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Creative That Works: May

Every May, the retail real estate industry descends upon Las Vegas for the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) RECon conference. As a destination brand company, our team attends each year to network, connect with clients and attend fabulous parties with the biggest and best companies in the real estate industry.

This year was the most impressive conference yet. Booths lined the tradeshow floor, all with one objective: to stand out among the masses. While many turned to the latest and greatest technology to draw a crowd, others took much more traditional approaches in order to break the mold. For this month’s Creative That Works, we’d like to round up some of the top trends and most innovative activations we saw at RECon 2019.

Best Creative Activations at ICSC
Activations from: 2019 ICSC RECon Conference

Sugar Rush
It’s no surprise that after a long day of networking (and late night out the day before), you find yourself needing an afternoon pick-me-up in the form of sugar. Many booths offer sweet treats, but Washington Prime provided a fully stocked candy bar from Ohio-based confectionary, Shelby’s Sugary Shop. Equipped with individual plastic bags, guests of the booth could fill up with their favorites. We liked that instead of just offering something grab and go, this activation requires a bit more engagement and personalization.

Via Instagram (@ICSC and @WashingtonPrimeGroup)

2019 was definitely the year of immersive experiences. From a Tesla Model 3 that you could get into to pop-up homes that make you feel like you’re far from a convention center, this year’s trade show upped the ante on human engagement. A crowd standout was definitely Candytopia’s massive pit of marshmallows. At first glance you just see a massive pile of what appears to be packing peanuts. However, as you get closer, you realize that the real estate developers in their navy suits are actually wading through a pit of fluffy marshmallows. This activation was a perfect combination of creativity and comic relief.

Via @thecanytopia Instagram

Fun & Games
Who says that networking needs to be a traditional exchange standing at a high-top table? Washington Prime impressed us again with The Yard; an interactive gaming area modeled after their signature activation for their portfolio of properties. Decked out with branded corn hole boards, musical instruments and more, this booth was certainly one that we didn’t want to leave. Similar to the Candytopia activation, we really enjoyed booths that disrupt the typical and pushed the attendees out of their comfort zones.

So many companies pulled out the creative stops this year. We saw art in the form of amazing interior design, light installations and photography. One that stood out to our team was DJM’s subtle yet flawlessly executed “Where People Thrive” wall. This black and white illustration wrapped the entire DJM booth and we admired how well it captured the ethos of their brand.

Finally, two other art activations that stood out were created by none other than Washington Prime (the guys killed it)! On the interior of their booth, they showcased a vibrant gallery wall that you couldn’t help but spend a few minutes staring at.

Via @washingtonprimegroup Instagram

Washington Prime’s most creative and impressive activation had to go to their live mural located on the outside of their booth. Tradeshow attendees were able to watch a mural get painted in real-time. The name and theme of the mural was “Making our Mark on the Retail Canvas,” and we can absolutely say, we couldn’t agree more.

Via @washingtonprimegroup Instagram

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