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The Making of a CES Exhibit: An event producer perspective

From Jan. 6-9, more than 160,000 attendees and 3,500 exhibiting companies came together for the much-anticipated International CES, held in Las Vegas. MC2 (“MC-squared”), a firm that designs, builds and manages integrated marketing programs for events, exhibits, and brand environments, has been going to the show for more than 15 years as an event-marketing partner to some of the world’s largest and emerging brands.

This year, MC2 delivered unique, face-to-face experiences for 14 clients at CES 2015, covering a total of 62,875 square feet (10 percent bigger than a football field) of exhibit space on the show floor and at five different hotel locations before and during the week of the event. The company supported a wide range of clients including Canon, DJI, Otterbox, Pioneer Car Electronics and Samsung.

Samsung choreographed multiple 4K TVs to represent pixels of one larger image.
Samsung choreographed multiple 4K TVs to represent pixels of one larger image.

While the show officially opened to the public on Jan. 6, exhibiting at CES starts months in advance. More than 100 installers and 200 fabricators along with a team of 48 designers, art directors, account managers, labor managers and senior executives from MC2 worked to bring clients’ brands to life on the show floor.

Exhibitry was brought in to Las Vegas from five MC2 fabrication facilities located across the country. A structural design element used by several of its clients this year was Thunder, a new rental option from MC2. Thunder is an aluminum post and beam system in 9’ to 20’ lengths. Large-scale, exhibit structures with big impact can be built from Thunder components that are then covered with lightweight fabric. Clients used Thunder for long, uninterrupted walls and towering vertical graphics and entry arches. Fabric skins were either devoid of imagery, creating expanses of pure color, or printed with super-sized photography.

Another design trend for MC2 clients at CES: Using client product as a design element. MC2’s longtime client, Samsung, pioneered this approach with arrays of television screens at previous CES events. This year, the company showcased its new line of 4K televisions using multiple screens as “pixels” of a larger image created by all the screens working together.

MC2 took a similar design approach for Otterbox, makers of protective cases for mobile devices. Using hundreds of cases, MC2 created a fabric pattern that covered the walls and floor. The result was a high-impact visual experience showcasing Otterbox’s Lifeproof brand products.

Interactive experiences were as much a part of the design as the materials. For Otterbox Defender series, case-clad phones were put through punishing tests right on site, with working phones in transparent tubes tumbling over and over.

In addition, Canon’s exhibit caught the eye of Find The Best, naming Canon No. 1  for its use of a basketball handler to demonstrate the connected story of Canon’s products in the home, the studio and the office. According to Find The Best, using this “[D]ynamic, human prop, Canon can show their image quality, motion capture, PC connectivity, and even printing capabilities, all in one seamless process.”

For more information about MC2 and its work at CES, visit MC2’s CES Board on Pinterest.

Robert Murphy is the chief marketing officer at MC2.


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