How To Design a Minimalist Booth for CES
Just a few months after our Kickstarter campaign ended, we decided to join the big dogs at CES 2015, the largest technology industry trade show out there. As a startup, it can be a bit intimidating to set up shop next to the Samsungs and Qualcomms of the world, but we felt that a place like CES — with its tech-focused and design-loving attendees — would be the perfect spot to get the word out about StandStand, the portable standing desk that every techie should have to work smarter and healthier!
Like many other startups exhibiting at their first trade show, we felt a bit overwhelmed with the booth options at first. Should we go with the relaxed, lounge style? Or the super shiny tech feel? Or try to get as much sustainable wood in our booth as possible? How many StandStands should we have out for passersby to try out? Chairs? No chairs? Couch? Carpet? Flyers? Banners? Built-out displays? AHHHH!
We soaked in all the options and then just took a big breath and exhaled. We realized that StandStand is a great product on its own, so we didn’t have to flash up our booth. We could just be ourselves and add enough context to the booth to attract people to stop by.
Thanks to the guys over at Double Robotics, we got our first inspiration for a truly minimalist booth. Their CES 2013 booth had merely two chairs, a table, a retractable banner, carpet, and their product. Easy peasy!
We kicked it up just a notch with a couple more banners and a Twitter contest. All in all, we outfitted our booth with:
- The basics: Carpet, a butcher-block, bistro-style table, a counter stool, and a draped 4-foot-long standard sized table to showcase StandStands… And, of course, lots of StandStands!
- Colorful banners: A tall, retractable banner and two 4’x2′ vinyl banners — one for the back wall and one for the 4-foot table.
- Contest supplies: A 8.5″x11″ clear sign stand, one 8.5″x11″ contest rules flyer (inside the sign stand), and 400 small flyers to hand out to booth visitors.
Our booth design proved to be exactly what we needed. The 4-foot table comfortably fit up to six StandStands at once, though, we kept it to 3-5 for comfort’s sake. This enabled us to show all three sizes — 9″, 12″, and 14″ — in the front row, while showcasing how to assemble a StandStand in the back row.
We also displayed the contest rules on a stack of packaged StandStands to entice booth visitors to enter tweet a picture of themselves with a StandStand and the hashtag #StandStandCES for a chance to win one! We received a couple dozen entries with many more people going home with a picture of themselves with StandStand and a flyer.
We’re proud that our booth was inexpensive, resourceful, and reusable. All of the displays we used will be used at future events, and the supplied we rented (stool, tables, carpet) are all reusable by Freeman’s, CES’s furniture supplier.
We’re especially proud of the retractable and vinyl banners that Lindsay’s cousin, Jordan Noll, designed for the booth. Without them, we would have had a very dismal looking setup! (Great work, man!) These will last for a long time and serve us well, too! Plus, living room decorations?!?!
StandStand’s CES adventure was a great start to 2015. We hope yours was just as lovely! And if you were at CES as a startup or entrepreneur, let us know how you made the most of it in the comments below. We’re anxious to share best practices!