Out With the Old
Nothing stops passersby in their tracks like a moving display. That's why Davies Office Inc., which remanufactures dated office decor into mod, colorfully coordinated furnishings, turned what could have been a static side-by-side display into a spinning wheel of fortune. On a large rotating platform in one corner of its 20-by-20-foot island, the company set up a sterile cubicle with a bland desk, outworn chair, and drab filing cabinet, which had a hacksaw embedded in it to indicate its impending makeover. Beside it, the company also displayed a posh workspace using identical, but remanufactured, elements. Set in motion, the revolving before-and-after office vignettes left attendees dreaming of updating their own digs.
Footprints in the Stand
Despite the whiz-bang technological wizardry found in today's exhibit halls, sometimes all you need to draw attendees into your experience are overt instructions telling them exactly what to do and where to stand. At Lightfair International, Lumileds Holding BV did just that with an uber-simple aisle-side display. The firm developed a freestanding, roughly 10-foot-wide exhibit element that offered a combination of graphic text and a monitor displaying a variety of visually alluring videos. Meanwhile, designers positioned four of the firm's color-changing LEDs on the floor in front of the display, where they continually morphed from one hue to another. To lure visitors in for a closer look, Lumileds attached vinyl graphics resembling footprints to the floor in front of the monitor, pinpointing the spot where attendees could best experience the presentation. Throughout the show, droves of booth visitors hit their marks and took in Lumileds' product messages in the process.
With a keen eye and a little creativity, even the most mundane of offerings can become interest piquing. Such was the case at EuroShop, where Sunware BV, a Dutch manufacturer of plastic storage bins, turned 16 of its bright-red crates into a functional reception desk – complete with storage space and a white countertop – that captured the attention of passersby and quickly conveyed the company's offerings.
Barrel o' Branding
The obvious was apropos for China Petrochemical Corp. (Sinopec Group) at the Offshore Technology Conference. Rather than rent ho-hum product- and literature-display racks, the provider of petroleum and petrochemicals enlisted some of its own barrels for the task. The containers not only stood out amid what was otherwise a traditional and highly technical trade show but also caught attendees' eyes and effectively branded the space as a Sinopec production.
While it's true that most auto enthusiasts are primarily interested in what's under the hood, a sizable portion are equally keen on aesthetics, from the graceful lines of a headlamp to the dramatic swoop of a rear spoiler. So in addition to displays highlighting the nuts and bolts of its cars, the Chevrolet brand of General Motors Co. let New York International Auto Show attendees flex their creative muscles at the Chevy Design Studio. Showgoers could select a roughly 5-by-7-inch card featuring an illustration of a popular Chevy model, place it on a Slate electronic-drawing tablet, and cover it with a blank sheet of paper. Participants then traced the design using a smart pen connected to the tablet, and the Slate's internal sensors captured every line and stroke and displayed the work in progress on a touchscreen embedded in the workstation. Users could add custom colors and other effects through the touchscreen, resulting in a truly one-off design. When finished, participants could share their digitized illustrations on social media and take the physical copies home as mementos.
Trade show attendees need someplace to stow all the tchotchkes and literature they collect while roaming up and down the aisles of an exhibit hall, so many exhibitors distribute branded totes for just that purpose. Xerox Corp. increased the chance that attendees would display its tote by outsizing competitors' bags at Print 2018. The 20-by-16-inch branded white tote was large enough to hold an entire expo's worth of materials, and since showgoers don't want more than one item slung over their shoulders, competitors' bags often disappeared inside the Xerox one as well. It goes to show that sometimes bigger is in fact better.
The Wheel Deal
Prize wheels are a tried-and-true way to attract attention on the trade show floor. But generally speaking, they do little to help educate attendees or prompt product-centric conversations. Rental-furniture provider Cort Events, a subsidiary of Cort Business Services Corp., checked both of these boxes with the Wheel of Design Trends inside its exhibit at EXHIBITORLIVE
2018. After having their badges scanned, booth visitors spun the wheel, which was divided into segments labeled with hot design trends and dollar amounts ranging from $5 to $25. Once the wheel came to a stop on a segment, visitors were instructed to find an example of that trend among a variety of furnishings displayed in the exhibit. When they had done so, staffers rewarded them with a Visa gift card that matched the amount from their spin. Additionally, staff invited attendees to follow Cort's Instagram account, like its EXHIBITORLIVE post, and add their trend in the comments for a chance to win a pair of Oculus Rift virtual-reality goggles.