Projection Mapping For Your Next Trade Show Booth: Things To Know

Have you ever looked at a trade show through the visitors’ eyes? Boring, right? Way too much information and no respite. While you are out there to make new contacts and generate leads, the visitors are looking for something more than just being bombarded with information. On second thoughts, they can make do with the information, but only if it has that “wow” factor attached to it. The question is: how? The answer lies in Projection Mapping!

Projection Mapping For Your Trade Show Booth

What It Is?

It’s a technology, one that you could use to project objects onto a surface, which can be just about anything, right from a car to a huge building. The best part is that you are free to choose the level of complexity involved. Looking for something simple? Go with indoor stage effects. And if you are okay with something relatively complex, ask the exhibition stand designer make the necessary arrangements for projecting the images onto buildings and industrial landscapings.

 

What Is The Purpose?

Ever tried your hand at flat screen projecting? Not so impressive, right? That’s when projection mapping comes into the picture; it not only fills the void but also puts technology to some good use, turning common objects into interactive, 2D or 3D displays.

 

What Are The Benefits?

Bringing your brand to life is not as difficult as it seems. With dynamic video display, you can do so with ease.

Gone are the days when projecting an image onto almost any surface was a far-fetched dream. Thanks to projection mapping, it is now very much possible.

The same old graphics are not really awe-inspiring. Mapping, of course, is a good alternate, one that catches the visitors’ fancy, giving them yet another reason to come your way.

Incorporating Mapping Into Your Trade Show Booth

Depending on your industry, the kind of budget you have and the show you are to participate in, these are some of the ideas you can toy with. Options galore; take your pick.

  • Projection over a car:  Any such projection could do wonders if you exhibit at auto shows. Your company logo could be projected, giving away the impression that you probably got it painted. With the right kind of technology at use, it would be quite difficult for the visitors to figure out that they are merely looking at a digital projection.

 

  • A stage backdrop: Contemplating a product demonstration? Give the backdrop a unique touch with projection mapping. Have invited over a speaker to share their thoughts and insights with the visitors? Again, mapping could grab the visitors’ attention.

 

  • Artwork onto walls: A sure shot way of standing out from the crowd, and getting noticed. This could be a part of a well-thought-of theme, aimed at making the visitors feel as if they have walked into a museum or an art gallery, and have a lot to look forward to.

 

  • A 360-degree experience: Projection mapping can help you deliver an immersive audio-visual experience. Projected content, 3D illusions, preferably colorful and not monochrome, and a mirrored floor and ceiling should do the trick. The idea is to create a striking, infinity room-like experience, one that the visitors are tempted to share online, generating instant buzz for your exhibit.

Is A Themed Booth A Good Idea For Your Next Trade Show?

Trade shows can turn up the heat on you, especially when the competitors’ booths are drawing more visitors than yours.  A word of advice – don’t give up, not just yet, leave no stone unturned and come back with a better booth, preferably a themed one. Here’s what it can do for you, something that you can never expect out of a generic trade show booth:

Benefits Of A Themed Trade Show Booth

  • It can communicate your brand’s story in quite an effective manner.
  • It could increase your chances of keeping the attendees engaged for long, and closing more deals.
  • It would give the attendees yet another reason to come and visit your booth; the better the implementation, the more are the chances of them making a detour and coming your way.
  • A themed exhibition stand is likely to offer a better experience, one that the attendees would love to take home and even share with their friends online, generating some instant buzz.
  • You can easily cut through the noise, especially if you are at a big show and there are way too many booths around, offering more or less the same kind of products.

 

Ways To Go About It – The Do’s and Don’ts

Do’s

  • If the industry allows, do incorporate a little bit of fun.
  • Make sure that you integrate the theme into every aspect of your exhibit marketing program. RIght from your pre-, at- and post-show marketing collaterals to your giveaways,  everything should be in tandem with the theme you choose.
  • Do put some serious thought into executing a thematic campaign. Play safe, and err on the side of caution.

 

Don’ts

  • Don’t go overboard. You want your trade show booth to stand out, and not become the laughing stock.
  • Do not copy. That would defeat the very purpose of choosing a theme in the first place.
  • Don’t choose an ambiguous theme. The semblance of a clear, memorable theme or the lack thereof could be the difference between success and failure.

