Charlotte (N.C.) Convention & Visitors Bureau
When the CVB wanted to make a creative splash at the annual meeting for the American Society of Association Executives, they designed an interactive booth display based on the theme, “Picasso painted until he was 90, but you don’t have to wait that long.” Attendees were allowed to paint on a large, two-sided display in the center of the booth. After each wall had been covered with art, a nearly invisible white mask was removed to reveal the Charlotte skyline in vivid color! The final mural was featured on a follow-up postcard sent to attendees after the show.
(Photo courtesy of the Charlotte Convention & Visitors Bureau)
Transformit, a company that creates tension fabric structures, wanted to feature their new line of “Organics” designs at The Special Event, a show for the special events industry. Since the signature piece of the new line was the “Morning Glory” (which actually “blooms” with computer animation), they created the theme “Seeds of Imagination.” Using artwork that resembled old-fashioned seed packets, pre-show postcards were sent to invite attendees to the “Garden of Earthly Delights.” The exhibit looked like a garden in full bloom. Post-show mailings included an actual packet of Morning Glory seeds.
(Invitation courtesy of Transformit)
Newport, R.I. CVB
In order to make a lasting impression at a show for meeting planners, the Newport (R.I.) and Providence/Warwick CVBs partnered with hometown toy maker Hasbro to develop a fun and memorable theme. Pre-show mailers featured various Hasbro games and toys and invited attendees to come to the booth and play games. Also in the booth, attendees had the opportunity to have their photo taken with a costumed Mr. Potato Head character.
Another promotion revolved around the theme of “Twister Rhode Island Style” (with the circles sponsored by various Rhode Island hotels and services). Attendees actually played Twister in the booth!
(Photo and invitation courtesy of the Newport, R.I. Convention & Visitors Bureau)
(All of the above are excerpts from Build a Better Trade Show Image, © 2002 by Marlys K. Arnold. All rights reserved.)
Falcon Perspectives, Inc.
Falcon Perspectives, Inc. used the theme, “Are You Being Served?” and created a retro diner. A menu board showcased their various services, while a bar area provided a place for attendees to sit and ask questions, while sipping a bottled water or nibbling on something from the sweets jar. The Falcon staff also created an actual “menu” as an in-booth brochure, which invited prospects to “Taste Our Perspective” and listed key ingredients, starters, and specials of the day. And you don’t need a huge booth to pull off a great theme — Falcon only had a 10 by 20!
(Photos courtesy of Falcon Perspectives, Inc.)
Lynch used their booth to bring an ongoing ad campaign to life. The pre-show mailer featured artwork of a 40s-era service station and attendant. Prospects were invited to “Come behind the scenes to meet the high performance exhibit design and service team of Lynch Exhibits.” The back flap was a “High Performance Exhibit Request” to be filled out and brought to the booth to indicate interest level — from a Tune-Up (hesitation in communicating your message) to a complete Overhaul (stop “blowing smoke”). Sig Tragard, Vice President of Sales, said that many of those who came by the booth either brought their card with them (pre-qualifying!) or at least remembered receiving it.
The booth itself was a total immersion in the theme. Built like a service station, complete with an old-fashioned pump out front (bearing the Lynch logo), the island booth definitely stood out. Staffers even dressed in the green attendant’s uniform and hat. The giveaways also followed the theme — packaged inside an oil can!
One more touch to the Lynch theme was a hospitality event held at the host hotel. Still following the 40s-era theme, it was billed as a Hometown Heroes celebration and featured Peter C. Lemon, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. One wall featured a giant letter of hope, where attendees could write words of encouragement to troops overseas. And because the whole point of a hospitality event is to communicate your message in a low-key way, Lynch featured one of their new products, the I-Wall slider, to run a CD-ROM profiling Medal of Honor recipients.
(Photos courtesy of Lynch Exhibits)
(The two examples above are excerpts from TradeShowTips Online, © 2003 by Marlys K. Arnold. All rights reserved.)