DON'T JUST THROW COUPLE OF FANCY CHAIRS AND A TABLE AND BE DONE WITH IT. DESIGN YOUR SPACE FOR CONVERSATION THAT SPARKS BRAND THINKING.
THIS IS A BAD TIME TO BE BORING
Setting aside the quickening of time factor, (another expression for another day), the simple truth is, — your clients and your prospects does not feel encouraged to interact with you because, you do not inspire them. More often than not, you have been dishing out half-baked product updates at trade shows, using the same kiosks and booth designs that does not infuse them with any new thoughts, or, nudge them to participate in your presentation, because, you have messaged it with the SOLE FOCUS ON YOUR PRODUCT.
Just a quick acknowledgement, what your trade show attendees are capable of:
NOTE: All of them have these built in features —
1. THEY HAVE A 3LB supercomputer sitting on top of THEIR shoulders, hardwired to perform brilliantly.
2. Together with "programmable software" (a.k.a. THE mind), THE brain WANTS TO BE AMAZED AND PERFORM amazing feats.
3. THEIR brain consists of more than 100 billion cells (10 billion are neurons; 90 billion are "helper" cells called glia) whose primary function is to form synapses for the exchange of information.
WHY SHOULD THIS MATTER TO YOU
"A superior, highly stimulated brain has the capability to create as many as 100 trillion different synapses or pathways"
And this is the scary bit for you as an exhibitor —
If your PRODUCT PRESENTATION IS THE SAME AS IT WAS THE LAST YEAR AND THE YEAR BEFORE LAST with TWEAKS HERE AND THERE — YOU ARE ESSENTIALLY PARTICIPATING IN HELPING YOUR ATTENDEES to rely on their existing neuronal pathways — Eventually, those well-trodden pathways become ruts... and THEN, THEY TUNE YOU OUT. You JUST BECOME A THIRD VENDOR THAT THEY NEED TO GET A PRICE QUOTE FROM.
VERY SOON, YOUR BRAND BECOMES SYNONYMOUS WITH BOREDOM
The good thing is you are here and now and you want to make a difference. You WANT TO DO MORE, YOU WANT TO BE MORE — "The more you ask your brain to do, the more cortical space it sets up to handle the new tasks. It responds by forging stronger connections in circuits that underlie the desired behavior or thought and weakening the connections in others. Thus, what you do and what you think, see, or feel is mirrored in the size of your respective brain regions and the connections your brain forms to accommodate your needs."
So, let's begin — Sit back, relax and take it in. If you are skimming, you are missing the point.
NOURISH THEIR BRAINS —
GIVE YOUR ATTENDEES SOMETHING TO TALK, SOMETHING TO TOUCH, SOMETHING TO PONDER
Whether it be a lavish lounge or a simple space, design it with thought that creates natural conversation around your brand offering. This is the space where you get to display your art and connect with the brains of your audience at an emotional and intellectual level level.
1. Bunch of packing white boxes with larger than life illustration. However, the way it is arranged, boggles the mind. The boxes, purposefully mis-aligned in some key areas, breaks down the visual monotony and your eye keeps looking and searching — the brain has been fed with new information — it is used to looking at flat static walls or flat digital walls. This arrangement challenges the mental abilities of your booth visitors.
2. Camper — It is true that a humans are most attracted and judgmental towards another human face, however your visuals can be an exploration in extra ordinary typography. If you want to portray yourself as a brand that breaks rigidity this a simple and effective way to show it. If this is the style that suits you be sure to design your booth space that has an entry point from the front and one side only. The reason being, from the opposite side, the text will look very different.
REWARD THEIR SENSE OF EXPLORATION —
"The desire to explore never leaves us despite the classrooms and cubicles we are stuffed into"
Often you will hear your management say, 'If it is not broken, don't fix it'. Yet, EXPLORATION is the reason for your existence, it is a design formula that is embedded in your genetic make up.
"You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don't have something better.”
