Post Categories: August 2016

Knowledge Portal: Turning Trade Shows into Five-Star Events

knowledgePicAcrobats, contortionists, Walk of Fame stars—sounds like a movie scene shot in Hollywood, right? As it turns out, these were just some of the sights Interactions produced at a recent food retail trade show in Chicago. Delivering the unexpected was Interactions’ goal for this year’s Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Connect event.

FMI Connect is an annual event that brings food retailers and brands together from around the world to network, share ideas and form new partnerships. This year, Interactions hosted a booth at the show and designed, planned and coordinated an exclusive after party for one of its key retail partners.

For the three-day trade show, Interactions created a cinema-inspired booth—complete with movie posters, a branded movie trailer and yes, even a take on the famed Hollywood Walk of Fame. But this time, Interactions’ services were the stars of the show.

Trade show attendees got to experience an Interactions’ movie set complete with a cinema backdrop, directors’ chairs, a promotional kit styled as a popcorn box and movie “tickets” that were actually recipe cards for popcorn toppings.

“The concept was literally about creating theater and how we can create the same kind of theater for retailers and brands,” explains Ryan James Dee, Creative Director for Interactions. “Our set-up served as a visible disruption that made people curious about what we were doing. That gave us the chance to talk and interact with them, explaining what Interactions offers and how they might benefit from our services.”

The flair for theater didn’t end when the day on the trade show floor was over. Interactions, in partnership with SAS Retail Services and the Daymon Brand Development Group, also put together a sophisticated after party for Ahold USA, one of Daymon Worldwide’s key partners.

“This was the second year Ahold USA hosted an after party at FMI Connect, but our first year designing and sponsoring it and we wanted it to be spectacular,” says Dee.

knowledgePic2Guests were transported to a chic cocktail lounge decorated in Ahold USA’s signature shade of royal blue. Waiters circled the room offering fresh hors d’oeuvres as guests visited stations learning about Ahold USA’s Peapod delivery service, Savory magazine and the newly launched in-store and sampling program, Discover. After introductory remarks from Ahold USA executives, guests were surprised with a 20-minute Cirque du Soleil-style performance in the center of the ballroom.

“We had aerial acrobats spinning and dropping from the ceiling, as well as a hand balancer and contortionist,” explains Dee. “It was very dramatic.” The feedback afterward was overwhelmingly positive, with accolades coming from Ahold USA’s Chief Operating Officer James McCann and throughout the organization.

“These events demonstrate that while our core business is primarily grocery-focused, we have the capabilities and talent to expand into other areas,” says Dee. “Trade shows are definitely one area we’re looking to develop further.”

To learn more about Interactions’ capabilities, contact Lindsay Steller, Director of Sales and Marketing, at