The premier resource for exhibition and event industry professionals

Art of the Show Competition Winners Circle: Most Innovative Use of Technology

Congratulations to 2017 Art of the Show competition winner for Most Innovative Use of Technology - Freeman, CadmiumCD and AEM! Read how they won!


[wpvideo irwGdjl9]

The IAEE Art of the Show Competition’s Most Innovative Use of Technology category is an open-ended and broad category. Entries are evaluated on how they used technology to promote, improve and enhance a show. Judging criteria includes: innovation of the technology component used and/or how it is applied; creativity in terms of how the component adds to the overall experience for show participants; and response from show participants to the component.

In today’s IAEE Art of the Show Competition Winners Circle, we highlight the winners of last year’s Most Innovative Use of Technology category:

Under 75,000 nsf
Freeman for Siebel Energy Institute and Siebel Scholars Foundation
Siebel Scholars Conference on Energy Grid Cybersecurity: Threats & Solutions


The Energy Grid Cybersecurity: Threats & Solutions Conference convened government leaders, energy researchers and cybersecurity experts from the United States, Europe and Asia for a three-day program to make critical infrastructure more secure. Program sessions focused on the frequency, nature, sources and potential impact of cyber attacks on U.S. critical infrastructure, with a concentration on the power grid.

Among the more than 700 attendees were recipients of the Siebel Scholars awards, which are granted annually to the leading graduate students at some of the world’s top universities. This formidable group of executives, entrepreneurs, researchers and philanthropists directly influences the technologies, policies, and economic and social decisions that shape the future. They were joined by researchers from the Siebel Energy Institute, a global consortium for innovative and collaborative energy research dedicated to advancing the science of smart energy.

When the world’s leading thinkers gather to discuss solutions to one of the country’s most complex challenges, you need a brand experience that reflects the event’s ambitious goals.

A dome ceiling at the National Academy of Sciences offered both challenges and opportunities. Triangular shapes of the ceiling architecture created a geometric pattern making it difficult to implement projection mapping, usually done on flat surfaces. The Freeman AV team created a “lidar” scan to track light detection on the uneven facade. The solution was a custom built 3-D projecting mapping program to leverage the various geometric surfaces of the ceiling using multiple projectors to eliminate seconding guessing or surprises during production.

The result was a dramatic immersive environment setting the tone for the conference. Custom-designed graphics were included in video narrated by journalist Ted Kopel, author of Lights Out, A Cyber Attack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath. Attendees were provided individually coded LED wristbands which pulsated like a heartbeat. Audio special effects elevated the experience as the power grid was shutting down. A figure, representing a hacker, came onto the stage and began typing computer code to hack the energy grid. The hacker code was incorporated into the 3D projection mapping.

A dramatic countdown from day one to day 365 symbolized the length of time people could survive without energy sources. Then the entire room went pitch black. Only a small group of individual wristbands continued to illuminate. As the lights faded up, Ted Kopel appeared on stage greeted by enthusiastic applause. Kopel explained the wristbands represented the one out of every 10 individuals who would survive a serious cyber attack on the nation’s power grid. The true impact of an attack became personal and memorable for the attendees while setting the tone for the experience.

Siebel collaborated with Freeman developing a brand experience to align with the event goals to create an immersive environment, communicate the importance and impact of cyber security, and inspire attendees through engagement.

Using custom-designed 3-D mapping on a geometric ceiling, the team was able to visually convey the key messages of the conference in a compelling video. By engaging attendees in a simple, yet dramatic way as potential “survivors” of a cyber attack, they recognized the important role they could play in identifying potential solutions.

Ultimately, 21 viable solutions recommended by the Scholars during the event were submitted to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy. In a post-event survey of attendees, 100 percent said they would attend another Siebel Scholars Conference.

“This conference is not an ordinary thought leadership event with loads of speakers and no outcomes,” said Corrie Goldman, (former) director of communications and events, Siebel Scholars Foundation. “This event is about inspiring smart people to impact societal change. We needed every aspect of the event to reflect the serious nature of the content. The opening 3-D video and attendee wristbands was an excellence expression of the urgency we wanted to create.”

Between 75,001 and 200,000 nsf
WVC 89th Annual Conference


Veterinary professionals congregate each year at the Western Veterinary Conference (WVC) for one of the largest, most influential gatherings of veterinary professionals in the world. The show is a comprehensive five-day educational event to connect, inspire and fuel attendees’ passion for animal healthcare. For WVC’s 89th Annual Conference in 2017, CadmiumCD introduced eventScribe Boost, an enhanced version of its eventScribe Conference App, with breakthrough features that extend beyond the educational experience of attendees.

CadmiumCD had noticed a huge problem in the event app market: most event apps are glorified social media feeds with schedule functionality. eventScribe has always been a little different, pioneering educational features like slide-sharing and notetaking on slides. But there was something missing – despite strong event management software tools available as part of the myCadmium platform, those tools were not easy to use onsite, when meeting planners needed them most.

