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As Amazon and Google dabs their paw in making all things smart, the software startups are building Slack apps instead of mobile apps, and companies are investing millions and billions into artificial intelligence, robotics, drones, IoT — it seems like, we are well on our way to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

However, as this Fourth Industrial Revolution rages, something very interesting is taking shape — the lines between manufacturing and services are blurring (e.g "Rolls-Royce no longer sells jet engines; it sells the hours that each engine is actually thrusting an aeroplane through the sky") and offshore production is increasingly moving back to our shores, because companies now want to be closer to their customers so that they can respond more quickly to changes in demand.


The Boston Consulting Group anticipates that in areas such as transport, computers, fabricated metals and machinery, 10-30% of the goods that are now being imported from China to America, could be made at home by 2020, boosting American output by $20 - 55 billion a year. As we are ushered in the age of smart connectivity and smarter products, we are all challenged with creating efficiency, fostering value and creating customized experience. This same sentiment is reflected in the recent gathering of strategic, high-level management — Predict: CEIR’s Annual Exhibition Industry Outlook Conference.

Given this backdrop, in this issue we have featured some distinctive ways that you may use your exhibit stand to get yourself oriented for a demanding and sophisticated attendee culture, who are the movers and shakers of this revolution.

You have huge task at hand. You have to rethink 'how you do business', 'how you trade' and 'how you exhibit'.



to help you trade effectively, we have broken down your exhibit design into 9 sections

Reception, Attraction Activity, Theater, Meeting Spaces, Hospitality & Networking, Product Display, Product Demonstration, Branding and Story Walls — that can either use an upgrade or needs an introduction. Check out the technology enhancers that we have injected, where needed. Let us know what you think!







The Reception Sets the Standard for the Experience.

It is the nucleus of your design space.


This is where the right tone of your brand is set if designed intelligently. Often overlooked by the veteran exhibitors, this is the opportunity where you get to target, prospects, enthusiasts and influencers of your brand. This is where you get to identify the burning questions of your audience and drive that information to provide a a personal experience for them. Remember, they have come to you. It is an ideal inbound setting for your outbound marketing investment.

Whether you have an inline space or an island, pay attention to this section of your design. It should meld with the overall strategy of your show. In a bigger booth space it is a good idea to have at-least, 2 areas of reception. This helps you to segment and cater to your audience that is effective for you and instructive for them.

Advantageous exhibit design attracts and connects with attendees, functions to a high level for your staffers making it easy to engage, interact, take leads or make sales. Above all, the goal of your reception area is to encourage networking and interactivity. All starts here. This is the place where you set the tone to make some real connection with your brand



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Art of Attraction

Attention is the fleeting commodity of our digital age.

More exhibitors are creating an experience in their exhibiting space, to tower above competition and garner attention.

Host some kind of entertainment in your booth, and have space for that activity to happen. Old fashioned white boards are gaining prominence; encouraging visitors to jot down ideas and thoughts. Meeting celebrities, book signings, handwriting reading, coloring, carding are some of the engagement tactics that are enrolled to induce engagement.

And cars. race cars, prize cars, these definitely are more of the premier use of space and marketing dollars. However, depending brand and budget, you may rent trade show attractions for your booth, such as an entertaining robot, event photography machine, prize wheel, money blowing machine, or prize vault.

Use technology to tap into the online audience. Use your exhibiting space to stream videos to your website. The webcast can have varied flavors — ranging from interviews of the attendees to sharing the latest news about the industry.

However, the most compelling activities should be brand appropriate and should induce brand memorability and always, always be fostering networking. (Below is a great example of brand offering, with brand activity)




Big Theater in a Smaller Space


Ideally, you do need the larger space of an island exhibit to host a theater in your booth. 

However, theater in a linear booth presentation is an unique proposition to catch those wandering eyes in the isle area. This is a great way for people to self qualify themselves and then seek your assistance if they need to. 

However, in bigger island booths, theater is almost always a place to give presentations to large groups and key driver for driving attention. It works best when you make your presentations, interactive. Think about incorporating audience interaction digital tool like Participants will be able to post comments and submit questions to panelists and presenters, all in real time.

