We are living in exciting times. The concept of traditional marketing is being challenged every day. Fresh waves of ideas are consistently hitting the shores.
The blogosphere is inundated with articles describing the fact that brand equity cannot be linked to actual firm equityor any other recognized financial metric. There is a huge uproar that in a world infused with social-media madness; "traditional marketing and sales not only doesn't work so well, it doesn't make sense." A lot of speculation rolls around the market place as to what is going to replace the old medium; new possibilities of peer influence-based, community-oriented marketing hold much greater promise for creating sustained growth through authentic customer relationships.” In the past, marketing would decide how they want their brand to be perceived amongst their potential buyers and then the message would be forced fed to people via advertisements. Now, the dice has rolled in favor of the consumers! Consumers have more and more technologies like DVRs, caller ID, and spam blockers that enable them to avoid unwanted advertising and messages. This means that, in order to get their attention, you have to earn their permission.
How do you earn it?
One such method is being skilled in the Art of Enticement! Not often used in our everyday vocabulary, enticement is a key factor in trade show marketing, media, public relations as a means of persuasion. Persuasion leverages the art of enticement to achieve a set goal.
Focus on your goal. In our case, decide on why are you going to trade shows. Often, I am told by clients that procuring leads is only one of the factors that dictates them to exhibit. Increasing brand awareness and sustaining brand memorability are some of the dominant factors that urges them to engage in this sort of face-to-face marketing.
Enticement starts at the beginning of the design phase. Design your booth with flow, lighting and augmented presentation. Highlight a concept product. Ask for viewer feed back as to how they will improve on the design (to give an example). Have them participate in your social media channel and digitally carry the conversation beyond the venue. As you do so, always keep in mind marketing is always about them (your clients and prospects), not you.
You always offer your prospects an enticing factor to pay attention to your marketing. The enticement may be a prize for playing a game as simple as: turn the wheel and you get something. It could be knowledge about your industry that prospects consider to be valuable. Perhaps it's membership to a privileged group such as, once a month session with the CMO of your company or an entry into a sweepstakes. It might even be a discount coupon from one of your partners. All you ask in return is permission to market to these people. Nothing more.....
The secret sauce. Give people something great to talk about your brand. Trade shows are great venues where you may access each person as a node in a community and this, my friend is the new era of community marketing.
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When speaking at meetings or being engaged in conversations at conventions and trade shows, the conventional advice for preparing is to tell yourself you're great, there's no way you can fail.
The more effective stratagem: Instead of saying "I'm the best and I can do it," ask "How can I do it?" It's called "interrogative self-talk," and has been shown to be more effective than positive statements alone. Asking questions leads to answers. It gives you strategies for carrying out your task right at the top of your mind, and reminds you of your motivation. Source: To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others
Welcome to the Age of Enlightenment.
Enlightenment is not about knowing as much as it is about unknowing; it is not so much learning as unlearning. It is about surrendering and letting go rather than achieving and possessing. It’s more about entering the mystery than arriving at a mental certitude …On the Threshold of Transformation
We need a different set of tools to navigate in this new paradigm. "It's multidisciplinary. It involves elements of design, empathy, and symphonic thinking. It's self-directed rather than "managed." And it's animated by a sense of purpose."
Below is a snapshot of 'do's that work!
Smile: It is Contagious
“The world is like a mirror; frown at it, and it frowns at you. Smile and it smiles, too” ― Herbert Samuels
Professor Ruth Campbell, of University College London, professes the idea of 'mirror neuron' in the brain that triggers the part responsible for the recognition of faces and expressions and causes an instant mirroring reaction. In other words, whether we realize it or not, we automatically copy the facial expressions we see. Science has proved that the more you smile, the more positively you will be accepted. This is the baseline when it comes to the Rules of Conduct.
Be Interested. Uphold Transparency
"When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen." ― Ernest Hemingway
It easy to read off a script and go into features and benefits. Engaging at trade shows is not about you. It is about them. Inquire about their needs and how you may satisfy them. What are they here for? What are they looking for? Perhaps they are here for the IPAD contest. Listening to your demo is only a pretense. Whatever, that may be, identify it and be transparent in the conversation. Transparency leads to better lead analytics.
