File_000 (Custom)As a marketer at World Of Asphalt I traveled through the tale of two cities.  Awesome, modern and innovative….and alternately over designed, crowded and confusing.  But enough with the negative though, there are too many positive, stylish booths to review!  So who was the best of the best? Let me share the eye candy.

Effective on a budget

SMS Turbo (Budget Grand Prize)

IMG_1997 (Custom)Many cost effective booths caught my eye, though SMS turbo did exceptionally well.  Even though they only have a 10×10 booth, they snagged a corner.  By leaving the sides open the booth feels open and inviting.  

Their signage, while not overly expensive to print, is well placed and not overly busy.  I especially like the wider table top sign.  While it may not seem super special the placement of the sign atop the table literally creates another level of interest in the arrangement of their booth by topping out above the divider curtain.  Bravo on putting a simple element to work.

They strategically placed nice sized TVs with advertisements playing in the booth.  This is an inexpensive way to direct eyes your direction with light and movement.

It’s also positive that they have counter height tables to display their TV, signage and literature.  It’s easier to cozy up to a counter height table and have a conversation than it’s shorter table counter parts.  Plus their tables are finished nicely with branded table cloths.

Now, I’m not a big fan of employees sitting at a show but when you’re there for hours over a three day period the body gets tired.  So if you have to sit, I think they’ve handled the situation well.  The tall stools keep the “open booth” feeling and even when seated it’s easy to make eye contact with visitors.  They also did a nice job keeping their seating out front, not behind a table which creates a natural barrier between booth workers and passers by.  

calvingroup (Budget Honorable Mention)

IMG_1972 (Custom)IMG_1973 (Custom)The calvingroup signage caught my eye right away.  The simple design makes it easy to understand what they do without having to dig through a bunch of graphics.  People always tell me, “a picture is worth a 1,000  words, so 20 pictures must be 20,000”  and in the design of trade show booth graphics I couldn’t disagree more.  If it’s not easy or heaven forbid ugly to show people what you do in images then just keep it simple.  And this booth does just that.

They’ve chosen a good open arrangement, with snacks at the back drawing visitors in.  I also like the flooring change, the bright floor treatment contrasts nicely with the flooring around it and the booth decor itself, drawing my eye in and inviting a conversation.  Nicely done calvingroup.

Large and In-charge

Top Con (Large and In-charge Grand Prize)

IMG_1988 (Custom)IMG_1987 (Custom)The design on these enormous displays was hard to miss.  I liked it so much I took a photo from the back and then 20 min later while walking the front of the aisle took one of the front too!  The large imagery and easy to read text in modern font faces coupled with easy to spot indicators highlighting their technology on each photo is like a breath of fresh air for an art director.  

On smaller signs more than one or two photos just seems busy, but when delivered on this scale the value position statements with imagery create a nice “shelf” for the larger images to rest on.

The angled-in smaller (yes I can’t believe I’m calling them smaller either, maybe I should just say less massive) displays do a nice job of grabbing my attention with the illumination.  While the middle signage ups the cool factor with live size truck tailgate protruding from the lower left side.

Their flooring change designates a clear entry point, and sparse yet effective equipment placement leaves the middle of the booth open for gathering around a conversation counter and viewing the signage backdrops.  


Dramatic Affect

Dyno Nobel (Dramatic Affect Grand Prize)

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IMG_1989 (Custom) IMG_1990 (Custom)

I was so tickled with this booth I had to visit twice.  I had to touch it, was it stone?  Plastic?  Just plain dynamite?  Try all three.  This booth is so substantial it seems like a home away from home.

The front “bar” area is well lit and leaves room to easily congregate conversationally around the front of the booth.  While behind the right column they’ve nestled yet another seating area for a more private setting, flanked by display case style presentation aids.  And I must mention the orange fire-esque up-lighting at the top of sides of the booth add another dimension all together.  Dynamite booth, ’nuff said.

Eagle Crusher (Dramatic Affect Honorable mention)

IMG_1994 (Custom)IMG_1994 (Custom)Everything about this brand hit me as dramatic.  Not so much the booth but the brand itself.  Hats off to their designer.  From the logo with the ninja feeling throwing star to the raptor eyes staring me down over the crusher and their bold messaging.  I like it, well artistically I like it, the feeling of being prey is a bit intense, though the imagery and attitude are just right to speak to their target market.  

Well preyed Eagle Crusher.

Most Comfortable

NAPA (Most Comfortable Grand Prize)

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I took this photo from my comfy seat.

I took this photo from my comfy seat.

NAPA’s lounge was a welcome oasis in my moment of lower back aching need.  The front of their area caught my attention right away with bold road flooring, the envy of little boys everywhere, directing my eye straight to the big screen TV promoting the use of asphalt.  While the front of the booth was certainly striking it was the back area that drew me in.  Four comfy yet sleek chairs called in weary attendees to take a load off and enjoy a moment of rest. The lounge area carried over the NAPA brand with well lit signage.  Thanks for the seat NAPA, I may try out your philosophy at my next trade show booth!


Best Design

Maxwell Products

IMG_1970 (Custom)The Maxwell Products signage is just simply awesome.  The 20 foot long curving display is bright, clean and striking.  It’s easy on the eyes and the mind, showing me just what they do in three simple photos without a lot of fuss.  The company name while not traditionally placed, stands out nicely, not by being the biggest item in the design but with diagonal colorful delivery and color.

Lighting takes the design up a notch brightening their area by both illuminating the sign and reflecting off the bright white background.  The two natural wood pedestals add a warm natural element to the area and provide a good conversation spot. Nice work Maxwell Products, I have a serious case of design envy, I aspire to display my services so succinctly.

Wrap Up

The eye candy was pretty awesome and I enjoyed all the great design at World of Asphalt.  How about a round of applause for all the talented designers, marketers and printers behind the awesome booths?  For more tradeshow ideas you might enjoy our 8 Ways to Generate Leads at This Year’s Tradeshow and 33 Items that Should be on your Tradeshow Packing List.  Keep tuned for our best booth giveaways!

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