The 2012 Trade Show Season is in full swing. Trade shows offer a unique opportunity to generate new leads, launch a new product design and strengthen relationships with existing clients. It’s not too late to plan new ways of meeting these goals by bringing more prospects in to your booth, and creating excitement about what you have to offer once they are there.
More industries are turning to scale model makers to build the center piece for their trade show booth. There are numerous reasons for turning to custom models to sell products. The actual item may be too cumbersome, over-sized, tiny or delicate to display at multiple trade shows. It might lack the visual impact that is called for in the highly charged atmosphere of trade show exhibitors. Emphasizing particular product features may be necessary to stand out from the competition.
While in recent years various multi media has been added to showcase a product’s potential, nothing quite matches the impact that a 3D replica provides. Prospects want to see and touch the product. They want to walk around it and view it from various angles; examine up close how it functions. Custom scale models give a tangible understanding of what is being offered in a format that everyone can easily understand.
Utilizing the newest techniques, model makers can add features that help a product sell itself. Cut away designs, LED lighting, clear bodies that show interior components all add interest and perspective that allow the product to tell its own story. A working model can even show a product in action. Using electronics, the model can be made to function like the real thing. These special features make for an extra engaging display, making it easier for the sales team to demonstrate the product’s advantages.
A scale model display, complimented by multi media ( pictures,music, animation or videos) makes for a powerful impact. Trade Show participation is a big investment that needs to pay off in terms of exposure and ultimately, sales. It makes sense to use the most powerful tools possible to attract and focus potential clients on your product in a way that leaves a lasting impression.
photo credit: EDubya
When it comes to sales presentations, having an industrial model sets your product apart from the competition. A color brochure of your product, or a video demonstration will not deliver the impact an industrial model in hand does. A model is ultimately informative, answering specific questions about your design. It can highlight particular features or strengths of your product while providing the necessary focus and excitement to your presentation.
The product itself is often too large, too heavy or simply too cumbersome to travel between sales meetings or trade shows. A model, on the other hand, is portable yet instantly recognizable and understood. No need to worry that the potential client cannot visualize your product from a 2 dimensional drawing or photograph. This direct understanding about what you are offering will likely translate into a more positive experience and increased sales.
A model maker can work with you to provide an accurate, visually pleasing, detailed-as-you-want model in a user-friendly scale. Specific features can be emphasized on the model, making it easier for your sales staff to illustrate your product’s uniqueness. Duplicate models can be constructed for whole sales teams. No one should go into a presentation without this necessary sales tool in hand!
A trade show booth should draw potential customers in to explore, interact with, learn about and bond with your product. What better way to meet these goals than with a scale model of your product? A trade show model can represent your design with the utmost accuracy while drawing attention to the features you want to emphasize.
- It’s often easier to transport a scale model than the product itself, and costs less.
- Your scale model can be touched and examined close up to see how it functions.
- A demonstration of your working model draws customers in to interact personally with your product.
- A 3D model is vision friendly – not everyone can imagine 2D objects in space.
- Cutaways, see-through design, high impact colors and working parts draw attention to your product’s special features.
- Custom cases are provided to house and transport your model safely to various shows.
Everyone loves models, making them natural magnets at trade shows. Customers are drawn to these replicas more than the actual product, sparking curiosity and interest in what you have to offer. Interacting with a scale trade show model creates a lasting impression that can translate into more sales.
Our model makers built a Tactical Airport Surveillance Radar model series for ITT. This particular design is called the TASR-2020. Using photo-like images for reference, the majority of the pieces were made out of brass for strength, beauty and longevity. The CNC mill was used to cut the brass parts which were then soddered together. The fixed location unit was built mostly of styrene, which is a more flexible, durable material than plexiglass. The radar dishes were motorized to attract attention at trade shows.
For the final trade show display at CES , our model makers purchased a collection of real casino props to create this vingette of a Las Vegas casino including felt table tops, a working roulette wheel, authentic poker chips and professional card decks. The chips were stacked on a rod and mounted permanently to the display with the playing cards and roulette wheel. The highlight of this display was the refurbished slot machine. The guts of the slot machine were dissembled and extensive electronic reengineering applied to the interior parts in order to fully automate the game. Details on this rebuild can be found at our how-to tutorial: http://ammodel.com/Default.aspx?tabid=439&Article=245.
Our model makers designed a trade show display that evokes the atmosphere of a night club for the Kodak trade show booth at CES 2011. Laser cut acrylic formed the shelving to hold 3 lava lamps with custom built bases and off-the-shelf bubbling towers. A small turn table rotated a tray of mixed drinks made of hand poured and tinted silicone. A martini glass was constructed from slumped plexiglass with a turned ren board olive. Christmas string lights were rewired and installed underneath a milky plex floor to simulate dancing floor lights. Two custom ipods were installed into a mixing board with moving lights.
Tasked with creating a sports themed display model for Kodak and Burton Snowboards, KiwiMill model makers sculpted 15 lb foam into a mountain. Off-the-shelf snowboard figures from Freestyle Max were animated using imbedded cams and levers to simulate sliding and twisting motions, as well as chain and gears to create the effect of grinding on a rail. Computer muffin fans were used to blow chrome ribbon in tubes to suggest wind and snow. A small fan placed inside a model of a snow gun provided breeze to blow decorative flags.
The Team at KiwiMill was asked by their client to create a scale model of Times Square to be used in a Kodak trade show booth at CES. The model makers used Google Earth to download pictures of this NYC icon. Looking at commonly sized objects in the photos such as people, windows, doors and vehicles, the team was able to estimate measurements for the buildings. The model was built primarily of styrene and acrylic, in N scale (1:160). Graphics were then added by using images off the internet, including vector logos, resized to meet the needs of each structure. Finally, a miniature 1.8 inch video screen was imbedded into the model, hooked up to a DVD player.
KiwiMill created 4 distinct model displays for our client, MSM, designers of the Kodak trade show exhibit at CES 2011. The purpose of the displays were to highlight the motion capture abilities of newly introduced cameras. Trade show participants could explore highly visual scenes through the camera’s lens while visiting the Kodak booth.
Our model makers were given the task of designing four separate model displays incorporating motion, color, lights and intriguing visuals. The themes were the following:
- a realistic miniature scale model of Times Square
- a vignette of real objects in a Las Vegas casino
- a stylistic sculpture evoking the atmosphere of a night club
- a whimsical display capturing a snowboarding sports scene
Check out this Kodak video of the 4 models in action at CES 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeSjuggYASI
In the coming weeks we will look at each project more closely as it was assembled in-shop.
In two days Las Vegas will be descended upon by the biggest names in consumer technology. January 6-9 marks the 45th year of the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Hosted by CEA, it’s the biggest trade show event of the consumer electronics industry, with companies typically introducing new products and technology over a 4 day period. Past products and technologies debuted at this event include: Blu-Ray discs, HDTV – 3D, DVR, HD radio, Plasma TV, Xbox, NES, DVD, CD, Camcorder, Laserdisc, and VCR.
KiwiMill made several display models for our client, Mirror Show Management, to be displayed in the Kodak trade show booth at CES this weekend. (Booth 31400, South Hall Upper level). Check back here in the coming weeks for in-shop pictures and tutorials of the models we provided for MSM’s Exhibit Greatness ™.