California Headphones claims to be the first headphone brand to target both rock and country music enthusiasts. So to lend its exhibit at the International Consumer Electronics Show a little down-home flair, California Headphones employed a few hay bales, a simple back-wall graphic, and the rear end of a pickup truck to create an optical illusion of sorts. Since the modest 10-by-10-foot space was too small to accommodate an entire truck and still leave room for staffers and attendees to have in-booth conversations, California Headphones chopped off the truck's back half, positioned it against the exhibit's back wall, tossed in a hay bale branded with the company's logo, and added a back-wall graphic of the truck's front half. A pair of bales on the floor completed the scene and reinforced the country theme. The effective illusion made the exhibit feel larger than it actually was while providing a fitting context for the company's twang-laden trade show message.
Do you want to keep the spotlight on your wares and not your exhibitry? Then consider constructing your booth out of your product. At the Food Marketing Institute show in Dallas, Coco Plus LLC built the back wall of its exhibit out of 60 cartons of Coco Multigrain Pop Cakes. The logo-adorned boxes offered text that touted key product attributes and created a striking display that made Coco Cakes the star of the exhibit.
Jet Setting the Scene
To help drive traffic to its exhibit at the Society for Human Resource Management show, TheLadders.com Inc., a recruitment firm for employment positions starting at $100,000, opted for a connections-based theme. Playing off the company's ability to connect job seekers and employers, the concept was represented via a two-story booth resembling the front half of a jumbo jet, complete with staffers dressed like pilots and flight attendants. In addition to a drawing for a $5,000 vacation, TheLadders continued the theme with a series of "in-flight videos" (actually product- and company-related messages) on the upper deck. The eye-catching jet stopped attendees in their tracks and generated a swell of attention. What's more, attendees who otherwise might not have sat through a video presentation eagerly awaited their chance to see the in-flight videos so they could check out the view from inside the plane on the exhibit's upper deck. Considering the massive awareness and traffic the exhibit generated, TheLadders was no doubt flying high following the show.
Brushing your teeth is often done in private. But knowing that dental professionals are more likely to recommend a product they've tried, figuring out a way to make brushing teeth on the show floor a comfortable experience is paramount for oral health-care exhibitors. So at the American Dental Association Annual Session,Procter & Gamble Co. created a demo area for its Crest Pro-Health products that was more comfortable than clinical. Located toward the back of its exhibit, the Pro-Health Brushing Station comprised six stalls, each with its own sink, mirror, and set of brushing accoutrement. Partially concealed by a fabric wall, the product-testing area allowed attendees to brush in peace.
Making attendees feel special is a reliable way to leave a positive impression on the show floor. But 4over Inc. took that concept to a higher level at the Print show in Chicago, creating a booth environment that left visitors feeling like nothing short of celebrities. As showgoers entered the exhibit, statuesque models dressed in black ushered them down a Hollywood-style red carpet to pose against a branded step-and-repeat backdrop for a photograph. Next, staffers escorted attendees to a lounge where a tuxedo-wearing bartender served glasses of sparkling wine and imported beer to thirsty guests. Staffers then invited visitors to relax in the lavish space, and even offered them a pair of sunglasses to wear if they wanted to add a little celebrity flair to their business-casual attire. The tactic – and the refills on beverages proffered by cocktail servers who embodied the vibe of a swanky lounge – gave attendees plenty of incentive to linger and provided staffers with sufficient of time to schmooze with them while discussing the company's offerings.
One Man's Trash
It's easy to claim sustainability as a brand attribute, but it's much more difficult to walk the walk – especially on the trade show floor. But Trtl Bot, a West Coast-based designer and manufacturer of cases for various mobile-electronics devices, walked that walk in style while promoting its "eco-functional" products at the International Consumer Electronics Show. Since all of the company's products are made from recycled materials, president Peter Gloria wanted the 10-by-10-foot exhibit to make use of recycled or reused components as well. The resulting booth comprised chairs and bookshelves created using recycled cardboard. The flooring was fabricated from recycled rubber, and even the table that took center stage fit the eco-friendly bill, as the base was made from recycled cardboard while the glass top was sourced on site in Las Vegas via an ad posted on Craigslist.com.
The Key to Success
Sometimes the key to successful exhibiting is giving attendees a reason to visit your booth. TrainingPartner, a division of GeoMetrix Data Systems Inc., gave attendees at the American Society for Training and Development's TechKnowledge conference just such an incentive via postcards distributed in the show bags. Each card had a gold key attached to it and was printed with the phrase "This is your key to successful learning management. It could also win you one of five free iPods!" Additional text instructed attendees to bring the key to TrainingPartner's booth to try and unlock a prize box containing an iPod in the company's signature-green hue. The promo proved as successful as it was simple, netting an impressive 20-percent response rate.