2018 Grainger Show and National Sales and Service Meeting

Immersive Staging

The Grainger Show is an annual event for over 12,000 attendees, including Grainger customers, suppliers and the Grainger team. Highlights include a trade show flow with more than 600 supplier offerings, educational seminars, networking and keynote speakers.

The Challenge

The Grainger National Sales and Service Meeting hosts just under 5,000 Grainger sales, service and executive team members.

Our key challenge was to create an environment that accommodated a large audience but also brought a sense of intimacy to the space. Additional objectives included creating a connection between the speakers and the audience and providing a flexible stage setting scaled to feature individual speakers without overpowering them.


  • Immersive and emotional opening featuring a procession of top winners, veteran recognition, presentation of the flag and a rendition of the national anthem by a Grainger team member that brought tears.
  • Magnificent introduction and use of the stage environment for Captain “Sully” Sullenberger featuring clouds in motion providing additional animated effects to support his already suspenseful introductory video.
  • Rousing meeting climax utilizing the wide custom stairs which enabled a dynamic sales leader to quickly transition from the house to the stage and lead the 5,000-person crowd in an uproaring, moving chant of commitment.

The Solution

Stadium seating risers allowed the presenter to connect with the audience in the back rows, making them feel closer to the action.

A catwalk stage created another opportunity for the presenters to get closer to the attendees. Angled audience seating nestled on either side of this stage made eye contact and interaction possible.

Custom, wide front-of-stage stairs enabled smooth flow from stage to audience.

Extended scenic elements beyond the side screens further embraced the audience. Lit with custom gobos, these flats became a surface to subtly and flexibly bring key brand “icons” into play, tying the stage set in with other Grainger branding at the show.

A custom circular center screen offered a unique and surprising opportunity for content. This screen was positioned downstage of two layers of flats and a scrim/cyc furthest upstage. The layering brought texture and an impression of depth to the relatively shallow stage.

The ultimate measurement of success was to receive this email from Grainger’s CEO:

“As you know, this meeting is one of our most important events, with an audience of thousands attending. Thanks to all your dedication, creativity and many months of hard work, the overall feedback is it was a tremendous success.  The talented main stage team always impresses me with their professionalism, patience, teamwork, experience, and execution of all our last-minute requests for changes to pictures, teleprompter scripts, and even adding a section to the closing session. The result came off seamlessly. We appreciate your partnership. Thank you for making us look so good and for doing an awesome job!”


Standing ovations, overwhelmingly positive feedback in the live feed of The Grainger Show’s mobile app, and surveys were just some of the ways to confirm that this event was a home run.


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