Good design isn’t just about pretty pictures, creative composition or a pleasing palette. Sure, all those things are important in marketing—but if your visuals don’t tell a story, create a connection, and provide a solution for your customer, it doesn’t matter what your collateral looks like. And nowhere is this more apparent than at trade shows and congresses.
We caught up with Tamooz Creative Director Nir Haimovitch, who believes that one of the biggest roles every designer must fill is that of “problem solver.”
When it comes to booth design, do you think there are a lot of missed opportunities?
Companies spend a lot of money trying to make a booth look attractive, but many times visitors have no idea what they are saying or selling. The design may capture their attention for a few seconds, but if there’s no real connection, they will probably keep walking. That’s why we think that helping the client define their problems and needs at the briefing stage is one of the most important steps in the process. I enjoy working in an agency because so many different professionals (creative, business, verbal, etc.) work on the same project. The 360-degree approach is a huge advantage when you need to attract customers and make an impression that goes way beyond the trade show.
How can companies adapt their design, so it resonates with trade show visitors and increases traffic?
Companies need to realize that visitors—even professionals—are human. They have limited attention and time, and want to know: “What’s in it for me?” Think about the emotional value, not just the functional benefits. For example, in health care it’s common for businesses to focus on the disease, condition or product. They don’t include messaging or design that really speaks to the physician’s needs. The goal is to create a feeling and draw customers into your booth because it answers a deep need that lies within them. It’s one of the most underestimated things in the exhibition industry—that you need to know your customer as well as you know your product.
Aside from approaching their messaging and design from the position of a problem-solver—how else can companies enhance their visual execution for better results?
I believe there are three important things that marketing execs and designers need to consider:
Play by Other Rules
Trade shows and congresses are completely different than other marketing channels and collateral—so don’t treat them the same way. Most brand guidelines are made for print and digital using 2D thinking.
A booth is your opportunity to play with structures, images, and messaging in a 3D way. It’s important to reflect different regions, cultures, and selling styles—which can be addressed in the structure—not the brand visuals. For example, US booths are very sales forward, and call for bolder product displays. That’s very different from Europe, where customer meetings are favored—so booths are often designed with more open seating areas and lounges.
Cut Down Copy
Don’t just slap your brochure on the wall and call it a day. It’s way too much copy and no one is going to read it. You need to create a hierarchy of messages and decide the most important themes. Find creative ways to make statements shorter. You don’t want to overwhelm customers with too many words, and competing ideas. Your visuals should tell the story.
Take a Risk
Too many companies play it safe. To me, they are staying in the same loop—just going around in circles. This is especially true in health care. I think businesses don’t push the envelope because the medical field is serious, and it takes time to go through the regulatory process. It’s easier to go with familiar content that’s been approved, instead of saying something new that could have more impact or bringing a new look and feel to the congress. In our 25 years of strategy and booth building, it is our experience that the companies who decide to be bold at trade shows are the ones that tend to increase their traffic and reach their goals.
Any other tips?
To differentiate yourself, you need to know your competition. That means understanding their written and visual messaging, and finding ways to stand out. This is where an agency can be extremely helpful. The right one will excel in messaging, and have a talented design team that can artfully convey your values and brand attributes.
So many times, we see companies create amazing, memorable activities, but visitors can’t tell you whose booth it was. They just remember the experience. In order to connect the experience to the brand, you need to have a common foundation between the activity and the company. The activity can’t just be an add-on to the booth.
And one small request—when you go to creatives, try to keep an open mind and give them as much info as you can. By treating designers as partners in decision making, you’ll be able to get that unique solution that everybody is looking for. We really love solving problems!
At Tamooz, we know how important it is to deliver bold, connected, and emotionally resonant concepts that garner the kind of attention clients are looking for. From brand development and digital marketing, to interactive design, events, and experiences—we deliver a portfolio of tailored solutions and services that work together to create powerful results for your business. Let’s talk about growing your brand. Visit us on Twitter or LinkedIn. Or—to get even better acquainted—give us a call at +1 612 234 1153 (US), +44 7 835 160 205 (UK), +972 3 681 8885 (IL), or firstname.lastname@example.org.