What do you get when you combine chainsaws, ice sculptors, a car being cut in half, a full Cirque du Soleil-style troupe with a high-energy drum line to cue the whole thing up? FLIRT’s concept for The Grainger Show 2014 Customer Welcome Event.
W.W. Grainger, Inc. is North America’s leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products and The Grainger Show is their annual event that brings together over 14,000 employees, suppliers and customers. In 2014, FLIRT formed a partnership with Grainger to help take this highly concentrated three hour juggernaut event to a new level of excitement, interest and engagement.
Our mission was simple - get this massive group of Grainger sales employees, partners and the company’s most valued customers to safely, efficiently and seamlessly move from a casual networking event on the trade show floor to the immense stage that would house the evening’s festivities - all while keeping the energy and excitement flowing.
With an audience and event space of this size, the FLIRT team realized that sustained attendee enthusiasm and engagement required an in-depth plan, larger-than-life entertainment and numerous wowfactors throughout the night. We wanted to give our clients an event that wouldn’t just keep the attendees in the room, but have them craving more even after the final chord was strummed.
To kick the event off with a bang, the entire audience came together for a night of food, drinks, entertainment and relationship building at the Customer Welcome Event, a casual networking opportunity that took place on the 300,000 sq. foot trade show floor. The night was accented with a high energy, immersive display of cirque-like entertainment and excitement throughout the exhibit hall.
Attendees were thrilled by the acrobatics of stilt walkers, contortionists and jugglers as they mingled among the booths. Highly rehearsed and coordinated before the show even kicked off, FLIRT staff strategically positioned entertainers on the floor at various times in the evening to direct attendees toward other event destinations all while keeping them laughing and cheering.
FLIRT also transformed the grand entryway from the exhibit hall into the concert venue with larger than life curtains, creating intrigue and suspense around what was to come. As the tradeshow event concluded, the crashing cymbals and lively drumming of the Rhythm Extreme Drum Corps signaled our on-floor entertainment to begin rallying attendees toward the night’s main event. They guided attendees toward the grand entryway and as they got closer to the curtain wall, the highenergy drum line came into view, adorned in and playing on Grainger products (e.g. garbage cans, safety vests, hammers and saws, etc.). As the curtains parted, attendees were drawn into the dimly lit concert venue by glowing cirque acts they hadn’t seen previously.
While attendees flowed into the 100,000 sq. foot concert space, they were greeted by onstage entertainment including a chainsaw ice sculptor, a live car cutting display and cirque performances leading up to the grand finale, a full concert by the World Class Rockers.
The Grainger Show Customer Welcome Event was a huge success, filled with high energy, visually spectacular acts and the integration of high profile Grainger products. Attendees were moved from location to location seamlessly while being entertained. By infusing each transition with lively activities, and using a creative edge to elevate sponsor and executive messaging, the event resulted in resounding approval from employees and customers alike. A stunning 96% of Grainger customers said they were satisfied or extremely satisfied with the event, while 99.5% of employees reported that they felt the event provided a highly beneficial environment to interact with their most valued customers. FLIRT is currently working with Grainger to make the 2015 show an even greater success.