Tradeshow Tonic

TIRED OF SAME OLD STRATEGY? A FRESH LOOK AT EXHIBIT DESIGN AND MARKETING

Published on Feb 14, 2018 1:03:49 PM

 

GET FRESH EYES FOR YOUR EXHIBIT DESIGN.png

 

QUCIK TRICK TO GET A FRESH PERSPECTIVE ON ANY SUBJECT

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.”
― Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden

 

Doing the same thing over and over again makes us agents of mediocrity. "Complacency sets in and very soon we slip into irrelevancy."

It happens to all of us... sooner or later.

IF YOU ARE SUFFERING FROM THE LIFELESSNESS OF SAMENESS, TAKE A BREAK FROM EXHIBITING

You’ve just exhibited at the same trade shows that you always exhibit at, year after year. This can and will make you too easily fall into the “same old, same-old” mindset: same competitors, same booth staff, same exhibit, same promotions, same city, same products, same trade show strategy, same social media strategy — a wealth of sameness at your disposal.

 

HOW TO CONTRAST THE SAMENESS

To keep your edge, try to see trade shows with fresh eyes. Give yourself some time at your next few shows to get re-inspired.  All you need is your all-seeing critical eyes, the fortitude of your feet, and a stalwart spirit of inquiry.

 

 

    STEP 1. STOP EXHIBITING. GO AS AN ATTENDEE.   

 

Going to a show as an attendee rather than an exhibitor can give you an entirely different view of how you and your competition are perceived in that environment. Walk the exhibit hall and strike up conversations with other prospects in attendance. Find out whose exhibits they liked, who they bought from, or whom they may do business with in the future. Most importantly: find out why. Ask how competitors’ products, services or prices compare to yours. While doing this may seem bold, many people appreciate feeling that their input could shape your company’s future offerings.

 

 

 

   STEP 2. STUDY THE BOOTH DESIGNS OF YOUR COMPETITION     

 

Slow down and look the nuances, of their booth and their booth elements.

Browse their literature to see the full scope of their product/service offerings, vs. which ones they have decided to feature in their booth. Ask about the small print: pricing, discounts, shipping, maintenance, etc. Check out, who they are partnering with on the exhibiting floor. We have seen the rise of partnership between smaller brands in an effort to forge new products and services.

After checking out their website and signing up for their e-newsletter, pay special attention in the subsequent weeks as to how they then re-target you with advertising on the web and on social media.

 

booth design with digital partners

Something to think about — As you are finding excuses about why not to exhibit, your time will be better spent finding a partner who you, would want to exhibit with. To survive in the "COLLABORATION ECONOMY" partnership is essential for the survival of your business and your brand.

 

Why? THE QUICK ANSWER is, as technology and software become the defacto standard of our trade and commerce, "many new companies entering the market can minimize marketing and sales costs by cleverly attaching to the marketing machines of more established vendors."

 

skybay_BUDGETING_AND_MEASUREMENT

 

"Recent research has shown, in fact, that companies that are able to create new products or services while maintaining a baseline of other capabilities are the fastest growers."

The way forward to experience hyper-growth is to partner with start-ups or incubators, which can give companies access to a larger pool of emerging innovations and technologies.

Recently, L’Oréal invested in Founders Factory, a global digital accelerator and incubator based in London. As part of the agreement, "L’Oréal and Founders Factory will invest in and scale five early-stage beauty-related start-ups and co-create two new companies from scratch every year."

THE RESULT: NAIL ART introduced at CES2018

 

UV SENSO TO protect from sun screens-2.png

"The in-house team of experts at Founders Factory, provides hands-on support and advice to participating start-ups. The strategy provides an early look at innovative technologies and business models that relate to L’Oréal’s core business."

 

 

 

   STEP 3.   

STUDY THE BOOTH STAFFERS, STAFFING THE BOOTH OF THE OTHER PLAYERS

 

Walk your trade show and see who does a good job engaging you, and who ignores you — even when you walk into their booth! 

Who pays attention to all attendees as they walk by, and who is on the phone, even when you reach for a business card on their table? 

Who is friendly even at the end of the show, and who looks like they need a trip to the spa? 

Who offers a friendly engaging question and turns it into a meaningful conversation, and who says “Hi,” with no eye contact or conversation.

How does their product demo compare with yours. Are they holding the interest of the attendees.

