Exhibiting at a trade show is one of the most valuable marketing platforms available to showcase your brand. It provides an exclusive environment jam-packed with viable business prospects who are hungry for meaningful interactions and solutions.
If you fulfill their product or service needs, it can mean impressionable returns and future growth for your company. In fact, statistics show that 77 percent of executive decision makers found at least one new supplier at the last trade show they attended.
Exhibitor Stories Create Powerful Impressions
One of the biggest challenges of being an exhibitor at a trade show or expo is that you’re vying for the same attention as some of your biggest, brightest competitors. So how do you overcome this obstacle to become one of the most memorable experiences at the event?
“It’s all in the design,” says K2 Design and Fabrication Creative Director Tony Zorrilla. “It isn’t about dollars spent on a trade show exhibit or being focused on how to one-up your toughest competitors. It’s about telling your story. It’s also about being strong, authentic and intensely selective about how you create brand awareness, engage your potential clients, and build customer commitment.”
Ready to Get Started on Your Trade Show Exhibit Design?
A trade show booth, custom display or permanent installation is a large investment, so ensuring the process starts off efficiently is crucial. Whether you’re new to the trade show circuit or a seasoned player – or have a slim or sizable budget – the design process is where the magic begins. It’s also essential to your exhibiting success and one area of marketing, advertising and branding where you shouldn’t skimp.
If new to the game, you can expect your first meeting with an exhibit account executive, graphic designer or creative director to be extremely informational so that you feel comfortable moving forward. If seasoned, it’s a chance to update, upgrade and make other changes to enhance the impression, interaction and functionality factors of your existing exhibit.
“It’s vital that clients bring as much information to the table as possible in the beginning of the product design process,” says Tony. “This ensures the final exhibit design hits the mark by meeting all of the client’s logistical needs, as well as being significant enough to attract and engage valuable prospects.
10 Points to Discuss During Your Exhibit Design Meeting
Designing a trade show exhibit is all about identifying your needs and determining the most efficient way to meet them. In order to accomplish this, essential information needs to be discussed to ensure your event goals are translated aesthetically and effectively through design.
When you begin the design process, you may be asked:
1. Why you are exhibiting at the trade show(s) – launch a product, brand recognition, connect with new prospects, etc.?
2. What are your products and services?
3. Who are your competitors (and location at show) and prospects?
4. Do you have design character, style, structure and color preferences?
5. What are your branding guidelines?
6. How would you like to incorporate your logo and tagline?
7. What are you exhibit needs – signage, product displays, meeting rooms, interactive displays, modular structures, speaker platforms, demonstrations?
8. Would you like to incorporate graphics, interactive technology, video and television?
9. What is your budget and timeline?
10. What are your future exhibit goals and needs?
How a Creative Exhibit House Ensures Your Design Needs are Met
The exhibit company, account executive and creative director behind your design are just as important as your company and what you bring to the table. As a client, you shouldn’t have to do all the heavy lifting. In return, you should receive honest and valuable feedback on how your design project will be realized.
“One of the most important elements of a successful exhibit design is the relationship behind it,” says Tony. “It takes trust on both sides to ensure an honest, supportive and strong exchange. Information regarding a feasible budget, expectations, relative goals and obstacles should always be discussed.”
As an example, at K2 Design and Fabrication, we:
Listen, think and then act.
Immerse ourselves in your brand, culture, consumer behavior patterns, and competitive landscape.
Gather relevant insights and information on product/service categories and target audiences.
Strategize a marketing and messaging position, and develop ideas and tactics to fulfill the strategy.
Envision and create meaningful architecture and engaging storytelling devices.
Apply research on trends, motifs, building techniques, light and sound.
Ensure timeline and budget are achievable.
Meet K2 Creative Designer Tony Zorrilla
K2 Design Director Tony Zorrilla is a seasoned professional with 29 years’ proven experience exceeding client’s design expectations. He prides himself on taking an old school approach, such as providing hand drawn preliminary sketches and visiting client’s companies to get a feel for their product, service and culture. Tony is also a proud recipient of the Disney Thea Award, as well as a highly requested design lecturer at many top local universities and art schools.