Tradeshow and Exhibit Thoughtleaders
Meet our Thoughtleaders: An Interview
with Sarmistha Tarafder by Gordon Nary
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Gordon: Let's start by discussing
design. One of my favorite design quotes is by Jim Henson in his book
Sarmistha: Simplicity is a much sought after and talked about precept. I think, it is much overrated in the general sense of term.
Or, perhaps, in our complex and over abundant lives, our sub-conscious aspires for something that is easy, less complex and
But, Simplicity is something that is not achieved by making, something easier or less complex. Take away all the details
and all the complexity, what you are left with is something very boring and neolithic.…… Can you imagine the
Blue Mosque of Isfahan stripped off its details, its textures, its diverse Kufic scripts, the exquisite arabesque patterns..
Simplicity embraces exactly the right details, the right difficulties, the right complexity, but because everything is tied together
in a common sense of purpose, you are left with a sense of clarity, and a sense that everything belongs exactly where it is.
Simplicity is achieved when everything means something. Clarity, purpose, and intentionality form the triangulation of the
concept "Simple". It is not what you take away, it is what you have to add to this recipe to make it clear purposeful and
Gordon: What are the principles of great design?
Gordon: What are the functions of great design?
Sarmistha: Great question- Design, often is thought to be about form, style, and how things look, but it’s also very much about
function, or what something does.
Great design should lend to a great experience. Design is not just about the space or the product created, but also about the
way that creation makes us feel, think, or learn. It’s about the human response to the things we make for the world.
Great design should please the heart. Should have an emotional appeal. Today we are increasingly designing for the right brain
by focusing on the emotional aspects of design and by asking “How will it make people feel?” in addition to “How will it look?”
and “How will it work?”
Great design should have the element of repurposing or sustainability built into it. “It’s not good design if it’s bad for the
planet” is the mantra of the sustainable-design movement, which encourages designers to consider the impact their creations
will have on the environment and people.
Great design fosters growth and wider bottom line. Great design (along with its 2nd cousin, real innovation) is a powerful
competitive advantage for companies that have learned how to do it consistently and creatively.
Great design sparks the imagination, inspires humanity and motivates us
to make an evolutionary leap. By
asking “What if?”
Gordon: What have been some of your most challenging design projects?
Gordon: Let's switch io
Marketing. What are some of the more common challenges in establishing
Check out competition, brand awareness, conducting focus
groups, dispensing education: For all this, you do not
Gordon: With the
explosion of new technologies, especially in the area of
communications, do you have any
my clue from the Pulitzer-prize
winning author E. O. Wilson.
In an interview with NPR he
mentioned that “The
real problem of humanity is the following: we have
First we have to define why we are going to trade
shows. Truly, in this day and age we can hold virtual events and be
In the 19th and 20th century the organizational model of
the fair changed substantially. Now called trade shows, they
The way I see it, technology is here to aid us. It should raise the overall standard of trade show exhibiting. Now, trade show
managers are required to produce high-value, in-person events that meet attendee needs in ways not available via wireless.
Show design and format will be driven by evaluation of engagement and on-site experience. Will “hosted buyer” formats
become the preferred show model? Will “gamification” be a necessity for all show configurations? Will “apps” become the
engagement tool that drives the on-site experience?
The good thing is technology does not sleep. That means, you can reach your target audience any day, any time, any platform.
I circle back to Wilson. As a brand, we have to be clear on some tough philosophical questions: why we are in business?
(as Simon Sinek would say 'to make money is the outcome of being in business it does not answer the why') who we are?
where do we come from? and where are we going? So, you see I go back to the spiritual aspect of our material self.
Gordon: With all of the
rapid changes in technology, do you foresee and significant conflicts
This is a great question. Remember, I was
talking about our emotional need to hang out together.
It tells me that if we can make the experience of hanging out together more stimulating than what their device can provide for,
we just might overcome any if not all conflicts between the generations. Each generation is of the opinion that the subsequent
generation that follows them are way too enabled. I believe that proves we are on a steady path to progress. Does it not?
Our younger generation who are addicted to technology– we have to find a way that disorients them and compels them to be
present. How do we do it? We need to make them co-creators of the exhibiting experience. These tech savvy youngsters view
their world through a set of virtual tools. Provide them with experience that makes use of all of the senses and above all, be in
the business of mentoring your young folks.
Gordon: You are a
remarkable talent and I appreciate the opportunity of working with you
and featuring some of your
Sarmistha: Thank you Gordon. Thank you for having me. It was a great exercise for the intellect.
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