WATCH, TAKE NOTES, NOW WATCH THE DETAILS AGAIN, MINDFULLY — You are will amazed by the amount of of information that you you can gleam simply by watching and listening.

 

 

 

 

   STEP 4.   

GIVE YOURSELF THE PERMISSION TO BE HYPER SKEPTIC

A skeptic questions and doubts the existing rational framework of belief system.  Walk down the venue isle and start asking these questions.

 

What trade show booths are getting more traffic?  Why and when?

Which booths seem to not only attract visitors, and helps them to be at ease.

Look for booth staffers and visitors truly engaged in meaningful conversations — what did they do to get there?

What at-show activities are generating a crowd, and keeping the right people in the booth?

What new trade show exhibit catches your eye?  Is it their messaging, shape, color, products, or something else? Are they attracting other visitors or are they just walking by?

How are booth staffers dressing? Is there a specific theme to it?

Where in the show hall are the hot spots of traffic — and did that change during the day?

Follow some attendees (at a discreet distance!) and watch what catches their eye, and what they blow right past.

 

 

 

   STEP 5.   

EMPLOY ALL THE ABOVE DATA POINTS TO DRIVE A DESIGN LAYOUT THAT WILL ENCOURAGE USER EXPERIENCE AND USER INTERACTION AT YOUR NEXT SHOW

 

KNOW THE POWER OF THESE 6 EXHIBIT DESIGN LAYOUT

 

1. THE CENTERPIECE

2. THE CONGLOMORATION

3. THE CLUB OR FORTRESS

4. THE PLAZA

5. THE THEATER

6. THE AXIS OR THE CLASSIC

the mechanical image drawings are from exhibitoronline.com

 

 

 

 

THE CENTERPIECE

 

ONE PRODUCT OR EXPERIENTIAL ACTIVITY IS THE STAR FEATURE OF THIS DESIGN LAYOUt. GO WITH IT WHEN YOU HAVE A MAJOR PRODUCT LAUNCH OR AN ELABORATE GIVE AWAY FOR YOUR GRAND PRIZE DRAWING EVENT.

 

THE CENTER STAGE CAN BE ALSO USED FOR JUGGLERS, MUSICIANS,  SMALL-ACT SCENES THAT TIES TO YOUR PRODUCT AND YOUR BRAND, or that you choose to partner with. A GOOD IDEA IS TO CHOOSE A BEVERAGE OR A SNACK VENDOR THAT WILL HELP REMEMBER YOUR BRAND VIA OLFACTORY NERVES.

 

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booth design based on centerpiece layout

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE CONGLOMERATION IS IDEAL FOR THE ONCOMING COLLABORATION ECONOMY

IN OUR AGE OF ONGOING ACQUISITION AND MERGERS, CONGLOMORATION BOOTH LAYOUT WORKS VERY WELL PUSHING THE CONCEPT OF "LEARNING AT YOUR OWN PACE".

 

THIS DESIGN HELPS VISITORS TO EXPLORE AT THEIR OWN WILL AND SETS THEIR COURSE TO LEARN ABOUT YOUR MULTI-FACETED OFFERINGS. THIS DESIGN CAN LOOK UNIQUE AND CUTTING EDGE, BECAUSE, IT IS AN ARBITRATY ARRANGEMENT OF SHAPE, ACTIVITIES AND ASSETS.

THIS DESIGN FUNCTIONS VERY WELL AS WE MOVE INTO THE COLLABORATION ECONOMY.

 

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booth design based on conglomeration layout

 

 

 

 

 

THE CLUB OR THE FORTRESS

 


TRUE TO IT'S NAME, THIS DESIGN WILL DETER ATTENDEES FROM ENTERING YOUR BOOTH SPACE. THIS DESIGN HELPS YOUR BRAND LAUNCH WITH STEALTH — THE GOAL IS TO KEEP PROPRITARY INFORMATION WITHIN LIMITED VIEW AND OR CREATE AN ATMOSPHERE BY INVITATION ONLY — GO FOR IT IF YOU WANT MAKE YOUR CUSTOMERS FEEL REALLY SPECIAL.

 

OFTEN TIMES, CLIENTS RENT 2 SPACES — ONE SPACE THAT IS ALONG THE MAIN ISLE AND THE OTHER, MORE TOWARDS THE BACK. THEY USE THE ONE UP IN THE FRONT, TO QUALIFY AND THE CLUB DESIGN IN THE BACK, IS USED AS AN HOPITALITY SUITE TO ENTERTAIN THE QUALIFIED PROSPECTS FROM THE FRONT OF THE SHOW HALL.