Be Interesting. Respond with Humor and Grace.
"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it." ― Charles Swindoll
Every potential prospect is a "viral sparkplug". Use targeted words that captures their attention and augments their curiosity. Be brand specific and benefit intended.
Surprise and Delight
"The most delightful surprise in life is to suddenly recognize your own worth." ― Maxwell Maltz
The element of surprise often consists of giving away things for free — “This one’s on the house” — and can make someone's day. The 'coolness' of the "free" give away sparks delight. "A great gift is buzzworthy; it’s organic, it’s exceptional, and it makes people unable to not say something". A surprised person is a delighted one. Word-of-mouth take a life of its own.
Draw a Crowd. Propagate your Brand.
According to convergence theory like-minded people come together to form a crowd. At conventions and trade shows, comedians and tricksters propels the formation of crowds. However, when you pepper their act with the features of your product, observe what happens. The crowd goes through a distillation process. What remains is the cream of the crop. This is what you want.
The Art of KISS
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”― Leonardo da Vinci
We live in an international age of inter-connectivity. We are faced with increased complexities and the need to adapt to the changes is fast and furious. Perhaps to maintain our sanity we are leaning more towards simplicity. Employ simplicity in your exhibit design and in your product presentation. Break down complex ideas and numbers and express them in its simplest form. Simplify your product message to amplify your brand resonance.
The Act of Gratitude
"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder." ―Gilbert Chesterton
Gratitude is the bedrock for building strong code of conduct. Express your commitment. It is not just in your mind but in your heart and gut as well. Thank your customers, appreciate your prospects.
“The New Paradigm requires a leap of consciousness. It invites us to find the balance between rationality and intuition, between inspiration and application. This balance has always been a feature of great geniuses like Leonardo and Edison but now it must become the standard for all.”
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"Twenty years ago, the annual US spend on food and beverages was $614 billion; $2 billion was spent on computers – a ratio of 300 to one. Today, that spending ratio is at parity. We spend as much on technology as we do on our nutritional needs."
- Cheryl Swanson, principal managing partner, Toniq
Let's face it.
Navigating today’s digital marketing landscape can be a daunting task. It is a complex world of mobile, SMS, QR Codes, banners, video, social media, rich media, email ….. you name it. New Media has forged new opportunities to reach consumers anywhere, anytime in stunning ways. One wonders if New Media happens to be the norm of New Marketing, are trade shows still of value in today's economy.
A recent report published by ceir.org confirms that the top-ranked important reasons for attending exhibitions is a blend of coming to see what is new and having a chance to interact with experts. The highest-importance scores are achieved for: see new technology, have the chance to talk to experts and gain industry insights. The research further confirms that exhibitions are doing well in meeting the needs of attendees, with more than a majority of attendees saying their top-ranked important needs are met.
Empowered by such analytics we may now move on to some digital trends that is gaining traction in the world of trade shoes and events. It is a phenomenal way to educate and to entertain the visitors of your booth.
Virtual graffiti wall is a powerful in engaging your audience to realize their inner artist. It allows attendees to literally “paint” on a digital canvas. These interactive art walls encourages laughter and conversation and soon becomes the life your booth. User generated, unique pieces of art can then be leveraged across all your marketing promotions. www.tangibleinteraction.com
Digital signage: It has been pretty popular at trade shows and events. Using your brand visuals across multiple screens creates the high impact and high touch that is needed to entice your audience. Take a signature visual and break it up across multiple moving screens to create unexpected wonder that will enthrall your audience and leave a lasting impression.
Tablet Phenomena: Tablets have changed the way we engage one-to-one and one-to-few. With iPad mini and PaperTab (as thin and flexible as paper), you are no longer confined to the parameters of your floor space. It is a portable branding message on the go. Projection Walls: Has been with us for quite some time. Now, with the flip of a switch you can transform your environment from morning keynote to lunch breaks to an evening reception. Projection make it fun, attractive and memorable.
