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A Global
Greeting
The Radiological Society of North America Annual Conference attracts attendees from all over the world. So to help them feel more comfortable on the show floor, Bayer HealthCare offered them access to an exclusive lounge. The partially enclosed area in one corner of Bayer's 70-by-80-foot exhibit included several tables and chairs. To let attendees know that space was just for them, a wall to the left of the lounge's entrance bore the message "Welcome International Guests" and an image of a globe. Carving out a corner in its exhibit sent the message to domestic and foreign attendees that Bayer values the business of its global guests, and provided a place that international attendees couldn't resist.

Box-Office Hit
It can be hard for attendees to envision how and where your product integrates into their buildings and computer systems, but nothing turns on their mental light bulbs faster than a 3-D diagram. MovinCool, a division of Denso Corp., created just such a display in its booth at Interop Las Vegas. To illustrate how its portable cooling devices can be integrated within a building's ceiling structure, the roughly 1-by-4-foot 3-D display depicted three standard office-building rooms: a server room, an executive's office, and a janitor's closet. Housed within an enclosed, clear-Plexiglas box, the rooms showed how the MovinCool system was installed in the ceiling over the servers, and how thermostats and emergency-control devices could easily be routed through the ceiling panels to executives' offices and janitorial stations. Positioned aisle side in Moving Cool's 10-by-10-foot booth, the ingenious display communicated the product's ease of use and typical configuration in a glance.

Games Backhoes Play
With its outdoor exhibit at the ConExpo-Con/Agg show in Las Vegas, heavy-equipment manufacturer Wacker Neuson SE not only showed off its excavators and loaders, but it also gave attendees a chance to sit in the driver's seat and play with them. It set up two contests with winners taking home Wacker Neuson hats and T-shirts. First, in the Excavator Challenge, attendees used the backhoe shovel to capture yellow softballs set on tall tee-like stands as quickly as possible. A large digital timer and leader board kept track of participants' scores throughout the competition. A second game timed attendees as they broke through concrete using one of the company's jackhammers – with the fastest time winning a prize. Since the show's burly construction types are always ready for a little friendly competition, the challenges doubled as hands-on product demonstrations and traffic builders all in one.
Fashion-Forward
Marketing
At Magic Market Week in Las Vegas, American Express Open, a division of American Express Co., devised a unique way to attract the 80,000 designers, buyers, and retailers in attendance. It staged an in-booth competition called The Rising Stars of Fashion that pitted three up-and-coming designers against one another. The task? Design and fabricate a real handbag from initial sketch to final product in just three days, and within the confines of the American Express Open booth. Split into three mini studios, the exhibit was outfitted with all the supplies the designers needed. The ongoing competition kept curious attendees coming back to check on the progress of the designers, and each time they stopped by, booth staffers were on hand to chat about the contest and answer questions about American Express Open. Though the challenge ended on the last day of the show when a panel of judges from the fashion industry declared the winner, the creative traffic builder will no doubt stay top of mind for attendees.


Content Cubed
Traditional touchscreen monitors are starting to lose their luster, but at the International Consumer Electronics Show, Verizon Communications Inc. kicked the interactive medium up a notch by incorporating acrylic cubes and dynamic visuals to create a self-serve informational kiosk where attendees could explore photos, videos, product specs, and more. After choosing a cube corresponding to their interests, attendees placed it on the touchscreen, which detected a unique two-dimensional barcode imprinted on the cube and served up related content. For instance, the "consumer" cube activated more than 30 links representing products in Verizon's consumer-electronics portfolio, while the "stats" cube conjured roughly three dozen statistics that teased attendees into the interactive interface to learn more.

Backpack
Brigade
Many exhibit managers consider a student day at a trade show to be a colossal waste of time. But aerospace contractor Wyle Inc. used the student day at the Air Force Information Technology Conference as an opportunity to school its competitors in brand awareness.

The company donated 800 blue nylon backpacks to show management, and the show's staff, in turn, distributed the backpacks to the students that visited the show. But the bags, which featured the company's logo, weren't just a way for the students to tote around their tchotchkes; the swag bags also gave Wyle's corporate messaging some legs. As students wandered the show floor and learned more about jobs in the defense-contracting industry, they also spread awareness of Wyle's brand.
Good Touch
When your product's primary differentiator is its "luxuriously soft" feel, you need to get it in prospective customers' hands so they can experience the velvety texture for themselves. So to encourage attendees to get up close and personal with its new product at the Surfaces show,
Mohawk Industries Inc. secured approval from show management to position several 5-foot-wide strips of its SmartStrand Silk carpeting vertically, attached to 12-foot-tall freestanding graphics panels in and around the trade show's registration area. Sporting the Mohawk logo and tagline, "Can't Touch This," the vertical displays not only begged to be touched, but they also proved that when it comes to textural appeal, nobody can touch SmartStrand Silk.
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