 

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booth design based on fortress layout

 

 

 

 

 

THE PLAZA

A BIG OPEN SPACE IN THE CENTER FOR CASUAL CONVERSATION AND RELATIONSHIP BUILDING with the setting of PRODUCT AND BOOTH ACTIVITIES AS A BACKDROP. WITH ALL THE STRUCTURES PUSH OUT TOWARDS THE ISLE, THIS LAYOUT IS CONDUCIVE TO CONSTRUCT YOUR BRAND OFFERINGS FOR THE PROSPECTS WHO ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF YOUR CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAP — GO FOR IT IF YOU HAVE QUALIFIED AND SEGMENTED YOUR PROSPECT ON THE ISLE

 

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booth design based on PLAZA layout 

 

 

 

 

THE THEATER

SINGULARLY FOCUSED, THE CORE PURPOSE OF THIS LAYOUT IS MULTI-MEDIA PRESENTATION, PRODUCT PRESENTATION, CUSTOMER SIGMENTATION, AUDIENCE SURVEY ACTIVITY ETC. ALLOW FOR ISLE MONITORS SHOWING PRESENTATION SCHEDULE, SPEAKER HIGHLIGHTS AND INDUSTRY HIGHLIGHTS — AND OFCOURSE, PEPPER IT WITH PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS.

 

IF THEATER IS THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR DESIGN, USE THIS OPPORTUNITY, TO BREAK DOWN COMPLEX IDEAS AND CONCEPTS OF YOUR SERVICES AND PRODUCTS IN YOUR PRESENTATION.  BE SURE TO GET SPEAKERS WHO ARE INFLUENCERS IN YOUR INDUSTRY SEGMENT. INVITE PRODUCT MANAGERS AND THE C-SUITES  OF OTHER COMPANIES TO GENERATE BUZZ

 

 

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booth design based on theater layout

 

 

 

 

 

THE AXIS OR THE CLASSIC LAYOUT

IF YOU HAVE A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT PRODUCTS OR PARTNERS OF EQUAL IMPORTANCE, A CENTRAL STRUCTURE ACTS AS AXIS WITH INDEPENDENT ELEMENTS AROUND IT. HANGING SIGN, DOUBLE DECK, {if need be} OR TALL TOWER FORM THE CENTER ENCLAVE

IF YOU ARE MANUFACTURER, with SUPPLY CHAIN PARTNERS THIS IS GOOD LAYOUt

 

 

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booth design based on axis layout

 

Congratulations! You have made this far. This shows your grit and determination.

Yes, this is a lot of information to take in. Book mark it. Go slow. Absorb it in your own time and space. Hopefully, this will a good exercise for your raw intellectual horsepower.

Trade shows are complex environments, dense with information. To prosper in exhibiting you have to stay curious, start deliberate thinking and expand your field of experimentation.

Here is to your toil and aspiration!

 

Sarmistha Tarafder

 

Topics: exhibit design • modular exhibits • trade show boo, Stressful trade show marketing, booth design

Join 170,000+ exhibitors who has profited from our insights

 

 

 

Brand lessons from CES 2018


YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE, IF YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR COMPETITION LOOKS LIKE YOU

With CES 2018, in the backdrop, we have explained how brands can be radically different with their Unique Selling Proposition.

No rush, take your time and read it at your own leisure. You just might find certain kernels that will inspire you in your next project — be it messaging, marketing or exhibiting.

 

 

 

Out of the Box Design Thinking


DESIGN THINKING THAT HELPS YOU EXPAND YOUR BRAND IDEATION — USE CURVES, ANGLES, LAYERS TO CREATE DRAMA AND
POWER MOVES — EASY DESIGN USES FOR 8 OFFERINGS

 

 

booth design for startups

 

BOOTH DESIGNS
FOR BOOT-STRAPPED EXHIBITORS

Budget is a big discussion points amongst our exhibitors. Hence we have designed sytems that palatable for our audience at lower entry points

Budgeting for your trade shows can be tricky because there are a number of hidden costs that make it difficult to figure out exactly what a show will cost. Here here are a few simple guidelines from Exhibitor Magazine to help you get a general idea of what various aspects of the trade show experience might cost.