Interactive Media: High touch, high technology, high design goes into play for this compelling experience. Interactive product and brand messages is programmed to respond to motion-based body gestures. stratacache.com/press.php?ID=369
Your booth is the stage that anchors your space. It is your show. Make it fun. Make it memorable. Make it interactive.
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The common phrase, "united we stand, divided we fall" has long been used by nations and leaders to inspire people in presence of clear and imminent danger. However, when it comes to laying out the floor plan for your trade show booth design in a limited space (e.g 20' x 30' as shown above), distinctly dividing the floor space in to two unique areas, 'Love' and 'Work' might be a good idea to propel your brand into action.
I was reading a great post the other day that spawned the idea for this article. The HBR blog post suggest that the age of snarkiness is behind us and now we are in the era of sweet love. The post successfully points out as to what is wrong with the Sonic commercial and dubs it as ineffective since it hinges on sarcasm not sweetness.
Sweetness is back. Sweetness is big. Sweetness, against all odds, and quite against character, is having a celebrity moment. Brands gain huge currency when leading with sweetness. This trend in exhibiting sweet love is evident in the amount of space that are devoted to lounges and the so called hang out areas. Grant McCracken, writer and anthropologist, in his book Culturematic, talks about brand that makes headway are the brands that fosters co-creation. He says we want brands that are works in progress, engagements in and of the world. Brands need to be about becoming, not about being. The carefully designed hang out areas in your space can be a Culturematic cluster– a bundle of experiences, "investigating the world in a variety of ways, defined with enough intellectual generosity that several outcomes—some of them quite different–are possible". And if you are exhibiting at trade shows with horizontal target audience 'Cuturematic' might just be the way to go. After all, "culturematic is a little experiment that in a playful counter-intuitive way, broaches a kind of what if." It is a great way to keep the engagement going both at the show floor and after the show.
If one half of your exhibit design is an ideal setting for Culturematic cluster devote the other half for customized demonstration. Demos at trade shows are essentially futile unless it is designed to solve specific problems that customers encounter. To help better cater to your clients and prospects, do your research and find out what are the attendees trying to accomplish by coming to a specific event. What are their pain points. Heck, send out tweets asking them about it. Find out what solutions are being adopted in other industries or other countries to solve similar problems. Armed with answers you then design few presentations that talks about solving targeted problems.
Trade shows and are fertile grounds to ignite new brand culture. Wouldn't it be great if you knew the kind of content that is being shared by the attendees of these events. You can then gauge the commonly held beliefs and behaviors of your clients and prospects. Very soon you will find out if there is a contradiction of some sort. Once you detect it, your brand will gain transformational traction on a evolutionary scale. Of course, you will highlight the preference to build recognition. But what is really enticing is tapping into the collective anxiety and achieving a status that transcends functional benefit. One great example that comes to mind is Google. In the age of digital clutter, Google offers empowerment “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Question to ponder: How do I humanize my next trade show exhibit?
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“Don't just be a consumer, be a creator. Somewhere inside you is a masterpiece waiting to be exposed.” As an exercise to find how this 'thing' called 'creativity' works, I venture out in this audacious journey to demystify creativity. The 4 nuggets that I jot down here is my very humble way to harness creativity. Perhaps you ask, "harnessing creativity? How very arrogant." After all, Buddha sitting under the Bodhi Tree doing apparently nothing is the grand master of creation that the planet has ever known.
Be insanely curious about anything and everything. As Arne Dietrich, Professor of Psychology mentions creativity can be deliberate and cognitive. That means you have to be perpetually on the lookout for information that is new and happening. Every 'bit of information' that is specially not part of your core discipline when combined with other knowledge nurtures the seed of creativity. As Professor Dietrich puts it, deliberate and cognitive creativity comes from the PFC in your brain. The PFC is responsible for focused attention and connecting the dots between information that you have stored in the other parts of the brain. When the nobel laureate, Professor Muhammad Yunus reversed the circle of "low income, low saving & low investment", into a circle of "low income, injection of credit, investment, more income, more savings, more investment, more income" he put together existing information in new and novel ways being extremely deliberate and cognitive in his creation.
