RECLAIM YOUR MIND AND START ACTIVATING YOUR INTELLIGENCE — THE NEXT BIG THING IS HERE AND EVERYWHERE OR SO IT SEEMS
Artificial intelligence, long a staple of science fiction, is fast moving into the mainstream of every day life with the potential to revolutionize and disrupt numerous industries and companies. However, one thing is for certain, given the performance of Apples's Siri and Amazon's Alexa, artificial intelligence is far from being intelligent.
“It takes something more than intelligence to act intelligently.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Having thus said, today we are on a mission to make your booth intelligent. Needless to say, your first order of the day is to invest on developing the "emotional intelligence" of your people who will be staffing your booth. Give them lessons on intelligence — train them on the concept to "hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function."
A word of caution: Anything that can be replicated will be replicated and will have a price that will tend towards zero.
Train your people to stretch their minds, such that it never shrinks back to its former dimensions.
DRESS WITH VITALITY
Your everyday khaki pants and company polo are OK, but look in the mirror and question yourself, is this more of the same — spreading grayness in the air about you, or is it saturating your space with vitality and excitement. with are not going to get anyone to take notice. Is it accentuating your brand expression of paralyzing your brand vitality.
On the other hand, coordinating your outfit to your brand or booth theme might stop people might stop people, but if you are not paying attention to them, then the moment is lost, the enchantment of your brand suffers — the purpose of your fancy outfits becomes one more wasted exercise in futile misrepresentation.
However, you dress, whether it is a space suit, jump suit or a sports coat, interact with attention.
“Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager."
On a more demonstrative note, bright color shirts, like flaming orange or magenta, shapes action, comfy shoes creates a demonstrative function for your feet and smart vests could act as a marvelous compass to remind them of their life force and bring their full attention into the moment. And of course, "good humor may be said to be one of the very best articles of dress one can wear in society.”
FREE YOURSELF FROM SLAVERY
“The difference between technology and slavery is that slaves are fully aware that they are not free." Keep in mind, technology is not the oppressor here. You willingly tie yourself to its' leashes and submit to becoming socially autistic. "You no longer pick up on basic human communication clues. You're at a table with three humans, all of whom are looking at you and trying to talk to you, and you're staring at a screen!"
GET OFF THE SCREEN
If your staffers are on their phones, they are not getting what the face to face time they came for at the show. People will walk right by the booth if they feel the staffer is disinterested. In the age of connected customers, the attribute of being a disintersting brand is a death trap to your business.
If you don’t have the budget to send two staffers to the show so they can take breaks, then explore whether you can get a local employee or hire a crowd gatherer to help the staffer during busy times or cover them for a lunch break.
USE TECHNOLOGY AS YOUR SLAVE — DO NOT BE SUCCUMED INTO BEING A DUMBED DOWN VERSION OF YOURSELF
Instead, converse, converse, converse — with your attendees, your neighboring exhibitors and your competition— that is why you have paid good money to be there. Get to know their problems better and decipher the kind the edge they have over you.
Use iBeacon transmitters in your booth design, so that your targeted audience will be alerted with highly targeted offerings. As you feed more data from your conversation, into the system, you will be better able to design high touch experience for your prospects that you want to go after.
Use videos with customer success story. Use 3D printers to build miniatures of your product, that is if you are selling a product. If it is technology that you are selling, give them an experience of Virtual Reality, show them how that technology can enhance their productivity. Invest in a good lead management app and keep the conversation going after the conclusion of the event.
DEVELOP A CONNECTION WITH A BUNCH OF RANDOM FACES
Yes, that is hard. Because, it is the vigor of what is genuine that gives vitality to connections and paves the path for meaningful relationships.
“Mix, Mingle, Glow. Stretch beyond your own comfort zone to speak with, sit with, and start conversations with people whom you do not know. Take the initiative to help other people capture the spotlight and shine.”
Use food to connect. That is why you have trail mix, sliced pears, apple preserves, lemon bars, shaved cheddar, apricot chutney sandwiches, tea, coffee, and popcorn machines and more. Snacks are sly connectors for intelligent interaction. Use taste buds as the boutique ingredient in the development of your brand.
GO FOR EXOTICS SNACKS IF YOU CAN — to "feed Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.; beasts with insatiable appetites.” Give them a taste that you mean business — both empirically and metaphorically. And, get your hands on some of these trendy statement making food journals.
AUGMENT THE INTELLIGENCE OF YOUR BOOTH DESIGN
FOR STARTERS, ENFORCE THE CODE OF CLEAN BOOTH
A messy booth is the manifestation of your messy mind. Remind your booth staffers of the old dictum 'Cleanliness is Godliness'. This will act as a subconscious que to keep your booth space clean. If you are serving snacks ordering porter service from the show is very worthwhile as they will come to take your trash multiple times per day.
Other than food, technology can make your booth quite messy if you are relaxed about your wires.
Hence, the requirement for the functioning of flawless wire management.
