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Bottoms Up
Offering a libation as a conversational lubricant is a reliable game plan for getting attendees to linger in your booth. Having that alcoholic beverage tie into your product, however, is a rarely used yet surefire strategy to keep attention focused on your brand and not on the refreshment. Dear John Denim Inc. did just that at the Magic trade show in Las Vegas. Booth visitors could take a seat at a bar, behind which stood staffers ready to offer them a Joyrich, Gisele, or Metro – cocktails named after three of the company's most popular jean styles – before launching into their sales pitch. (Lemonade was available for those who wanted to stay clearheaded.) The promotion proved more popular than any run-of-the-gin-mill happy-hour special, as Dear John's booth was a beehive of activity throughout the three-day show.
Driving Brand Awareness
To demonstrate how its Park-Daddy product works within the confines of a tabletop exhibit at the 2016 National Hardware Show, Invis-a-beam LLC opted for a toy-based tactic. The company's CEO built a roughly 2-foot-wide model of a garage; painted it in brand-appropriate hues; and mounted a pair of Park-Daddy sensors to opposite sides of the opening. He then took the handle off a Baby Pusher Mini Cooper and added a customized "P-DADDY" license plate. When attendees asked how the company's mountable laser beams could keep them from accidently closing the garage door on the back end of a car, staffers simply rolled the car back and forth, demonstrating how the sensors alert drivers when the car is not fully inside the garage. The simple solution allowed staffers to demo the product within a small footprint, engage with attendees, and generate a bevy of actionable leads.
The Green Light
The San Francisco-based nonprofit Cool Effect Inc. implemented a bright idea – literally – to promote fundraising efforts for its carbon-cutting programs at SXSW Eco. After showgoers made a donation to the organization, which funds and promotes carbon-reducing programs around the world, staffers invited them to place a lighted peg into a stylized world map, created with the help of experiential agency Marketing Genome. The eco-minded activity encouraged scores of donations, provided an evolving and eye-catching back wall, and only occupied scant space in the nonprofit's mere 10-by-20-foot exhibit.
Quid Pro Quote
Social media is a powerful tool to amplify your exhibit-marketing messages far beyond the confines of a convention center. But sometimes it takes an enticement to get attendees snapping selfies and sending tweets. To provide just such an incentive, Icims Inc. created a social-media vending machine for its exhibit at the 2016 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Annual Conference. A touchscreen monitor mounted to the machine allowed attendees to log in to their Twitter accounts and tweet about their SHRM experience using the @Icims handle and the #SHRM16 hashtag. After each tweet was sent, an Icims-branded T-shirt featuring the company's bird mascot was dispensed. The interactive giveaway-distribution method helped generate social-media buzz for Icims while leaving SHRM attendees with a memorable, branded memento from the show.
Transparent Technology
Clear cars are nothing new, but Hyundai Mobis employed the tried-and-true tactic and turned it up a notch at the 2016 International Consumer Electronics Show. The translucent, cross-sectional shape of a car was created using acrylic panels layered atop standard auto parts. Meanwhile, embedded LEDs illuminated seven different sections of the automobile during presentations about the company's Driver Assistance System. For example, while the presenter discussed the Lane Keeping Assist System, components near the vehicle's tires lit up so viewers could see exactly where the LKAS is located. By pairing an eye-catching prop with an educational presentation, Hyundai managed to illuminate its futuristic technologies.
Form Follows Function
Product literature is often about as exciting as junk mail, yet exhibitors still distribute flat and forgettable one-page product sheets ad nauseam. But Larose Guyon Lighting took its lit to the next level at the 2016 International Contemporary Furniture Fair. The company printed one-page information sheets for its products, then folded the bottom corners to create a sort of elongated cone that mimicked the form of its U-shaped light fixtures. The strategy added dimension to an otherwise 2-D medium while referencing the firm's offerings at the same time.
Animal Magnetism
At the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City, Cotopaxi went to unprecedented lengths to encourage attendees to visit its exhibit in the tented pavilions down the block from the convention center. The maker of packs and other outdoor gear enlisted two staffers to walk around the area outside of the convention center and tell passersby about Cotopaxi. But these staffers weren't alone; each led a live llama, both of which had a half dozen of the company's brightly colored packs strapped to their backs. Staffers invited attendees to take a selfie with the cuddly creatures and then head to the Cotopaxi exhibit. The animal entourage was more than just a cheap stunt, however. Cotopaxi's logo features a silhouette of a llama's head, and staffers handed out stickers with that same image. Text on the back of the stickers encouraged recipients to use Cotopaxi's #AdventureOn hashtag and to tag the company on various social-media platforms. The unexpected guerilla-marketing tactic tied directly to the company's branding and drove traffic to its in-line booth.
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