”Prisoners who never wrote a word in the days of their freedom will write on any paper they can lay hands on,” says Dorothea Brande in her classic, Becoming A Writer. ”Innumerable books have been begun by patients lying on hospital beds, sentenced to silence and refused reading.” Furiously unplug while you’re incubating your project. Spend time with yourself in solitude. It is the fertilizer for your creative crop. Spend time on yourself doing something festive. Set an Artist Date for yourself. Visit museums and monasteries, hike through widerness, attend "lectures on the odd, the improbable, or merely interesting… participate in musical performances by traveling Tibetan monks"...or do that which brings you in touch with yourself. This creates a rich tapestry of new images, thoughts and perspectives that gets seeded in your subconscious, to be revealed when you are at emotional crossroads. This gives rise to what Professor Dietrich says deliberate emotional creativity.
“Those who do not know the torment of the unknown cannot have the joy of discovery.” The Art of Scientific Investigation, a must read by W.I.B Beveridge In this book, he explores the minds of the most famous scientists of watershed discoveries. His conclusion: serendipity, intuition, and imagination displays the habits of mind that produce good ideas." "[Intuition] is always in response to something.” When Frederick Kekule's (1829 - 1896) saw the dream of a snake coiled and biting its tail; in an intuitive flash, he realized that the molecular structure was characterized by a ring of carbon atoms. It is important to recognize that Kekule was immersed in the problem of how atoms combine to form molecules, and he was focused on benzene. Intuitive outcomes are prolific when there is a strong emotional focus and intention to solve a specific issue.
This "eureka" moment of a sudden flash of knowledge is what Professor Dietrich calls spontaneous and cognitive creativity. It involves the basal ganglia of the brain that operates outside your conscious awareness. "Out of box thinking" requires the conscious brain to stop working. By doing this, your subconscious takes the driver seat and the PFC is activated in connecting information in new and novel ways.
“The painter has the Universe in his mind and hands.” Leonardo Vinci.
Creative inspiration is mysterious. When the conscious brain and the PFC are resting, it is then possible for spontaneous ideas and creations to happen. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart sums it up very well.
”When I am… completely myself, entirely alone and of good cheer — say, traveling in a carriage, or walking after a good meal, or during the night when I cannot sleep; it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly.
“Whence and how they come, I know not; nor can I force them. Those ideas that please me I retain in memory…[and] if I continue in this way, it soon occurs to me how I may turn this or that morsel to account…
All this fires my soul, and, provided I am not disturbed, my subject enlarges itself, becomes methodised and defined, and the whole, though it be long, stands almost complete and finished in my mind, so that I can survey it, like a fine picture or a beautiful statue, at a glance… What a delight this is I cannot tell! All this inventing, this producing, takes place in a pleasing lively dream.”
Amygdala is the seat of spontaneous and emotional creativity. These spontaneous and emotional creative moments are very powerful, such as an epiphany, or a religious experience. This type of creativity is not cognitive. But often skill (writing, artistic, musical) is needed to create something from the spontaneous and emotional creative idea. As Professor Dietrich mentions, you cannot design for this experience to happen. It is spontaneous!
"Each man comes into this world with a specific destiny: he has something to fulfill, some message has to be delivered, some work has to be completed. You are not here accidentally, you are here meaningfully. There is a purpose behind you. The whole intends to do something through you." osho
Your ideas and your thoughts will open up new worlds. Go Create!
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The dynamic blend of a strong brand proposition and a compelling brand personality gives birth to a powerful brand expression. Key brand attributes like: texture, color, imagery, typography, forms, tone of voice, sound and environment play a unique role in defining the proposition and developing the personality. These attributes are then used like a palette to design all touchpoints of the brand to foster the environment necessary to create the desired expectation.
