TRADE SHOW EXHIBITS: WHY DESIGN IS A STRATEGIC PRIORITY11/27
The idea of design as a foundational element of business strategy is not new. But thanks to the success of Steve Jobs and Apple, companies are increasingly placing more value on the concept. As a strategy, design guides the development of products. It frames the user experience. It communicates at a glance what you want people to know about your brand. It influences the tactics you choose to go-to-market. No longer is design simply relegated to the art studio or the ad agency. It’s a strategic priority at the highest levels of the enterprise.
But when it comes to trade show exhibits, it seems that companies often lose sight of the importance of design. Granted, in a weak economy we have to look for cost savings wherever we can find it. But cheapening the design of your trade show exhibit to save money in the short term can often cost you more over the long haul.
Marketing at trade shows is an expensive endeavor, even before you build your exhibit -- from renting the space, to the travel and lodging costs, and all the marketing costs that surround it. You’re making the investment in a trade show program so you can introduce new products and services, generate important leads and close enough sales to recoup your investment and make a healthy profit. A trade show exhibit that projects anything other than what you want your brand to stand for has huge business risk.
People are hardwired to respond to great design. And great design isn’t just pretty. It’s all the visual cues that frame an audience’s attention and impression of your products and your brand – imagery, icons, color pallet, font, architecture, materials, lighting, signage, displays and the interactions.
Great exhibit design evokes emotion, working on both a conscious and subconscious level, telling or suggesting to customers what things they should associate with your brand. At a glance, a well-designed exhibit implies your attention to detail, how much has been invested, and the values and priorities of your company. Also at a glance, a poorly designed exhibit can imply just the opposite.
This is not to suggest that great exhibit design has to be expensive. Or that it’s impossible to achieve great design on a small budget. It clearly doesn’t make sense to overpay for your exhibit or to spend money on useless features.
But when you consider the fact that trade shows are often where potential new customers first encounter your brand, where you launch important new products, or the one time a year you see certain customers face-to-face, it pays to invest in an exhibit design that delivers -- on your business goals and on your strategic brand vision.
People adopt what they love. If they love you, they will choose you. And once they’ve made a buying decision, it’s very hard to shake them lose. Design an exhibit for love at first sight, and you’ll get more customers and keep them longer.
5 things you can do now to take cost and complexity out of your trade show exhibit budget.» Download Now
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