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5 Award-Winning Activations for CES

By November 20, 2019 May 22nd, 2020 No Comments

Five Award-Winning Activatios for CES

CES, clocking in at an impressive 52 years old, is a worldwide global stage of innovation. With everything from cars, displays, phones, IoT devices, and disruptive solutions to encourage a more resilient world, CES has no shortage of things to see, check out, try on, and learn about. Spread between multiple conference and exhibit halls, exhibitors do their best to break through the noise and elevate their brand amongst the din of their neighbors. Because of this challenge, we are pleased to provide five award-winning activation ideas for CES.

As experts in next-gen digital experiences and interactive exhibits, our professional opinion on the best way to pique interest, attract, engage, inform and sell is to surprise and delight them using technology in new and immersive ways. 

We don’t mean plastering displays everywhere and overloading them with information, but truly engaging with someone in inventive ways can be a welcome oasis for conference attendees who already have more than enough to look at. 

Here we look back at some of the biggest and brightest attractions from years past and mine them for possible inspiration to help beat out the best.

1. ZTE’s Enormous Smartphone

ZTE’s exhibit was voted into the top 10 CES booths and it’s not hard to figure out why. We love this exhibit; not just because we worked on, but also… well, yes, that’s definitely a part of it.

ZTE created a floor to ceiling booth modeled after its breakthrough foldable smartphone. The bottom half of the fold comprised of multiple giant LED video walls, while the top portion was a giant mirror across the full length of the “phone” reflecting and echoing the experience across the floor. 

For content, we created a larger-than-life gesture-controlled NBA shootout, where users would stand in front of a giant CGI avatar that would jump, shoot, and release when the user did. This added a physical dimension to the experience that got hearts pumping and the chemicals flowing, and above all else, it was fun.

Also highlighted was a tunnel that explored the future of 5G, which we projection-mapped the floor to create a constantly moving and engaging environment.

Takeaway: Sometimes bigger IS better. Find fun ways to get your attendees up and moving. Get the hearts beating, and the good chemicals coursing through the bodies and they will remember you.

2. Hyundai Motor Co. – The Future of Mobility

Hyundai didn’t have a single car in their footprint, but rather, created a vision of both the future of Hyundai and autonomous driving.

As a centerpiece, they erected a giant projection dome with six glass pods meant to represent the cockpit of a future car, surrounded by curved chairs to rest and interact with Brand Ambassadors. The dome successfully blocked the ambient noise and allowed them to create their own aesthetic. The 360 degrees of projection put attendees into a futurescape. The passengers in the glass pods, equipped with their own screens, chose various modules that took them on virtual trips around the city and expressed the benefits and freedom of leaving the steering to artificial intelligence.

Takeaway: Want to break through the noise, find a way to cut down on distractions and the ambient noise of the conference. Create a new world and then use technology to immerse guests fully in it. 

3. MOLEX’s Exclusive LED Car

Another one of our clients, Molex, had developed the ultimate in autonomous car interconnectivity, allowing for 10 Gps bandwidth throughout the vehicle allowing for lag-free communication from the car’s brain to its steering, braking, and safety features, all while providing entertainment and high-speed internet.

In order to visualize this hidden system, we wired up a transparent acrylic vehicle with 20 different LED lines and hotspots. We then developed an app that allowed users to experience the connectivity in real-time as they selected various scenarios and needs.

What truly separates MOLEX from the pack, was rather than making the experience public, they focused purely on their customers, vehicle manufacturers, and aftermarket parts makers. The design of the booth, and the functionality of the app, the vehicle was all made with this in mind. They created a sense of exclusivity and were able to focus purely on leads.

Takeaway: Use technology to tell your story in a new and engaging way. It’s nice to stand out but always remember who your audience is. 

4. LG Electronics Breathtaking Video Wall OLED TV Experience

While LG did a lot of things right with their exhibit, perhaps the thing that stands out the most was the entrance to their booth. 268 curved OLEDs created a curved video wall that rose from the floor to the ceiling. Epic images of nature, water, space surrounded the single point of entrance, creating a huge awe-inspiring visual attractor that pulled people in from all parts of the show floor. Attendees would make a special trip to the booth to grab a one-of-a-kind Instagram image to share with their social followers.

Takeaway: Use highly visible technology to surprise and attract attendees to come to your exhibit. First impressions are important. Consider ‘grammable opportunities and other social shareables to give your physical footprint an online presence.

5. Audi’s Marvel, VR ride

Although Audi had a large show floor presence teeming with interactive tech, of particular note was what was outside the show altogether. Audi teamed up with Marvel to create the ultimate in VR experiences. Users would put on a headset and sit in the backseat as a driver took them for a ride. When the car turned, the VR experience reflected it, when the car stopped, so did the in-headset experience. The user rides next to Rocket, of Guardian of the Galaxies fame, and engages in an epic space battle. The combination of images and real-world movements defined a new dimension in VR.

Takeaways: Work with a digital company like ours to create something that nobody has ever seen before. Think outside the booth.

The goal should always be to surprise and delight with technology. Seamlessly interacting and engaging with consumers in a gamified form or unexpected ways can be a surprisingly powerful aphrodisiac for attendees, and Next/Now could be the perfect partner to help you bring these types of experiences to life. 

For more award-winning activation ideas get ahold of us at or by emailing us at: if you’re looking together put a project.

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