The Ultimate Google Assistant Playground

After successful campaigns at CES 2018, SXSW and smaller shows, Google continues the evolving story of the Google Assistant and how it helps users in every day life. Retaining some elements from 2018, the two-story, 36,000 sq. ft. 2019 experience is an inviting, open space with compelling programming, content and large format, direct messaging via a massive exterior LED screen on the experience’s exterior as well as a city-wide out of home campaign. At CES 2019, Google continues to shape the Assistant narrative with finesse and touches that give the brand its distinctive, authentic vibe.

Many brands, developers and manufacturers working with the Assistant participate in CES. This gives Google a natural platform to highlight these partnerships and integrations—but of course, in an “Only Google Can” way.

In the words of the client, “Life is a ride. It’s full of twists, turns, stops, and starts.” What better way to immerse attendees in the Google Assistant story than a fun ride experience that mimics the chaos of everyday life. The ride includes pre- and post-show experiences, a programming studio, partner and Made by Google device galleries. Various demos illustrate how the Google Assistant fits into every part of your life—it’s the ultimate Google Assistant Playground.

Level 1

Approaching the front of the experience, attendees are greeted by a “Pizza/Party/Coffee” LED screen that displays current programming in the space. Located on the first floor, facing the main thoroughfare between the convention center and Central Plaza, the Cafe is a pop-up space featuring Assistant software partners, Pizza Hut and Starbucks. Over the course of the show, attendees recharge with Starbucks handcrafted Nitro Cold Brew or refuel at an afternoon pop-up Google Assistant Pizza Hut Party. Attendees unwind at a networking space that gives a nod to past technology. The space features custom benches with brass plaques engraved with dedications such as “In Memory of Floppy Disks” and “In Memory of Your First Beeper.”

On the Go
A mini Las Vegas diorama illustrates how queries connect to kinetic interactions which highlight how Assistant helps users On the Go. Reminiscent of a carnival midway, attendees interact with Assistant via Google Pixels available in one of seven “stalls.” Attendees ask queries such as, “Hey Google, what are the rates at MGM tonight?” and the MGM hotel lights up. Or, “Hey Google, what does a flight cost to Las Vegas?” and a small airplane flies across the diorama.

In the Car
Anchored at the front of Level 1 are In the Car experiences. Two cars feature Google Guide hosted demos to illustrate how the Google Assistant helps in the car with hands-free directions, entertainment and calls. Car one features Google Assistant in Google Maps navigation mode. Those who love Google maps no longer have to leave the app to access the Assistant. Additionally, Google announces the release of a new accessory from Ranker, Roav Bolt. The new device simplifies phone and car pairing and improves overall interaction with Assistant. Car two features Android Auto. Users connect their Android phone to over 500 compatible car models from 50 different car brands for hands-free help.

Made by Google / Friends of the Google Assistant
Whether a partner built-in, a partner works with or a Made by Google product, Google celebrates all devices that use Google Assistant—now available on one billion devices. The Made by Google showcase is a museum-worthy ode to Google’s own products: Google Home minis, Nest ecosystem (camera, doorbell and thermostat), Google Home Max, Pixels and Pixel Slate. The design, inspired by garage tool peg wall, creates geometric shelving units for each featured product. An LED screen in the center of space displays queries that coordinate with the products. As queries move across the screen, the corresponding geometric shape lights up. Adjacent to the Made by Google wall is a curated gallery featuring over a hundred “Friends of the Assistant” devices that work with Google Assistant or products that have Google Assistant built-in including headphones, phones, watches, vacuums, and more.

Studio (Programming)
The studio is a multipurpose space between the device galleries and post-show experience. As attendees move from the device galleries and In the Car demos, they’re invited to pop-in and enjoy the rotating content throughout the day. Celebrity chef, Chris Cosentino, showcases the Assistant in the kitchen, Vox Media’s “The Verge” podcast reports live from CES, workshops demo Made by Google products, guided meditations use Google Assistant and Headspace, and invite-only industry happy hours make the Studio a perfect networking space.

At Home
A “house within an exhibit” showcases how the Google Assistant helps in all aspects of home life; getting out of bed, making Grandma’s lasagna in the faux kitchen, planning a trip to Italy, or answering the door. The At Home tour is a scripted experience led by Google Guides with extensive product training. Features include the Google Home Hub and Nest integration, a Google translate product demo, Assistant-enabled front door locks, and more.