 

Themes You Can Choose From

Here are a couple of possible themes you could contemplate incorporating at your next show. These are just ideas – ideas you can toy with, depending on what your budget is and whether you’d prefer a complex rendition over a simple one.

  • Art-related themes

 

    • Give visual merchandising a whole new meaning. All exhibitors work on the display, but how many of them present their products as works of art? You could easily stand out from the crowd by doing something as simple as hanging your products on the exhibit walls.
    • Re-creating a gallery-like setting is also a good idea, but only if you are confident of pulling it off.
    • Make your attendees feel like they are about to unearth million-year-old fossils. Display your products in glass, and arrange for the look and feel of a museum.

 

  • Location-based themes:

 

    • Think of some famous attractions or places of interest. Right from Statue of Liberty to Eiffel Tower, anything is good enough if it goes down well with your brand.
    • Decorate your exhibit in accordance with what the place is known for. For instance, if you zero in on Las Vegas, playing cards and gambling-themed decorations are a must.

 

Themes galore. Set up a good sidewalk bistro, create a full-scale diner or replicate an outdoor camping environment – as long as your theme is a sight for sore eyes, you are good to go!

Writing an RFP for A Trade Show Booth? Here’s What It Should Have

Looking forward to getting a trade show booth designed? There are two ways to go about it: you can either provide the designer or the exhibition stand builder with half-baked information and wait for them to mess up, leaving you with no choice but to go back to square one, or you could furnish enough information at once, maximizing the chances of getting the perfect design delivered the very first time. Which one would you choose?

RFP Essentials for a Trade Show Booth Design

 

Company Profile

You could start with a general overview of your company, but do disclose your achievements and more importantly, how you fit into the industry landscape. If you have an edge over the competition, now is the time to put it on paper. Here is what else could be a part of the profile you share with the trade show booth designer:

– Your style guide, if any, the one that you follow for getting your logo, tagline etc. printed on your marketing collaterals

– Your annual report, but only if you are comfortable sharing it and believe that it could lead to a much better design

            – Get them to sign a non-disclosure agreement if the need be

– Do explain your products and services; a detailed description of your company’s offerings and the demographics you cater to would help the designer in visualizing what may or may not work for you.

 

New or Upcoming Products

Have you recently launched a new product, or want to launch one at the show you are about to participate in? Either way, do let the builder know. If some products are still in the pipeline but likely to be introduced later in the year, you could use the show as the perfect platform for making an announcement. Then again, make sure that the designer is in the loop.

Objectives of Participation

You know that you are participating in a show to generate more leads or to find a possible solution to the challenge of reaching out to a wider audience, but the question is: does your exhibition booth designer know? Tell them what you are after, i.e. what is it that you expect out of the show and of course the design. You may also want to make a mention of how you plan to achieve your objectives. Would you be hosting a live speaker? Would you be conducting product demonstrations to keep the attendees engaged? Anything and everything that could have a bearing on your trade show booth design should be communicated.

Budgetary Constraints

You may have set aside some money for trade shows and exhibitions, but only you know how much of it can be spent on your booth, given that exhibition marketing warrants additional expenses as well. Set the record straight. Let them know what kind of a budget they’ll be looking at. This would help in setting realistic expectations.

In addition, you may also want to talk about the past, present & future trade shows, and yes, do include a stipulated deadline so that they don’t take ages to get back to you. The idea is to strike a balance and follow the “not too much, never too little” approach.

The Top 3 Next Big Things in Trade Show Technology

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” –  Arthur C. Clarke

Isn’t that what we need, to stand out from the crowd and cut through the noise, at any trade show? Magic! Well, technology is magic, and quite an indispensable one, more so because it can: a) improve the overall experience and b) give you an edge over the competition.

Trade Show Technology Trends to Look Out For

 

1. Facial Recognition: It’s becoming popular and how. Techies are already coming up with algorithms that calculate facial features, hairstyles, and even body shapes. Won’t be long before it takes over.

