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CES Frozen ThinkPad

The Challenges

ESG and Lenovo have been collaborating on CES for 12 years now and have built a strong professional partnership. Both companies are comfortable pushing the boundaries of what is possible, and we both play on each other’s innovation and ability to think outside the box.

  • The first challenge: brainstorm a display that would break the mold and serve as an attractive, eye-catching visual representation of ThinkPad’s durability.

What did we come up with? Freeze the laptop in a block of ice, of course!

  • Engineering a display made of real ice that would encase a running ThinkPad laptop on the show floor was the ultimate test in our creativity, attention to detail and thoughtful problem-solving skills.
  • As always, it was our top priority to create the best possible experience for our client and their attendees.

Our Solution

  • We quickly understood that because the ice could only last approximately 10 hours, it would need to be replaced twice per 15-hour day.
  • We took into consideration several challenges before installation: unknown environmental factors within the venue made it impossible to test the display beforehand, and weighing in at 400 pounds, the colossal size of the ice presented safety and logistical issues.
  • There was only a 2-hour window of opportunity to replace the ice, with only one way of maneuvering it into the display: through the back window of the display, inside the bar area of the show floor.
  • Getting the ice block safely in and out of the display had to be meticulously planned and then executed as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
  • After a dry run with a local Philadelphia vendor before the show, and an additional test run during setup in Las Vegas, we felt reassured in our methods and fully prepared to launch our display live on the show floor.

The Results

Conducting the test run on the show floor provided valuable insight that allowed us to confidently display the laptop for the full 10 hours encased in ice before replacing, and make adjustments to the way the laptop was mounted—resulting in a sleeker overall design.

  • All said and done, the display was a great success. It was visually stunning, easily one of the most interesting displays ESG has ever done at CES and lived up to our plans for it as a statement piece.
  • Thousands of people per day walked directly by the ice as they were moving through the booth, with many stopping to snap a selfie with the display.
  • More than 1,000 people attending the evening events waited inline passing directly by the display, which resulted in hundreds of pictures taken by this audience alone.
  • The visually striking display lent itself well to social media, enjoying positive coverage from several of Lenovo’s business units across multiple languages, praise from company execs, along with media coverage including Forbes magazine.

With meticulous planning and flawless execution, both Lenovo and ESG were thrilled at the success of this frozen display.