In an in-line or portable space you can get away with just running the wires behind your exhibit but if you are in a peninsula or island exhibit it is a clever idea to invest in wire management clips and plan where the power will come from and investing in having it run under the carpet.
Speaking of wire management,
make provision for LIGHTS —
BACKWALL, COUNTERS, SHELVES, Booth HARDWARE EDGE —
Accent lighting on your brand, backlighting of your image and pendant lights for your ceiling or a simple floor lamp in your conference room can create a unique ambiance or feel to help set you apart.
THUS, WE HAVE SET THE STAGE FOR AUGEMENTING THE INTELLIGENCE OF YOUR SPACE
If you have been skimming thus far, take the time to read; really read from here on. This is important.
We live in a time when our own intelligence can be dramatically amplified by affordable, powerful tools. For example, "one class of tools help us to build larger, more connected, more diverse networks that augment our own intelligence and allow us to accomplish more on teams than we could on our own."
LET'S TAKE OUR INSPIRATION FROM THE ABOVE BRAND KI ECOBE
Ki ecobe is a modular shoe that uses no adhesives and comes in separate pieces. Ki ecobe displaces the factory assembly line and destines the wearer of the shoe with design choices and assembly responsibilities. You may customize it with over 10,000 possible color combinations.
It also functions as both a shoe and slipper. Instead of replacing the entire shoe, separate parts can be replaced as needed.
Thus making this product a friend of our earth!
NOW IMAGINE, IF YOU COULD BREAK APART YOUR BOOTH AND TAKE IT TO DIFFERENT TARGETED SHOWS
THINK, HOW YOU CAN USE YOUR BOOTH FOR YOUR AUDIENCE TO AUGMENT THEIR KNOWLEDGE — MAKE YOUR DESIGN RESPONSIVE TO COMPOUNDING EFFECTS
When you are at the show, your goal should be to build a diverse network. How do you do it?
One way to do is to know who your prospects are hanging out with or what forums are they participating in. Once you know that, you have created a broader market segment. Granted, the key requirements of this broad group might be different.
But, your big pay off lies in the fact, that, in a B2B context, the buying process is long, involving different stake holders with different interests. Your buyers are compelled by the need to get advises from 3rd party sources. If you can influence these 3rd party sources, you automatically have an edge amongst the competing brands. Hunt for these 3rd parties and exhibit at shows where they come together. Then design your booth space as the center well for dispensing knowledge.
CREATE A "CREATIVE DIFFERENCE" —
DARE YOUR TEAM MEMBERS TO THINK DIFFERENT
Developed by IDEO, there are 6 vectors in striving for "Creative Difference" that helps your brand maintain relevance and gain agility in these technological times.
— A clear reason for your company/brand to exist — other than making money. That purposefulness should manifest in your staffers and in your design. Below are some poetic examples of purpose.
FOURISH YOUR PURPOSE WITH FEELING — “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart." Mobilize the medium of social to interact with this feeling.
PLAY UP YOUR PURPOSE WITH HUMOUR — “Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.”
NOURISH YOUR PURPOSE WITH A SOUL — Whisper into your space a soothing electric vibration. “Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.” Make this the hallmark of the existence of your brand.
— Looking beyond your company walls to understand, context, culture and customers. And needless to say, trade shows are great places for you to venture out.
With looking out comes learning, with learning comes exploration and enjoyment. And enjoyment is expressed through fun and excitement. If your booth space is a center for learning, it should also be able to delight your customers with fun giveaways, and adding value to your brand.
KNOW THE TECHNOLOGY OF YOUR BRAND, BUT DO NOT MAKE A VANITY OUT IT. Your audience will fail to understand it. Instead create fun exploration counters with colors and child like fancy. — “One of the things we need to get away from is the notion that science and technology know-how is a general-purpose magic bullet that will solve all problems.”
— Reduce unnecessary constraints. Provide a clear path to create change in all corners of your company.
Add power to your position by empowering your sales and your C-suites to invite your best customers and your prospects to come visit you at the show. Make it easy for them — design invitation cards and thank you cards and make a package for your brand ambassadors to sign it so that you can send them in the mail. Use slow mail. It shows that you care. Use e-mail as a reminder.
— Try out new ideas. Then, take evidence based actions.
When you are evaluating the results, bear in mind — "an experiment is never a failure solely because it fails to achieve predicted results. An experiment is a failure only when it also fails adequately to test the hypothesis in question, when the data it produces don't prove anything one way or another.”
That can only happen when you give wings to your wisdom.
What does that mean?
From our perspective, as a design and innovation house, we experimented with inanimate objects that comes in different shapes and sure we did trials in texture and technology, integrated tones and ominous moods — you name it — all, in an effort to add value and purpose to the fabric of shared meaning of design and trade.
We have jotted down some of our experimentations below, to help you expand on your ideas of 3D marketing.
EXPERIMENTATION WITH AN OVERARCHING PURPOSE — 'HELPING THE WORLD TRADE' — This has added meaning to our existence and demonstrated momentum in our business of helping the world trade.