 

  • Facebook already uses facial recognition to suggest who you could possibly tag

 

  • You can use it to reach out to a much wider audience than now. If the attendees tag their friends and family, your posts would go viral, and before you know, they’ll be all over the place. Win-win!

 

  • Use the technology to your advantage by:

 

-Giving your staff and the attendees enough reasons to post to Facebook

-Adding some official photos, and encouraging the attendees to tag themselves.

 

2. Artificial Intelligence: In this era of experience economy, what the attendees look for is a highly personalized experience, and like it or not but unless you provide them with one irrespective of the number of attendees you are to cater to, they’d be happy to make a detour and head to another booth or show in no time.

  • An “Artificial Conversational Entity” or a Chatbot could come in handy. It can answer the questions that the attendees tend to ask, while your staff takes on other responsibilities. Consider it an extension of your customer service arm if you may, but your staff could really use a helping hand at the trade show booth.

 

  • AI could also be used to interpret data from the social media profiles of the attendees. The interpretation can then pave way for well-informed recommendations. What all conferences should they attend, which all products are worth checking out, and the like.

 

3. Live Streaming: Not really new, but its here to stay. It could help you augment your brand image and reach out to those who decide to give your show a miss for whatsoever reason.

It’s all about expanding your horizons. Just because someone didn’t turn up, doesn’t mean they can’t be a part of the show. Help them be. Give them a reason to. Encourage your attendees to share your live stream with those who may not be physically present at the show but are pretty much interested in knowing what’s going on.

Come up with a show hashtag. If and when the attendees decide to broadcast their personal experiences online and engage in what is being called “crowd streaming”, see if they are willing to use the hashtag, because if they agree, you’ll find it rather easy to measure the results.

 

Right from RFID that may soon be used to make sponsorship experiences much better to trade show apps, social media walls, automation systems, and what not; there are quite a few technologies that are worth giving a shot. Take your pick!

Managing Trade Show Logistics, Freight, Shipping & Material Handling

Logistics and shipping can make or break a trade show. If the exhibit assets do not arrive at the show venue well in time, it will send everyone into panic mode. Not to mention, the lack of careful planning and attention to detail could result in potentially expensive mistakes, while shipping valuable assets to and from a show. Here’s how you can take control:

Make The Right Decisions

Do you have a portable trade show display, or is it a custom one? Where is it that you are exhibiting, at a regional trade show or somewhere international? The answers to these questions will help you in determining if you need to hire a trade show freight carrier in the first place. In case of a portable display, especially the one that you are to use at a regional trade show, you may be able to save on the transportation costs. Being lightweight, this display can be packed in convenient carry bags and cases and taken along.

On the other hand, custom or custom modular exhibits have quite a few delicate components that warrant expert handling. These must be shipped in large crates so as to ensure their safe and timely transfer, and are better left to professionals, who can handle them carefully.

Pick The Right People

Create a checklist of sorts before you zero in on a trade show freight carrier. Here’s what you should focus on:

  • What are the show dates?
  • Are there specific move-in and move-out times?
  • Do you want the exhibit assets to be shipped to directly to the show or would you rather have them shipped to an advanced warehouse?

 

Don’t Undermine Material Handling

Getting the exhibit assets shipped to the show is not enough. One the assets or components are there, you’ll need someone to transport the crates from the loading area to your booth space in the exhibition hall. And that’s exactly what a drayage or material handling contractor does. More often than not, their work also involves removing the crates and boxes post the show and loading them on the truck. Of course, whether you want the boxes to be delivered to a storage facility or to the next show is totally up to you.

Err On The Side Of Caution

Right from choosing the freight carrier to getting the exhibit assets shipped, it is important that you keep tabs on what is happening. For instance, you have to be aware of the inbound delivery deadline to be able to determine if the freight carrier has missed one, because if they do, chances are that their truck will be sent to the back of the line to unload, and that’s not what you want, right? Similarly, unless you have a camera on you, it would be difficult for you to document the damage to your exhibit assets caused by mishandling.

Managing trade show logistics, freight, shipping & material handling is not as difficult as it seems, and with the help of an experienced freight carrier and a considerate drayage contractor, it is very much possible to ensure that your exhibit assets arrive undamaged.