Our custom work clients often come to us with concepts, and it’s up to us to make those ideas a reality. That’s exactly what happened recently with GMR Marketing for Indian Motorcycles, one of the two clients we worked with as part of the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota.
Trade Show Topics: Using Custom Display Pieces to Extend Your Brand
“On average, nearly a half million people attend the annual rally, and it’s the place you want to be as a vendor in the industry,” says Exhibit Systems Vice President Dave Jentz. “Indian Motorcycles needed a great exhibit to leverage its great location at the rally.”
As the manufacturer of America’s first motorcycle, Indian Motorcycles cultivates a very distinct image.
“The exhibit really has the vintage feel of a traditional motorcycle repair shop,” says Jentz. “And we were asked to create some custom display pieces for the Indian tent.”
From schematics created by our designer, our shop responded with a custom-built retail display and literature stands.
“This was a fun project for us,” says Exhibit System’s Dan Dettlaff, one of our shop wizards. “In our industry, we typically use plywood to construct custom displays, but we used straight lumber and essentially built sturdy, custom furniture. It worked very well with the aesthetic they were looking for in this display.”
Dettlaff used a red mahogany stain on the pieces and then started the process of distressing the wood.
“We beat them with chains and hammers,” he says. “It gave the wood a great look and texture.”
He also added standard hardware at the corners and also finished the metal with a hammered, textured paint. The finishing touch? An Indian logo burned to the front of the literature racks using a custom laser-cut template.
“This project is really an example of the benefit of custom displays,” says Jentz. “We were able to create exactly what the client wanted and it remained consistent with the Indian Motorcycle brand and the other existing components of the display.”
Indian Motorcycle shared a 300′ x 100′ footprint with sister company Victory Motorcycles at the annual rally. It was a unique and fun project for us to work on, as we provided services for both companies which immersed us in the rally environment.
“Sturgis itself is a small town,” says Jentz, who traveled out to South Dakota with an Exhibit Systems team for I&D and onsite support this year. “It’s fascinating to see these large-scale exhibits come to life in the parking lots around Sturgis.”
There was a lot of activity in the Indian Motorcycle tent, with an appearance by Mike Wolfe of the History Channel’s “American Pickers.” If you don’t watch the show, Wolfe is perpetually on the hunt for Indian Motorcycles as he picks his way across America. Indian also unveiled its 2014 motorcycle line, and our literature displays were used after the reveal to hold information on the new bikes.
As for our client, they were very pleased with our contribution to their Sturgis presence this year.
“It’s great to be able to trust a partner that understands the vision and grasps the brand look and feel,” says Brent Gross, account director at GMR Marketing who works on behalf of Indian Motorcycles. “Being able to visually take a simplistic explanation and transform it into something that exceeds expectations, is on brand, and on budget is a trend I have seen repeated with the work Exhibit Systems provides to our clients.”
We hope this information is helpful as your marketing team starts planning your next trade show and event. Please call us at 262-432-8410 or email us if you would like our help to integrate any of these innovations and trends into your next trade show and event.