If you watch home renovation shows with any regularity, there is an overarching theme, and that is the desire for customization. It’s a common reason why homes go through a remodeling process in the first place. People have an innate desire to have spaces that are unique and specific to their needs. Customization breaks the cookie cutter standard and allows the creator to present a specific experience. We are motivated to take our characteristics and externalize them via our personal spaces. It takes our personality to the next level.
The same thinking applies to branding. A company’s brand is intrinsically their identification. It’s who they are as a business. Bland doesn’t cut it in an ultra-competitive market. Increasingly, customers aren’t just sold a product, they are sold an experience. For Show Managers, the better your exhibitors are at conveying their message to consumers, the better it is for your show’s overall performance. Messaging goes beyond words and ultimately gets translated into the surroundings. In this case, it’s the exhibitor’s display. Budgetary concerns might be a concern for many of your vendors, but it’s important to communicate the benefits of customizing their booth so that they can maximize their effectiveness. Many successful transformations have taken place within a slim budget and a little hard work and ingenuity.
A 2012 study reported by Psychology Today found that people who put effort into building a project were more likely to value it higher than if they were absent during the construction process. These projects happened to be ready-to-assemble furniture from a large retailer with little creative leeway. If putting together a mass produced item without customization created feelings of pride and attachment, it makes sense that the satisfaction would continue to increase if allowed to personalize the project.
When exhibitors are proud of their exhibits, that confidence transfers to potential clients. The following suggestions can provide your exhibitor with some practical benefits to customizing their booth:
- Be motivated to stand out from the rest. Instead of choosing the standard pipe and drape motif, opt for something that is bold and unique. First impressions make all the difference and if it looks like not much effort was put forward to grab a guests attention, there might not be anything worth holding it either. If the display conveys the message that it’s worth taking a look at, it will go a long way in making potential clients feel like they were worth pursuing.
- Make the business come to life. Create a small scale replica of a store to immerse the shopper in an experience, unlike the competition. They will get a better visual sense of what that exhibitor has to offer.
- No one-size fits all approach. When space can be optimized to meet an individual’s need it fosters a more relaxed environment. Certain companies benefit from having areas with specific functions, such as having a space dedicated to doing cooking demonstrations, or an area that is used solely for private meetings. When you start with a clean slate, the sky’s the limit on how personalized you can be.
- Get them to linger. Adding comfort items such as a sofa with soft cushions, as well as textiles, creates an atmosphere of familiarity. It also gives the exhibitor a place to sit down and have a conversation with a guest. And if creating a cozy place to relax encourages the attendees to stay at the booth for an extended length of time, all the better.
- Embrace a custom theme. Choosing a theme that coincides with the venue location can add fun and excitement to a booth. For example, if the show is located in Kentucky, consider adding a bourbon bar and planting flowers in otherwise empty whiskey barrels. It lets locals know that you share their enthusiasm for the region. Don’t be afraid to be cliched. If the display gives off lively positive vibes, attendees will want to partake in the experience.
Free to Explore
When we are given the freedom to explore our identity we usually end up discovering a part of ourselves that would never have been found otherwise. It exposes the created layers of our humanity. In the same way, if we were to remain content with what we know, never challenging ourselves to push for better, we miss out on what could have been. It can be a risky proposition, and it usually involves sacrifice, but in the end, we are better for having gone through it. Don’t be afraid to encourage your exhibitors to explore the deeper parts of their business’ identity and it will come to the surface, for all the attendees to see.