Just for Kicks
Carpeting is a booth accessory that all too often goes unnoticed and unappreciated. And that's a huge problem if your company is a flooring manufacturer such as Mohawk Industries Inc., which wanted to hawk its eco-friendly line of carpet made from recycled plastic bottles at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. So to make sure attendees kept their eyes trained downward on its plush offerings, the company's business-attired staffers sported attention-grabbing, ochre-colored Old Skool Vans sneakers. The out-of-place footwear kept booth visitors glancing down as staffers explained how Mohawk believes plastic bottles are better placed underfoot in its carpet than under piles of waste in a landfill.
Seeking to establish a park-like ambiance, Sony Europe Ltd. incorporated living grass, raw lumber, and artificial vines into its exhibit at Integrated Systems Europe. But what's a park without trees? So to provide some overhead intrigue and create a suitable canopy for the subtly themed space, Sony added a series of tension-fabric discs to floor-mounted, tree-like posts and lit them from below. The earthy elements and conceptual design helped Sony's space feel less like an exhibit and more like a walk in the park.
Being an exhibit or event manager is stressful, which is why Global Experience Specialists Inc. (GES) turned its exhibit at the Healthcare Convention and Exhibitors Association's HCEAConnect show into a restful respite. Attendees stepped up to a trio of touchscreen kiosks and answered personal and job-related questions that delved into everything from their programs' biggest stressors to how they like to relax. The resulting "stress profiles" placed participants' levels of physical and emotional tension into one of three cheeky categories, e.g., "What time is happy hour?" and "Not another word, or I'll hurt you." Attendees then enjoyed truffles, teas, and hand massages from local professionals using essential oils tailored to their stress levels. The in-booth oasis soothed attendees' nerves and gave staffers the chance to explain how GES can help relieve their professional pain points.
Off the Grid
Sometimes you don't need to look any further than your own product catalogue to create an arresting element that sets your stand apart. At EuroShop in Düsseldorf, Germany, shopfitting firm Grid System ApS turned a mundane back wall into a dynamic display by affixing a series of components from its Grid Basic Module shelf system. The simple, dimensional installation referenced the company's name and logo while simultaneously spotlighting its latest product. When's the last time your back wall did that?
In its exhibit at Print 2018, graphic-arts trade association Printing Industries of America piggybacked off of pop culture's recent penchant for '80s nostalgia to promote its 2019 conference tour. Three 16-foot-tall digitally printed fabric panels at the back of the booth depicted a sorcerer and an 80s-style font reading "Print Ball Wizard." Here visitors took part in a pinball tournament using three arcade machines – no quarters necessary. A nearby staffer recorded players' scores, and the participant with the top ranking at the end of the show won a trophy. More importantly, booth reps distributed concert-style T-shirts to roughly 1,500 participants. The backs of the shirts featured the dates and locations of PIA's upcoming conference tours, ensuring the print-loving pinballers knew where to meet up again.
Ingram Micro Inc. needed a clever way to highlight its logistics-management services and boost leads at the International Consumer Electronics Show. The company partnered with Andrea Michaels Inc. (dba Extradordinary Events), which developed a competitive digital trivia game with the help of ViewPoint Interactive Solutions (an Integrated Computer Solutions Inc. brand). Up to four attendees at a time vied to deliver freight – represented on a wall-mounted flatscreen by cargo icons – faster than their competitors. Using touchscreen tablets placed in front of the monitor, players answered logistics-themed questions. Each correct answer moved a player's virtual freight closer to its destination, and the winner of each round of gameplay received a Starbucks gift card or other prize. Ingram Micro turned out to be the biggest winner, however, as the trivia activity helped the company nearly quadruple the number of leads gathered compared to previous years.
Many exhibitors relegate meeting rooms to the cramped nether regions of their booths. Hyper Bicycles Inc., on the other hand, managed to erect an open-air, semiprivate conference space in its exhibit at Interbike Marketweek 2018 that didn't force anyone into a closet-like enclosure. Four walls at the center of the booth (one of which supported the company's logo, a flatscreen monitor running looped content, and a series of cutouts that acted as informal product displays) formed the exhibit's primary structure. But a wide opening on one corner added a hefty dose of architectural interest while also serving as the entrance to a partially hidden meeting room.