Innovation isn't like sunscreen. There's no need to slather it on to be effective. Rather, innovation is often most powerful in amuse-bouche-sized servings, which offer small, albeit utterly delicious, tastes that leave you yearning for more. The winners of EXHIBITOR Magazine's 21st Annual Sizzle Awards are apparently well aware of this maxim. For rather than dousing their exhibit programs with gobs of promotions, they instead selected a few uber-clever options and peppered them in when and where they would make the most impact.
Take Universal Audio Inc., a manufacturer of hardware and software for music recording and production. To tout the capabilities of its products, UA crafted a Steampunk-infused Old West saloon that offered a head-to-head, shoot-out-style audio comparison of UA's software versus the old-style hardware it seeks to emulate. The fun yet tightly focused activation helped UA increase leads by 15 percent over the previous year and score a remarkable 30 minutes on average with each attendee.
Or consider Oldcastle Architectural Inc., a CRH plc company. To promote its Amerimix brand of preblended mortar, which requires no on-site sand mixing, marketers selected a single, audience-centric message: "Ditch the Sand Pile." And while the firm's program was actually an integrated campaign with a handful of activations, it centered on a couldn't-miss sand-sculpting spectacle outside the convention center and a high-value drawing within. With its simple message and execution, the company increased leads by 156 percent over the previous year and scored 250 percent more press coverage than anticipated.
So please join us in congratulating the five 2018 Sizzle Award winners. Featuring clever promotional techniques, distinctive concepts, and spot-on execution, the following exhibit-marketing strategies prove that you need not slather your program with promotions. Rather, you just need a handful of delicious, bite-sized ideas to lure visitors to your space and leave them hungry for more.