Add some excitement to the traditional Q&A session can consider using a "throwable mic." As the name implies, this wireless microphone can be tossed by the presenter to an audience member. The Catchbox Pro throwable mic comes equipped with a magnetic locking mechanism that ensures the inner microphone capsule does not pop out when thrown — and works with professional radio transmitters from top A/V equipment manufacturers such as Shure, Sennheiser, and AKG.

Get a keynote speaker to talk about your product, your industry and your brand contribution for an added layer. Involve your advocates to do the bidding for you. And, do keep in mind, when you go big, you expose your brand to certain vulnerabilities.

A theater full of people gives the perception: "interesting" and "on topic;" whereas, a half-empty theater says "boring" and "B list."

So while you don't want attendees standing in the aisles to watch your show, you also don't want a ton of empty chairs for every presentation. Finding just the right size theater is critical in terms of attendee perceptions. With proper pre-show promotion, some attendees will schedule your presentations into their at-show plans, but, an aisle-side presentation theater will often draw passersby into your space just to see what's going on.







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Linear or islands, whatever the dictates of your budget be; it is always a good idea to incorporate meeting spaces. If you have an island design, integrate it into your design. If you have a smaller space, check with show management about renting separate meeting rooms.

Private Meeting Areas — When you have larger groups and especially when you, your visitors, or both of you don’t want the rest of the world seeing that you are meeting, then a private meeting space with walls to block out the sound and prying eyes is in order.  These will include larger tables and upscale chairs, and can look like a conference room.

Casual Meeting Areas — While you may only have room for one or two casual meetings in your inline booth space, you can arrange for multiple places where a booth staffer can talk with one or two attendees at a time. Often there are chairs, a table or counter, and perhaps some AV support such as an iPad, a laptop, or even a flat screen monitor.  This is where you take most of your leads.

Partner Meeting Areas  In a bigger space, you can set up partner meeting areas. This meeting area helps your partners to exhibit their product and services to their target audience. It is a double win. You get to design customized products for a wider audience base. Also, it is here, you can interact with your partners and take notes about their pain positions and gain points.

Use geofencing to help your attendees to interact with each other. For example, a group of attendees viewing a presentation in your booth could also access each other's LinkedIn profiles and send messages. Although the technology has been around for a while, it's just now becoming a bit more mainstream in the exhibit industry. Welcome to the 4th Industrial Revolution.






The Warmth of Hospitality Nurtures the Craft of Networking


With a larger booth, you have the luxury for providing your guests with food and drinks, and maybe even a coffee bar.  Remember to include room for a refrigerator, even if it’s one of those dorm-room sized fridges. In Europe, it’s much more common to provide hospitality in your booth, as the meetings tend to focus around wrapping up of business deals.

Provide refreshment that will engage the sensory cortex. Offer aromatic food, candy or coffee in your display area, preferably available at the back of your booth so the visitors will have to weave through your space and get to know your brand. 

Make each person comfortable and at ease. Networking is often a loose term that we love to toss around. Somehow, we are expected to figure out how to be proficient in this art. However, in contrast to reality, let it be said that we all struggle when it comes to networking. Most of us are in need of social encouragement. So, make it a priority to talk to each visitor and ask the person his/her field of interest. You then, find people of similar interest and peg him/her with that person or group of persons. Use technology to help you out.

For example, Zenvoy, using it's intelligent one-on-one business introductory services takes the guess work out of meeting the right, new people based on shared interest.






The Art and Science of Product Display


This is definitely different than product demo as the product is expected to stay on a shelf, wall, floor or podium.  The temptation is to bring in lots of product to have everything you make available to show. But, that is exactly what you do not want to do. Concentrate on your best sellers and your new products. You prevent creating clutter and above all the diminished perception about the value of your product.The science of display is rather linear. For example, you have so many products and you have some many counters and shelf to display. However, when you get into the art of it, it gets a bit tricky. Yet, it could be spellbinding...

The notion is to elevate the life and meaning of your products beyond their immediate purpose.

Draw attention to a particular product while associating them cultural connotations or a bigger story. Conceptualize your product display, as a metaphor of something big. The art of doing it is, extending the periphery of your product. For example if your product is a chair, imagine it in a room, the room in a house, the house in a neighborhood, the neighborhood in a urban setting, the setting in a culture, the culture in a country... Similarly, you can do it based on the persona of your audience group.