"Exploration is what you do when you don't know what you're doing. That's what scientists do every day. If a scientist already knew what they were doing, they wouldn't be discovering anything, because they already knew what they were doing."
Meeting your sales quota, gathering X amount of leads is the mantra of the marketers. In doing so, they are missing the very essence that makes us human. Very soon, they loose the 'interestingness' factor in them. When they loose that, do you think the brands they are representing will do any better?
"'Interestingness' seeks out the riddle of life. It gives us a reason to turn the next page, to see the next scene, to give form to the unknown."
So, HOW TO DESIGN A SPACE WITH EXPLORATORY FACETS BUILT IN
KEEP GOING, WE HAVE EXAMPLES TO SHOW YOU
image source: exhibitor online
1. Lumine Co. Ltd is a chain of Japanese shopping centers. Looking like something Alice might encounter after falling down the rabbit hole, the sophisticated space satisfies our exploratory brain. The kiosk structure in the exhibit space for Lumine Co. Ltd.'s chain of shopping centers was a 15-foot-tall tower covered in an assortment of drawers and cupboards. "Inside some of the drawers, attendees found objects that called attention to Lumine's experiential attributes, including its public spaces, fashion shows, and restaurants. Higher up, more esoteric accessories, such as paper airplanes and a hot-air balloon, referenced the elevation one feels while engaging in a little retail therapy."
2. Bayer Material Science — Other than the booth space being divided into blue and green themes, BMS wanted to designate the green space to cater to the imagination and curiosity of the show attendees. The blue area, dubbed Vision Works Today, represented products made from BMS’ materials that are currently on the market. The green area, labeled Vision Works Tomorrow, showcased prototypes for products in development.
Just an observation — the car of the future still have no wings.
MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO GAIN THEIR TRUST —
"FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, IT IS MORE DIFFICULT FOR BIG BRANDS TO GAIN UNCONDITIONAL CONSUMER TRUST THAN IT IS FOR A START UP BRAND"
Today, to give the illusion of a great product is quick, easy and indeed very delightful. Build an enticing video, throw in some great packaging design and weave in a story of sustainability — you are there. People will start talking and sharing your 'CONCEPT PRODUCT' based on the delight factor. However, there is catch. All the 'hype' about product builds up their expectation (your audience/followers) — this expectation is sure to back fire if your 'TANGIBLE PRODUCT' does not live up to their 'IDEA of the PRODUCT'.
This is common. It is happening more and more.
As Carina Chocano so eloquently wrote in 'The New York Times'—
"We've moved from an industrial economy to a consumer economy, to a service economy, to an information economy to what you might call a flagrant-exploitation economy — one in which branding and 'storytelling' have replaced advertising and possibly even reality. It's not just that we're being sold the sizzle more than the steak. It's that we're being sold the sizzle instead of and at the expense of the steak."
EXHIBITORS, IF THIS HAS HAPPENED TO YOUR BRAND OFFERING, HERE ARE 2 OPEN SPACE BOOTH DESIGNS, ONE, FOR QUELLING DISAPPOINTMENT AND THE OTHER, FOR OBSERVING THE POSSIBILITY OF IMPENDING DISAPPOINTMENT
Think about the space inside your booth design that caters to the THREE parts of the HUMAN MIND. According to Freud, the Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, the human mind is divided in three parts: the id, ego, and superego. "The id is the instinctive and impulsive part of us we are born with, a primal self driven by basic desires and emotions—sexual craving, hunger, anger. The ego is strategic but not moral—like the id, it wants to maximize pleasure but the ego also tries to balance the primal desires with the demands of society. Finally, the superego imposes morality and values."
IT IS BY TAPPING INTO THE SUPEREGO OF THEIR MIND THAT YOU WANT TO MAKE YOUR BRAND STAND OUT.
So, go ahead DREAM OF GLORIOUS CAUSES.
Start a movement, and make your space the epicenter of that movement.