November 26 2016

Wada Farms Inc. has grown into a successful Idaho-based agribusiness, now farming nearly 30,000 irrigated acres of crops each and every year.  As a fully integrated grower-shipper of Russet, red, gold and specialty varieties, Wada Farms Potatoes operates one of the largest fresh potato packing facilities in the country.

Wada Farms Marketing Group approached three companies to bid on the build of their new exhibit for PMA Fresh Summit 2016.  They have attended this venue for over 20 years.  As a long time exhibitor, they sought to make some changes to the way they traditionally approached the show.  This long standing relationship would later prove to be a challenge, as we would later receive some “push back” with some of our new ideas. As often is the case with established companies, change is difficult to sell internally.

During our discovery stage we narrowed Wada Farms’ goals down to a few key objectives:
•  Show their existing customer base and potential new that they were “more than just potato growers.”
•  Educate the audience on Wada Farms “Smarter approach” to the services they provide such as data analytics and logistics, supply chain, and their business services.
•  Finally, they wanted to bring in a technology component into the space to illustrate and provide examples of their capabilities.

To move forward, we needed to find out what they had done in the past... what worked and what didn’t. Traditionally, they shipped to the show their restored 1934 Ford truck to act as their main draw and branding feature. While an attractive feature and conversation piece, the marketing and sales staff felt it drew more car enthusiast than potential Clients. The Client owned an old truss structure that allowed them to push visuals up to the 16’ height. While an effective use of sky space, the structure confined and cluttered the floor space, creating an uninviting and closed off environment.

Next, we asked the Client for ideas on color, materials, graphics, and use of space. Wada Farms‘ initial thoughts included: Old antique, chalk board signage, farmer’s market, neutral driftwood color wide plank barn, and spinning hanging signage. Finally, we discussed with them how they planned on using their space and what they wanted to spend to make it happen. They felt the basic functions of their display space should include:
•   Table space to meet with current and new customers         
•   Open floor plan
•   Display space to showcase new and existing products           
•   Overhead signage with logo identity

As an Idaho based company with significant experience in agriculture, this project was perfectly suited for us. Up for the challenge with our larger competitors, we set right out to capture the vision and imagination of Wada Farms. We approached our design with an open floorplan concept.  By providing three individual kiosk areas we spread out the sales staff which allows the audience better access to walk through and view new products.  The Client wanted a semi private meeting area. To accomplish this we opted for a raised seating area. By elevating the flooring, the space is closed off to the floor and adds a VIP element to it. However, by not building up the side walls, the conference area does not feel closed in and claustrophobic

As part of the open concept we pushed most of the brand to the rafters. To answer the Client’s request for a spinning sign, we proposed an elaborate configuration of lights suspended from rented truss. We incorporated large programmable lights in the corners to provide movement on the inside of the hanging banners as well as the floor. This allowed us to alter the mood of the booth and attract eyeballs from across the hall throughout the entire show.  This concept was a difficult line item to convince the Client of. The costs associated with Suspended signage and lighting are significant.  However the impact is worth every dollar. While they loved the entire concept, they were hesitant to spend as much on the lighting and rigging. We started the design process about six months in advance of PMA, so we recommended that the Client walk other shows to see what the impact professional lighting has on an exhibit space. Upon returning from one of the shows, they agreed that the lighting makes a huge difference and they were ready to buy into our vision and design for them. The final results were even better than we had hoped for. The entire show was a huge success for Wada Farms.

“At Wada Farms, we know that first impressions are a critical component in the business development process. We have always strived to develop a component into our trade show experience that will “stick” in our customer’s mind. Nowadays, booth exhibits are all pretty much cut from the same cloth, and it is becoming increasingly more difficult to stand out amongst the rest. Creating that lasting memory in our customer’s mind has been no small task over the years, and Tideline was willing to take on the challenge. Tideline’s approach to the development process was well thought out and professional. Their counsel, industry insight, and overall approach helped us make decisions that we wouldn’t have necessarily put into perspective had we gone with other agencies. The best part of Tideline was that it felt like a true partnership; whereas, with other exhibit agencies it was more transactional. Tideline truly had our best interest (and budget) in mind. We look forward to a continued partnership with Tideline for many years to come.”                     

                                –Eric Beck, Director of Marketing

Download the Wada Farms Case Study