MINExpo 2012: Who’s the Real Star?
Oct 26, 2012
MINExpo 2012, (at first glance) seems like a showcase of big toys for big boys. There are huge pieces of equipment that attendees can climb on like mechanized tree houses. The tires alone are almost twice the height of an adult. So yes, the products at this show are mind-bogglingly huge and it all feels like a playground of over-sized Tonka trucks. However, these pieces of equipment aren’t just big toys, they’re big business. In the mining industry, the more your equipment can move (per hour), the lower your net costs (economies of scale). So for the mining industry, bigger really IS better…
Not only is the product bigger, but so are the timelines! Sure, MINExpo only happens every four years, plenty of time, right? Well, when companies are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to ship pieces of equipment from around the globe (most of which are then assembled on site), the planning and logistics to make that happen begin the minute the current show ends. And that’s when the epiphany hits! It’s actually the equipment that’s the REAL star of the show! In designing an exhibit, we don’t need to overpower the equipment (not that it would be physically possible); we need to enhance the product.
So here’s the big question, at a show where a 40,000 square foot exhibit struggles to hold just six pieces of equipment, how do you create an experience that enhances the product, supports the brand and enables traffic flow (all while being budget-conscious)? An amazing challenge for sure with several different approaches seen at this year’s show!
Here are a few highlights from my perspective:
1. Photo-ops– Indeed, the best structure is simply the equipment itself. Positioned right on the aisles, the equipment photo ops became show-stopping beacons for attendees. My favorite photo opps are below.
2. Fabric– To offset some of the costs, many companies leveraged fabric as the structure of choice. Not only is it lightweight and can break down for shipping, but it also creates the incredible juxtaposition of soft fabric against hard metal. Additionally, with advancements in printing quality and new construction techniques, branded fabric walls were on a scale not seen at previous MINExpos. Joy Global in particular made very effective use of this for the walls of their exhibit (see the photo below).
- Caterpillar focused on showing the breadth of their product line and everything they had to offer to the mining industry. Understandably, this led to a fairly packed booth that might be challenging to navigate. Anticipating this, Caterpillar created very simple, back-lit, way-finding towers that incorporated a booth map (similar to what you might find in a mall). With one quick glance at the map, attendees could easily determine where they were and where they wanted to go.
- On the flip side, Komatsu only brought six of their very best (and very large) pieces of equipment. In order to keep sight lines open across the booth and ease traffic flow through the space, the equipment was oriented around the perimeter of the booth. This created an enormous open space in the very center of the exhibit which was used for a live theatre and provided a wow-factor for attendees. The open theatre space was like an oasis right in the middle of the exhibit, surrounded by all of Komatsu’s towering equipment. And since every piece of equipment was visible from the theatre, attendees could reference the real thing when the equipment was highlighted during the presentations!
After walking the show floor for a couple days, I felt proud to be a part of this massive show. From machinery to technology, MINExpo didn’t disappoint. See you in four years!
Did you attend MINExpo 2012? Share your favorite moments with me in the comments below!
Inspired by my experience? Check out my blog on EuroShop for more design inspiration here.
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By: Karl Baesman← Back