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Sweet Shop
Indica Ltd., aka Kiva Confections, a San Francisco, not-for-profit collective maker of THC-infused chocolates, carefully selected accoutrements for its exhibit at the National Marijuana Business Conference & Expo in Las Vegas to set the table – literally – for its in-booth taste-testing activity. Because Nevada state law prohibits recreational marijuana use, Kiva Confections was relegated to serving pot-free versions of its products. To compensate, the chocolatier adorned its 10-by-20-foot booth with elegant wood tones and burlap bags stuffed with cocoa beans, making the space more redolent of Godiva than ganja. Turning what could have been an insurmountable legal hurdle into a culinary experience in an elegant setting, Kiva Confections found a sweet spot among attendees.
Trailer Tactic
Threadless, a Skinny Corp. LLC company, isn't a run-of-the-mill clothing maker. It relies on designs submitted by visitors to its website (www.threadless.com) that it then puts on everything from T-shirts and sweatshirts to dog beds and throw pillows. So to relay its unconventional business model at Magic Market Week, it needed an unconventional booth. Enter the Airstream trailer. Taking up the back half of the company's booth space, the air-conditioned silver trailer featured the Threadless logo on the outside and housed the company's latest T-shirt designs, which hung on racks for easy perusal. Paired with a low-key lounge area in the middle the booth space, the funky yet functional setup was the perfect embodiment of the artsy Threadless brand.
Prepare for Takeoff
To promote its First Class Seating inside its booth space at EXHIBITORLIVE in Las Vegas, Totally Mod Event Furnishings brought the sights and tastes associated with flying all the way down to ground level. As visitors approached the company's booth, a brand ambassador dressed as a flight attendant greeted them in the aisle, and invited them to take a seat in one of the company's new chairs. While attendees rested and test drove the new chairs, booth staffers served them theme-appropriate snacks: branded packets of peanuts similar to those served on airplanes. As attendees munched, staffers told them about the myriad applications for the new event seating. Together, the uniformed brand ambassador and salty snacks reinforced Totally Mod's message, provided an appropriate and memorable context for its new products, and got attendees' eyes and rears on its First Class Seating.
Blowin' in the Wind
To showcase its ReceiptMatch app, which stores photos of your paper receipts and matches them to charges on your credit card, American Express Open invited attendees at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show to step inside a phone-booth-like enclosure. There, a series of fans sent a barrage of receipts flying into the air. Participants had 30 seconds to grab as many as they could before taking them to a wall-mounted monitor where they scanned codes printed on the receipts to see what prizes they won, ranging from branded T-shirts to $50 American Express gift cards.
Know When to Hold 'Em
With names such as Allaple and Sandworm, malware has an almost whimsical air about it – until it wreaks havoc on your network. To provide attendees with descriptions of common threats while maintaining a playful attitude, antivirus-software company Antiy Labs doled out customized playing cards to attendees at the RSA Conference in San Francisco. The back of each card featured the Antiy logo and the text "Malwares Wanted." The reverse side had an illustrated interpretation of a different type of malware along with a description of how it operates. The deck not only explained myriad varieties of malicious software, but also included an extra card with a Quick Response (QR) code that linked to the firm's website.
Scenic Route
Many attendees are so jaded by caricaturists sketching big noses and exaggerated jaw lines that they run the other way, and those that don't bail out often can't remember a single thing about the exhibitor that offered the comical portraits. The Ogden Convention & Visitors Bureau changed that perception at the American Society of Association Executives show in Detroit. The tourism organization for Ogden, UT, partnered with an artist from Goofy Faces, a Detroit-based caricature company, to create comical black-and-white sketches in its 10-by-10-foot exhibit. Before the show, however, the artist sketched a scene depicting a cityscape of the mountain-resort town that was then photocopied onto each piece of paper that would be used at the show. The location-specific touch gave staffers a launching pad to talk about Ogden's meeting-friendly attributes, and gave attendees a memento from the show. In all, the artist drew nearly 100 caricatures for attendees who came to the booth.
Take a Seat
Selecting the proper bicycle seat is paramount to an enjoyable – and ergonomic – ride. That's why Highway Two LLC devised an ingenious seat-sizing activity in its booth at Interbike 2015 to promote the company's Fizik line of bicycle seats. Attendees first lined up to test the curvature of their spine, which is a critical factor in seat selection. Staff placed an L-shaped metal measuring tool near the front of attendees' toes. Interested visitors then stepped atop the tool and reached toward their toes. Booth staff assigned each attendee one of three seats based on the proximity of their hands to their feet. Next, visitors played a ringtoss game, where three bike seats were positioned on a wall. The goal was to loop two out of four rings across the seat best suited for each attendee, as doing so would garner him or her a free seat to take home. The simple activity educated attendees about seat customization while promoting the Fizik line.

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