The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in early January 2006 was a blow-out, 4-day trade show attracting some 150,000 guests and 2,500 exhibitors. The trade show floor covered 28 football field’s worth of space, and exhibits spanned 1.6 billion square feet of convention space. This dynamic trade show provided a peek into the future of a plug-and-play lifestyle, where people work, play, and keep in touch when they want, where they 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 messaged 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.
If you want your trade show appearance to make a dramatic impact, you’re probably wondering about the traits of a trade show booth that hits it big on all cylinders. What do the innovative trade show leaders do differently, and how can you stand out against the competition?
Event Marketer covered the CES show and ranked the trade show booths according to their appeal. Just a few of their favorites were AOL, Dolby, and Daewoo.
Find out why these companies’ trade show exhibits stood out from the pack:
1. The trade show booth provided a valuable service to attendees.
AOL scored big when it offered its 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 ongoing, AOL showcased its company services, such as:
• City Guide
This win-win situation helped trade-show attendees check in with their offices in real time while appreciating AOL as their host.
2. The company found a location apart from the crowd.
AOL’s exhibit was located in a corner of the concierge tent, which was located in the parking lot outside the main hall, so its booth got lots of exposure and foot traffic.
Its entry featured a 20-screen TV wall, showing brand logos and concert videos. There were 20 laptops for guests to use, 6 of which were mounted on mechanical arms, which could be reached by attendees relaxing in comfortable chairs.
3. The company utilized 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 going on inside in real-time. The executives could critique booth activity and coach exhibit personnel on traffic flow, visitor reactions, and fresh ideas for engaging prospects.
4. The exhibit took advantage of eye-catching designs, shapes, and tension fabrics.
Daewoo used a large wall constructed of 17 LCD screens and 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. Daewoo 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. The exhibit created a space for attendees to try out products.
Dolby offered a gaming zone that allowed guests to try out its new Xbox 360 racing game, Burnout. The Xbox’s Dolby Digital sound was like a beckon that cast a spell on visitors, luring them to the trade show booth.
By incorporating movement, color, lights, and action into your trade show booth, you can showcase new technology while entertaining and mesmerizing your guests. Techniques such as the ones described here can make for an unforgettable trade show experience.