The branding strategy used to build a new look for the 2004 Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas was chosen as a Best Practice by EXPO Magazine. The article in the March issue, "Extreme Makeover," details the steps taken to create a new look that would brand AAPEX as a must-attend event for the $250 billion automotive aftermarket industry. The strategy connected a new AAPEX logo and tagline, "We Keep Them on the Road," with compelling human-interest photos and graphics throughout the exhibit hall. The show floor also had new color-coded sections and redesigned aisle signage and maps to reduce "visual noise" and make it easier for buyers to navigate the show floor and locate specific exhibitors and new products. "The branding strategy not only created a new visually pleasing atmosphere at AAPEX, it also better communicated the event’s purpose in the automotive aftermarket industry and led to a 30 percent increase in sponsorships from exhibitors," said Arlene Davis, senior director of tradeshows for the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), which co-sponsors AAPEX with the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA). Even with a solid new look in place, Davis added that AAPEX organizers will continue to identify and develop new ways to enhance the attendee and exhibitor experience at the show. The new look and redesign of AAPEX were developed and implemented by show co-sponsors, show manager W.T. Glasgow Inc., Freeman Decorating Co. and visual merchandising consultant Murray Chapple, Critical Aesthetics. EXPO Magazine reaches 7,500 trade show organizers and managers, and includes sales- and marketing-focused features about destinations, case studies and revenue-generating ideas, as well as coverage of new products and services. To read the article in its entirety, visit the Media section of the AAPEX Web site at: www.AAPEXShow.com.