Written by: Tim Wirtz

Las Vegas is a crazy city. I say that every time I go, whether for a tradeshow or for vacation. I recently attended the National Hardware Show (NHS) and Sin City didn’t disappoint, I’ll just leave it at that. With  more than 20,000 attendees at the show, there was no shortage of opportunity to buy, sell, or  mingle. Everyone in attendance went all in.

One of the things I found most interesting about my three days on the floor was the amount of booths. I hadn’t been in a few years, but if memory serves, it used to be there were bigger booths and highly recognizable brands at the show. The big brands were still there, but in addition, hundreds of 10x10s had popped up. Times have certainly changed, and that trend will likely continue.

It’s not only the layout of NHS that is changing though…the content within each of the booths is changing as well. Gone (for the most part) are the days of brochure stands in every corner. In place of all the paper are big screens, tablets, and laptops. Why? Because paper is no longer the preferred method of information dissemination, nor is it how the next generation of purchasers want to receive content. Print certainly  has its place, but more and more communication is shifting toward highly visual, motion-oriented means of telling stories. At IG we receive more and more requests for animations to support tradeshow booths, so it was exciting to see a few of the clips that we put together in action, so to speak, helping our clients engage their show audience.

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As I walked the show developing new relationships and and visiting with some of our current clients who were there, I found myself doing less talking and more showing. I had my iPad with me and a link to some of the work we’ve done over the years. It became very clear that showing, rather than telling, was what I needed to be doing to start conversations. At IG, we’ve been saying for a while now that storytelling will all begin to go digital eventually, and in Vegas it certainly seemed to be true. Jackpot! Now if only I’d been able to win a little bit at the Blackjack table…

If you would like to take a look at the work I mentioned go here, and use the password igguest. I would love to hear from you, so please don’t hesitate to find me. twirtz@info-graphics.com or 865.266.3930.