EXPERMENTATION WITH UTILITY DRIVEN DESIGN — ONLY GOAL WAS TO EDUCATE OUR CLIENTS AND PROSPECTS — Small presentation area was devoted and targeted ideas were exchanged with the presenter on the hour every hour. Curious and interested parties where further nurtured on a one on one basis, that was designed to help them develop an integrated marketing strategy.
EXPERIMENTATION WITH CASUAL CREATIVITY — TEXUTURES, SHAPES, CUT OUTS — When you bond with creativity, your dimensional marketing message gets a new leash on life. The pieces of architecture can literally translate into being graphic holders and accent pieces in your mixed medium marketing.
EXPERIMENTATION WITH THE CONCEPT OF MINIMIZING BOOTH STTAFFERS AND ENSLAVING TECHONOLOGY — This included, self driven presentation, self-qualifying lead stations, QR codes and self-study individual counters. Use technology only to enrich your space with curiosity. People do not spend money to attend convention and trade shows, only to find out it is one more DIY situation.
EXPERIMENTATION WITH INNOVATIVE PRODUCT PRESENTATION — IF YOUR PRODUCT IS NOT A SORRY COPY ACT, IT DEMANDS PRIMARY REAL ESTATE — When Windscape was introduced in the market, it was the state of the art in exhibit design innovation. It was presented with pride and distinguished itself by winning various awards and accolades. 'REALIZE A QUICKER RETURN ON YOUR INVESTMENT' — this highly beneficial statement, always catches the attention of small business owners and event mangers with a very busy schedule.
EXPERIMENTATION WITH VANITY — IDEAS DELIVERED — An environment — a space not really open to all, and sets the tone; 'by invitation only' — we are big, we are in the business of delivering ideas — it is all about us. A word of caution, only try this method if you are sure of your firm footing in the industry and being hyper-targeted in the audience that you have invited.
EXPERIMENTATION WITH CAPTALIZATION — ON THE CAPITAL OF OUR BRAND, THE RECURRING INTEREST OF OUR INNOVATION AND THE PURPOSE OF OUR EXISTENCE — Now that is a sweet place to be. However, do keep in mind that took years and years of creating and re-creating ourselves. The re-creation is still going strong.
EXPERIMENTATION WITH THE RESPITE OF WHITE SPACE — "There are still many large white spaces on the map of human knowledge. You can go discover them. So do it. Get out there and fill in the blank spaces. Every single moment is a possibility to go to these new places and explore them." — Embrace white space in your experimentation.
EXPERIMENTATION ON BREAKING THE SAFETY OF 'SAFE BLUE AND THE PRESIDING DOMINANCE OF WHITE' — “Color directly influences the soul. Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another purposely, to cause vibrations in the soul.” — Bring out the secondary colors of your brand, in all tints shades and combos. Do not forget to lure them in your dazzling colored space with exciting colored brand snacks.
EXPERIMENTATION WITH 'FEELING' — When we stopped touting what we can do and focused on feeling the pain that our clients feel, we were excited to come up with the space themed after the concept of a zen garden with technological koi pond, a space where our audience felt liberated from uneasy sense of confinement and being sold to — a space where they just could be "wholly and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come.”
— Working together across business functions to approach opportunities and challenges from all angles.
A good portion of our clients use collaboration in their design to highlight their clients and vendors when they have larger exhibits. If you are segmented as a manufacturer, often times, highlighting some nuggets in your supply chain adds credibility to your brand and gives the perception of you brand having a wider foot print than it actually has.
COLLABORATION COULD COME IN THE FORM ARCHITECTURAL INTEGRATION OF A WELL THOUGHT OUT BOOTH DESIGN BACKWALL
If you have a backwall inline booth, you have it build it out in the form of layers. The layers can be curved or angular and can be of different shapes to to distinguish each unit in the supply chain. As shown above, the design is built of 3 elements — one backwall, the other 2 are dynamic angular constituting the second layer.
COLLABORATION COULD TRANSMIT THROUGH YOUR ISLAND BOOTH DESIGN WITH DROP DOWN FABRIC WORKSTATION TOWERS OR A KIOSK WALL THAT GIVES PROMINENCE TO THE COLLABORATORS
As the saying goes: “No man is an island.” by John Donne. On an business level, to build competencies fast, you need collaboration. "Furthermore, if you don't collaborate, your ideas will be limited to your own abilities. As a result, you will not be able to serve your clientele and thus can't achieve the anticipated impact.”
CONSCIOUSLY COLLABORATE FOR SYNERGY AND BUDGET ENRICHMENT
2018 may introduce a climate of receding marketing budgets, according to the most recent Gartner 2017-2018 CMO Spend Survey. The survey shows that marketing budget levels, which are typically allocated a year in advance, declined for 2017-2018, reversing three consecutive years of increasing budgets.
In end it is the business of chess games. To win you have to make a move. "Knowing which move to make comes with IN-SIGHT
and knowledge, and by learning the lessons that are
accumulated along the way."
Thank you for taking this journey with us.
Here is to Happy Learning, Happier Exhibiting and Happy Connecting!