We are thrilled to announce that DRS and Associates has received a Gold Award for Best Trade Show Marketing Strategy from Hanley Wood’s Brand Builder Awards, 2014. Working on behalf of Watermark Designs, DRS conceived and designed a multi-layered experience for our client including an interactive booth, a contest and a social media strategy – all designed as an homage to the rich and diverse manufacturing culture of Brooklyn. The award was presented September 10, 2014 in Chicago during the Hanley Wood Foundations Conference, and CEO David Schlocker was present to receive the award.brand-builder-award-main-inset

The Brand Builder Awards, now in its second year, recognizes the most innovative and effective marketing campaigns throughout the residential and commercial design and construction industries. More than 50 companies submitted entries in 22 categories, ranging from traditional advertising campaigns to social and mobile marketing strategies to lead generation programs. The entries were judged by a prestigious group of high-level experts in the fields of graphic design, architecture and marketing. This year’s panelists were:

• Michael Bierut, Partner at Pentagram and Senior Critic of Graphic Design at the Yale School of Art
• Andrew Davis Co Founder of Tippingpoint Labs, Speaker and Author of “Brandscaping”
• Marsha Lindsay, CEO of Lindsay, Stone & Briggs
• Tom Miller, Founder Miller Brooks, Inc. & Darwin Branded Environments

“When creating a marketing strategy for trade shows, our first task is always to explore how we can tell our client’s story within the confines of a trade show booth and create an emotional (meaningful) connection between our visitors and the brand’s DNA,” said David Schlocker. “With Watermark Designs, we knew we wanted to utilize and leverage their ‘Made in Brooklyn’ mission, and once we broke through the barrier of having the booth walls designed by a chalk artist ‘on-site’ – that opened us up to breaking other traditional trade show ideas. Why not build your own faucet? The more we thought about letting attendees get their hands on the product, the better the idea seemed. This particular trade show is attended by architects and designers, and who better to want to play with life-sized ‘Legos’ to explore their inner creativity.”

Designed for the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) 2014 show, Watermark Designs’ booth was conceived and executed by DRS not only to express Watermark’s love of Brooklyn but to engage attendees visually and physically. Attendees were able to build their own faucets, where their work was photographed, exhibited on a clothesline and entered into a contest. There was an active social media aspect to the contest as well as on-site judging by industry editors. Attendees were encouraged to tweet photos of their own faucet designs and the photos were also shown on Watermark’s Facebook page. Every aspect was carefully designed to tell the story of Watermark’s hands-on, earthy appeal. Along with the build-your-own-faucet, we engaged a chalk artist who used all the booth walls as a canvas for artistic expression.

“Creating an interactive space that allowed visitors to participate with the products and engage with our clients went way beyond just showing up and being ‘sold’ to. It’s experiential marketing at its finest. That is what trade shows should really be about – and we definitely achieved that once again,” said David Schlocker.

To learn more about the creation of the award-winning booth, click here