One of my big projects Black Diamond Equipment was managing the production of the Outdoor Retail Tradeshow booth. The 4000 square foot venue is a place for retailers, suppliers, and other industry professionals to meet while serving as a platform to present new products for the season and tell marketing stories.
For the winter 2017 show, we were asked to revamp the booth to create hype, drive more traffic inside, and elevate our overall presence at the show. The brand was undergoing leadership changes and new direction. We needed to convey a new Black Diamond to our reps—many of whom had been with the brand for over a decade—and the industry as a whole.
• Tell better brand and product stories
• Provide a sense of mystery and hype around the booth
• Reinvigorate the internal BD sales team
• Remind the outdoor industry that BD is a serious player in many product categories
How we did It
The goal with the Fall 2017 product displays in the booth was to show that we are a serious player in every product category. At previous shows, Black Diamond showed fewer products but repeated them for emphasis. But BD makes incredible gear across many different categories, why not show it all off?
Working with our new partner, Alexander Exhibit, we revamped the booth design in a very short period of time. To close off the booth, three new walls were added to the front. These walls forced people to enter the booth to see product displays rather than seeing everything from the convention center hallway. They also gave us more space to tell stories on. To top it off, we installed a bar and partnered with a local coffee roaster to keep visitors caffeinated. The changes were small but dramatically altered Black Diamond's presence at the show in a positive way.
With three more walls of space, we had room to break up product walls and give people something to look at other than just product porn. We told the story of BD athlete Adam Ondra and his incredible feat of climbing the Dawn Wall in Yosemite in a mere 8 days. To tell a product technology story, we sourced three different types of fabrics found in our First Light family and let people touch and feel them. We even went so far as to install a water fountain in the booth to in on our headlamps and show their waterproofness.
As the Trade Marketing specialist, I managed the operation and logistics of the Outdoor Retailer trade shows. This meant having a hand in everything from product merchandising, to creative services, working directly with Alexander Exhibit on the booth build, hiring a team to set up on-site, and provide overall project management of the many other pieces that make this three day show come to life.
Communication between the marketing and sales teams was key to having a successful show. The booth had to be a place to do business, but also successfully present marketing initiatives and the product line. I made sure that we were meeting the needs of the sales team while still making a solid impact on the marketing side. Communication between Black Diamond and Alexander Exhibit was also extremely important. We were working with a short timeline after a last minute switch to work with the new Seattle-based booth vendor. It was our first time working together, and it was their first time working with the brand, all while integrating a new booth design.
Organization was a huge part of what helped me be successful during this project. From coordinating the set-up schedule, to product merchandising, to packing up each individual box to streamline the short 2-day setup time in the convention center. I had to be organized.
Huge Product Line:
Displaying all of BD’s products is difficult with over 800 different products ranging from skis, to apparel, to climbing gear and headlamps. Products were clearly separated out and grouped by wall in the booth according to category. From there, top sellers, new products, and staple Black Diamond products were highlighted for the sales team to show the line. To fill in the blanks, a showroom in the back of the booth had the entire line available.
After months of preparation, setup comes down to just three days. Our booth design and presentation makes that a huge challenge. Working closely with Alexander Exhibit during setup, staying organized and being flexible is key to getting everything ready by the time the show starts.
The simple new additions to the booth were a huge hit. The feedback from our most critical audience, the sales reps, was extremely positive. I received a ton of positive comments about the new energy felt throughout the show. All day long, the booth was filled with people walking around and interacting with the product displays, talking about our new products, and getting work done.