsoring company's products. The Hershey Co., however, couldn't help but dish out its own sweet eats at FMI Connect in Chicago. Parked near the back of the exhibit, the food truck was wrapped in graphics featuring the logos of Hershey's famous brands, such as Reese's, Twizzlers, and Kit Kat, along with a menu board positioned next to the serving window. Attendees queued up to place orders for ice-cream sundaes topped with their favorite fixin's, from caramel syrup to hot fudge, while staffers inside the food truck shared key
messages. Now that's how you serve your target market.
If you're selling app-development services and want to convey a forward-thinking aesthetic in your exhibit, passé plasma screens are unlikely to do the trick – especially at a show crawling with large-scale multimedia and high-tech trappings such as the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. So to make its flatscreens and the content on them stand out, while quickly communicating a high-tech corporate ethos, the Barcelona Digital Technology Centre (aka Bdigital), positioned two small monitors inside a frame printed with graphics to suggest a pair of Google Glass-enabled spectacles. Located atop back-wall graphics depicting a cityscape enhanced by an augmented reality (AR) application, and running a looping video highlighting past projects, the display branded Bdigital as an app-centric exhibitor with a clear vision for the future.
For exhibit house Exhibit Concepts Inc., string art was the perfect symbol of the strong bonds it forges with its clients – a key differentiator it wanted to highlight at EXHIBITORLIVE. Thus, the firm's entire exhibit revolved around a string-art theme. The focal point, however, was a roughly 6-foot-square installation in the center of the space. Throughout the show, string artist Debbie Smyth worked her magic, ultimately creating the words "Make a Connection" and the image of a human head and a light bulb. The ever-evolving installation lured attendees to Exhibit Concepts' booth again and again to check the artist's progress. However, the work in progress also served as the perfect conversation starter for booth staffers, allowing them to explain how the exhibit house creates strong client connections that give birth to imaginative solutions.
German kitchen manufacturer Nobilia-Werke J. Stickling GmbH & Co. KG wowed crowds at the Salone del Mobile Milano (aka Milan Furniture Fair) with a presentation that combined a sterile-white staging area with the magic of projection mapping. A set of projectors turned the space's white walls into an evolving kitchen, as imaginary windows were cast onto the vignette's back walls, cabinet hardware appeared and disappeared, and cabinet doors opened and closed. As the kitchen walls morphed from one color to the next, the cabinet fronts changed as well, representing a variety of styles and finishes, along with an array of available hardware options. The arresting audiovisual installation didn't just mesmerize attendees (many of whom whipped out their cameras and smartphones to capture photos and videos); it also transformed a single vignette into dozens of different model kitchens, demonstrating the versatility of the company's cabinetry.
Dead or Alive
In-flight intercoms are usually only marginally better than fast-food drive-thru windows in terms of clarity. But Becker Avionics Inc. is seeking to change all that. To convince attendees at the National Business Aviation Association show to trade in their old intercoms for newer models, the company positioned a banner stand on one corner of its exhibit. Messaging on the banner read "Wanted dead or barely alive" and "Reward yourself," alongside text urging attendees to exchange their outdated intercoms for Becker's DVCS6100 digital system. The banner might not have been rocket science, but it sent a far clearer message than any of the outdated intercoms the firm hopes to eventually eradicate.
Communicating the fact that your company sells ductwork and relaying your tagline "Duct Efficiency Comes Full Circle" is about as challenging a task as tapping your head and rubbing circles on your belly. But at the International Air-Conditioning Heating Refrigerating Exposition, Ductmate Industries Inc. mastered this trick of coordination via an eye-catching tensioned-fabric arch. Representing the company's ductwork products and hinting at the "circle" in the new tagline, the curved structure soared over the company's 20-by-20-foot booth. Visible from aisles around, the arch communicated the company's offerings and its tagline in a single, coordinated effort.
Playing it Safe
Because the government prohibits federally licensed banks from offering services to growers and dispensaries, marijuana is a cash crop that's also necessarily a cash business. That's why safe makers at the National Marijuana Business Conference & Expo in Las Vegas were as common as spliffs at a Phish concert. But instead of just plunking down its newest money-guarding models in its exhibit, SoCal Safe Co. displayed one of its products that had stood the test of crime. Positioned at the edge of its 10-by-10-foot booth, the 110-pound vault looked as if it had been a prop in a disaster movie. When booth visitors paused to ponder it, staffers explained that it belonged to a client who suffered a break-in. The would-be thieves spent eight hours torching the safe, but never got their hands on the $30,000 that lay inside. Offering physical proof of its products' durability, the company found a fail-safe way to stand apart from its rivals on the show floor.