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Star Power
Marchon Eyewear Inc. developed an in-booth photo shoot at Vision Expo West 2015 that put attendees center stage – and gave them the chance to appear in the company's next advertising campaign. Dubbed Cast Me Marchon, the activity took place in a 10-by-20-foot exhibit a short trek from Marchon's main booth. Attendees first filled out a questionnaire, which collected contact info and opinions about the brand. Next, a makeup artist worked her magic, and staff helped each attendee don a lab coat and select a pair of Marchon frames before a professional photographer snapped a few photos. After the show, Marchon choose four attendees to star in its next print ad and rewarded them with a three-day, all-expenses-paid trip to New York. The activity generated brand awareness, put attendees in direct contact with Marchon's frames, and collected valuable consumer insight.
Balls to the Wall
With dozens of different protective screens on the market, the International Consumer Electronics Show is awash in same-old demos where exhibitors toss iPhones in blenders, pummel laptops with ballpeen hammers, and take electric drill bits to tablet PCs. But at CES 2015, one company stood out from the pack with an interactive demo that attracted attention, engaged attendees, and proved its product claims. Bodyguardz, a division of NLU Products, erected an in-booth skee-ball game. But instead of challenging attendees to roll the balls into various holes, Bodyguardz encouraged them to shoot the balls as hard and fast as they could toward iPhones protected with the company's premium glass screen protectors. Despite the forces imparted by the balls, the screens survived intact – and the firm's message remained lodged in visitors' brains.
Sometimes, the simplest solution is also the smartest one. At HX: The Hotel Experience show in New York, At-Aroma GmbH wanted to communicate how its customized scent-diffusing system works. So rather than verbally explaining the concept or devising a looping video to demonstrate it, At-Aroma created a back-wall display comprising little more than the product and some vinyl graphics. The diffuser system was mounted to the wall with the nozzle from its scent bottle positioned over graphics representing a room's ceiling-enclosed ductwork. Colored-dot graphics suggesting the aroma seemed to flow from the bottle and through various graphic images, i.e., the duct and a ceiling-mounted vent, into a room below. The eye-catching design captured attendees' attention, and the simple but effective graphics communicated the product's purpose in a single glance.
Break Time
What's the best way to communicate the tagline "Break free?" Well, for Zscaler Inc., it was to let attendees get a little destructive and smash stuff in its exhibit at the annual RSA Conference, a gathering for cybersecurity professionals held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The company offers cloud-based Internet-security products that don't require appliances such as content-filtering devices and those that administer security firewalls. So after some serious brainstorming, Zscaler decided the best way to convey its key message was to let booth visitors hack away at said appliances using baseball bats and sledgehammers. After listening to a short presentation about Zscaler's hardware-free benefits, attendees were invited, one at a time, to step into a Plexiglas enclosure near the front of the exhibit. Donning a white lab coat and safety goggles, each attendee grabbed his or her weapon of choice and smashed pieces of bulky, outdated hardware such as firewall and antivirus-scanning devices, while the crowd cheered. The activity proved that sometimes the best interpretation of a key message is a literal one.
Blood Brothers
Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc. staged an interactive assassination in its exhibit at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). A diorama featuring replicas of the company's "Dark Souls" video-game characters took center stage, with one character slain on the ground with a sword sticking out of his chest. The interactive component came by way of a sword-shaped trigger near the macabre scene. Attendees lined up for the chance to pull the sword like a lever, which activated a spout of dark blood that shot up from the slain character like Old Faithful. Attendees could also pose by the diorama for photos and then share them via social media. While the diorama repeated the blood-spouting action ad nauseam throughout the show, each instance proved to be a photo-worthy moment. The clever promotion not only created visual interest in the booth, but also extended the life of the activity far beyond E3.
Truth or Glare
Potential customers want more than product claims; they want proof. At EuroShop in Dusseldorf, Germany, Glasfischer Glastechnik GmbH delivered with a "seeing is believing" demo. To illustrate how GroGlass, an anti-reflective glass for art framing, essentially eliminates glare, Glasfischer placed two faux monarch butterflies side by side in a black frame. It then inserted GroGlass into the frame above one butterfly, and used traditional glass to encase the other. It took just one glance for show goers to notice the difference, and it only took staffers a second more to swoop in and point out the product's many benefits.
Custom Candy
Myriad exhibitors give away candy in their trade show exhibits, and most do little more than toss the treats in a jar and call it a day. But at Boutique Design New York, the folks at the Demar Leather Co. took candy distribution up a notch. Staffers purchased letter-shaped candy dishes that spelled out the company's name, positioned them atop an aisle-side table, and filled them with bright blue treats. While utterly simplistic, the tactic generated awareness for the Demar name, and likely created a sweet memory that stuck in attendees' heads long after the candy was gone.
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