Pitney Bowes at Shoptalk: Making A Little Curiosity Pay Off Big

by | May 31, 2022

If You Build It, Will They Come?

When you spend time and money to build a tradeshow booth, naturally you want to be sure the right people come to visit it. And there’s lots of strategies and tactics marketers can use to entice tradeshow audiences to visit their booths. One of the most common is to make and promote some kind of important business promise. You know, like “Come see how we’re going to boost your sales and margins.” Or “Learn how we can help you solve some kind of important business challenge.” Great start. But if you can add a little something on top of that, like a tease, a little mystery, something that really gets your targets’ curiosity up, you can have a bigger win. That’s because you’re not just offering visitors a chance to see some kind of new product presentation, you’re promising them something more – some kind of interesting experience that – done well – can make them true fans of your brand.

And that’s exactly what Pitney Bowes did with their “What’s Inside This Box” exhibit for this Spring’s Shoptalk 2022 show. It also happened to be the first live Shoptalk event since 2019, making it especially significant for Pitney Bowes.

You can see the “What’s Inside This Box” exhibit in the pictures above. It’s a 30’ x 40’, made largely from a complex supporting frame structure and silicon-edged fabric graphics (SEG). And of course, it looks like a bunch of shipping boxes – stacked a little bit cockeyed with the top one open for added visual interest. And spoiler alert, for the sake of this story we’re now going to tell you “what’s inside this box.” One of the two ground floor boxes offers visitors a sophisticated interactive demo showcasing Pitney Bowe’s new and enhanced ecommerce logistics solutions for retailers. And the other holds an old style “speakeasy” lounge for visitors complete with antique decorations and fully stocked bar.

Teasing the Mystery

But looking at the outside of the exhibit, a visitor doesn’t know any of this. So right, off the bat this exhibit is going to stand out on the show floor and get people curious. Very curious. But Pitney Bowes didn’t let the booth do all the heavy lifting. They built the mystery with a complete pre-show and at-show marketing overlay. This included a “What’s Inside This Box” curiosity-building teaser campaign with copy like this, “Join us for an interactive tour in a magical world where ecommerce logistics is made easier. It will give you a twist on how you should be running your business.” And video teasers on social media like this one. You can also see some of their campaign materials in the photos above.

Then Pitney Bowes added to the excitement with access to the booth by signup only – building a sense of urgency and exclusivity. Free shuttle service to and from the airport for attendees in a show-themed wrapped bus served as another way to build awareness and interest. And then there was the clincher – invitations to an after party at the Mob Museum, an organized crime-themed museum, for anyone who tours the exhibit.

To sum up, the show was a huge success for Pitney Bowes by every measure. Pitney Bowes generated huge buzz before, during and after the show.  Traffic was heavy.  And in the end, their success is a tribute to the power of an innovative booth idea surrounded by a complete pre-show and at-show marketing campaign that built both both mystery and excitement. Of course, having a complete suite of some of the world’s best ecommerce solutions to offer visitors probably didn’t hurt.