So CadmiumCD worked closely with a few organizations and launched eventScribe Boost at the 2017 WVC Annual Conference. eventScribe Boost is a revolutionary piece of the meeting planning puzzle because it allows planners to manage all their content, data, and stakeholders in real-time, right from the app their attendees are using for the first time ever. Now, when planners, speakers, or vendors log in to a conference’s eventScribe App, they are greeted with alternate content blocks that relate to their specific role.

There were a few problems WVC needed to solve to be more efficient onsite, such as:

  • Transition functionality from old, expensive technology (like walkie-talkies and event binders) into their mobile app;
  • Manage their data from one platform that integrated with all content delivery systems (apps, websites, signage); and
  • Give attendees and speakers the best experience possible (easy-to-use, seamless user experience, no hassle).

“The result was a new product, eventScribe Boost, that could be used as a standalone product, or layered on their eventScribe App for attendees,” noted CadmiumCD Marketing Manager Michael Doane. “WVC was able to get rid of a large majority of their walkie-talkies and digitize their contact sheets, because all their vendor, speaker, and attendee contact information was housed in Boost. They were also able to use the app to communicate instantly with attendees through mobile push notifications and access real-time app stats.”

Speakers also had special features that included a seamless speaker ready room log-in experience and a personalized schedule based on their assigned sessions. Vendors had a button for team members, which listed all onsite contacts, and allowed them to text, call, or email a particular person with one touch. Meeting planners had widgets for to-dos, team members, notifications, and app stats, so they could pull data in real-time and react accordingly.

eventScribe Boost connects with CadmiumCD’s conference planning and data management system, the Conference Harvester, so that changes made onsite update any eventScribe products, including conference apps, websites, and digital signage. When WVC needed to make a change to the schedule or a speaker uploaded a new version of their presentation, those changes could be made in the Conference Harvester and were reflected across the board on the WVC website, app, signage, and AV systems.

Watch the video about eventScribe Boost here.

Over 200,001 nsf
Association of Equipment Manufacturers


The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) holds CONEXPO-CON/AGG every three years, the show where every major construction industry is represented among 2,800+ exhibitors over 2,800,000 net square feet and more than 150 education sessions including asphalt, aggregates, concrete, earth-moving, lifting, mining, utilities and more.

To showcase the size and scope of CONEXPO-CON/AGG in a more effective manner, in 2017 the marketing team created a virtual reality (VR) environment containing videos and images from each hall and lot of the show. Each video contained information on size and scope of the show, product categories in the area, and the 15 largest exhibitors along with video footage from the 2014 show. This environment accomplished two main objectives: it emphasized the size and scope of the show, while also appealing to the more technology focused interest of the show’s younger target audience.

In order to create this 360-degree virtual environment, AEM needed 360-degree footage of the show which it didn’t have, so the team improvised with static images and video of its past show. The marketing team also needed a vendor to create the VR experience to help bring it to life since it had never created this type of experience before. In the beginning, the team had ideas around navigating/interacting with the app and ultimately agreed on a “gaze” technology that would allow users to stare at a video, picture or section of a map to play/enlarge/navigate.

The team then created a dimensional mailer to put the virtual environment in the hands of prospective attendees. A dimensional (14” x 12” x 4”) box mailer was sent to the target audience consisting of:

  • A personal invitation;
  • VIP lounge pass;
  • Registration brochure;
  • Customized pair of Google Cardboard glasses; and
  • Instruction card explaining how to use the Google Cardboard with the VR Experience.

The goal of this piece was to generate 1,700 CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017 registrants that were relevant buyers to the show’s exhibitors but had not attended in 2011 or 2014. In addition, AEM wanted to provide a tie-in to and preview of its newest onsite Tech Experience – a 75,000 square foot exhibit area focused on new technologies.

At the show itself, through the Tech Experience, AEM’s marketing team achieved its goals of providing information to attendees about the technology coming to the construction industry in the next 5+ years. The experience provided attendees the opportunity to touch and feel some of the beginning stages of these new technologies. Virtual Reality (VR) was a big part of those components of the Tech Experience and the VR promotional piece served a key tie-in to the industry VR at the show.

After the 2017 show, AEM now has a comprehensive library of 360-degree footage to use to promote 2020 and beyond. However, this is not a “one and done” tactic since AEM is looking to expand the utilization of this environment moving forward with the new 2017 footage. AEM will be using the footage to promote CONEXPO-CON/AGG through digital marketing, on the website, on social media, in email, in the media and again in future dimensional mailers, and more.

“This piece has not only opened new doors for the future of our marketing efforts, sparking a new way of AEM trade show marketing through this digital leadership,” said International Marketing Coordinator Jennifer Gallatin, “but it also has the potential to change how event organizers across all industries market their shows to grow attendance.”

The 2018 IAEE Art of the Show Competition is now underway – you have until 14 September 2018 to submit your entries! Check out all the winners from the 2017 competition.

Share Post

Stay Up To Date

Related Posts

iaee blog station logo

Stay Up To Date

Join over 15,000 followers dedicated to learning the ins and outs of the exhibition and event industry!