Tradeshow and Exhibit Thoughtleaders
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and the dissemination of truth."

John F. Kennedy

Marc Goldberg's Articles

Accuracy Before Momentum – Part II

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Too many exhibits are judged by how much they are liked by their owners not by how they functioned for them in attracting, retaining
and communicating to show attendees.

An exhibit is a selling tool.  It provide sellers with a place to do their business at trade shows, exhibitions and other nontraditional events.  It is where sellers entertain their existing customers and hopefully attract new prospects with whom they could do business.  It has evolved into an environment where visitors come to be
educated.  It also functions to attract attention of the audience.  The structure is like a billboard in that it communicates who the seller is,
what they do and what they offer.  Lastly exhibits are designed to support the staff to determine visitor needs and communicate how
 they can fill visitor needs.  It provides the backdrop against which live presentations can be conducted and product demonstrations can be offered to prove application and benefit.

Before you can sit down with a designer, you need to ask yourself:

  • Why are you exhibiting?
    Generating leads, consummating sales, positioning, meeting with existing customers, learning and teaching

  • Who is your target audience?
    Can you describe the audience you want to visit you? 

  • What do you want to communicate?

  • What messages do you want to deliver to this audience?
    What do you want to take home that is a measure
    of your success?

If you can answer these questions then you are ready to sit down with your designer since you have a clear understanding of what role
the exhibit will play in accomplishing your goals. 

What most exhibit professional say is, “I need a tower, three pedestal tables, an information counter with a lead slot”.  This is all about
the exhibitor’s needs, not those of their audience.  Try asking these questions:

  • Why do visitors come to your exhibit?  What is their reason for targeting your exhibit to visit?  Do they want to learn, have
    conversation, attend a live presentation, participate in a product demonstration.

  • What do they want to do when they come to visit you?  Do they want to sit down and have a conversation? Do they want to see
    how the product works?
    What are their most asked questions?  What do they want to know?

  • How do you want to interact with the audience?  After they have achieved their objectives, what do you want to with visitors to your

When you find the answers to these questions, the form, the structure, the elements of your exhibit will take form.  Rather than having to
say, “I need a tower, three pedestal tables, an information counter with a lead slot”, you will see the exhibit evolve.

Every year Exhibit Surveys, Red Bank ,NJ, researches what makes an exhibit memorable.  After size, which is always #1, having a well
known name, an interesting product, demonstrations and attracting live presentations follow.  Having a well trained staff,  unique
promotional products and location are all ingredients that make an exhibit memorable.  But a critical ingredient is having an attracting
design to which the audience can relate.

The exhibit is a tool.  It performs. It has functions.  It sells. It communicates. It recruits. It introduces new products or positions an
organization in a new market segment. It houses product demonstrations and live presentations.  It also has to be very functionally
flexible, because the needs of the audience are varied and many.

When sitting down with your designer consider these factors when seeking a design that will appeal to your audience:

  • What function does your exhibit need to fill?

  • What are the ergonomic considerations of your audience?

  • What structure do you need to carry your messages and communicate your position?

  • How will lighting be used to create an environment?

  • What logo treatment can be undertaken to create the image you are desiring?

  • Is there a theme that can be internalized in the exhibit design?

  • Are their safety considerations – two story, platforms, product demonstrations?

  • What colors will communicate your messages visually?

  • What kind of furnishings are appropriate to meet their needs in visiting you?

  • How will you utilize the exhibit as a selling vehicle?

  • Will your graphics create impact to attract, maintain and communicate your messages?

Exhibit design is one of the wonders of the industry.  If you consider your visitor first, and your last,  then your exhibit design will function
as the tool you need it to be – telling your story. Telling people what you sell.

© 2012 by Marc Goldberg