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Create a Trade Show Booth That Generates Buzz
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in early January 2006 was a blow-out four-day trade show attracting some 150,000 guests and 2,500 exhibitors. The trade show floor was 28 football field’s worth of space and exhibits spanned 1.6 billion square feet of convention space. This dynamic trade show gave us a peek into the future of a plug and play lifestyle where we can work, play, and keep in touch when we want, where we want.
“The incredible momentum around these new products and services shows that the digital lifestyle has truly gone mainstream this year,” Microsoft chairman Bill Gates said in his opening keynote address. “Now it’s time to bring together the devices, software, and services in people’s lives and take all these experiences to the next level.”
To introduce the latest technologies, the most effective trade show displays combined drama, creativity and design to broadcast their message and pound home their brand awareness. On the other hand, there were trade show exhibits that lacked creativity and pizzazz and went virtually unnoticed by the milling show floor throng.
Clients who want their trade show appearance to make a dramatic impact often ask about the traits of a trade show booth that hits it big on all cylinders. They want to know what the innovative trade show leaders do differently and how they can also stand out against the competition.
Event Marketer covered the CES show and ranked the trade show booths as to their appeal. Just a few of their favorites were AOL, Dolby and Daewoo. Here are a few pointers that resulted from why they picked these trade show exhibits:
1. Have your trade show booth provide a valuable service to attendees
AOL scored big when they offered their high speed Internet service free to all weary trade show goers. Attendees found a comfortable place to relax, check their email, and surf the web. While this was going on, AOL got to showcase their company’s services such as music on demand, Mobile, AIM, and City Guide. This was a win-win situation that helped trade show attendees check in with their offices in real time while appreciating AOL as their host.
2. Find a location that stands apart from the crowd
AOL was inside the concierge tent and therefore got lots of exposure and foot traffic. They commanded a corner in the concierge tent which was located in the parking lot outside the main hall. Their entry had a 20-screen TV wall showing brand logos and concert videos. There were 20 laptops for guests to use and six were mounted on mechanical arms, which could be reached by attendees relaxing in comfortable chairs.
3. Find creative ways to be “in the moment”. AOL corporate executives off site were able to view the inside of their trade show booth as a web camera filmed the action inside their booth at the show in real time. They could critique booth activity in real time and coach exhibit personnel on traffic flow, visitor reactions and fresh ideas for engaging prospects.
4. Use eye-catching designs, shapes and tension fabrics. Daewoo used a large wall constructed of 17 LCD screens with 36 fabric screens with rear-projected graphics as its focal point. Huge fin-shaped tension fabric structures with custom lighting lined TV display stands at the sides of the exhibit. They used a logo laden two-sided tower perched on top of the info desk at the entrance with 10 LCD screens built into the pillar. Visitors were fascinated by the compelling visual drama.
5. Create a space for attendees to try out your products. Dolby had a gaming zone that allowed guests to try out their new Xbox 360 racing game, Burnout. The Xbox’s Dolby Digital sound was like a beckon that cast a spell on visitors alluring them to the trade show booth.
Remember that by incorporating movement, color, lights and action in your trade show booth you get to showcase new technology while entertaining and mesmerizing your guests. Techniques such as these can make for an unforgettable trade show experience.
Dick Wheeler is President of Professional Exhibits & Graphics, headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. The firm is a full-service premiere trade show exhibit, graphics and management services company. For addtional information, go to www.proexhibits.com.
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About the Author: Dick Wheeler is President of Professional Exhibits & Graphics headquartered in Sunnyvale, with a showroom in Sacramento, California. His firm is a full-service premiere trade show exhibit, graphics and management services company. Go to http://www.proexhibits.com