Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Trends from the 2009 Exhibitor Show

This just in....

The latest news from the 2009 Exhibitor's Show in Las Vegas as reported by my colleague, Jeff Vanden Hoek of Imagecraft Exhibits, reports that there are some notable trends in the exhibit world of which to take note.

"I did notice is that LED has taken over the lighting applications - thin is in. Several companies promoting super thin backlit graphics - probably 1/8" thick."

"Also, technology has made a huge push this year, vis a vis, animation, interactive games and presentations."

"It seems as though the lines between exhibits and private events have blurred considerably. A good thing, I think."

Thanks, Jeff. Great observations on a changing industry.


Friday, March 20, 2009

The coffee guy

At the American Wholesale Marketers Association's (AWMA) Real Deal Expo in Las Vegas, this innovated twist on an attention-getting device was sighted.

The exhibiting company was MeWantCaffeine and this guy wandered the aisles before show hours, tanking up exhibitors and early show walkers with hot coffee.

Really, that is a tank of coffee on his back. The gent was armed with cups and cream and sugar as well and made sure his contacts knew who he was and where to find his booth.

They did all of it right: gave their contacts what they wanted and needed at the early hour, had a consistent image, and armed their strolling soldier with the messages that met their show goals.

Nice tune, easy to dance to, I give it an 85.


Why worry about a booth?

Seen at the IWCE trade show in Las Vegas: the booth-less booth?

With all of this talk about saving money yet still have a strong marketing presence, here's an idea that seems to have resurfaced.

Motorola apparently just rolled in their 48-foot (or longer) tractor-trailer rig, dropped down the sides (and opened the doors) in their booth space at this show. this does the following:

  • Saves on additional freight. After all, the truck is the freight.
  • Saves on drayage. Well, I haven't seen the bill; wonder how GES charged for this?
  • Minimizes labor. Hire a spotter and some guys to roll out carpet.
  • While you do have the tremendous up-front cost to design and build out the trailer itself, this is just one more stop on its tour.

It's not entirely true that there wasn't a set of booth properties in the space. On the other side of this photo were some kiosks and banners. However, the bulk of the exhibit was this trailer.


Thursday, March 19, 2009


They can be a troublesome thing, but they add so much to an exhibit: lights.

An exhibit actually looks drab without a wash of lights. But this short entry is about something we all need to have: basic repair skills.

When I got to the part of the AWMA booth assembly for Retalix that involved installing the lights, I found myself having to make sure they all worked. Some of the lights came out of the box and had to be assembled so that they worked.

Wires had to make contact. Contacts had to be in place. Lamps couldn't be broken. And the "twist-ons" had to twist on the contact bar so that they came on.

These seem like little things, but in my case, it meant the difference between having 6 lamps instead of 12.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Collaboration pays off

Collaboration between your vendors--exhibit company and creative (ad) agency pays off with a consistent and dominant brand.

At the recent Australian Air show (March 10-15, 2009), Aviall again demonstrated the leadership of having their exhibit partners collaborate with their agency.

The booth was a shell scheme designed and outfitted by 2Heads of the UK and Dubai; the graphic design was directed by Zachry Associates of North Texas, USA.

In the concept you can see how the graphic look of the booth mimics and carries over the branding from other other media.

There is more to this story: the booth won "Best of Show" at the air show. Photos will show up in this space as soon as they are available.

for more examples of Aviall's brand and other media treatments, go to www.aviall.com or www.zachryinc.com.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ship dates

Don't forget that the beauty of trade shows is that they happen on a fixed date.

That means you need to honor and obey the Ship Date.

This is the day that all of your stuff--exhibit, collateral, giveaways and all other things that are destined for the show floor will be shipped out to the show site. A few things to remember about this shipment:

  • Try and make it one shipment: it will save money since you will only have one shipment going to the site (easier to track), thereby reducing drayage and handling costs.
  • It will all arrive at one time.
  • Only one carrier to worry about.
  • Make sure it arrives at the time designated (either to advance warehouse or your targeted date on the show floor).

Make sure that you don't forget anything.