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Right-Brain Exhibit Design Pulls In Left-Brain Attendees

Left Brain Right Brain Exhibit DesignA while back we had the opportunity to work with a local high-tech company to develop a booth for the introduction of a new product.  The company makes business telephone systems, and has a pretty good reputation.  The show they were attending, however, had little to do with phones – it was a computer show.  The reason?  They were introducing a computerized phone system, and thought there might be an opportunity for some exposure to a new market segment.

The design discovery meeting was a predictable affair.  The engineers outlined their vision for the exhibit.  They saw pictures of the rack-mounted product with bullet points listing its numerous and impressive features.  Off we went to do our homework.  Now, common sense would dictate “give the client what they want.”  But that would have been like the doctor allowing the patient to remove their own gall bladder.  We were having none of it.

A week later we found ourselves back in the client’s boardroom armed with our reputation, and a bunch of pretty pictures.  The first design we presented was exactly what the client wanted.  “Perfect” they exclaimed, and motioned to exit.  “Wait” we said, and unveiled our recommended design.  There, before this group of left-brained system engineers (all men, by the way), was an picture of an eight foot tall baby’s face with the inscription “What the heck is [their name] doing here!?!”  You could have heard a pin drop.  The question on the engineer’s minds was “What the heck does this have to do with computer phones?!?”  The answer is “nothing whatsoever.”  But that’s not the point.  The point is it’s not the job of the exhibit to educate anyone.  It’s the booth’s job to capture attention. And this exhibit did nothing if not capture attention.

Well, not only did they choose our design, they reported that they doubled their qualified lead count at their first show.  A powerful design will drive more traffic to your booth, and generate more qualified leads.  After all’s said and done, like everything else, good design is all about ROI.

That tickles both sides of my brain.

Jim Cummings, President & CEO
Cummings Mitchell Inc.

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About the Author

Jim Cummings is the President & CEO of Skyline Ottawa Inc., a Canadian Skyline Exhibits Dealer, trade show marketing lecturer, proud parent, jazz piano player, ski bum, news junkie, home builder, environmentalist wanna-be, lucky dog. He helps exhibit marketers design Ottawa trade show displays.

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