As a newbie to the trade show world, I was thoroughly impressed with my first experience at ProMat 2019, one of North America’s largest expos for manufacturing and supply chain professionals.
From the moment I arrived in Chicago, stepped off the plane and into a 45-minute Uber to the heart of the city, and all the way up the 96th floor of the John Hancock Building, ProMat 2019 had an obvious presence everywhere I ventured: in conversations, billboards, signage, and lanyards worn around people’s necks. The city was oozing ProMat Green.
ProMat was massive. With a 400,000 square foot show floor and 1,000 exhibitor booths, there was plenty to see. Thanks to the wayfinding signs, it was rather easy to navigate. Step one, of course, was registration. Here you step up to get your name tag created, then inserted into a standardized lanyard, which has 15+ company logos printed on it. Most events where name tags are involved give people a cringe-y feeling, but this was different. Your name and company’s name are printed side-by-side and worn proudly around your neck at maximum visibility. A representation of yourself and your company and a starting point for interactions on the show floor.
The companies whose logos were featured on the lanyards have some very valuable advertising real estate. I saw tons of people wearing them outside the trade show walls, all around Chicago. They were almost worn as a statement of, “Hey, I was there too! Let’s talk.”
Another favorite was receiving this ProMat branded GIF from our team during the show. Selfies! I have only seen this type of thing one other time at a local show in Charlotte. It’s a cool, interactive activity where people can take a break from what they’re doing and have a little fun. On top of that, as the company hosting the event, you get even more advertising opportunity with this. People strike a pose in a digital frame decked out in your brand, then share it with others via text, email, or social media. Genius.
Walking away from ProMat 2019 left me with an appreciation for the amount of planning that goes into a trade show this huge and a widened perspective on how our agency influences it all with strong identity design, clear and plentiful wayfinding, and creative, innovative ideas that encourage interactions.
Thanks ProMat! Next up – Modex 2020.