Designed by Artefice Group, Italy, "Coca-Cola offers consumers a special edition of the legendary glass bottle: an original interpretation of the brand personality through a series of three creative subjects. What catches the attention is the movements, the depth of shading, the colors that convey all brand values in a stylish way." The keywords here – movement, depth of shading, colors all substantiates the The Journey to Shared Value: A world where cultural revolution is alive... "We can’t control how Coca-Cola gets painted on the side of a wall, for thousands of people to see. But we believe that if we engage the market with stories that provoke happiness and inspire optimism, our consumers are going to talk about our brand in a way that is more powerful than we could ever do ourselves." This expansion in brand expression has helped Coca Cola to sell over 1.8 billion servings of its products to consumers in every country in the world, save Cuba and North Korea (officially).
Understood, not all brands have the resources nor the grit "to walk the talk." However, we can all benefit from the valuable lessons imparted by the slogan, "The Coke Side of Life". Andy Payne, the Chief Global Creative Director of Interbrand, professes the vital role of creativity in creating and managing brand value.
Start with a Great Brand Proposition: "If you have a body, you are an athlete. This proposition taps into Nike’s dedication to human potential, and makes it relevant to its business by grounding human potential in athleticism." Very clever and very consistent with the brand proposition. This visual and verbal expression may vary dependent on culture and country but the brand intent and atttitude is always consistent.
"Great brand propositions and expressions are universally understood, believable, actionable and stand the test of time."
Drive Demand Through Expression: When we see BMW’s brand mark, we don’t think of it in the form of blue and white quadrants. We think of it as the ultimate “driving machine,” and this is because expression has become synonymous with the brand proposition. The Disney brand proposition is built around family-centric entertainment. "The use of characters to create fantasy leads to being able to physically engage similar themes in a physical space, one that immerses the customer in a 360-degree, multisensory, branded experience."
Expression Creates Value: As Andy Payne mentions, consumers and audiences encounter emotion and meaning through personality and storytelling. The journey towards creating a compelling expression of your brand is never complete. Brand propositions, personality, and expressions have to be continually evaluated, evolved, and reevaluated.
In this era virtual reality and digital distraction most brands are yet to explore the compelling territory of emotional enticement. Trade shows and events are the grand avenues for embracing this territory. "Brands that claim powerful emotional propositions and capture them with an exciting world of expression, have the ability to maintain a fond place in the mind of their audiences now and in the future."
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Ask yourself this question: What has been your best-ever brand experience?
Maybe it was staying at the Belagio Hotel - the multi-colored, multi-shaped large hand-blown glass flower ceiling in their signature lobby, or perhaps owning your first iPad - the thrill of opening the package and the anticipation of accessing world wisdom in the palm of your hands. Or simply a vivid memory of opening a cold Coke on a hot day - the ultimate satisfaction of quenching your primal thirst!
Today brands like Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have permeated our waking hours. They are seamlessly integrated in our digital lives. They have brought forth all the benefits of connectedness and immediacy. By doing so, they have subtly shifted our worldview and our brand priorities. Maggie Jackson, in her book Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age, believes that the never-ending stream of emails, instant messages, text messages, and tweets stifles creativity and leads to less critical thinking and less fulfilled lives. We are hyper-connected, yet we have lost the real true meaning of connectedness. In the rush to be digital, brands have overemphasized these channels at the expense of real human interaction. "The risk is that consumers become desensitized. That’s why there is now the beginning of a move the other way–not a backlash, but a turning toward more real, human, and
Image: Cirque du Soleil
In this ceaseless climate of detachment, fragmentation and distraction multisensory branding is gaining much traction as brands are being challenged in their expansion of consumer memorability. Sensory branding - the idea that humans are more receptive when all five senses are engaged is a field of major study in the field of cognitive neuroscience. "It’s clear that no amount of time on a Mercedes-Benz website will give consumers a true sense of what it feels like to close a car door, smell the brand-new leather interior, or run their hands over the dashboard." These memorable, multisensory experiences are critical in engaging with a brand. When they do, the rewards are phenomenal. NIKETOWN, Apple Stores, the Samsung Experience, Mercedes-Benz World, Disney Stores, and LEGOLAND are all testimonies to the power of multi-sensory brand experiences around an existing product. Granted all brands does not have the prowess of the mega brands as mentioned above. Yet, these brands do set an example as to how to incorporate multisensory marketing examples in your trade show booth design. Imagine the richness of visuals that may define your space, the sound that defines the new product launch, the scent that evokes the memory of reliability or the color that gives your product a new dimension.
