LAS VEGAS Convention centers, even particularly airy and modern ones like Aria, have a way of causing attendees' eyes to glaze over after a day spent buzzing around exhibits, meetings, or other forms of sensory overload. Recognizing the importance of keeping the crowd alert and awake at its annual education and inspiration powwow for industry pros, known as the Gathering, John Paul Mitchell Systems set up a dramatic, attention-getting yellow space to introduce its new (and first) men's brand, Mitch.
Senior vice president and creative director Nanette Bercu oversaw the project, commissioning Stoelt Productions to create a space known as “Mitch World“ in support of the launch. The team started out with a 4,200-square-foot blank canvas at the Aria convention center, and—taking inspiration from the brand's black, yellow, red, and white—Stoelt played up a high-contrast look dominated by black and yellow. “We were challenged to create an environment that enveloped the attendees while in the room and gave them a total perception shift from beginning to end,” Matt Stoelt said.
Stoelt designed vignettes for each product within the Mitch line that spoke to the brand's idea of the type of man who would use them. Microsoft Surface technology in the upscale lounge showcased specific product line characteristics, and two listen-and-learn stations had 60-inch LCD screens with custom surrounds and yellow headphones. The centerpiece of the event was a style bar where attendees were able to feel and use the products. Also included in the design was a wall with yellow frames, a custom yellow Vespa, a hanging tufted-style bar, a yellow surfboard, and custom-dyed yellow carpeting throughout the space.
Fully wrapped and branded pinball and Pac-Man games sat on the perimeter, giving the space a men's club feel. A 30- by 20-foot freestanding walk-in closet served as an educational look into the product, showing custom Web apps, partnerships, and advertising and PR support. A green-screen photo booth uploaded directly to the brand's Facebook page.
In addition to introducing and educating guests about the line, the space played host to evening cocktail parties and other events.