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Cracker Creation
Hoping to draw attention to its tasty graham-cracker crusts and Tampa Bay, FL, heritage, the folks at Mike's Pies turned their tabletop display into a sandy beach of sorts. At the Texas Restaurant Association Marketplace show in Dallas, the pie maker used a mound of graham-cracker crumbs to create what looked like a Florida sand dune atop its two display tables. It then set various fresh-cut pies on the crest of the "dunes." Complete with palm-tree back-wall graphics, the simple and no doubt inexpensive idea communicated the firm's message while keeping attention clearly focused on the products and their ingredients.
Writing it Down
CertainTeed Corp. wanted to give attendees at the American Institute of Architects Convention the lowdown on its "Down with Decibels" campaign, which encourages architects to create quieter spaces through thoughtfully designed acoustics. So staffers wore sandwich-board signs bearing cheeky sayings such as "It sounds like the whole office is in my cubicle." The staffers then invited attendees to join the "Down with Decibels" movement. By signing their name on a roughly 4-by-6-foot blackboard, architects vowed to build spaces with better acoustics, and potentially use the company's sound-dampening products. Booth staffers also gave signees buttons with the campaign's logo, thus spreading CertainTeed's quiet message around the show floor.
Clean-up Crew
Flash mobs may have been a flash in the pan, but Toyota Motor Corp. knows that they can still drive traffic on the show floor. So to attract attendees who might cruise right past its exhibit at the Chicago Auto Show, the automaker got creative. Paying homage to the omnipresent "detailers" that roam the show floor buffing, dusting, and polishing the myriad cars on display, Toyota switched gears and caught attendees by surprise. At various times throughout the auto show, a group of dancers dressed as detailers – including their signature coveralls – started moving in sync with one another as music blared from the exhibit's speakers. The sudden "Stomp" inspired dance number stopped attendees in their tracks, and enticed them to stick around to peruse the various car models on display.
What the Duck?
Attendees at the International Consumer Electronics Show probably didn't expect to find a rubber ducky among the swag they schlepped home with them, but they likely weren't expecting to encounter a duck named Edwin either. To promote its app-enhanced "smart toy" named Edwin the Duck, Carmel, IN-based Pi Lab distributed branded rubber duckies to attendees who visited its booth. The unlikely giveaway didn't just stand out among the slew of lanyards and flash drives that attendees collected; it also reminded them of their conversations with staffers about the bath-time companion turned Bluetooth speaker.
The Light Fantastic
To display its modular Lumiblade system – which allows interior designers to mix and match components to create dimensional arrays of organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) for walls and ceilings – Philips Lighting (a division of Koninklijke Philips N.V.) hired artist Christopher Bauder of the interactive art and design firm WhiteVoid GmbH to create an installation-like fixture for its exhibit at EuroShop. The fixture's individual OLEDs flickered and illuminated in prearranged patterns, conjuring everything from twinkling lights to rolling waves, attracting attendees from aisles around, and enthralling onlookers who whipped out their smartphones to capture footage of the arresting display. The fixture showcased the versatility and endless possibilities afforded by the Lumiblade system, and proved so popular with EuroShop attendees that it's now available for purchase.
Big Bag Theory
At GlobalShop, a retail-design and -marketing show held in Las Vegas, Edison Lithograph and Printing Corp. took the "go big or go home" to a whole new level. To capture attendees' attention, demonstrate the company's ability to print gorgeous (and enormous) point-of-purchase displays, and support Edison's tagline "Solutions that go over big!" the firm placed a gigantic shopping bag front and center in its exhibit. Standing roughly 15 feet tall, the blue and white bag featured realistic, cord-like handles that were grasped by a massive faux hand suspended from overhead truss. The giant Edison logo on the bag and the exhibit's bold color scheme, which featured the firm's striking orange and blue hues, clearly branded the space, captivated passersby, and made a big statement about Edison's large-format printing capabilities.
A Step Above
Many trade shows offer sponsorships that give exhibitors the chance to brand the stairs inside the venue with their unique messages. That is, a message or image is created by attaching graphics to the rise part of each individual step. The problem with this tactic, however, is that the minute the stairs fill with attendees, the message is lost amid the moving tangle of legs and feet. So to execute this concept in a more effective way at EXHIBITORLIVE, Trussworks by BGB Inc., a provider of truss to the exhibit and event industry, bypassed venue stairs and instead put its message on the stairs leading to the upper deck of its exhibit. Six of the 15 risers in the staircase each contained a word or two that when read from the bottom up said "Take your exhibit to a new level." The uncommon sight no doubt stopped attendees in their tracks, and since the upper level was only used for meetings and hospitality, the message was rarely blocked by massive foot traffic.

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