Make it more palatable for your visitors while gathering analytics about them. Use technology to send at-show discounts, product information, automatic messaging, while tracking their movement within your space, perhaps to see how long a visitor spends in a specific product zone or participates in an in-booth activity.




Product Demonstration


The stats proclaim that more than 50% of your attendees will remember your exhibit stand depending on how you conducted your product demonstration. This is one area where you can make your trade show marketing more powerful, more memorable, and more effective than your competitors.

Product demos are the most important element you can control in your exhibit to create more memorable exhibits.

Here’s why. The top two reasons for remembering exhibits, “Product Interest” and “Well-Known Company” are factors mostly dependent on what your company has done before the show and outside the exhibit hall. So, as the exhibit manager you can have less immediate effect on these two (although you can affect it long-term).

If your product is a software, use creative architecture and brand messaging to drive the point.

If you are highlighting a certain product, scan it with 3D scanner for your Ipad. Then wow your visitors by positioning them in the reality that the product will be used.

Always keep experimenting as to how your audience reacts with your product demo. Take notes. Build improved solutions.







Brand is what defines your trade show booth space
It is your exhibit, your furniture, your interaction and your inter-activities.

Be clear about Who You Are? and What You Do?

Use your brand tenets to intelligently design the graphics and formulate the architecture of your booth. If 'What You do' calls for a 'Club Design' (closed booth design) by all means execute it. If 'What You do' is supported by a perception that is more distinctive than your products and services — something David Ogilvy described as “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes”, by all means highlight it.

Above all, shun any gimmicky ways to promote your brand. 

When you say, what you do, then do what you say. People will remember the 'doing' part. That will provide the anchor for forming the intangible attribute of your brand.

While branding graphics or videos usually take little floor space, they do occupy a bit of vertical space on walls, towers, tables, and hanging signs above the booth. Think of your branding graphics like you do an electrical junction box in your workplace – you need to leave at least several feet clear so that people can actually see them. For excessively large booth space, indulge in product specific branding. Use volumetric hanging display signs that extends over your booth space to give the added punch needed for your brand.

Needless to say, the dance of the LED light and the individuality of your hanging sign goes a long way to shape perception and attract attention.








Story Walls Activate 'Thinking', 'Feeling' and 'Visualizing'


In an island booth space, the natural choice for your story walls will be your storage walls. In the the linear booth space, use the back wall for your brand story.

Research in neuroscience now have material data to show how your brains change dramatically, when you listen to stories. It is like the the whole brain functions in a "complex pattern of synchrony like musicians in an orchestra."

The language processing parts gets activated, the sensory cortex gets activated (“Metaphors like “The singer had a velvet voice” and “He had leathery hands” rouses the sensory cortex. […]), your motor cortex gets to work (for example; “John grasped the object” and “Pablo kicked the ball.”) and so forth...

Your brain is the powerhouse of transforming stories and making you believe that it is real.

The brains of the storyteller and the story listener can actually synchronize, says Princeton's Uri Hasson“By simply telling a story, [a person] could plant ideas, thoughts and emotions into the listeners’ brains.”

By telling a great story, you can actually change the perception of your audience and their behavior towards your brand. 










It is postulated that there are four main effects that the Fourth Industrial Revolution has on business—on customer expectations, on product enhancement, on collaborative innovation, and on organizational forms.

As customers are increasingly becoming the the epicenter of the economy, booth visitors are the reason why you will design a booth—which is all about improving how they are served. If you have physical products and services, it can now be enhanced with digital capabilities that will increase the perception of your brand.

Like the revolutions that preceded it, the Fourth Industrial Revolution has the potential to change economies around the world and disrupt the way you do business. "To date, those who have gained the most from it have been consumers able to afford and access the digital world; technology has made possible new products and services that increase the efficiency and pleasure of our personal lives."

The question to ask yourself, how you are going to make a dent in your industry, — that will influence your customers and prospects in doing business with you.




Get Connected. @SkylineBayArea, #HelpingTheWorldTrade




We build brands by creating brand experiences for our clients attending trade shows and marketing events. We maximize impact and ROI through creative content, PLAUSIBLE promotions, innovative exhibit AND GRAPHIC design, cost-efficient products and services.






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