Exhibit Design and Marketing

IS SIMPLICITY THE ANSWER TO Your EXHIBIT DESIGN?

Published on Jan 20, 2020 1:35:33 PM

shades of simplicity.png

 

SHADES OF SIMPLICITY

 

If something looks simple, it feels easy. If it feels easy, the brain assumes it is simple. SIMPLICITY EMPOWERS YOU IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WANT YOUR EXHIBIT DESIGN TO DO

Once that assumption is made, the path of conversion becomes one of non-friction. That is why, Harmut Esslingen, the German designer who designed the iconic Apple products in the 1980s, followed the guiding principle that feeling follows form.

That is why, about 200 years before Harmut Esslingen, the German philosophizer, Arthur Schopenhauer, postulated “One should use common words to say uncommon things.”

Words that are simple to understand your brand offering are crucial for the decision makers who are pacing the show floor looking for solutions.

 

 

What does this all mean to you as an exhibitor?

 

Simply put, the faster we process information, the more postively we appraise that information. 

When people can process a stimulus quickly and easily, they experience a positive emotion (Reber, Schwarz, & Winkielman, 2004). "When they experience that positive emotion, they mistakenly attribute those positive feelings with their opinion of the stimulus." (In this case it will be your brand and your exhibit design)

 

 

YOUR EXHIBIT DESIGN IS A THrEE DIMENSIONAL CALL TO ACTION FOR YOUR AUDIENCE

 

 

KNOW WHAT YOUR AUDIENCE IS LOOKING FOR

Know that they have to either sell your services of products to their Manager, or their Executive, their Peers, or Persuade a Broad Audience.

persuade your manager

source: nancyduarte.com

According to Nancy Duarte, "there are four audiences to whom people in the workplace bring recommendations: those who approve a recommendation (a manager or top executive) and those who execute a recommendation (peers or a broader audience). It’s important to understand the different ways to speak to each group." (See “Making a Recommendation? Understand Your Audience.”)

 

Today’s trade show floor is filled with a higher level of decision makers looking for solutions to their pain. Often working from a tightly formed agenda, if you are not on that list to visit, your exhibit has to grab his/her attention. Your graphic image and message play an important role in your success. 

Try out some of these ideas. Let us know if it worked.

 

booth design with built in games

Design your booth as a tool of persuasion.  Above, the big space dedicated at the RSA conference confidently engaged prospects in knowing behavioral intent signals. Make use of the persuasion model from above and entice your attendees to engage with your brand that is delightful and memorable.

 

According to industry research B2B purchase cycles are notoriously long, ye, they can be accelerated if an enterprise is appropriately equipped with the right intelligence on buying needs. Understanding  your buyer intent can help your booth staffers understand what to discuss in a conversation, but knowing their funnel stage and priority are key to understanding how to engage with them.

An intelligent exhibit design should be able to differentiate between solutions seekers, purchase thinkers, information researchers and 'Show me what you can do' folks and design relevant games and interactives that will lead to a successful post-show talking points.

 

 

 

icon-island

 

 

YOUR EXHIBIT DESIGN SHOULD CONVEY, WHY YOU AND NOT YOUR COMPETITION IS THE ONE TO DO BUSINESS WITH

 

Tell why you’re better: We’d all like to think our products sell themselves, and it’s tempting to think that once your products are on display, they will. Give yourself more visual proof by supporting your products with graphics that make your products’ benefit obvious.  Do your products last longer? Do more, faster? Cost less over time? Take less energy? Tell your products’ story with graphics and/or AV tech.

 

elegant booth design

Above, the verb anchors the noun and the brand proclaims their "creative difference." There are more outlets selling orchids that I can keep a count of. However, when the brand builds in the utility of their orchids in their name, it is effortlessly proclaiming their 'creative difference'.

 

 

icon-event

 

 

 

FLIRT WITH SPECIFICS

 

Remember, you have 3-5 seconds to attract a prospective client’s attention – especially on a busy trade show floor.  Who you are must be obvious and clear.  And if you are part of a large organization, your division or region needs to be spelled out as well. 

For example, GE is not as clear as GE Oil and Gas.  GE is known, however, GE Oil and Gas is specific and helps prospective clients understand how you might fill a need.

 

shades of simplicity booth design1.png

Use action oriented words — words are powerful precursor to 'doing'. In a world inundated with mindless visuals, we often forget the magic of using the right  words.

"The secret of being boring is to say everything."

 

 

icon-customlinear

 

 

 

JUST SAY IT — SAY, WHAt YOU DO

What You Do is the second most important message after your name. Does your tag line spell out that distinction?  If your tagline can be interchangeable by any other brand, then it needs support to help inform attendees what it is you do. 

For example, “Quality Service and Support” is not as strong as “Auto Transmission Quality Service and Support”.

"Solutions for Fintech Industry" is not as intelligible as "Sustainable Investments for Fintech"

 

shades of simplicity 6.png

OR, make the name and the visual of the brand say what your company does. Above, the brand logo rhymes with the visual — at a subconscious level —  Crow is the visual in the logo here, and hence, the silent driver of the text 'Neon Row. Crows are common birds that we can find all around the globe. This means the brand visual is set to appeal to the global mass irrespective of culture, caste and creed.

