Creating a fairground stand with

an important message

Helping Tony’s Chocolonely make a big impact at ISM 2020

CLIENT Tony’s Chocolonely
EVENT ISM 2020
STAND SIZE 109sqm


The Challenge

Two months to design and build a 109sqm stand that had all the fun of the fair along with a serious message.

The Result

A bold, vibrant stand that got visitors involved and interacting whilst driving home the message behind the brand.

Tony’s Chocolonely is a Dutch confectionary brand with a focus on making the chocolate industry 100% slave-free. With its fun, distinct and vibrant branding, we enjoyed working with them previously for the Whole Foods Market and UK exhibitions.

After their UK team recommended us to the team in the Netherlands, they decided to use us again when they headed to Germany for ISM in Cologne – the world’s largest trade fair for sweets and snacks.

Tony’s decided they wanted to work with us towards the end of December 2019 for ISM, which took place at the beginning of February 2020.

The designs for the 109 square-metre stand were finalised just before Christmas, giving us a really tight timeframe. But we love a challenge and aren’t fazed by deadlines here at Graphic Mill – so we got to work!

The theme was ‘Unfair’ – spinning the idea of an ‘unfair fairground’ to highlight the improper distribution of money that takes place within the chocolate industry. We needed to clearly present the brand message in a really bold, memorable way.

There were lots of various elements required for the stand: a gigantic petition machine (handmade in our workshop), a ‘choco biting station’, coffee bar, meeting room (complete with exclusively-sourced vintage furniture to fit in with the retro theme), and other interactive fairground-themed games to give people the opportunity to win chocolate.

Because of the complexity of the stand, there were around eight iterations before the stand was finalised. We worked extremely closely with Tony’s team and remained flexible and responsive to ensure the stand could be delivered on time and on budget.

Two weeks before the show, Tony’s requested that we add an additional stand that would be featured in the entrance hall, containing a dancing chocolate bar and arrow directing people to their stand. Again, unfazed, we got to work!

We managed the whole process of the stand – from design and production to on-site build and logistics of delivering to Cologne.

Tony’s Chocolonely exists to make chocolate 100% slave-free. Not just our chocolate but all chocolate worldwide. Although we have a serious mission, we are crazy about chocolate and you can see it by looking at our bars, our posts on social media and even our offices. As a growing company, we decided to go to the ISM, the world’s largest trade show for sweets and snacks, to showcase our mission and our products. Graphic Mill did a brilliant job understanding Tony’s world and building a wonderful stand. Our design team and Dan, Richard and Kirsty worked very closely. Graphic Mill’s project team was highly reliable and worked hard to meet short deadlines. We are looking forward to working with them again in the future.
Marie, Tony’s Chocolonely

The Outcome

Tony’s team wanted on-brand, vibrant and retro, and that’s exactly what was achieved! The jaunty angles reflected the ‘unfair’ messaging, and the final stand was brilliantly blue and eye-catching.

Featuring an ‘unfair’ factory with blue smoke, a speakers’ stage with a chocolate bar wall (made up of over 200 chocolate bars!), and TV screens with curtains displaying the brand messaging, it certainly packed a punch.

In addition, the gigantic buzzwire game (designed to be played on the shoulders of someone else to make it a serious challenge and highlight the unfair nature of the industry) was made with foamex graphic on a wooden frame with a metal base and doorbell buzzer. The stand also featured plenty of storage required for the hundreds of chocolate bars! We feel Tony’s team was delighted with the end result, and we look forward to working with them again on future projects.

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