Let's face it: Most corporate exhibits have about as much personality as a clip-on tie. That's one reason Hitachi Europe Ltd. decided to add a little edge to its stand at Integrated Systems Europe 2018 in Amsterdam. Rather than playing it safe with generic graphics, Hitachi covered the back and side walls of its booth with tensioned fabric printed to look like a black brick wall. Text introducing the company's new 3LCD Laser Ultra Short Throw Projector and other new models appeared to have been spray-painted onto the wall by graffiti artists alongside words such as "art," "style," and "music" rendered in the same street-art style. The bright colors, dynamic font, and urban edginess attracted attendees to the exhibit and helped the company differentiate itself amid the sea of buttoned-up spaces.
Convincing consumers that curved screens offer superior viewing quality compared to their flatscreen cousins can be a challenge, especially given that their primary selling point is their ability to render realistic, undistorted imagery regardless of users' viewing angles. So to help illustrate the quality of its curved OLED displays, LG Electronics Inc. erected a 92-foot-long tunnel flanked by 246 of the concave screens at the 2018 International Consumer Electronics Show. Assembled in wave-like forms reminiscent of the sandstone passageways of Arizona's Antelope Canyon, the screens displayed a mesmerizing montage of picturesque scenery and made the immersive tunnel perhaps the most talked about experience at CES.
When your brand has a marketing tie-in with a beloved billion-dollar film franchise, it only makes sense to capitalize on that association on the show floor. Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. did just that at the New York International Auto Show, where its affiliation with "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" took center stage with a massive rigged Death Star and tricked-out vehicles serving as over-the-top fanboy and fangirl fantasies – and blockbusting traffic builders. The automaker modified its Rogue SUVs to resemble a battered "landspeeder" and an X-wing fighter complete with laser cannons, light-speed engines, and an R2 droid poking out of the top. The displays lured hordes of curious attendees who, after posing with their dream vehicles of choice, filtered into the rest of the stand to explore Nissan's more down-to-earth offerings.
On the Cover
Who doesn't want to be on the cover of a magazine? In the lobby at VidCon US, Visit Anaheim made that dream a reality – and splashed its brand across social media – by setting up a 6-by-8-foot transparent magazine-cover element that attendees could pose behind. The prop featured Visit Anaheim as the masthead and the city's best features as cover lines. Attendees who shared their photos with the hashtag #VisitAnaheimCoverModel were entered in a drawing for Disneyland tickets.
The Writing's on the Wall
While a partially enclosed booth can offer multiple benefits, solid exterior walls can sometimes repel visitors. However, at EXHIBITORLIVE, the conference for trade show and corporate event marketing, experiential-marketing firm Impact XM overcame this potential drawback. The exhibit's focal point was an activity involving nostalgic toys, such as View-Masters and Mr. Potato Heads. Since the exhibit's wall blocked passing attendees' views of the space, designers inserted a cutout in the structure and filled it with the toys. The cutout featured a unique screen that at times was almost opaque. At others, words flashed across the screen, such as "Are you strategic?" and "Are you a techie?" With each question, a portion of the screen positioned directly over a toy became transparent. While the significance of the words and toys may not have been immediately apparent, the curious display intrigued attendees and urged them to wander inside to learn more.
It seems everywhere you turn these days someone is wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat or shirt. That is everywhere except at Print 2018, where you were more likely to find a campaign rally's worth of attendees collecting DirectMail 2.0 LLC's timely, tongue-in-cheek giveaways of hats, shirts, pins, and totes bearing the slogan "Make DirectMail Great Again." The red-hot swag, which also served as staffer uniforms, provided a perfect icebreaker for DirectMail reps to explain to booth visitors how the company could help with their marketing campaigns. Now that's an idea that spans both sides of the aisle.
Dropping the Puck
To boost awareness of the U.S. subsidiary of Germany-based Arag SE at the Society for Human Resource Management Annual Conference and Expo, marketers for the legal-insurance firm opted for an exhibit that was essentially one massive Plinko board titled Cover Your Asterisk*. (The base of the roughly 8-foot-tall structure featured a footnote reading "*Don't leave your employees' fates up to chance.") An emcee invited attendees to climb the stairs behind the wall and drop a puck, which then worked its way past a series of staggered pegs just like in the classic game. Most pucks landed in slots labeled with situations that often require legal assistance, such as refinancing a home or establishing power of attorney. Participants whose pucks landed in a slot marked with Arag's logo were entered in a drawing for a $343 cash prize – the average hourly rate for a lawyer. But regardless of where the pucks touched down, players and bystanders left with a better understanding of the firm's services.