Meeting MPI Toronto - March/April 2016 - (Page 23)

TRANSFORMING THE ATTENDEE EXPERIENCE WITH Sonia Moffatt Freeman Company CREATIVE SHOW-FLOOR DESIGN Q ualified, motivated and empowered attendees play an integral role in any successful trade show. Part of an exhibition organizer's unwritten contract with them is to deliver an organized, engaging, and stimulating environment in which to do business. There are a number of tactics that organizers can use to deliver on that promise. Innovative floor design is one of the most effective ways to impact the attendee experience. A 2013 study from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) reveals what attendees want from trade shows. Sixty-nine per cent say they attend to meet "shopping needs," including see new technology, talk to experts, discover and interact with new products, compare brands, and gather competitive intelligence. Sixty-six per cent of attendees attend to meet "learning needs," such as find out about industry trends, network with other professionals, improve job performance, and develop skills. With precise knowledge of what attendees want and a wide variety of show-floor configurations to choose from, exhibition organizers are in a perfect position to transform the attendee experience. By simplifying navigation, facilitating discovery, and personalizing the attendee journey with creative designs, organizers can help customers cut through the cacophony of brand voices and experience their events in more productive and memorable ways. WHY RETHINK YOUR FLOOR PLAN? * Surprise and delight. Attendees want memorable experiences. They need a reason to come back every year. To get that kind of customer retention, organizers have to think about how to impact attendees at an emotional level, as well as an intellectual one. * Organization. Trade shows can be daunting for attendees. Without help from organizers, it can be difficult for them to find exactly what they want amid all the competing messages, brands, and products. Show producers can make it easier for attendees to cut through the noise by filtering the exhibitors and products in specific and relevant ways. * Personalization. Show floors have to be informative and educational for each customer segment attending the event. Organizers should offer attendees choices and opportunities to opt in or opt out so they can take charge of their own experiences. * Tell a story. Rather than have a random event layout, why not organize the attendee's journey using navigational devices-clear lines of sight, wide aisles, and signage-and zones (pavilions, special spaces, neighborhoods, and product zones), for example. FACILITATE SHOPPING WITH PRODUCT ZONES In retail settings-from grocery stores to home improvement centres-products are carefully arranged in groups. For example, all of the cereal brands are placed together on one aisle at the supermarket, while plumbing implements are grouped separately from home and garden items at the DIY store. Such is the idea behind product zones in trade shows. Companies with like products are placed together in specific areas on the show floor. Like shopping for cereal, product zones allow attendees with distinct buying interests to make comparisons more easily and quickly than when exhibits are placed throughout the show floor. At InfoComm, the annual event for audio-visual professionals, all exhibitors are grouped according to product categories: security, audio, unified communication and collaboration, digital signage, lighting and staging, and drones. Color-coded carpeting and maps, carpet clings, and aisle signage help attendees locate the product zones, and specific topic theaters and demonstrations are included in each area. The product zone groupings offers benefits such as: the ability to connect with like-minded exhibitors and peers, easier continued "CREATIVE SHOW-FLOOR DESIGN" on page 26 | | | MEETING * 23

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meeting MPI Toronto - March/April 2016

President’s Message
Editor’s Word
Welcome, New Members!
Upcoming Events
Selling to the Buyers of Today
Best Bar Venues in Toronto for Your Next Unique Event
Destination Spotlight
Myth vs. Reality: Debunking Planner Stereotypes
How to Keep Your Audience Awake
The Best Come From Ontario’s Event Management Programs
Best Tips for Industry Newcomers
Tools to Help You Run Your Business in 2016
Transforming the Attendee Experience with Creative Show-Floor Design
iSpy MPI
Chapter Speaks: What is the Best MPI Event You Ever Attended?
Advertiser Index

Meeting MPI Toronto - March/April 2016