With 15 halls and over 1600 exhibitors, there's little chance of seeing every stand at the IBC trade show - but this year I gave it a good try and racked up an impressive number of daily steps to prove it! Unlike most show visitors, however, I wasn't looking for the latest bit of tech or next product to purchase, instead I was focussed on how IBC exhibitors use stand design and trade show marketing techniques on the show floor to attract the attention of exhibition visitors.
What follows are some of the ways that trade show exhibitors can make their stands stand out - as demonstrated by this year's IBC exhibitors.
Please note no judging panel or method or fair assessment was used to determine which exhibitors were chosen to feature in this piece - stands were selected purely on their ability to distract me from the pain of each step, as I wondered the halls in shoes I should know better than to wear to a trade show.
1. Put on a show
Dell's on-stand magician was the perfect combination of entertainer and product promoter. He drew the crowds in with his charismatic magic show and cleverly weaved product references into his performance - even managing to sound like he understood the technology! The mobile phone wide-angle lens adaptor that he gave away at the end of the show was an added bonus.
EVS dedicated a big chunk of stand space to their #EVSlamDunk Experience - with basketball court action being used to demonstrate their technology's sports application. The first time I walked past, the basketball court was deserted while the rest of the stand was packed but the following day was a different story, with demo action in full swing. Either way, the stand attracted my attention on both days.
It's always interesting to see the camera demo areas at IBC - these displays need to not only attract attention but also need to be used to demonstrate their products' capabilities. This year the displays ranged from a flower shop to a Turkish ice-cream stall and motorbike workshop. While they were all eye-catching, Atomo's cocktail bar was definitely the most entertaining.
2. Buck the trend
A guaranteed way to stand out from the crowd is to look completely different to everyone else. At a tech trade show, that probably means going rustic with your design. Google's took this to the extreme while Ooyala's coffee shop-meets-tv-bar was refreshingly different while still being relevant - bagging an award for best smaller stand design at the show.
3. Light it up
Dramatic lighting can be a very effective attention grabber - especially in dark trade show halls. Anvato and Media Excel's stands played off each other brilliantly with contrasting lighting effects.
4. Be fun and flexible
Riedels' granny campaign is a fun take on technology, but I have it on good authority that even they didn't expect their life-size cardboard cutout to become a selfie-magnet. They made the most of the opportunity by adding their hashtag and name to the speech bubble - making sure every selfie was branded.