Know When to Fold
Spin-a-wheel prize giveaways and putt-putt activities might be effective at drawing traffic to your booth, but they rarely do anything to promote your offerings. At the Society for Human Resource Management show, however, the folks at SnagAJob.com Inc. (which helps connect hourly workers with employers) came up with a spot-on series of activities to generate awareness for its unique employment-related niche. It crafted three different speed-based attendee challenges – cleverly named Tons of Buns, Texas Fold 'em, and Disorder Up – all featuring tasks an hourly employee might perform. For example, in the Texas Fold 'em challenge, two attendees raced against each other to see who could fold a stack of shirts the fastest. Held once every hour throughout the show, the aptly name Hourly All-Star Challenges were emceed by a microphone-wielding staffer who provided a play-by-play description of the action and drew in nearby attendees for a closer look. While winners walked away with a choice of several branded prizes, including a T-shirt, water bottle, etc., all attendees left the booth with a solid understanding of SnagAJob's services.
Global Inflight Products (GIP), a division of Aviation Spares and Services International Co., earned its wings for eco-friendly exhibit design at the International Flight Services Association Annual Conference and Exposition in Seattle. The maker of biodegradable utensils for in-flight dining stopped traffic in its 30-by-10-foot booth by displaying cardboard cutouts of airplane passengers. The Flat-Stanley figures appeared to be frozen during an in-flight meal, their trays arranged with GIP's cups, bowls, lunch boxes, and cutlery made from corn-based materials. Staffers were quick to tell booth visitors that the pancake-thin cutouts were made of recycled components – a conversation starter that segued nicely into discourse about the company's Green initiatives. The clever exhibit design served up two-fold success: It drove sky-high booth traffic and acted as a stellar icebreaker, both of which put the firm in an upright and locked position for a 747's worth of earth-friendly praise from attendees.
How do you say "We sell KoolDuct insulation" in a single glance? You create a can't-miss, 3-D "KoolDuct" logo made out of the product. Kingspan Insulation Ltd. concocted this ingenious attention getter for its 10-by-20-foot exhibit at the International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition in Dallas. Positioned along the front of the space and atop four white light boxes, the dimensional logo was a way-cool way to attract attention and convey the company's offerings.
The Scarlet Letter
Nothing screams "Look at me!" quite like a giant red A – just ask Hester Prynne. To draw attention to its exhibit at Greenbuild, Arcat Inc., an online resource for building-product information, placed a large, stylized, crimson A in the center of its space. Made of lightweight material and lit from within, the structure, which reached as high as many of the show floor's overhead banners, featured the Arcat logo at its apex and nothing else. Not surprisingly, the large letter was visible from nearly every point of the exhibition hall, turning it into a couldn't-miss attraction for wandering attendees.
Creating a thematic 10-by-10-foot booth is no small task, but that's just what TS Crew did in its space at EXHIBITORLIVE. The firm wanted to establish its prowess as a high-quality installation-and-dismantle services provider, so it developed a medical-related booth theme with a "Cure Exhibit Malpractice" tagline. The concept suggested that I&D firms that deliver low-quality work can often kill a perfectly healthy exhibit-marketing program. Instead, TS Crew is an exhibitor's field-service hospital, with all of the resources and skills (emergency hardware, last-minute graphic-production capabilities, extra cables/cords, etc.) necessary to handle any show-threatening situation. To communicate this theme, staffers dressed in white lab coats asked attendees if they'd ever been the victim of exhibit malpractice – a query that drew in even the most jaded exhibit-marketing professionals. In addition, a red strip of carpet along the aisle's edge featured the program's tagline, and a graphic designed to look like an eye chart appeared on a side wall. TS Crew's inventive efforts proved that big ideas can indeed come in small packages.
Speak for Yourself
Satisfied customers are the ultimate evangelists. So Spectrum Sports International gave its past clients a voice that subtly spoke volumes at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo, all without a single one of them actually arriving on site. Along the booth perimeter, Spectrum positioned simple signs with customer testimonials. But instead of a glowing review attributed to someone most attendees knew nothing about, each sign featured the satisfied client's name and company logo, the location and description of his or her business, the year it was established, and four to five quotes promoting Spectrum's Mobile Zip Line – including one referencing the product's return on investment. The testimonials helped prove that Spectrum's products were truly as good as its staffers said and dispelled prospects' concerns about the initial investment.
Armstrong DLW Gmbh, which now does business as DLW Flooring GmbH, wanted EuroShop attendees to walk away with an accurate idea of just how large its new MaxPlank floorboards are. After all, the supersized components are longer than traditional boards and taller than the average human when stood on one end. So to visually demonstrate MaxPlank's size, the Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany-based company printed the outline of a man alongside outlines representing MaxPlank and two traditional floorboard sizes. The easy-to-understand visual transcended language barriers at the international event while also effectively communicating one of MaxPlank's most important differentiators.