When your family-owned business has been around for more than 100 years, it's only natural to want to infuse a bit of nostalgia into your marketing efforts. For Bushmans' Inc., a Rosholt, WI-based potato grower, a throwback to the olden days came by way of a decades-old produce truck. Rescued from the farm's barn and restored to its former glory, the truck took center stage in the company's island exhibit at FMI Connect in Chicago. An instant hit with attendees at the food-marketing show, the truck pulled in people faster than staffers could say "hot potato."
Cabinet of Curiosities
To increase dwell time in its exhibit at the RSA Conference, information-technology security company Splunk Inc. put hundreds of branded T-shirts in 45 enclosed cubbies nested
within an exhibit wall. Each cubby was labeled with one of many tongue-in-cheek IT-security slogans (e.g. "Because you can't always blame Canada," "Because ninjas are too busy," and "Weapon of a security warrior."), which were also printed on the shirts inside the corresponding slots. A staffer near the wall invited attendees to pick a phrase that best suited them and then handed out shirts accordingly. Attendees stood patiently until their T-shirt wish was granted, spending several minutes soaking up product messages.
Do You See What I See?
Sometimes new products incorporate such advanced technologies that simply showing people what they do is less important than giving them a glimpse into the actual technology itself. That was the case for Ford Motor Co. at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. To help booth visitors understand its advanced LiDar system and demonstrate how its resulting 360-degree view of a car's surroundings might impact the future of driving, Ford set up a display in one corner of its booth that showed the exhibit through the eyes of the LiDar system. Adjacent to the LiDar-equipped Ford vehicle, a monitor embedded in a roughly 5-foot-tall pedestal showed viewers exactly what the system was seeing, as their movements and the traffic flowing in and around the booth was reflected on screen. Booth staffers were on hand to discuss the technology's significance and how it might alter the rapidly accelerating field of automated driving.
As the World Turns
Kinetic elements attract eyes, and product demos attract buyers. So at the annual International Consumer Electronics Show, Otterbox Products LLC fused the two components into a
kinetic demo that proved its products' ability to protect mobile devices. Three connected, cylindrical tubes were situated in the middle of Otterbox's booth, each housing a device. The tubes rotated end-over-end, sending the enclosed electronics tumbling throughout the show. The end caps of each tube were covered in various materials meant to represent the types of surfaces on which phones and tablet PCs are often dropped, such as wood tables and cobblestone pavers. While the motion of the tubes attracted attendees' attention, the sounds of the mobile devices crashing into the tubes' end caps over and over created an aural lure that piqued more curiosity from aisles around. All told, the rotating demonstration ran circles around competitors' static displays.
A Room with a View
German exhibit house Holtmann GmbH + Co. KG turned traditional exhibiting on its head at EuroShop. Instead of a conventional, open exhibit, Holtmann created an enclosed space that functioned like a supersized View-Master. Text on the exterior read "guckdoch" or "look," and arrows pointed at a small opening in the exterior wall. Without fail, interested attendees peered into the opening, which offered a view of a projection screen inside the exhibit featuring images of the company's past projects. Additional text that read "hier klicken" or "click here" pointed to a button near the peephole. By pressing it, attendees could cycle through an array of images from Holtmann's portfolio. Nearby staffers invited passersby to take a peek through the hole, and distributed branded giveaways, which functioned like View-Masters and displayed 3-D images of Holtmann's past projects in a memorable, interactive manner.
When is truss work more than just a bunch of metal bars? When you're Sysco Corp., a food-service marketer and distributor, simple truss becomes an engaging display surface, all with the addition of some connectors, cabling, and glass shelving. At the Texas Restaurant Association Marketplace show in Dallas, Sysco crafted this clever contraption and filled it with a variety of the eye-catching produce it distributes. The truss-worthy display was a solid, clever, and no doubt inexpensive way to communicate the company's offerings.
Swatches to Watch
Upholstery fabric is about as whimsical as patterned paper towels. So to fluff up the fun factor in its exhibit at Boutique Design New York, Crypton Inc. devised an eye-catching and interactive product display on the back wall of its 10-by-20-foot exhibit. The company secured individual fabric swatches around 1-foot lengths of PVC pipe and attached a magnet to one side of each tube. Staff then positioned the tubes across a magnetic back wall, which bore the Crypton logo in the upper left. During the show, staff encouraged visitors
to arrange the product-covered tubes into unique designs, which included everything from stick figures to clever geometric patterns. The eye-catching, interactive display not only captured the attention of passersby but also gave participants a close-up – and hands-on – experience with Crypton's upholstery fabrics.