Call it serendipity. Call it bad luck. Call it fate. However you label it, the booth design space assigned to Kia at this year’s New York International Auto Show was not what the brand expected. With its current kit, Kia requires a space that reaches 16 feet high at any given vehicle expo. But when the brand realized its footprint at the Javits Convention Center only reached 14 feet high, the Kia team and agency EWI Worldwide (Livonia, MI) set out to construct a new booth to fit the less than desirable space.
With no extra money in the budget to start over, the Kia and EWI teams knew they had to create a build that that would be cost efficient and easy to install, while maintaining the brand’s clean aesthetic. And with just four weeks to fabricate the design, the pressure was on. The solution? An all fabric booth.
Using sustainable, lightweight fabrics, capable of accepting expansive runs of length and height without compromising the form of the booth, the brand embarked on its mission to construct a height-appropriate kit—fast.
“It was very important for Kia to ensure that the booth looked very structural, as if it was constructed with painted dry wall,” says Sylvia Lopez-Navarro, national manager-partnerships and experiential marketing for Kia.
To achieve the effect, the framing for the booth was engineered to create the illusion of a smooth surface. The structures were made with aluminum frames and fabric skins, which were 100-percent recyclable. “We really had to be creative and work collectively as a team to move the space forward. We didn’t see the low ceiling as a challenge; we really saw it as an opportunity to display our brand in a very premium, very upscale way.”
And while creating a timeless, elegant display was crucial, Kia’s engagements within the booth also played an important role in the brand’s experiential strategy. From an Optima racing game to a Soul photo booth, Kia offered an interactive experience that aimed to prolong consumer dwell time at every turn.