 

MAKE USE OF SUB-CONSCIOUS SELLING

 

icon-portable

 

 

DEMAND ATTENTION WITH BULLETS OR, LURE THE MISTRESS OF MYSTERY

 

Further define your message with 3-5 bullet points, not paragraphs.  Your prospective client should be able to scan them quickly and answer the question as to how you fit into their world. You are helping them to qualify themselves before they ever step into your booth space.

Bullet points bring distinctive features in view

Bullet points bring order to your otherwise disjointed messaging

Bullet points lay down an hierarchy of your product benefits.

The brain loves it when your design has CRAP built in.

 

 

shades of simplicity booth design-2.png

OR, say nothing. This is specially the case, when you are still giving shape to your company and you are doing market study on the variety of products that you are about to offer.

 

booth design with live plant wall

OR, elude to something mysterious.    This is specially the case when you are the brand that moves markets and transform audiences. Above, Deloitte Digital exploring the the term 'ELEVATE'.

 

Immediately, the verb triggers questions like, Elevate What? Elevate Who? Elevate When? Elevate How? A brand that existed for over 175 years can dare  to go down the path of mystery and evoke curiosity. Because, evoking curiosity helps the brand to stretch it's offerings to that which itself is not aware of it yet. It shouts out loud and clear that what Richard P. Feynman says,

“I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don't know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we're here. I don't have to know an answer. I don't feel frightened not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell.”

 

 

icon-event

 

 

A Picture is Worth 1000 words — STORY TELLING, STORY BUILDING AND STORY VISUALS

You have heard it your whole life and you know it to be true. Yet, it is the most difficult thing to implement in your exhibit design. Use images that will help your prospective clients to make decisions.

The images should INSPIRE your prospect with the feeling that the image represents. The idea of keeping it simple a applies and becomes an arduous exercise in conveying your brand essence.

 

shades of simplicity booth design3.png

Images pertaining to empowerment, sustainability and environmental essentials are great conversation starters and puts your brand in a positive light.

 

luniear booth design 10x30

Build a set with story telling visuals:  Create an environment similar to where the products will actually be used, whether it’s with the architecture of the booth, images on graphics, or additional props beyond your products that help signal to the buyer that they are “home.”

 

Lifelines_ How technology is transforming the world of emergency rescue

 

Weaving a story with technological imperatives and cinematic visuals 

“There either is or is not, that’s the way things are. The colour of the day. The way it felt to be a child. The saltwater on your sunburnt legs. Sometimes the water is yellow, sometimes it’s red. But what colour it may be in memory, depends on the day. I’m not going to tell you the story the way it happened. I’m going to tell it the way I remember it."

 

SIMPLICITY GAINS TENACITY WHEN YOU BUILD STORIES IN LAYERS.

IT IS NOT THE LATEST TREND THAT GIVES TRACTION TO YOUR BRAND.

IT IS THE TENACITY THAT BUILDS THE DISTINCTIVE VOICE OF YOUR BRAND AND LENDS TRACTION TO YOUR OFFERING

 

Intelligently Designed Visuals helps in de-cluttering your brand message and gets the point across across with minimum effort on your ever distracted brain owner.

Many exhibitors feel like they must include all of their marketing messages and graphics in order to connect with their targeted audience, or they simple parrot the ideas of other designers and just go with a 3D logo on the wall.

Often times, this can work against them by delivering a final exhibit that looks overwhelming and without a clear marketing message or an oversimplified back wall. If there are too many words and too many pictures, you look disorganized, on the other hand if you merely have a jazzed up logo without the clout of Google and the likes, you have simply wasted your money.

 

visual story telling

Above, one word leads us on a quick journey.  Under 3 seconds the message is clear and invites the attendee to ponder, inquire or move on. They have learned something of contextual relevance.

 

For the attendees, who are interested, take them through a story building phase. So, what is a story build phase? It is simply articles, or sub-articles, that serve as memory aids, instruction maps and moral compasses. As, you see below, the continuation of the story 'WASTED' — building a story based on the effects of food waste.

“Stories are our primary tools of learning and teaching, the repositories of our lore and legends. They bring order into our confusing world." Think about how many times how you can use stories to pass along data, insights, memories or common-sense advice.

 

visual story telling 1

 

 

WHY 3 SECONDS MATTER?

Your connected customers expect instant information and experiences that “wow” them. If they have a question, they want to do a quick search on their phones and get an immediate answer. "If they’re buying concert tickets, they want to see seating options, the view from their selected seats, and the best place to park—all before hitting the buy button. If they’re B2B customers, they want seamless contracting, procurement, and supply chain processes. In this instant-access economy, brands are challenged not only to deliver the right information over the appropriate channel but to give consumers relevant, personalized experiences in the make-or-break moments that matter."

