03 Nov 2011

Alastair Reece, head of DBpixelhouse, part of IT & AV rental company DB Systems, examines why some companies are still underestimating the value of displaying good quality content at shows and events.

Picture this. You’re wandering around an event trying to decide which one of the dozens of exhibitions you want to go and visit.

Then you come across a fantastic exhibition stand that’s been well designed, planned and built.

The people manning that stand are welcoming, approachable and knowledgeable about the products or services being promoted. The corporate information and brochures are well written and there’s an impressive video wall made up of top spec 46in LCD screens….but the content being displayed on that video wall is well below the standard required. Exhibition failure!

Unfortunately, it is still the case that some exhibitors are undermining the hard work and effort that goes into preparing their show or stand by displaying poor quality content, because they are making the mistake of not thinking about the content early enough.

In fact, many adopt the attitude that hiring the display system is the priority and the content is almost a secondary thought. But, we AV professionals can prevent this scenario by educating clients that the content has to be correctly designed FIRST and matched up with the right display system SECOND in order to achieve the maximum impact.

If one of my customers asks me, ‘why would the use of content be beneficial to my exhibit?’ I’d respond by telling them that, if used correctly, this marketing media will provide a visually stunning addition to the exhibit, help grab attention, allow interaction with potential customers and ensure that all important ‘wow’ factor, which separates ordinary stands from extraordinary ones.

There is a demand for incorporating content onto stands and exhibits as the importance of displaying marketing media to customers is undisputed. Successfully designed content must be clear and concise, memorable, relevant and targeted to the event’s audience. But suppliers need time to create it, particularly if the content involves something complex, like 3D or augmented reality, which are becoming increasingly popular amongst exhibitors and can be real show stoppers.

One example of the correct way to do it is a project we recently completed for a pharmaceutical show. We were briefed about the content 11 weeks before the event. In those 11 weeks we were able to meet with the client to discuss its requirements, collect assets, produce some initial designs, receive feedback from the client, produce the bespoke content, present it to the client for approval and run the content in our workshop on the hardware.

Allowing these 11 weeks for execution and completion of the project enabled us to ensure the client got exactly what it wanted as there was enough time to make the necessary tweaks and amends. This long lead-time also meant the client was completely confident with the content and its functionality, therefore further enhancing its value and impact on the stand.

Then, once the content has been finalised you can start thinking about matching it to the display system.

If displaying complex and high end content, high specification screens are needed to show it on. Conversely, if the content only requires a standard screen then use a standard screen. There’s no need for a client to spend their budget on an expensive high-end display system if it’s not required. A responsible AV professional will always advise the use of the appropriate display system for individual needs, not the most expensive or hi-tech.

Ultimately, the marketing media has to be correctly designed AND displayed in order to achieve the maximum impact. So remember, get the content right first and then sort out the display system.

As featured on avinteractive.co.uk

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