From Idea to Execution…The Making of the DENTSPLY GAC Booth

From Idea to Execution2If you attended this year’s AAO show in Philadelphia, then it’s likely you spent some time exploring the interactive attraction that was the DENTSPLY GAC booth. That’s because the GAC booth was the “go to” exhibit of the show. Not only was the booth swamped during the weekend, but it managed to generate a steady stream of traffic through Mondays session, a slow traffic day where exhibitors typically don’t see as many of their customers.

The booth was the culmination of a fully integrated marketing campaign that had its genesis almost a year before the booth made its grand debut on the AAO floor. DENTSPLY GAC partnered with DCI Management to design and build the booth.

“Once the design for the booth started coming together, we let our expectations rise a little bit. We thought it would be good. But we had no idea it would be this good,” said John Kringel, Director of Marketing for DENTSPLY GAC. “You know things are going well when you’ve got other exhibitors… basically our competitors, coming to the booth to see what it’s all about.”


“…the GAC booth was designed to be epic in its scope and functionality.”


Unlike the typical tradeshow booth that features a fixed design and corporate message, the GAC booth was designed to be epic in its scope and functionality. With elements that stood some 50 feet above the tradeshow floor and featuring massive high-definition displays as-well-as a series of fully interactive sampling stations, the booth was anything but static.

From Idea to Execution7

The footprint of the booth was carefully thought out. The product stations and meeting spaces were laid out to allow for a high number of visitors to be onsite without feeling crowded.

For the branding and content, DENTSPLY GAC worked with longtime strategic partner Blakeslee Advertising. The visuals and voice of the messaging were an extension of DENTSPLY GAC’s current Visionary campaign. Like the advertisements and online executions, the booth featured the now iconic “Visionary Girl”.

One of the biggest challenges DENTSPLY GAC faced was how to highlight its current portfolio of products and services in a way that was both intriguing and informative. Adding to the challenge was the fact that this task had to be completed without the use of sound, since conventions tend to be noisy places.

From Idea to Execution6To overcome these challenges, the team made the creative decision to immerse the Visionary Girl in a virtual environment. While this would be a challenge from a production standpoint, it would give the team the liberty to showcase the DENTSPLY GAC portfolio in a visually compelling way.

There were additional displays at ground level including an interactive quiz that show attendees could participate in to win prizes and show swag. Plus they were able to dedicate some “prime real estate” in the booth to feature a poster for the AAO/DOS (Donated Orthodontic Services), a program that DENTSPLY GAC is now proudly sponsoring as an Access to Care Partner (neso. org/access-to-care).

From Idea to Execution3Capping things off, GAC strategically selected an ideal location on the floor of the show. And finally there were the booth giveaways—t-shirts and bracelets—that became ubiquitous with this year’s show.

Even with all of that, there were the elements to the experience that were not visible from the floor of the show. That included the “BE Visionary” dinner held at the stunning R2L restaurant where guests were treated to keynote speaker and author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Contagious: Why Things Catch On. DENTSPLY GAC also hosted the first CCO Summit followed by the popular Casino Night at the iconic Ben Franklin Institute. Both events were fully attended and enthusiastically received.

From Idea to Execution4“This is really a testament to GAC and our strategic partners. All the hard work that everyone has put in has been leading up to this event. To those who stood by us through the challenging times, we thank you. To those who doubted our ability to get to this point, we thank you for the motivation. The booth is really a reflection of who we are and what we stand for. It’s a commitment to excellence that we all have in common,” added Kringel.

What will the future hold for next year’s AAO? We’re not telling…but know that whatever it turns out to be, it’s got some pretty big shoes to fill.

This article published in 2013 OrthoWorld.

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