In his book, The End of Marketing As We Know It, Sergio Zyrman writes, "Mass Marketing has lost the ability to move the masses………Technology has given people many more options than they had in the past and created a consumer democracy……… Marketers increasingly need to find ways to speak to customers individually, or in smaller and smaller groups." Focused groups, trade shows and events are proven to infuse your brand with life and vigor. Remember, "marketing is a science. It is about experimentation, analysis, refinement and replication. You must be willing to change your mind."
Engage the five senses to create expectations in delivering your brand promise.
In my recent short visit to the desert kingdom of Dubai, I was amazed to find the Mega Star Brad Pitt in all his galore — popping out of the glitzy lobbies here and the fancy shopping malls over there. It seemed that the he was bigger than life, hotter than ever and very much at ease in the desert surroundings.
In the midst of this fantastic Brad Pitt phenomena what caught my eye was this retail display that was so elegantly designed by Chanel. It is based on one primary principle; the principle of repetition. I was intrigued by the thought that living in a global society has no way diminished our strong connection to the ethnicity of this primal design principle that is so prevalent in the middle-eastern art. Islamic art and architecture is built on this cardinal principle of repetition. Islamic artists developed geometric forms with a knack for "repetition, symmetry and continuous generation of pattern." In this display, Brad is looking up at you with an aura of mystery, away from you and again at you. The right side of his profile is the repetition in form and the varied angles of his posture generates a continuous pattern in time and space. Indeed a very fluid presentation!
The Principle of Repetition is a driving factor in designing trade show displays. Where contrast is all about showing differences, repetition brings a sense of unity, consistency, and cohesiveness. It helps to hold our attention in the maze of chaos and disarray.
Our brains love it.
Remember, the waking nights learning multiplication tables in your third grade? That is because our short-term memories can forget something (like a person's name) in less than a second. Repetition helps us to embed information in the longer-term memory. Designers use it with tact and skill. Marketers use it as a staple.
At s sub-conscious level repetition is a key to persuasion. Repetition creates a pattern, which gradually grabs our attention and then creates the yearning for familiarity. Big brands are aware of it and hence the focus is always on building brand equity. Use repetition in your booth design and in the delivery of your marketing message You will have a phenomenal impact. Remember "Yes We Can"?
"The more strikingly visual your presentation is, the more people will remember it. And more importantly, they will remember you." — Paul Arden
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Happy Valentine's Day!
LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF THE FUTURE.
Love is . . . The fury of the storm, The calm in the rainbow.
LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF PASSION.
LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF REALITY.
LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF UNITY.
LOVE IS THE SOURCE OF SUCCESS. ― Susan Polis Schutz
Love is in the air.
Love is in the air. I often wondered why we are so hooked onto this saying. The closest that I have come, is found in the teachings of Kabbalah. We are all created as one Kli (vessel) called Adam ha Rishon (The First Man). We are held together as part of a single system. At some point of time the spiritual structure of Adam ha Rishon was shattered into numerous particles. These particles are individual souls that clothe our physical mechanism in this world...... Definitely a very poetic answer to my seeking!
Today is Valentine's Day. It is the "official day" to express love, to monetize love and to spread love. Anything goes in the name of love. Love is an age old abstraction that poets have been mystified by it, philosophers often ponder about it and scientists have claimed to have found it: the DMT molecule. Now, we in the marketing world are playing catch up to the Man of God, the spectacular Marketing Mogul of all times - St. Valentine.
