Exhibition World Issue 2 — 2019 - Page 43

“What we did yesterday cannot be the same tomorrow” — Frederic Liebrecht for better communication among stakeholders: “Organisers probably don’t ask enough questions about how clients want their brands to be seen on stand,” he added. There is also the question of whom to ask. Martin noted that sometimes the person booking the stand is not the person doing the marketing. “The design-making tree can include up to 10 people,” she said, and urged more thought about the customer journey. “We can build organic spaces. It doesn’t all have to look like boxes.” Seaman said the best sales people were the ones advising clients to spend on activation rather than extra square metres; a thought echoed by Reid, who advised exhibitors and sponsors to consider taking a smaller stand but perhaps doing something in a show’s feature areas. Challis said charging per metre for stands was restrictive and maybe it was time for a different approach. “When they don’t charge by square metre you can do more.” Millennial approach Martin noted the challenge of getting passive and active technologies to work together and noted some Millennials were happier to download and not talk to anyone on a stand. “We need to let people decide how they interact,” she said. Telegraph Events’ Sammy Pearce agreed some of the old industry lexicon could be offputting for younger professionals. Her team had rebranded Telegraph’s ski and snowboard show as a ‘festival’, with great results, she said. In terms of harnessing new technology, on stand, Cartmell noted progress in eye-tracking research. “It is fascinating in terms of where people look on a stand, including what is the best height for sponsorship to be included in design. Anything moving on an LED screen catches the eye. Such technology is obviously better for the planet, too.” “Anything that allows gamification w w w.exhibitionworld.co.uk on stands will drive interest,” Reid added. “Good organisers are working out how they work the visitor/ customer journey around the show to find things of interest.” Seaman also warned of neglecting the human factor at your peril: “You can have the most beautiful stand in the world but if you have lazy exhibitors the effect is lost.” Linehan flagged one show where organisers favoured a levelling of the field with standard stand sizes. “The cap on spending meant money could be spent on features,” he said. beMatrix said it was working with data on where visitors are going and have been, and what they’ve looked at most at a show. “We can give that information back and offer it on most stands,” said Burton. Martin came back to the fundamental, in her view, that stand design was about how you get people to engage with your concept, while Pearce hailed the role of research. “We notice customer demographics at our ski shows. We do a lot of exhibitor research including on-site.” Above: Time for organisers, venues and stand designers to communicate more to achieve more effective and sustainable exhibition stands Roundtable Wi-Fi Many agreed Wi-Fi was seen as the biggest single complaint issue on- stand from visitors and exhibitors alike. Seaman noted it was something organisers had zero control over. Clearly Millennials expect Wi-Fi to be free like oxygen, despite it costing and someone having to pay. Seaman added that electricity charges were still a problem, usually coming after a stand purchase and the costis seen as offputting for many. GES’s team said they had invested heavily in LED and in products that can draw less power on stand, although the flip side was that some venues charge for a minimum use. Liebrecht said on the European Continent, at least, Millennials were prepared to pay, but only for energy they actually consumed. We need to get smarter in measuring, he added. So, what did our Roundtable think were good adverts for what the industry is doing in terms of design? “Things that make you stop and look,” said Seaman, “such as bar areas. I like the way GES made it not about product but experience here at International Confex.” Challis added brands could learn to appreciate the value of a seating area and organisers could even turn them into sponsorship opportunities. Graphic designer Luke Smith from GEC added: “There is no point spending big on a stand if you can’t spend on a decent screen and content to back it up. Organisers should also do more to help sales people on the stand with training.” Tom Fisher of Clarion noted his company had made 9 videos on how to prepare to exhibit at a show. Liebrecht concluded with some words of wisdom: “What we did yesterday cannot be the same tomorrow.” And he cited the example of the Architect@Work event, where all exhibitors had to have a novelty on stand, or they didn’t come in. Time to take a novel stand approach maybe? Issue 2 2019 43