Cultivate a Conversation: The importance of designing a meeting room or space on your exhibition stand conducive to one-on-one conversation.
One of the most beneficial aspects of exhibiting at a trade show is the opportunity for a face-to-face meeting with prospective customers. The organisers of trade shows sell exhibiting spaces on the promise that they will attract a highly targeted audience within a specific industry to attend the event. The objective for them is to make their spaces valuable by guaranteeing to produce some of the largest players with buying power in a specific industry. In turn, visitors are attracted to attend with the promise that they can meet suppliers and innovators in their industry one-on-one.
For most exhibitors, direct communication will be the key on-site strategy for any live event. A well-designed stand along with eye-catching graphics ….and even spruikers are great for brand awareness and attracting passers-by but can only do so much. Ultimately, it will be your on-site team’s responsibility to garner leads and attract sales. Cultivating intimate conversations and facilitating individual sales meetings between your team members and prospects should be a chief priority.
So, aside from your demo area and your meet & greet space, you will need to consider an area on your exhibition stand where your sales team can sit for a one-on-one meeting with a prospect. Depending on the size of your floor space this could be an entire dedicated room or just a quiet area off to one side.
When we’re designing an exhibition stand for a client we start by asking what they want to accomplish at the event. We’ll then design the space accordingly. A meeting area or room is one of the most important elements to consider at the very early stages of design. One essential factor is to keep design consistent across the entire stand. We don’t want to lose focus on a brand’s objective for the event, but we’ll usually try and incorporate at least a small area for a sit-down and a chat. The best meeting rooms are the ones that express what the business is all about.
If the brand is all about fun or has a playful image, then it might not suit to have a closed-off ‘quiet’ area. Bar stools and table may be more fitting (….or pallets and crates as in this stand for Naked Syrups at Fine Food).
In fact, furniture can play a crucial role. Even things such as posture can result in a more productive meeting. You may consider a relaxed vibe with lounges and coffee tables more suitable to your brand – or you might want people sitting upright to stay engaged with any content you’re trying to communicate.
Think about what role the physical environment will play in the success of a meeting. Work around what will be the most beneficial type of interaction for your prospects. Will you need space for demonstration, presentation or simply just conversation? If you design your space and technology around the interests of your visitors, you’ll be halfway there.
Larger exhibition stands with a greater floor area can afford a closed-off or partitioned section specifically for meetings (as in the above meeting room we designed for Ansaldo at Ausrail – We printed directly to clear acrylic sheets to continue the branding of the stand which also afforded the users some privacy).
Short of floor space on your stand but really want a private area? – maybe you can build up a storey. Double decks are always impressive structures in an exhibition hall and will double your floor space with a single staircase. You can talk to your prospects in comfort and achieve the privacy you need above the hustle and bustle of the trade show floor. (pic shows this stand we built for Bostik at IHG in with the meeting area upstairs)
As well as deciding on the location, size & furniture options for your meeting area – there are lots of other aspects to consider which can influence the setting. Things such as colour, lighting, temperature, whether to provide food & drink …..even smells can influence the mood of your guests.– Try and stimulate all the senses if you can!
Obviously, as with any considerations on your exhibition stand, don’t go overboard just for the sake of it. Any decisions on the design of your space should be consciously made to enhance the overall environment and achieve the goals set out.
Creativity is good, but authenticity will gain the trust of your prospects.
Below are some more meeting spaces we have designed for brands such as Sony, BT & MPC.