Are you about to design a brand new exhibit? Or maybe you are about to completely change a current trade show booth. Whichever it is, you should be extremely strategic about the design process. Not only do you want to consider the customers you are trying to reach and the objectives you hope to achieve as a result of the exhibit, but you should also put yourself in the shoes of those target audience. One thing is true about event visitors; there are certain questions they always have about your company. Wise exhibitors know how to design their exhibits in such a way that they can effectively answer these questions before they are even asked. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions your trade show booth should answer.
1. Your BOOTH DESIGN Should Tell Visitors, YOUR STORY
First of all, a visitor should leave your exhibit feeling like she has a good understanding of your brand. This does not just mean that they know what products and services you sell, but they should also have an understanding of who you are as a business. More and more consumers really want to be able to recognize and relate with what your business stands for and why you exist. Note: Your audience care just as much about your story as they do about your product, whether they consciously realize it or not. And if you are in the business of commodity, stories are key for your business survival.
HOW PROCTOR AND GAMBLE DOES IT?
P&G recognizes that more than 5 billion people across the planet use its products, and as a result, its ' campaigns seek to demonstrate its commitment to equality worldwide. P&G campaigns such as “The Look” and Tide’s “Wash Away Labels” address issues such as diversity, equality, and unconscious biases. This enables P&G to connect at a deeper level with its consumers, regardless of who they are and where they are from.
Your role as a storyteller, is not tell your audience how to think. But, to give them narratives to think upon. "You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.”
2. Your BOOTH DESIGN Should Tell THE AUDIENCE What Problem YouR BRAND Aim to Solve
When you think about it, every business exists to address a problem. For restaurants, the core problem may be hunger or lack of time. If you have never thought about this in terms of your company before, take a moment to think about what core problem your business exists to address. Then, think about what solution you are offering for that problem. Thinking about these things through the mindset of a consumer will give you insight as to how you should design your trade show booth.
The 4 overarching problem pain points that your prospects usually suffer from.
Financial Pain Points: Perhaps, your prospects are spending too much money on their current provider/solution/products and want to reduce their spend.
Productivity Pain Points: Perhaps, your prospects are wasting too much time using their current provider/solution/products or want to use their time more efficiently. Or, perhaps, it is not user friendly and lack the multi-dimensional efficiency that is needed to run modern factories.
Process Pain Points: Perhaps, your prospects want to improve internal processes, such as improving account flow, or monitoring complex value chain in simpler graphs and charts, or, assigning leads to sales reps or nurturing lower-priority leads.
Support Pain Points: Your prospects aren’t receiving the support they need at critical stages of the customer journey or sales process. They were sold on the jazz without the tangible follow through — you will find this very common
Take your creativity out on a ride. Make boxes, as shown above, with labels for people to drop in their potion of pain. The copy writing on the call to action must align with the sources of pain. Make it fun, make it motivational. Relate it to the core purpose of your brand.
"Every business is founded with a core purpose, but purpose can
require nurturing and revisiting too. Stoke your purpose over time, revisit your core DNA, and evolve it inclusively with all your people. Then use the findings to help bond people across siloed parts of the organization, define your strategies for customer engagement, cultivate a diverse culture, and define and refine who you are in the world."
3. Your Booth DESIGN Should Communicate What Makes Your Brand Unique
We are willing to bet that every successful company can tell you exactly what makes them unique. Your exhibit must convey to event attendees not only what makes your brand one of a kind, but also why they should buy from you instead of one of your competitors. To answer this question, you have to tell them what your brand offers that others don’t. Is it luxury? Is it affordability? Is it convenience? Is it being part of a community?, or, perhaps taking on a social challenge? Whatever it is, make sure that you make it clear to consumers with your display.
Being unique is an ever evolving thinking. IT IS NOT ABOUT BEING OR WIELDING SOME KIND OF SUPERIORITY. It involves widening your business landscape and fusing different concepts together.
As far back as 1960, Harvard Business School professor Theodore Levitt cautioned businesses on the dangers of narrow thinking. In his seminal article, “Marketing Myopia,” Levitt takes the reader through a litany of examples in which companies were hurt by focusing primarily on product superiority. For instance, the railroad industry was overtaken by automobiles and planes because it didn’t acknowledge it was in the transportation business; the film industry didn’t know it was actually in the entertainment business and, therefore, was quickly outpaced by television; and corner grocery chains didn’t see the value of one-stop supermarkets—even if the customer had to travel a little further. In each case, company executives missed the point: They were focusing too narrowly on what they did, and not on what the customers they were
CHOOSE YOUR ECOSYSTEM AND DESIGN YOUR BOOTH WITH ANIMATED GRAPHICS. IN AN OVER-COMMODITIZEd ECONOMY, UNIQUENESS NOW DEPENDS ON HOW INTRICATELY YOU ARE CONNECTED WITH THE ECOSYSTEM.