 PLANNING_AND_LOGISTICS

 

DOWNLOAD TRADE SHOW PLANNING GUIDE

These handy work sheets were designed with input from veteran exhibit  managers to help you organize the details of your show-planning activities, from setting objectives to budgeting and measuring results.

 

 

booth design for brand amplification 

ASSOCIATE  AN ACCESSIBLE CONNECTION BETWEEN YOUR BRAND AND YOUR BUSINESS — HUMANIZE YOUR BRAND AND INSPIRE A SENSE OF BELONGING AMONGST YOUR AUDIENCE

 

DARE TO CREATE YOUR

TRADE SHOW BOOTH DESIGNS FOR CONVERSATIONAL CREATIVITY

 

 

wrong booth staffers will land you in brand wreckage.png

 

DO NOT WRECK YOUR BRAND. HIRE THE RIGHT BOOTH STAFFERS AND NAVIGATE YOUR BRAND TO THE SHORES OF SUCCESS —  EACH TIME, EVERY TIME

You may have eye-catching booth, quality products & services, preppy presentations and promotions,

BUT, if you have the “wrong” booth staffers, your brand marketing will end up in a massive wreck and there is no poetry in that.

 

 

BRAND_DESIGN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

center piece for your booth design

 

As SHOWN ABOVE, —  EXAMPLES FROM BEHANCE  — CENTERPIECE IDEAS — THE CENTER DOES NOT NEED TO HAVE A BIG  STAGE — IT CAN BE ANYWHERE BETWEEN FUNKY AND FANTASTIC

 

 

EXHIBIT_DESIGN 

 

 

 

 

 

AS SOFTWARE BECOMES THE DE-FACTO LANGUAGE of OUR TRADE AND COMMERCE, COLLABORATION IS PLAYING A CENTRAL ROLE WITH "SHARED EMPATHY for building businesses and genuinely enjoy helping others."

 

 collaboration economy.jpg

 

 David Barrett, founder and CEO of Expensify, says the strength of marketplaces comes down to an open API framework that infiltrates a company’s entire culture.

“The idea that individual software must be all-encompassing is a thing of the past; we live in an era where add-ons should be embraced instead of being seen as a threat.” 

 

IN THE AGE OF 'ADD-ONS'

"many new companies entering the market can minimize marketing and sales costs by cleverly attaching to the marketing machines of more established vendors, as well as inexpensively gain access to an existing customer base."

 

 club design as your booth design

 

AS SHOWN ABOVE, IS AN EXAMPLE OF CLUB DESIGN FROM BEHANCE —
COMPLETE CONTROL OF
EXIT AND ENTRY

VERSUS,

PARTIAL CONTROL AS DEMONSTRATED BELOW

 

booth design with partially controlling the access points

 

 

plaza booth design could be built around lounges

 

As SHOWN ABOVE, IS AN EXAMPLE OF PLAZA DESIGN FROM BEHANCE —
ELABORATE SEATING ALONG ONE ISLE IS A CREATIVE WAY OF ATTRACTING PEOPLE IN YOUR BOOTH SPACE AND QUALIFY THEM IN A CASUAL HUMANISTIC CONVERSATION — THIS DEFINITELY HUMANIZES YOUR BRAND

 

 

 theater booth design with additional purpose

 

As SHOWN ABOVE — AN EXAMPLE FROM BEHANCE — WE ARE INPIRED BY IT"S POTENTIAL — THINK ABOUT THIS, INSTEAD OF HAVING A BUILT IN THEATER INVEST IN ROLLABE OLED TV DISPLAY — HEN NOT IN USE YOU ROLL IT DOWN AND CREATE A LUMINOUS ENVIRONMNET

 

 

booth design with classic feel and theater functionality

 

As SHOWN ABOVE, AN EXAMPLE OF DESIGN WHEN THE TWO LAYOUTS MERGE — THE AXIS AND THE THEATER.

WITH THE RISE OF COLLABORATION ECONOMY — "Technology is creating a new generation of companies that increasingly choose to collaborate as co-ordinated ecosystem, even if they have overlapping or competitive offerings. This transparent way of doing business is transforming the way services are delivered and products are developed" —

WE HAVE SEEN THE RISE OF POPULARITY OF THIS TYPE OF DESIGN

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