By Beth Buehler
Suppliers and meeting and event planners from around Colorado gather each year at Destination Colorado’s Front Range Trade Show to network and book business. The 23rd annual event took place on Dec. 5, 2019 at the Empower Field Mile High, home to the Denver Broncos. Held on the United Club Level West Lounge, exhibitors had to be innovative with trade show booth design and swag to stand out from the crowd. Here are some fun examples.
Who can resist the chocolate goodness of a rich and creamy cup of hot chocolate, especially when there are two types of mints, marshmallows and more to adorn as you wish? Grand Hyatt Vail made the booth fun and attractive with the red-and-white color scheme at this trade show booth. Aspen’s cookie decorating station provided a get-in-the-holiday-spirit moment for busy people and something to bring home to kids. A photo booth with mountain-style accessories, swag that looked like snowballs and a snowflake backdrop allowed Snowmass to interact with the crowd in a setting that fit the town’s persona.
Sometimes you only have a tabletop instead of a trade show booth. When I’m looking for attractive or whimsical tablescapes to feature in Colorado Meetings + Events magazine, it has to be different and have a variety of textures and features. Sonnenalp Hotel, Vail nailed it with the Lego work of art, big jars containing all the fixings for s’mores, a furry base instead of the usual tablecloth, snow globes and live plants to fit the holiday season. It thoroughly reminds me of this iconic property in Vail Village, so most importantly the boot fits the brand.
Yep, it’s hard to find swag that people want to take home and will be reminded of your property, venue and company over and over. I’ve gone to my fair share of trade shows and events, and here are a few ideas that stood out as they reminded me of Colorado, are local and are things that I will use. I still like trail mix stations like the one offered by Breckenridge, where I can fill a bag and put in my backpack for the next hiking or skiing outing. A taste of a destination is always welcome, and Pueblo’s booth offered small bottles of local spirits and packages of Solar Roast Coffee. Fort Collins’ display was both attractive and had branded tea towels, which is a popular item to buy in gift stores and kitchen shops these days and super handy for anyone’s kitchen.
Vail Resorts Meetings and Events went all out with a garden theme to promote its mountain properties in Colorado and beyond. On a cold winter day, the colorful fresh flowers, plaid picnic blanket and all the special touches were cheerful, infused the air with a beautiful scent and reminded attendees of blissful summer days ahead at their trade show booth.
Before slapping together a trade show booth, really think about what you want to accomplish and how it can make you stand out from the crowd, which is really what it’s all about!
Beth Buehler is editor of Colorado Meetings + Events and Mountain Meetings magazines, has planned numerous meetings and events and enjoys exploring Colorado.