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Riding the Rails at the 2014 PMA Expo

As the Creative Agency of Record for Railex, this year we had a new challenge on our hands: Upgrade the design of Railex’s trade show presence for the 2014 PMA Fresh Summit.

We were tasked with showcasing the company’s services and newly opened facilities, attract qualified leads, and give the sales staff a private meeting area, all within a pre-set budget.

Having attended a smattering of trade shows ourselves, one thing was obvious: people are attracted to free things. We understand that there is a huge difference between throw-away tchotchkes and valuable, clever goodies. We opted for a combination of valuable and brand-related giveaways to attract attendees: Four $1,000 cash prizes, 5 iPad minis, 10 model train replicas, and as a nod to Railex’s wine facility, we also threw in 2 dozen Rabbit corkscrew and a pair of Ste Michelle wine cases, a vinter than has been riding Railex since 2009 – WHEW!


We looked at the construction of the Railex booth as a capital investment. The team aimed to create something that could be erected easily and used year after year. Any ability to update the style/messaging each time around would be a bonus. With some research and ingenuity, we were able to develop a modularly-built unit that was designed to look like a Railex rail car on the inside and out. Inside the conference space, 2 out of the 4 walls displayed images of stacked boxes of apples, as if you were riding in the air-conditioned unit train with them. The other 2 walls featured a service map and a photo gallery, which served as conversational aids for the private customer meetings. All walls were constructed with light-weight aluminum poles and tension fabric that stretched beautifully (and easily!) around them.


Free stuff is great, but winning valuable stuff is even better. During the leadup to the big event, we ran a direct-mail campaign, supported with e-mail followup, to prospects and current customers. Each recipient was provided with a secret code. To make awarding the prizes a bit more fun, we developed the “Railex Giveaway Station”. Visitors arrived at the booth, entered their unique code and hit the prize button. On screen, a Railex train pulls into the station and reveals the prize. Our guest’s contact information was collected, stored and integrated in to Railex’s client relationship software. The best part? No one walked away empty handed. If your code wasn’t a big winner, you at least went home with a Railex juicer (because Railex transports tons of citrus) and a high quality Railex USB stick pre-loaded with information about Railex’s services.


For us, PMA 2014 provided us the perfect time to catch up with Railex’s Sales team, who hail from across the country. We also spent quality time with our partners at Bullseye Strategy (Railex’s lead-generation and SEO firm) who were on-site helping to set up, break down, and keep the booth running smoothly.



Learn more about our partnership with Railex here.

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