This year I was fortunate enough to have become a part of the Bio-K+ International, a probiotic company based on research and facts. To top it off I got to have a hand in planning our booth for the largest national health expo in the United States: Natural products Expo West.
This expo gathers around 60,000-70,000 attendees: 33% Distribution, 12% Health practitioners and 55% retail consumers. This expo literally took up the entire Anaheim convention center which is more than one level and several halls.
The sheer amount of people was astonishing. Our booth was literally packed the entire time. Fortunately we designed the booth with a very open design so that the crowd wouldn’t block the aisle too much.
Engagement & Brand Interaction
Luckily I did have a chance to walk around the expo and take a look at some of the amazing displays. A booth not too far from ours had a vending machine that was one of the most ingenious interactive marketing tools I’ve ever come across. This vending machine gave you 5 questions about the company and if you got at least 3 correct you would win a prize. The prizes were anything from a t-shirt, a watch, an Amazon gift card, free product even things like FitBits. The real kicker was that once you won the prize in order to get the machine to release it you had to tweet a prize code and a hashtag.
This just blew my mind because it is one of the most interactive forms of marketing I’ve seen.
- Visitors could get all the answers to the questions by talking to the reps at the booth.
- They were further engaged by answering questions at the vending machine, which reinforced the information about the brand. (the questions weren’t always the same)
- If they got a prize they then had to engage on social media by tweeting and hashtaging the event, brand and prize number
It was absolutely brilliant how they utilized this tool so efficiently. Although I did find out it isn’t easy to get this machine, not do they get to keep it. The company who owned the machine basically rents it to companies for events. The company also has to provide the prizes separately. I don’t know how much it costs but I doubt it was cheap and the sad thing is they only get one usage out of it.
The next booth that blew my mind was the Himalaya. This is a prime example of perfect branding. If you look at their booth there is the backdrop of a mountain and directly in front of it is this piped structure that allows you to see through it to the backdrop. Now I studies art architecture and one thing they taught us was that in many historical building nothing was an accident and in my opinion neither was this. This design gave you a distinct feeling of a grander height than any of the other exhibits. The booth itself was very clean and because of the booth layout also very airy. Their table top display was also tall with platforms to match this height feeling.
After speaking with the booth lead and the marketing manager I confirmed my suspicions that this was indeed completely intentional. Himalaya’s booth at expo west was a prime example of creating a true brand experience for your consumers. In the photo you can definitely see it worked too.
Garden of Life
Garden of life is another health supplement company. Their booth was also a unique marketing approach. Their entire booth was filled by a large watering can and gardening tools. This was true dedication to their brand image of fresh from the garden. Again this is a great example of good branding.
Now what makes this so interesting from a marketing perspective is that these oversized display pieces took up a large booth footprint. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing simply that it’s not the most common choice since it leaves you with limit space to be able to speak to people inside your booth.
Overall going to the Natural health expo was a thrilling event both as the new Marketing Communications Coordinator of Bio-K+ and as a marketer in general.