A lot of people think that Pharma and Medical clients get the short straw when it comes to trade shows as they have rules preventing them from handing out giveaways. Personally, these clients are one of my favourites to work with because they are open to getting creative when it comes to data collection. Having to work a little bit harder actually works to their advantage because they really think about what will get people to stop! Strictly speaking, this is what everyone should be doing… With or without the handicap!

We now have access to far more technology than ever before. The challenge is thinking outside the box. The possibilities are growing faster than what we, as individuals, can keep up with and it can be hard to break free from this. I urge people to look to outside the show floor for inspiration and then creatively find a way you might be able to fine tune it to suit.

I’ll let you in on a secret – It really always knuckles down to what exhibition visitors want.

Why should the visitor want to hear from you? Of course we all want to expand our databases so that we can market to them in future, but you still need to offer them something. It doesn’t have to be a giveaway, but it needs to be valuable to them. (Games/competitions/educational pieces all work really well).

If you have the money to invest, Augmented Reality or even better Virtual Reality, is out there. I’m just not sure, personally, how great they are at fulfilling more than an experience. AR has the benefit of being able to be viewed again outside the show environment, so people who didn’t make it to the show can also have an experience, but it’s still limited. These type of experiences only allow one person to use the device at any time (Oculus headset or iPad pre-loaded). The headsets require wiping down between visitors (And seriously, as a visitor, if I wasn’t thinking of germs before…. I am now!). Did I mention it’s expensive? You can do it on the cheap, but it will look and feel that way so my advice is to skip it unless you’re going to go all out.

Touch screens are my go-to at the moment. Pretty much everyone owns one (hello humble iPhone) and you can create almost anything you can imagine. The challenge with these is the user experience. There is no point throwing everything in there and replicating your website. You need to think about the journey your the person using it will take. If people can’t navigate around it easily, they won’t use it.

A lot of the solutions I have done in the past have been simplified for the show floor and if a team want to use it outside of an event they can add more content or change it to suit. It’s a really flexible way of working that helps you track data in the background.

It can take a little more thought to map out the customer journey, but this is where real success stems so I always want to include this at the same time as design discussions. If you know how you will engage customers and how they will interact with your brand, suddenly the design falls into place and you don’t get left with a layout that’s working against you. Your stand builder will know what works and what doesn’t. Use them as a resource! I’m always happy to chat if you want another opinion.