Green and eco-friendly have been buzz words in many industries, including ours, for years. They’re words that get thrown around design meetings, marketing analyses and on the trade show floor itself quite often. You don’t need to be reminded about its existence; you need a reminder of why it’s important and where to get inspiration.
Vendors and exhibitors alike have expanded their green products and have controlled their costs. Shows like Greenbuild have made environmental responsibility a requirement for exhibitors. Green is not just a fad or trend, but an ever expanding cornerstone of our industry. We can agree that this is all good news not just for tax benefits, cost saving or corporate image, but also for the overall health of employees, customers and the world in general.
Influenced by our long-time clients, EDE has been quietly taking action since 1994 when a client first indicated that this was a need for their events. It has never been a major part of our marketing, but we realized we’ve been holding out on you. Starting this month, you can find green tips, eco-friendly client and vendor highlights and inspiration by following us on G+, our new hub for helping the promotion of environmentally sound principles within the exhibit business.
There are standard colors for every industry and every brand has its own marketing department-approved shades. But generally speaking, there are universally expected colors such as blues, grays, white and pops of red. These are safe and work just fine, but we like it when our clients go for something bolder because it shows guts and a personality that speaks to their target market.
Gamification has been around the marketing world for quite some time. Gone are the days of gimmicky games based on Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy, instead games are now created to be relevant and targeted and help deliver defined marketing messages. Marketers are finding that gamifying a brand helps influence behavior in environments like trade shows, mobile events and experiential settings. The benefits of gamification can be numerous and typically include:
You certainly wouldn’t exhibit at a trade show or send an RFP response without making sure your brand, company personality and purpose were effectively communicated. It’s the same reason you can’t show up to the social media party without an appropriate game plan. Just like there isn’t one booth design that suits all exhibitors, there isn’t one voice that translates across all social media platforms. Below is a breakdown of how we communicate differently through each social media outlet.
Typically trade show exhibit layouts require attendees to walk in from the aisles in order to engage with booth staff or product displays. Many of you have already learned that funneling people inside the exhibits helps give them a sense of privacy and more focused attention. Common ways to do this within exhibits might include relying on graphics, physical structures, placement of products or even music. But one trick is a little more subtle and still effective. Thoughtful lighting not only draws attendees’ eyes to important features but can also lead them to important locations within the booth.
At any given time, nearly 70% of trade show attendees potentially have no idea you’re exhibiting. According to Exhibitor Online and Expoweb, 38% of attendees are first timers while another 30% of an average trade show’s visitors are considered regulars. These are two segments of the crowd that can easily miss your exhibit if you do not regularly update it.
A major drawback to trade show exhibits is that you can typically only display a product, not its contextual usefulness. With all of the distractions and unrealistic settings at trade shows, it can be hard for attendees to make an accurate mental connection to the product. Taking an attendee away from those distractions and putting them into a real life environment helps them focus on how your products meet their needs, which in turn makes your products stand out.
The good news is that you don’t have to actually take attendees out of the convention center. This can be accomplished in a number of ways with visual, auditory and emotional cues created by the experience within the space. Even without the ability to recreate large or out-of-element settings to scale, your booth design and fabrication can mimic reality well enough to mentally place attendees in the time and place they will use your product.
Interface unveiled their sustainable product lined called Net Effect at this year’s NeoCon in Chicago. For the debut, they wanted the focus of the new space to be videos playing on monitors and projectors displaying a narrative of related images and text, all tirelessly timed to atmospheric music. The displays, which spanned over three walls, set up a stage that pulled in attendees to spread a powerful message.
While EDE handled the fabrication of the showroom from setting up the projectors to moving existing plumbing, we collaborated with Ogilvy & Mather to create the graphics display that revolved around timing and had to be seamless. However, the vision created two main challenges that inspired more thoughtful implementation.
Developing a trade show program can be overwhelming. To make things easier for you, here is a universal guide on what it takes to get an exhibit built. Each section represents a chronological step that you are involved in. Find explanations and tips for each step below.