When it comes to a show like CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE, having a large footprint on a show floor just isn’t going to garner the buzz it does at other shows. The desire and demand for exhibit space at a 2.5 million net square feet show (the largest show in the Western Hemisphere!) is so high that the Association for Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the show’s producer, actually has to limit the amount of space each exhibitor can have. Exhibitors must think outside of the box to engage attendees and really stand out.
At CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE 2014, several exhibitors did just that:
Here are my three favorite examples:
1. Taking Buzz to a New Level - Instead of just creating buzz via a marketing campaign, Hyundai Construction Equipment decided to take their idea to a new place by using music. They invited 65 students from the Del Webb Middle School Orchestra in Henderson, NV to perform within their exhibit. This was a wonderful opportunity for the students to gain experience performing professionally and to raise money for their music program, through a donation from Hyundai Construction Equipment. If you can’t compete against the marketing noise, create your own beautiful music that attracts attendees organically.
2. Using Untraditional Space to Physically Engage Attendees - In addition to Caterpillar’s (Cat) show floor exhibits, they created an experience within the Gold Lot of the Las Vegas Convention Center. The experience displayed 15 machines which included a new motor grader and scraper, both of which incorporated new technologies that aid operators. It also housed Cat’s Merchandise Center, Cat Rental and a Cat dealer area. To engage attendees they gave them the chance to go head to head with a M315D in a Basketball Challenge. Every hour, contestants competed against Cat’s operator for the most baskets. This 19,800 square foot experience shows that a little something different can really engage attendees and create a definitive distinction between you and competing exhibitors.
3. Reinventing the Wheel - With Komatsu’s launch of their new product “IMC” (Intelligent Machine Control), they added an additional, massive theatre toward the back of the exhibit with the front wall being used as a huge billboard. It could be seen from the front aisle and as attendees walked by they gave a sort of, “Hey, what’s that,” point. To generate additional intrigue and a feeling of exclusivity, the entire theatre was enclosed so attendees had no idea what the experience was like on the inside. They completed the experience with a small foyer seating area for the mini-presentations that entertained guests before they entered the theater. Komatsu enveloped attendees into their world with a simulated construction site, complete with equipment, gravel and even real trees! A set of 90″ LCDs created towers on which the presenters were shown. Above and behind the monitor towers was a gigantic mural of a construction site scene and 40′w x 10′h LED video wall.
Creative experiences can make a huge difference when it comes to engaging attendees. I challenge you to try something new at your next show, even if means taking a risk. You never know until you try, right?
What’s the most creative engagement idea you’ve seen within an exhibit? Share your experiences below.