If you’re planning to build stands in Frankfurt for an upcoming conference, there are a few important concepts to discuss in a team setting about design thinking, visual pitches, and networking at public events.
The goal of a stands outreaching message is to be short, concise and pithy; something simple enough that if someone reads the most prominent text as they are walking by, it will be something they can remember hours, or even days later. This is not to suggest that stands adopt the same marketing strategies as 90’s era television advertising, with gimmicks, puns, and platitudes. Rather, a key takeaway needs to not require the reader a great deal of larger context to understand the meaning, regardless of whether or not they are aware of that context. This means to possess affect in the words you choose to convey something about what you are showcasing on your stand. It’s easy to ramble on and on about a point you are trying to make and come close to eventually making it. It is much more difficult to illustrate a point in fewer words than you’d like.
By all accounts, if someone walks by a stand that contains nothing but an enlarged whitepaper, they’re going to keep moving. The most effective stands possess an ideal balance of words and design, colour and whitespace. The contents of the stand need space to ‘breathe’, so to speak. Try to say too much and you end up saying very little, or something muted by its own noise.
This scenario in which an attendee walks by your stand without giving it second thought is unforgiving but often the case. At conventions, conference, and summits alike, not everyone is there to put their ears to the grindstone. Many are there to socialize and network with people in the industry that they already know, maybe deliver a talk, and move onto the next one. These gatherings have become quite frequent in the larger tech hubs such as Berlin, London, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo.
However, no one signs up to reserve space for a stand believing that would be a guarantee. A pitch is a pitch, in the literal metaphorical sense, because it misses more often than it hits. Stands are put up to be merely in the position to have that chance.
What could that chance be? Maybe just a conversation with someone who’s interested, who has an insightful opinion about an aspect of your company. Maybe that chance is meeting someone who you could build ideas with, or collaborate with in the future. Perhaps a future investor first catches sight of your company in the visage of a stand among the other stands in Frankfurt.
No matter what the case may be, always prepare for such chances. When building your stand, put yourself in the perspective of the outside onlooker and anticipate what they might want to ask you about it. Then consider what your response would be, and sharpen it until you know the ins and outs of the dialogues most likely to occur. A well-designed stand provokes the questions that you want people to ask.
Professional stand companies help with this because they have experience with how people react to stands, in their many different shapes and forms. They will alleviate some of your delusions and, at the end, bring it all together with a more trained eye.
Your stand will attract some people with a few questions at minimum. If they have a better grasp of your company, its mission and its message, then they will have a more informed basis for reformulating question, which will provide for a more fruitful dialogue. Keep in mind that when engaging with people in these situations, there are always others within earshot. Often times, you’re pitching to them, too. Be friendly, but don’t sound too nuanced, and don’t be overly frank candid because it’s an individual conversation.