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Trade show ideas: Splashtacular Entertainment

virtual water fall cool booth

Making a Major Splash

For making attendees feel like they were taking a plunge in a giant tube waterslide, the SplashTacular® Entertainment exhibit won the Best of Show award at the 2009 World Waterpark Association (WWA) Symposium & Trade Show. SplashTacular, the largest U.S.- based waterslide manufacturer, received the award for displaying the greatest originality, creativity and impact with its trade show exhibit.

“The SplashTacular Entertainment booth was outstanding–truly one of-a-kind and every bit deserving of this annual honor,” says Patty Miller, WWA director of supplier relations. The SplashTacular exhibit also received the Best Exhibitor Award in its category at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo in Las Vegas. Not bad for a company that previously caused few ripples with an inconspicuous rental booth. “With our old exhibit, people would ask what we do,” recalls B.J. Johnson, SplashTacular’s trade show and marketing coordinator.

Skyline Exhibits designed the new 20’-by-30’ exhibit to leave obscurity in its wake. “Our goal was to have a booth that truly reflects what we do,” Johnson says. “This is an extremely fun industry, and this exhibit screams that we do waterslides.” Three cylindrical structures mimic the shape of a tube slide. To simulate water flowing through the tube, LED projectors beam a watery pattern overhead on the blue liner. Monitors show video of the company’s rides in action. “It’s an experience booth,” Johnson says. “The design grabs attention and gets people to come inside, giving us an opportunity to walk them through the company and our new products.”

Meanwhile, the lightweight, easy-to-assemble exhibit has slashed operating costs for SplashTacular. The new booth can be assembled in a half-day, compared to 2 1/2 days for the old booth. Because the lightweight exhibit packs into two compact containers, the company could afford to expedite shipping for a tight show schedule. Johnson says that was never an option with the heavy, bulky rental booth: “Freight costs alone were a huge expense for us in our old booth.”