From Squares to Reality

Christy Sapone is Vice President, Corporate & Special Events, Exhibits and Experience Marketing at GES...

What happens when a self-proclaimed linear artist and a company filled with awesome designers collaborate on an idea? An extraordinary convenience store and interactive bar showcase, that’s what.  My 3M client, Bill Hibbard, called and asked if I could be in St. Paul the following day; he had a large meeting with Anheuser-Busch and he wanted to showcase his products. Sounds good right? Of course, there was a catch, but I was willing and ready to meet their expectations.

The experience needed to be completed in just four days. Alright, let’s do this! He wanted to present their 3M product in such a way that it would show exactly how the products would look in the market environment. He showed up with a PowerPoint full of squares and rectangles to illustrate his vision. See below for a photo of it!

Now, it’s not the exact drawing of the Anheuser-Busch room, it was just one of his sketches, but it helps you to see how our creative team brings a small idea to life. His overall objective was to create a showcase of 3M products that Anheuser-Busch could use to obliterate the days of paper and cardboard.  He wanted to go from messy to clean with 3M driving the market. We knew his products would do this, but the question was how would we communicate it? His vision was to have part of the room as a bar and part of the room as a convenience store. Now here’s what we designed from those ideas!

From there, things got a little more complicated. The room had to be in a storage closet, it needed to be built in just 4 days (in between executive meetings), no work could be done during working hours AND it needed to be designed, fabricated, produced and built in two and a half weeks. With massive collaboration between GES and 3M, a lot of laughs, and two sleepless nights during installation, not only was the room created, but business with Anheuser-Busch was secured. The best part about all of this is that they now use the room as a permanent fixture in the 3M Innovation Center.

Customers from all over the world have been amazed by it.  All it took was a few meetings and conference calls, listening to needs and wants, teamwork and a can-do attitude from all parties. We listened to Bill’s vision and visualized the room with him. From his squares we were able to bring the room to life and reality.

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