We are passionately in love with "Lovable Marketing" As company brands are making the transition from the dictatorial board rooms to the democratic digital market place, creating marketing pieces that inspire people is a necessary step in the game of survival. To be a customer centric brand is the elevated game that we now have to be active participants of.
The present day Marketing Magnates including, Seth Godin, Peter O’Neill, Mari Smith, Ekaterina Walter and others are preacing the same gospel. They talk about how to elevate your brand in becoming a commanding world class entity. They all talk about spreading the love. Take a look!
Your events and your trade show exhibit design is an extension of the "lovable marketing" that you are constantly creating. In the virtual world of e-mails and social media, trade shows are the manifested realities that you can literally scuplt out. It carries the essence of your brand. Again, according to the kabbalah and modern science, the 4.6% of our physical reality is made of 'Matter' and 'Form in Matter'. The rest is 'Abstract Form' and 'Essence'. If your exhibit is 'Matter', the design of your exhibit is a 'Form in Matter', your brand presentation, your brand teachings and your brand behaviour is the 'Abstract Form' and 'Essence'.
"People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel." Feeling resonates in eternity. Hence the story of Valentine have survived the slaughter of the most brutal times. Because, it conveys 'Abstract Form'. We get to nourish our own 'Essence'. What is true for our biological spirit is also true for our corporate essence. It is your Brand.
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This self-portrait was based on a drawing made by Arneson’s son Kregg when the artist and his first wife was in the midst of a marital crisis. Although the representation echoes Renaissance bust of mortally wounded martyred saints, the wildly exaggerated grotesque details—such as the exploding gun, bloody knife and arrow, and globs of blood and snot—recall the style of cartoon and comic strips. The sculpture is one of Arneson’s most emotionally expressive self-portrait. He was prolific in creating self-portraits using photographs, mirrors, and drawings. Each expression seemed to reveal a different emotion. These self-referential portraits iconic and humorous are vehicles to render universal concepts of feeling, sentiments, reaction and response.
That what is true for sculpting is also true when crafting concepts for your trade show booth graphics. The emotion of the sculptor is set in motion as he uses his tools to carve out forms out of formless. In a similar fashion, the visual that you are composing should be emotionally captivating. Instead of addressing raw data of features and benefits (that addresses the verbal brain), it should highlight one aspect of the pain point that your audience can associate with. By evoking emotion, your message becomes engrained in their long-term memory. Every time they encounter the pain-point they will sub-consciously visualize your brand, your message. Because, emotion happens, it is not something that we do or don't do.
When creating graphic that embellishes your trade show booth, here is another path that you may want to explore. Start with the intangible aspect of your product and that happens to be your brand. Think about what emotion your brand triggers. After all, your brand does not dwell inside the four walls of your company. It resides in the hearts and minds of the people in your market. For example when you think of Nike, what comes to your mind? It is superior athleticism and the thrill of victory (of course leaving aside the negative press). Now imagine all the visuals that Nike as generated over the years. They all actualize the intangible concept of the brand.
Classical mythology is a great avenue to derive inspiration for your visuals. Stories of passion, tragedy, war, and heroism (all trigger points for making emotions happen). Again, did you know Nike is the goddess of victory in the Greek Mythology. "Frequently she is seen hovering with outspread wings over the victor in a competition." That is how the powerful Nike swoosh has been brought into existence. Obviously Nike corporation knows very well what they are doing.
Reading poetry, visiting museums, attending lectures on the odd, the improbable, or merely interesting are some of the things that I indulge in quite often. These are the silent seeds that gets sprinkled in my subconscious only to find its outlet in some sort of creative endeavors. Assassination of a Famous Nut Artist was my find in one of my visits to one of the many museums that I frequent. It is this sculpture that inspired me to write this article.
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In my writings I am often an explorer, a map maker, sometimes a voyager of the human mind and other times: a creator who is tormented by the inner longing to expand, express and delight !