It has been over half a century, since Levitt’s article was published and fusion has become furiously impactful more so now than ever. "Earlier, businesses risked being disrupted because they were too focused on the product rather than the customer. Now, as technology rapidly erodes traditional barriers to entry, companies that do not fully comprehend the value of participating in ecosystems will likely remain more susceptible to disruption by those other than their usual industry competitors."
HOW FUSION IS GROWING BRAND TENTACLES AND IMPACTING ACROSS MULTIPLE ECO SYSTEMS
Here are some tangible examples:
Messaging platforms such as WeChat are becoming mobile payment and ride-sharing platforms; department stores are opening their doors to e-commerce giants and fitness centers to provide more cross-industry wellness services; and automotive companies are turning into ride-sharing and micro-mobility providers." Brands are looking beyond industry boundaries to address customer needs, identify growth opportunities and areas for collaboration, and create unique value for customers. For example, recognizing the unmet need to mitigate traffic and parking hassles during holiday shopping in 2018, Old Navy and Lyft teamed up for two days to offer free rides to customers who opted for in-store pickups after making online purchases.
4. YOUR BOOTH DESIGN SHOULD ACT AS A 'VALUE COMPASS' TO NAVIGATE THE COMPLEX MINDSET OF YOUR ATTENDEES
Realistically, you may not have the opportunity to have an in-depth one-on-one conversations with all event attendees. However, it is very important that you draw up a 'Value Compass' when you talk to your visitor for the first time. Have talking points prepared based on the 'Value Compass' as shown below. Scroll down further for gaining explanation. The 'Value Compass' will help you drive conversation that matters to each attendee. The 'Value Compass' will help you personalize your follow-up show communication in a human way.
The Values Compass maps cardinal human values—ambition, curiosity, belonging, and certainty—along with corresponding intermediate points to provide a visual reflection of a customer, employee, or partner’s values in aggregate. We defined four cardinal human values rooted in a sense of personal achievement (Me), belonging (We), curiosity (Unknown), and control (Known). source: Deloitte analysis
This includes people who are driven by ambition and getting ahead, whether in or out of the office. They are motivated by challenges and working on their flaws and weaknesses. They chase after achievement and respond to goal-oriented experiences. Deloitte analysis
This includes people who are driven by belonging and the support of other people. They are motivated by acceptance by others and enjoy experiences that offer opportunities for teamwork and collaboration.
This includes people who are driven by control and safety. They are conservative and tend to trust in tradition over new ideas because they prefer things that have worked before.
This includes people who are driven by curiosity and creativity. They are motivated by experiences that encourage imagination and enjoy experiencing and developing new ideas.
5. YOUR BOOTH DESIGN IS YOUR CHANCE FOR YOU TO RE-CONNECT WITH HUMAN EXPERIENCE
Everyday, we wake up as humans and go to bed as humans.
YET WE DO NOT FEEL LIKE HUMANS
We feel, like technology has outpaced us and living our lives for us.
We feel, technology is dictating our languages the way we speak and think.
We feel, the "loneliness of self, stranded as it is as an unspeakable consciousness in a world from which it perceives itself as somehow estranged, stranded even within its own body, with which it sees no clear connection."
We feel, the adventurer within is lost for ever, because, “we can’t jump off bridges anymore because our iPhones will get ruined. We can’t take skinny dips in the ocean because there’s no service on the beach and adventures aren’t real unless they’re on Instagram." We are helping ourselves in destroying the spirit within us, every time we "Google, check-in, and hashtag.”
To make humans feel like humans again, Deloitte Digital Research concludes that companies that focus on the human experience are twice as likely to outperform their peers in revenue growth over a three-year period and have 17 times faster growth than those who do not. According to the research, there are five human tenets that elevates the human experience.
- Be obsessed by all things human
- Proactively deliver on human needs
- Execute with humanity
- Be authentic
- Change the world
As marketers and designers, before, you set out to design your next project, understand and reconnect with the human experience.
Theodore Levitt, “Marketing myopia,” Harvard Business Review, 1960
Old Navy and Lyft, “Old Navy and Lyft team up to make last-minute holiday shopping easier than ever,” press release, December 11, 2018
Sarmistha Tarafder, www.skyline.com