What makes an event or exhibit cool and clever? If you’re in the event and exhibit industry like me, chances are you have walked a minimum of 5-50 trade shows in the last year and have seen a lot. Last week I had the opportunity to attend my first RSA Conference in San Francisco, and man did we have a great time! From the good food to the parties to the broken 109yr old elevator to taking my first BART and changing hotels and walking the streets of downtown #SanFran, it was definitely an experience!
Getting back to the #RSA trade show floor, I noticed that it was a very busy, high traffic and heavy giveaway type of show. I would say 95% of the exhibits were giving away something. Some were good, some were gimmicky, some were the usual suspect. I do have to say that a couple of the exhibits that were giving away the “print-while-you-wait” T-Shirts and Hats had the longest lines. That tactic definitely brought the crowd…The question is, was it enough of an experience that the attendees remember where they got the giveaway, and what the company was about. From my experience, the ones that knew how to convey their story to their audience, and gave away items that relate to their product had the biggest return on investment.
Here are the 5 most #coolandclever experiences that we saw at RSA Conference 2018:
Cybereason – “Since 2012, our technology has stopped the world’s most advanced cyber attacks, and we harbor even greater ambitions.” The experience: They scan your badge, you get popcorn and/or candy, then you sit in a plush leather seat just like in the movie theaters, except you’re in a booth. You then get to watch a story about the company and their services in a movie type presentation. My opinion: Very cool. Very engaging. They had a good number of staff that watched people near the booth and asked them if they wanted popcorn, which was a great way to get attendees in the booth. A movie makes the presentation much more interesting. I mean, who can resist popcorn, candy and a movie during business hours? No complaints here.
Terranova– “Our expertise consists of bridging the gap between information security and awareness – an inseparable pair.” I thought their slogan for the show was smart, catchy and easy to remember. Read their blog here, “Without awareness, there’s no security. They’re an inseparable pair!” The experience: This booth was very busy. First, they scan your badge, then, they talk to you and ask you what you do, then they tell you that awareness and security are an inseparable pair. Then they give you a great pair of socks. My opinion: Everybody loves socks. It is a thoughtful and valuable giveaway. Who can’t use an extra pair of socks? Not only was it a great giveaway, but it ties to their messaging. People will remember this company and what they’re about. My only complaint was that the booth was too small. I was happy to be able to talk to the right person to learn more about the company.
Demisto– “While attackers have used automation, and evolved with each new attack, we have not used the power of automation to our advantage. This is where security orchestration can help alleviate the pain.” The experience: A private offsite event at a cool gallery for their buyers, partners and suppliers. When you got there, you sign in at the desk, get a name tag, then you get doughnuts and coffee, then you network while you check out the gallery, go upstairs to have more coffee or other beverages, then you get to sit in a presentation upstairs or downstairs depending on your needs. My opinion: It was a well thought out private event. Those that came were invited and wanted to be there. They captured the full attention of their guests. The event took place late morning the day before the show opened, which was great timing. It felt relaxed and unforced, no pressure, which I’m sure the guests liked that. I thought the event was really nice with plenty of giveaways and gave Demisto and their guests time to have one-on-one conversations. They obviously did research on the time and location and had a successful event. It was a great turnout.
Neustar– “As the Leader in Identity Resolution, We Connect People, Places and Things to Help You Grow and Guard Your Business.” The experience: Offsite evening cocktail event at the official Marriott hotel on the 39th floor. The view was spectacular, the reception was very private. Once you entered, you had to check in at the desk, then you walk in to a dim small private room with a beautiful view of the city. They had a generous selection of h’ordeuvres and open bar. My opinion: It was a very nice event. Just like other guests I’m sure, we wanted to come because it was at a cool spot with a beautiful view. I didn’t get to learn much about Neustar at the event, but because the event was so nice and generous, it made me want to stop by their booth the next day to thank them and even got to play a little PacMan. I’m sure I was not the only one feeling that…I say that’s subtly clever.
Intrinsic ID– “Our solutions protect digital assets and intellectual property in the most secure, seamless, cost-effective manner.” The experience: Offsite cocktail reception during happy hour time. The location was a hotel rooftop with a nice view. They had an open bar and very light appetizers. Once you come in, you check in at the desk and received a name tag. Then you help yourself to the appetizers and make your way to the rooftop area. My Opinion: The room and rooftop were small and intimate, which gave the guests and hosts the chance to really talk and get to know each other. I thought that was a smart little detail. If you’re not sure about the attendance, a smaller room will always make your event look like a success. They were very selective in who they invited. They had a brochure for talking points which you can take home with you. They were very welcoming and took the time to get to know you. Kudos to the Intrinsic ID team for making everyone feel very special.
Entrepreneurially minded, service oriented, creative and agile, PLUS Studios is a place where the best of the old exhibit house system is combined with a new mentality and modern approach. PLUS Studios was founded in 2013 when a collective group of industry veterans decided to break the mold and do business differently. With our agility, insight, new thinking, and modern sensibilities, we have created the experience of a larger exhibit house; the PLUS Studios model was born! To learn more about Plus Studios, please go to www.Plus-Studios.com or contact us at 702-651-9611.
About the Author: Li Jackson is an 18 year veteran of the events & exhibits industry and is currently the VP of Marketing at Plus Studios, an experiential Events Exhibits and Environments company based in Las Vegas Nevada. She is also Founder of Tradeshowlife®️, an Online Educational & Media company and Executive Director at Rethink Worldwide a Non-Profit Organization focused on Conserving the Environment.