Level 2

Pre-Show Experience
As attendees approach the Playground, a carnival-inspired marquee, “The Ride,” invites attendees to queue up for the experience. VIP reservations are also available. Guests weave their way along the queue are were treated to an amusement-park style pre-show experience that gives a glimpse into what’s to come on The Ride. The pre-show includes an interactive, animatronic Grandma (a nod to CES 2018) who comments on attendee fashion, hairstyles and raises excitement for what’s to come. The queue leads to a room where a Google Guide, before kicking off the show, encourages groups of thirty attendees at a time to capture and post the experience. As stars twinkle on the ceiling, the pre-show sets the stage for the ride: a story of life’s trials and tribulations while trying not to forget the cake for Grandma’s 90th birthday party. The focal point of the room is a animatronic “sleeping dad” snuggled under the covers and breathing softly as his wife gets ready for a business trip. As the narrator begins his story, a silhouette of the wife projected on the wall reminds her sleeping husband to pick up the cake for Grandma.

The Ride
After the pre-show, attendees take a set of steel stairs to the second queue area. Guests were separated in groups of two, each group assigned to one of seven train cars. The cars are fabricated from white fiberglass and feature custom Assistant molecules and interactive media consoles that help tell the story of the Assistant throughout the journey. The Ride is divided into five zones:

Zone 1: Waking up/Getting out of the house
Zone 2: Traffic Jam/Storm

Zone 3: Patisserie/Singing Macaroons
Zone 4: Dark Room (Pre-Surprise Party)

Zone 5: Surprise Party/Party Selfie Moment with Pixel

We encourage you to experience The Google Assistant Ride for yourself here.

Post-Show Experience
When the ride’s over, attendees make their way down to the post-show experience. Large screens display photos from the ride. Attendees scan their badges to get a copy of their photo AND redeem a free Google Home Hub from the online Google Store. Adjacent to the photo wall, a large bakery case displays trays of macaroons that catering staff (dressed as chefs of course!) pass out to attendees.

Additional Playground Stats

  • 100+ Sparkies bring the experience to life
  • 4,320 slices of Pizza Hut pizza served
  • 2,454 cups of Starbucks nitro cold brew served
  • 400 lbs of gumballs served to attendees
  • 24,360 French macaroons served at post-show experience
  • 18,000 sq. ft. ground plan; built a ride on the second floor, totaling 36,000 sq. ft. of activation space
  • 5,400 seconds of Headspace guided meditations
  • 2,814 queries asked at the At Home experience
  • 13,581 attendees experience the ride
  • 493 ft. of track delivered in 3 semis
  • 200+ Google Guides support Google Assistant across CES
  • 21+ days of load-in
  • 36 hours for load-out
  • 130,000 pounds of steel
  • 670 yards of concrete totaling 1,356 tons for the temporary foundation
  • 56 dump trucks used for load out
  • Train cars make 1,500 trips around the track

The Google Assistant experience also includes:

The Google Assistant Gumball Machines
Popular with both the Googlers (internal lingo for Google employees) and the CES crowd, Google decides to bring back the ever popular Gumball machine from 2018. Strategically located across from the booth, a 18 ft. tall, larger-than-life gumball machine is erected outside the Las Vegas Convention Center. The only-Google-can-do product experience features Nest thermostats, OpenTable gift cards, Headspace subscriptions, smart plugs, beanies and more. Old-school working gumball machines with ”Visit our XXXL version across the street.” graphic vinyls point attendees to the extremely popular experience.

Partner Programming
The Assistant engage 130+ partners to create custom Assistant brand experiences throughout CES. Spread across LVCC, Sands Expo and Private meeting spaces, activations range from LED brand integration, signage and product showcases as well as custom Assistant-branded demo booths. 63 of the partner spaces are staffed with official Google Guides (76 total).

Similar to 2018, Google blankets Las Vegas with 50+ OOH spots across the city. Featuring the iconic “Hey Google” branding (one of the voice commands to activate the Google Assistant), the large scale advertising programs features the LVCC, Fashion Show Mall, Harmon Corner, The Forum Shops at Caesars and a full sweep of the MGM digital marquees including the Aria, Bellagio, Park MGM, MGM Grand, MGM Tropicana Bridge, and MGM Ny Bridge East. In addition to the traditional OOH digital spots, Google also activate three Las Vegas monorails cars with fully wrapped exteriors, interior light box advertising and audio buyouts highlighting localized queries including distance to the convention center and Las Vegas trivia.

Google Guides
We dropped the name brand ambassadors and replaced the industry word with “Google Guides.” The army of 200+ Google Guides spread across CES are easy to spot by their clean white uniform, playful accessories and impressive knowledge of the product.

20 x 20 or a million sq. ft., your brand’s got to make an impact on the show floor. Find out how we’re shaping what’s new in trade show experiences. Tell us about your trade show project below or upload an RFP at the top of the page.