Special Events

Exhibits put show floor into play

Trade shows are big business, but many exhibitors today are putting big fun into their booths. Lighthearted games and competitions are proving just as effective as high-tech tools to engage event attendees.

READY TO RUMBLE

Playing on the competitive nature of realtors, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage staged the "Realtor Rumble" in its booth at the National Association of Realtors show in New Orleans in November. Attendees had to earn the chance to play by having their badges scanned and viewing presentations on Wells Fargo loan programs. Realtors struck a button with a mallet to send "buyer" balls into "home" holes.

The event was a winner: Visits to the booth more than doubled over the prior year, and leads jumped 17 percent, management reports.

SMALL-FRY STARS

At the Licensing International Expo, held in New York earlier this month, some 23,000 attendees gathered to capitalize on the new hot shows and characters. New York-based Jack Morton helped kid-oriented cable channel Nickelodeon introduce its newest crop of would-be superstars--including opera-singing duckling Ming-Ming--with a 8,000-square-foot booth that put the focus on fun.

Besides a 20-foot LCD screen airing cartoons from established celebs such as Dora and Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants, the booth was slathered in Nick's signature "slime," the green goo that is routinely dumped on heads of everyone from small fry to superstars appearing on Nick's shows. (See A-list actor Johnny Depp's dousing, above.)

For the full story, see the August issue of Special Events Magazine.

Photo by Wolf Hul

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