Law #2

victory-sign-fingers-vectorIn my outline of the application of Law #1, The Law of Expansion, to exhibitions I warned against the “throw everything at the wall and hope something sticks” approach in terms of giveaways, presenters etc.  Law #2, The Law of Contraction serves to re-enforce that approach.

It’s all about focus!  The trade show floor is a busy, noisy, colourful place and adding to that noise can be expensive and frustrating.  It can also have a negative effect on your presence.

As a street performer I was mentored by the great Jim Cellini and he told me about his approach to catching the attention of passers-by: colour, sound and motion.  The obvious application of these three elements would be to turn up the levels across the board – be brighter, louder and more dynamic!  By doing this at a live marketing event however you are throwing yourself into competition with other exhibitors who have taken the same approach.  The levels rise and very often so does the expense!  What doesn’t necessarily increase however is engagement.  Too loud, too bright, too manic and you have created a wall of colour sound and motion that can be off putting to show visitors.  You also start to blend in with the neighbouring colourful, noisy and restless exhibitors.  In effect you have camouflaged yourself!

Going back to street performing, think of the performers who have taken the opposite approach, those performers who have contracted and focused their use of the three elements to lowest possible limit – no colour, no sound and no motion.  I am of course referring to the “human statues.”  One solid colour, no sound and no movement and yet they are some of the most engaging performers to watch. Why? Because they are disrupting the pattern of what we expect and they are forcing us to focus our attention by creating a kind of sensory vacuum!  Instead of pushing out they draw us in.

Now all of this is lovely but how does this apply to your exhibition stand and your approach on the show floor?

Essentially applying the law of contraction to your exhibition means narrowing your focus in terms of your “output” to increase your attraction and impact.

1. Ensuring that you are not trying to promote the entire range of your products or services means a clearer message, easier for visitors to grasp in the few seconds they are in front of your stand.  You need to capture the interest of passers-by and trying to tell them everything means you tell them nothing in particular.

2. Clear stand design unhindered by excessive quantities of literature and “knick-knacks”  Visual noise is so distracting!  Think Apple store not 99p store.

3. A strong “uniform” presence of your stand staff.  Have the people on your stand create a consistent image through the colours they wear.  This solidifies your presence, in a sense “underlining” your intention to be seen. The simple act of wearing “team colours” can also create a positive shift in mindset.

4. Clear defined boundaries to your booth.  If you allow passing traffic to blur the edges of your stand you run the risk of being lost in the crowd.  A clear boundary can also help secure any commitment made by visitors, creating a  scenario in which you can “invite them in”.

Simplicity is certainly not simple and it requires a strong understanding of your offering as well as great deal of confidence.  However when shouting to be heard becomes impossible the clarity of your message becomes crucial.

About The Author

Peter Wardell

Peter Wardell is an multi-award winning magician and speaker. He has helped companies from a wide variety of disciplines engage with their audience at trade show and exhibitions worldwide.

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