A panel of judges selected the “Made In Alabama” booth for a “Best in Show” award at the U.S. Pavilion during this month’s Farnborough International Airshow, according to the organizer of the pavilion.
New Jersey-based Kallman Worldwide said a group of three judges evaluated every custom booth in the 43,000-square-foot U.S. Pavilion before selecting winners. The “Made In Alabama” booth was judged to be the most effective large booth in the U.S. Pavilion, which housed 220 exhibitors.
“Made in Alabama’s stand stood out for its genuine stopping power,” said Tom Kallman, president and CEO of Kallman Worldwide. “The integration of bold graphics and a clear marketing message in an open and inviting large-scale space were undeniable. If you got anywhere near it, you noticed, and probably looked to learn more.”
The booth symbolized Alabama’s official presence at the premier trade event on the aerospace industry’s calendar this year.
“The ‘Made In Alabama’ booth served as the home base for the state’s economic development team during the Farnborough International Airshow, an event that’s central to our global recruitment efforts in the aerospace sector,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
“To compete in this technologically-forward industry, it’s important for us to present Alabama in a way that’s sophisticated and appealing,” he added. “The ‘Made In Alabama’ booth helped us tell our story at Farnborough.”
The “Made In Alabama” booth also served a practical purpose. Its meeting room hosted rounds of confidential meetings between representatives of Alabama’s economic development team and aerospace company executives.
Alabama’s team, led by Governor Robert Bentley, had plenty of competition at Farnborough. States with booths in the U.S. Pavilion included Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma, Virginia, Arkansas, Idaho, Ohio and Washington.
Commerce adopted the “Made In Alabama” brand in 2013 as part of a strategic marketing campaign to position the state as an economic development player on a global stage.
The 2016 Farnborough booth featured images of airplanes, helicopters, rockets and jet engines to convey the broad sweep of Alabama’s aerospace industry. Its dominant color – a deep red – allowed the booth to stand out in the crowded U.S. Pavilion.
Big Communications Creative Director Aaron Gresham, who designed the booth’s look, said his goal was to remind industry representatives and air show visitors about the important aerospace developments taking place in Alabama.
“My basic thought process going into Farnborough was that, because of the successes we have had in aerospace in recent years, Alabama could tell a different story,” Gresham said. “So instead of being a challenger, we really needed to show people what we have accomplished in the sector.”
With that in mind, visitors to the “Made In Alabama” booth could view a new fast-paced video highlighting the significant milestones and projects that spurred growth in the state’s aerospace industry during the past year.
The distinctive design of both the booth and the video reflect an all-encompassing evolution of the “Made In Alabama” brand now under way. The new look is also being adopted in print ads as well as a remake of Commerce’s “Made In Alabama” website coming later this year.
The strategic goal is to give Alabama a unique, instantly recognizable personality that sets it apart from competing states, Gresham said.
“Alabama has such a strong message,” he added. “It’s really about setting the stage to talk about Google and Airbus, as well as all the amazing news we have had in technology, aerospace and automotive.”