PECO is the largest electric and natural gas utility in Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia-based subsidiary of the Exelon Corporation takes consumer education and energy efficiency to heart, and sought out Illustrated Designs, Inc. to up the ante on both at the 100+ community events they participate in annually.
Charged with the task of creating interactive displays to draw more traffic to PECO’s booth, the Illustrated Designs team developed a series of hands-on props, displays, and games to boost awareness of PECO’s energy efficiency programs, and provide event attendees with recommendations for ways to save energy and money in their home.
The final product included:
An interactive house with lights and voiceovers providing tips for saving energy and money in various rooms of the house.
Two hand crank generator displays that allow the user to feel how much energy it takes to light a standard vs. LED bulb.
Plinko style games.
Photo ops with a superhero light bulb cut-out and social media frames with bases.
The Illustrated Designs, Inc. team used a variety of materials to construct the interactive pieces, including wood, vinyl, and Sintra® for the displays, and microprocessors for programming the lighting.
Since some of the pieces are meant for outdoor events without access to electricity, the team developed displays that could work in any situation or environment, like a hand crank generator, the Plinko style game, and props for photo ops to be shared on social media.
There was one other requirement: all the displays needed to fit into a standard SUV, and be light and portable enough to be handled by one or two people for easy transportation to PECO’s many events.
“We made it our goal to construct displays that would be easy for PECO to transport and set up indoors or outdoors, as well as fun and informative for kids of all ages to experience,” says Tracey Piechocki, President and Project Manager at Illustrated Designs. “I was drawn especially to the hand crank generator. After being told how much energy you save with LED lights, it was still shocking to ‘feel’ how much more energy it takes to light a standard light bulb.”
PECO’s commitment to education and energy efficiency is paying off. The interactive booths have increased the company’s visibility at Home Shows and Expos, sparking new conversations and increasing the length of time people spend at PECO’s tables. The hands-on approach is proving particularly attractive to families as young people can press buttons on the house display and receive messages that are easy to understand in a way that keeps them entertained and engaged.