Water, water everywhere – especially at Hydro-Vision International in Minneapolis, a trade show for the hydroelectric industry. So to capitalize on that water and wetlands theme, Cardno Ltd., an infrastructure and environmental services provider, staged a virtual fishing tournament in its exhibit. Participants stepped up to a monitor, grabbed a Wii remote, and tried their luck at luring in a lake lunker. Nearby, a leader board listed top performers and the time it took for them to successfully snag a bass. At the end of the show, Cardno booth staffers awarded the attendee with the highest score a Kindle e-reading device and a customized fishing trophy. The simple traffic builder helped the company attract a little extra attention from attendees and hook a hefty haul of sales leads in the process.
Mix and Match
Instead of merely handing out sacks of trail mix inside its exhibit at the Society for Human Resource Management Annual Conference, Namely Inc., which offers software to aid human-resource professionals, turned its edible offering into an in-booth activity. Staffers invited guests to create their own trail mix by dispensing ingredients from plastic tubes. To incorporate a little industry humor into the mix, labels on the tubes bore not only the actual name of the ingredient, but also an HR-related moniker. Chocolate chips, for exam-ple, became "sweet office perks," and dried cranberries were "tart & tangy reviews." The strategy kept attendees in the booth longer than a grab-and-go giveaway would have and gave guests a taste of Namely's corporate culture.
Some exhibitors have a hard time choosing between traditional graphics and digital alternatives. Other exhibitors, such as Kurten & Lechner GmbH, incorporate both. The Germany-based digital, textile, offset, and screen-printing firm hoped to demonstrate how effective mixing static substrates with video content can be. So at EuroShop 2017, the company created a clever fusion of a large-format graphic and a flatscreen monitor. A 20-foot-tall woman made of traditional substrates appeared to be holding a picture frame. A flatscreen monitor set into the frame ran a looping video of the woman looking out over neighboring exhibits and down upon visitors. The interplay of the two mediums resulted in an eye-catching illusion that beckoned to attendees from aisles around and helped Kurten & Lechner's booth stand head and shoulders above its competitors.
Efficiency on Display
Aviation Partners Inc. wanted everyone at the National Business Aviation Association show to know that its advanced winglet technology has the power to dramatically boost an aircraft's fuel efficiency. So to underscore that key message – and add a little eye-catching movement to the exhibit – the company embedded an odometer of sorts into its booth's back wall that tracked the gallons of fuel saved by planes outfitted with Aviation Partners' technology. While the element itself comprised little more than two monitors displaying white numbers atop a black background, the ever-increasing sum attracted curious passersby who stopped and stared, providing a perfect opportunity for staffers to swoop in and strike up winglet-related conversations. With the total topping out at more than 4 billion gallons of fuel saved, the audiovisual element helped Aviation Partners attract attention, communicate its message, and brand itself as a fuel-efficient leader in the aviation industry.
To attract VIPs and members of the media to its booth at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, LED Lenser, a division of Leatherman Tool Group Inc., devised a creative two-part promo that began with a direct-mail piece. The company sent straps for its SEO Headlamp to approximately 500 VIP attendees and journalists. Text printed on the accompanying card read "Come to the LED Lenser booth at OR and get the other half of this headlamp for free!" Members of the media received green straps, while VIPs were sent orange bands. So when recipients showed up at the booth for the other half of their headlamps (a light that easily slid onto the band sent in the mail) staffers knew whether they were dealing with a VIP or a press rep and tailored their pitches accordingly. Best of all, the promotion was implemented on a budget of only $5,000, yet it netted countless new leads. Now that's a bright idea.
Conceptual Key Message
Fasetto LLC wanted its exhibit at the International Consumer Electronics Show to attract attendees and communicate that Link, its award-winning product, can stream users' data onto multiple devices. Working with Southwest Displays, ExhibitTrader.com, and artist Brad Oldham, Fasetto devised a 20-foot suspended sculpture comprising hand-painted cloth strapping, backlit Plexiglas, custom-built tablet stands, and high-impact lighting. At the center – atop a slowly rotating turntable – sat the Link itself. Representing the connectivity and flow of information made possible by the Link, the artistic display captured the attention of curious onlookers, many of whom wandered into the booth to speak with Fasetto staffers, ogle the product, or help themselves to more information courtesy of the embedded iPads.
Pitching a Tent
Looking to epitomize its "Built for Fun" tagline, Kelty, a division of American Recreation Products Inc., brought a party trick to its exhibit at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. Staffers invited attendees to play a round of "tent pong." The game was similar to the college-basement classic, except that instead of aiming for red Solo cups filled with beer, attendees tossed their pingpong balls at three miniature versions of Kelty's tents. Participants were awarded prizes based on how many of their five allotted balls made it through the tents' zippered openings. Getting one ball into a tent earned a single entry into a raffle for a Kelty pack, two balls garnered a raffle entry plus a bottle opener, and three balls earned a raffle entry plus a mug. But the real winner was Kelty, who attracted lines of attendees, allowing staffers plenty of time to connect with guests and qualify potential prospects.