 

YOUR PRODUCT IS A NON-SENSICAL DEVICE WITHOUT THE CONDITIONAL FACTORS NEEDED TO MAKE SENSE

Your best bet is to choose a large mural image and use no more than 5 words to describe who you are what you do. Your message should only be a brief outline of your best descriptors or even a short testimony from a customer. Once you get the attendee in the booth, then you can expand your message.

 

 

icon-portable

 

 

 

CONSISTENCY IS THE CRUX OF YOUR DESIGN JOURNEY

 

Keep the feeling consistent with your other marketing materials. If you have a thematic exhibit design, you auxiliary marketing materials should be in alignment with your theme.  The first thing a new prospect does after a successful visit to your exhibit is gather more information about your company.  If what they learned does not match other marketing materials such as your website, business card, brochures, etc… then your credibility goes down. 

Mixed messages, various logos, or a multitude of different looks raises concern about your stability in the minds of prospects.  Think about how you make decisions about a new venture.  Your clients are you.

If this is not your organization’s strong suit, utilize the skills of an artist that specialize in trade show graphics.  The design meeting should focus on your goals and give the artist a clear direction to help you achieve those goals.  It will be some of the best money you can spend.

Here’s to your successful exhibit program!

 

WHEN YOU DO NOT HAVE MONEY TO EXHIBIT

 

Sarmistha Tarafder, www.skyline.com and world wide web

 

Topics: Exhibit Design, trade show booths, booth design, trade show marketing not working, tradeshowmarketing

Join 140,000+ exhibitors who has profited from our insights

 

 

 

 

KNOW WHAT YOUR ATTENDEES ARE LOOKING FOR

 

SURPRISE MEDoes your design have a fun factor built in. Yes, your design can be extensive with many different nuances.

 

 

THRILL MEDoes your design dictate a sense of adventure. Does it have a play on WORDS that tantalizes the brain.

 

 

IMPRESS MEDoes your design talks the same talk as your booth staffers. Impressing is about winning attention and continuing conversation.

 

 

vertical apex of experience

 

 

EDUCATE MEDoes your design channel the needs of your audience in a fashion that is comprehensive and worthy of their time.

 

 

REASSURE MEDoes your design do what  your brand says it does, both literally and metaphorically.

 

 

HELP ME — Does your design inspire to be the sole place for the like-minded attendees who are bounded by a cause bigger than themselves.

 

 

innovative boothdesign

 

 

KNOW THE MINDSET
OF YOUR BRAND LEADERS, BEFORE YOU STRIVE FOR "CREATIVE DIFFERENCE"

 

 

cultural style known by industry.png

 

 

Learning: Tesla
“I’m interested in things that change the world or that affect the future and wondrous new technology where you see it and you’re like ‘Wow, how did that even happen?’”
— Elon Musk, cofounder and CEO

 

 

Purpose: Whole Foods
“Most of the greatest companies in the world also have great purposes….Having a deeper, more transcendent purpose is highly energizing for all of the various interdependent stakeholders.”
—John Mackey, founder and CEO

 

 

Caring: Disney

“It is incredibly important to be open and accessible and treat people fairly and look them in the eye and tell them what is on your mind.”
—Bob Iger, CEO

 

Order: SEC
“Rule making is a key function of the commission. And when we are setting the rules for the securities markets, there are many rules we, the SEC, must follow.”
—Jay Clayton, chairman

 

 

Safety: Lloyd’s of London
“To protect themselves, businesses should spend time understanding what specific threats they may be exposed to and speak to experts who can help.”
—Inga Beale, CEO

 

Authority: Huawei
“We have a ‘wolf’ spirit in our company. In the battle with lions, wolves have terrifying abilities. With a strong desire to win and no fear of losing, they stick to the goal firmly, making the lions exhausted in every possible way.”
—Ren Zhengfei, CEO

 

 

Results: GSK
“I’ve tried to keep us focused on a very clear strategy of modernizing ourselves.”
—Sir Andrew Witty, former CEO

 

 

Enjoyment: Zappos
“Have fun. The game is a lot more enjoyable when you’re trying to do more than make money.”
—Tony Hsieh, CEO

 

 

booth design innovators ansarchitects of the future

WE think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which ARE giFTED TO US BY THE CULTURE OF OUR INDUSTRY SEGMENT AND OUR BRAND LEADERS

 

V-rhythm of the 21st century final

 

YOUR EXHIBIT DESIGN SHOULD BE A LEVER TO DRIVE HUMAN

BEHAVIOR

 

Deliver the most engaging experience in the moments that matter AND THE BEST MOMENT IS FACE TO FACE

 

EACH FACE IS A STORY WAITING TO BE REVEALED —

 

human story telling

 

Do not dump your audience into buckets of genenric B2B buyers. Get to know what moves them, what are the causes that, they are will to fight for. Peel out the memorable aspects of one day in their daily ho-hum life. Show that you know them by actually knowing them. When you do that, you are empowered to write stories that make them feel a meaningful connection, which means individualized stories that cater to individualized business connections.

 

radical product presentation on the floor