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Rather than jump on the giveaway bandwagon at the Society for Human Resource Management Annual Conference and Expo, HireRight LLC asked guests to participate in an informal survey that segued into substantive conversations about the global reach of the company's background-check services. HireRight ushered booth visitors to a large global map populated with multicolored dots marking key cities. Text positioned above the map read, "Cast Your Vote. Where Have Your Candidates Been?" Attendees then selected plastic balls from a Plexiglas bin positioned in front of the display and dropped them into any of six similar receptacles labeled for every continent except Antarctica, with each ball representing a recent hire from that locale. Based on what geographic areas the attendees selected, staffers launched into discussions about how HireRight tailors its background-checking strategies in that part of the world.
A Refreshing Idea
Every attendee needs plenty of H2O while covering miles of show floor space. That's why Natural Choice Corp., maker of the Ion Bottomless Water Cooler (a compact residential and office fountain that dispenses cold, hot, room-temperature, and sparkling water at the touch of a button), poured out of its 10-by-10 confines with a sponsorship opportunity at Greenbuild. Natural Choice had three unstaffed, Ion-branded kiosks with its water dispensers spread across the trade show floor, while its exhibit served as a fourth watering hole. Thirsty passersby and parched booth staffers kept the water flowing all show long, ensuring that while the fountains dispensed gallons of refreshing effervescence, they also splashed around the company's brand.
Cross-Aisle Pollination
Exhibitors inevitably miss the potential leads whose heads are craning left when their exhibits are on the right, or vice versa. Farmhouse Culture Inc., a provider of probiotic-rich foods and beverages, overcame that problem at the 2018 Natural Products Expo West by erecting two 10-by-20-foot spaces on opposite sides of the aisle. One stand featured farmhouse decor and product samples, while the other contained patio-themed seating areas for client meetings. Either way their heads turned, attendees feasted their eyes on a unified brand, giving Farmhouse Culture a bumper crop of attention.
The Notebook
Many exhibitors eschew press kits altogether, hoping writers and editors will seek them out on the trade show floor. Others, like Color Box Design & Letterpress LLC, capitalize on the lack of press-room competition. But rather than a boring press release in a bland pocket folder, the company housed its National Stationery Show press-kit components in a spiral-bound notebook. Recipients opened its bright yellow cover to reveal a welcome note with the message "Howdy! Thanks for taking a look at our press kit." The remaining pages told the story of Color Box, offered up product samples, and featured images of the company's paper goods. The back cover bore Color Box's contact info, URL, and Instagram handle. And while many of its competitors' kits were left on the press-room shelves, Color Box's quaint notebooks were quickly snapped up, providing the company the fairy-tale ending it hoped for.
A Booth With a View
Nothing makes attendees stop and gawk like a bunch of View-Masters, so Regent Beleuchtungskörper AG (Regent Lighting) enlisted the so-retro-they're-cool devices in an aisle-side display at EuroShop 2017 in Düsseldorf, Germany. Designers crafted a roughly 15-foot exterior wall to include a built-in View-Master station. Within a cutout portion of the wall, they attached six of the devices, each positioned atop a different length of metal pole, thereby locating them at various heights to accommodate myriad attendees. Passersby couldn't help but step up to the View-Masters and start clicking through the images, all of which included product messages and photos of the firm's lighting-related offerings.
Sweet Charity
At Print 2018, Relyco Sales Inc. provided samples of its tear-proof, waterproof paper while simultaneously contributing to charitable causes. Around its booth, the company hung branded lanyards, each of which featured a tag made from its paper and printed with the name of one of three charities: the Parkinson's Foundation, the Wounded Warrior Project, or the American Cancer Society. Staffers encouraged visitors to snatch a tag naming the charity most dear to them and wear it around the show floor. For each tag a visitor walked away with, Relyco donated $5 to the chosen charity. The cause- marketing campaign was an effective method for doing some good while getting the company's products into prospects' hands.
Outside the Box
It's unusual for in-line exhibits to feature overhead elements, but Catchbox Inc. broke the mold with a massive, branded, tensioned-fabric header that hung over its booth space at Integrated Systems Europe in Amsterdam. While the roughly 5-foot-tall sign clearly branded the space as Catchbox territory, seven of the company's soft, throwable wireless microphones dangled below from nearly invisible filaments attached to the overhead rigging. Big, bold, and brand appropriate, the combination of the sizeable sign and the series of microphones suspended in midair attracted attendees' eyes to the sky and then into Catchbox's booth.
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