8/18/2011 10:54 AM
Ask any parent about the challenges of bedtime with a 4 year old and they will usually include a bedtime story as part of the nightly routine. If they’re honest they will also admit to skipping a few pages (or trying) to speed up the process. An attentive 4 year old will usually catch you in the act, resulting in having to go back and start again. I hated when that happened…
Why does it matter to a 4 year old? Because it matters to everyone who loves a good story and the whole story.
So how does this relate to a trade show exhibit or a corporate event? Too often we marketers and/or designers fall in love with a particular lighting element, cool graphic treatment or architectural gimmick. I saw a “waterwall” graphic at Euroshop this year. Very, very cool (and wet!), but how many clients could use this appropriately? I wanted so badly to incorporate it into a client project, but only one came to mind for whom it would make sense, and they already had their new cool idea for this year!
Rather than fixate on the sizzle I went back to the basics of telling the whole story for the client. Their trade show exhibit became a platform for truly marketing their products, not an opportunity to impress them with a new trick or treat! It forced me to take a holistic view of their target audience, understand their specific show objectives and craft a solution that involved not only a functional, engaging exhibit design, but a comprehensive plan to deliver the trade show attendees they wanted and the results they were banking on.
My new cool product may or may not find a place in a trade show booth someday soon. Instead I hope I keep delivering effective solutions to clients who deserve more than massaging my bored design ego.
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