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Sketchy Exhibit
It's not always easy to design an exhibit that promotes a service. But CDW & Partners Ltd., a design consultancy near London, made it look like a piece of cake at EuroShop 2017. The roughly 10-by-10- foot space featured a simple pegboard-like back wall, built-in white countertop, and ubersimple 6-foot-long table that projected out from the wall. At the aisle-side end of the table, marketers placed a roll of brown butcher paper and ran it up and over the length of the surface. Throughout the show, staff encouraged attendees to step into the space, relay their retail-design challenges, and let one of the on-site designers sketch some possible solutions. Staff unrolled fresh paper at the start of each discussion, but the live artistry and myriad illustrations that seemed to flow effortlessly from the designers drew in visitors and served as a constant and highly visible reminder of what CDW & Partners can do.
Running the Show
Most clothing manufacturers at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market opt for mannequins to show off their products – but not Altra Running, a division of Icon Health & Fitness Inc. Instead, the company installed a giant treadmill on the second story of its exhibit and enlisted a small team of staffers to run on it while decked out in Altra's athletic gear. Two runners changed shifts every few minutes to give each other a break and show off different outfits. The unusual spectacle drew a crowd to Altra's exhibit, where they got a chance to see how the company's fitness garb performs in motion.
Popping the Question
More often than not, back-wall graphics leave a lot to be desired. They're usually either too cluttered with text or feature uninspired imagery, neither of which appeals to attendees walking the aisles. Trade show and events firm Bray Leino Events Ltd., on the other hand, used the back wall of its in-line exhibit to break the ice with attendeesat EXHIBITORLIVE 2018. Bold, black text on a white back-drop asked approaching guests a simple question: "What's the point?" While the query helped initiate conversations, smaller text below read, "Does your events program creatively deliver the results you need? Let Bray Leino Events help you tell your story," effectively clarifying both the opening query and Bray Leino's services.
Child's Play
Most auto-show attendees are at least old enough to have a driver's license, but a decidedly younger demographic can have outsized influence on purchasing decisions – especially when it comes to family cars. That's why Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC devoted the majority of the exhibit for its Pacifica minivan to engaging with children at the New York International Auto Show. While the front of the stand featured adult-oriented seating and touchscreen displays, pint-sized showgoers stepped through the open rear passenger door of a bisected Pacifica mounted to a freestanding wall and entered the Pacifica Play Zone. Here, kids entertained themselves with a small jungle gym, a demo station showcasing the minivan's theater system, and a photo op involving a miniature Pacifica towing a wagon filled with the vehicle's awards. By appealing directly to the knee-high crowd, Chrysler no doubt left a favorable impression on prospective car buyers and passengers alike.

Blade to Order
It can be difficult to communicate what you sell in a literal yet aesthetically interesting way. But the U.S. arm of Vestas Wind Systems A/S made it look as easy as a cool breeze on a hot summer day at the American Wind Energy Association's Windpower Conference and Exhibition in Chicago. The wind-turbine manufacturer topped its island exhibit with an equally spaced series of white blades that bore an unmistakable resemblance to actual windmill blades. The couldn't-miss ceiling element elegantly capped the space while also providing a tongue-in-cheek message about Vestas' aerial offerings.
Hit the Floor
Floor graphics in the trade show aisle may be underfoot, but they can propel your company to being top of mind for attendees. At HydroVision International in Minneapolis, American Governor Co. partnered with show management to position several 2-foot-square floor graphics throughout the exhibit hall. Text printed on them read "Sugar & Spice & Minnesota Nice! Visit AGC at Booth 519 to try Local Favorite Lefse." The tempting offer of traditional Norwegian flatbread drew curious attendees to the firm's booth in droves.
Tornado Drill
Infusing a little of a company's corporate culture into an exhibit can help attendees experience the personality behind an organization's public-facing persona while also fostering a soft-sell environment that makes prospects feel less like prey and more like part of the team. Google LLC served up a heaping helping of its internal ethos via its outdoor exhibit at the 2018 International Consumer Electronics Show. While a supersized gumball machine dispensed coveted swag and big-ticket prizes to the masses, staff invited VIP guests to a rooftop hospitality suite with a bird's-eye view of all the CES action below. And to add a Google-esque twist to that VIP experience, guests could descend back to the ground floor not by staid stairs but rather a twisting tornado slide.
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