With #ISE2013 less than 30 days away I hope that (and this applies if you are exhibiting anywhere during 2013) you haven’t forgotten about your content (or as many people seem to do, leave it to the last minute).
The #ISE2013 Digital Signage Zone. made up this year with the entirety of Hall 10, over half of Hall 9 and parts of Hall 8 is surely one of the biggest ever.
As a company, we always get lots of (last minute) pleas for help with content and so I thought it might be interesting to have a think about the Do’s and Don’ts of showing off your content on your exhibition stand.
Content is usually one of the last things thought about at these exhibitions simply because the majority of people exhibiting are AV folks or from a technology hardware and software background.
No doubt they (or you dear reader) feel that what is most important to show off is the screen/player/latest piece of software – which in part of course it is BUT what many exhibitors forget is that any new piece of hardware is only seen to be as good as the content being played out on it or by it!
So here are some simple suggestions for good content delivery at your next exhibition:-
- Be relevant Always think primarily about your target audience. At a show you should, by using the right sort of content, illustrate how your solution works in any particular environment AND demonstrate to attendees the vertical sectors that they might be interested in. Bottom line explain to them how your solution is relevant
- Engage with the event At far too many shows you see stands which could have been erected anywhere. Don’t be lazy, promote yourselves as a proud exhibitor; use bespoke content to show your stand number, use illustrations from the city that you are in and don’t forget to show you care enough about that particular show to reference it in your content!
- Embrace social media Find out what the event’s twitter hashtag is and use it as part of your content strategy – it helps enormously demonstrating that you have ‘engaged with the event’ (see above). If there is a venue id for foursquare then promote that as well. Of course a great way to promote all of this is to have your own twitter wall either somewhere on your stand (or integrated into your booth design elsewhere). Remember to show the status of foursquare check-ins and who’s the (current) mayor
- Be Topical Another good way to be relevant to the event and city where you are exhibiting in is by being topical. Is the City you are in preparing perhaps for the Olympic Games? Is there a big soccer match on next weekend? Is Barry Manilow performing down the strip at Paris? You get the idea I’m sure!
- Be Interactive You know of course that you don’t necessarily need touchscreens to be interactive but did you know that a touch of interactivity helps people stop and stare? The likes of LocaModa will often supply free of charge to events (and their exhibitors) cool twitter / foursquare widgets which can easily be incorporated into your content. Or take a look at folks like Screach and see what they can offer you
There are in fact two things that we suggest you avoid completely: -
- Do not play Pixar, Top Gun or James Bond Don’t setup your stand, plug in all your amazing new technology and then play Top Gun on that ultra thin bezel-less LCD screen or that large LED screen. Quite simply it demonstrates to the attendees that you have put no thought into the event at all and shows a distinct lack of manners
- Try not to re-use content from earlier shows If you have followed some of our advice above and tailored your content for a specific event then it is actually harder to re-use content from show to show. One of the worst things that you can do is attempt to recycle content – it will look dated and some eagle eyed attendee will recognise it as being old. At every show, re-evaluate what you want to get out of exhibiting and revisit your content strategy – what worked last year might not work the next!
Remember then, that piece of hardware or software can only be truly showed off well when the content is relevant to that product or service and when it has been designed and thought through to be relevant to its context.