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Any been to a gamers exhibition/expo before

Discussion in 'Serious' started by JoeK, 28 Jan 2014.

  1. JoeK

    JoeK Minimodder

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    Just looking for suggestion on stand design for exhibitors. My boss has asked me to design an exhibition stand at a b2b gamers expo just a week away! I'm a techie and have no clue about marketing. :wallbash:

    Probably shouldn't name the expo, but my boss basically got a free exhibitor spot because they couldn't sell out all the spots and event organiser doesn't want to have empty booths.

    So now I have to organise everything with a weeks notice.

    No idea where to start or what to do. It's not retail but b2b. The company supplies computing equipment, high end stuff to animators, video producers and a few to the gaming industry as well.

    I was thinking of some iPad stands like these: http://www.ubookrental.com/ipad-stand-hire/

    We have lots of video footage and will probably want to collect client data. Not sure if this will cut it. As it looks a bit plain.

    I want to sync an iPad onto plasma Tv as well so videos can be played on large screen. Is there a reliable way to achieve that?
     
  2. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    Designing a stand in a week is just ridiculous. It takes months of planning, arrangement of materials and working out logistics. Your boss' request is crazy and you have to make sure his expectations are accordingly or he gets you serious help, fast.

    Do you at least have a 'booth' construction, let alone the marketing collateral? If you don't have that then forget it. By the time you've worked out your design/sizes and ordered it it'll be too late.

    If you do have it from previous booths, you need to work in a 3D map to understand where you are in the hall and how the layout is. Then you know the sign sizes for your company and perhaps the easiest way is to put up TVs in the background (again assuming the booth construction will take the weight) or bring in tables to put them on to show your videos. Will you need tables and chairs for meetings? Drinks (coke etc) and a fridge to put them in? Does the booth have power? How much? Sometimes there are strict amp limits so your plasma TV might be too high power - you'll have to check it.

    That's all I can think of from the top of my head. I've never done booth construction/design before, only attended.
     
  3. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    I find it interesting that your company sells computer equipment to animators and video producers, but you're unsure of how to send video from an iPad to a television. Maybe I'm being overly harsh, but I think your boss has set you up with some pretty unrealistic expectations.

    In addition to Bindi's points about the logistics of it all, it would help to understand the purpose your booth will serve. You mention that this is a business-to-business gig. Are you attending the convention to generate sales? Are you just looking to make contacts within the industry? Are you promoting a new product line, or do you want to expand your existing product into new markets? All of these things will impact your design and materials.

    Really though, your boss just handed you a grenade.
     
  4. JoeK

    JoeK Minimodder

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    tell me about it. My boss thinks that we have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I've never thought about the "negative" marketing collateral of a half arsed show. My boss will be manning the stand both days and a few of us will be attending part of the exhibiton.

    The booth space is a shell scheme. We've got a small exhibition space 10ft by 10ft. It's basically a beige cube with our company name banner overhead. 1 power source with 13A is provided so there's plenty of power. It's a little bit bare just needs a few props to decorate.

    My boss is just looking at it like a meet & greet session. He's just going to inform about our services and will have a few top of the line machines to demonstrate. Perhaps put on a crysis 3 demo on full spec.

    Maybe run the gaming PC on plasma and leave the iPad alone.

    We're situated around the edge, definately not a premium spot - but what do you expect it was a free booth.

    TVs are going to be on the school style stands with castors, I've seen a few hire companies provide them. We'll need an iPad stand to showcase our website. Was thinking about a loose iPad but can't risk any walkaways or someone dropping an iPad on the floor.

    Our space is small so we're not going to get room for fridges, tables etc. There are public water coolers in the exhibition, provided by the event organiser.

    Thanks for the feedback. Some talking points. I guess I need to build up a list quick and book them. Phoned up a plasma tv supplier and they said they're all booked out for next week.
     
    Last edited: 28 Jan 2014
  5. JoeK

    JoeK Minimodder

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    We generally don't get sales like that. There's ususally a long pipeline from enquiry to sale. So it's going to be more of a meet and greet. Make an appearance and show what we're about. Excange contacts and hopefully convince them to get in touch with us next time they're upgrading their hardware.

    We'll have a couple of high spec PCs on display. A range of user input devices to demo live.
     
  6. Sp!

    Sp! Minimodder

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    Having been to a few b2b shows (not for games but I guess there all very similar) if you want to attract peoples attention, hand out stuff!! Pens or Usb keys (with your company logo) are all good. Sweets work well, but the best thing you can give out if you want to attract people (not necessarily the right people, just lots of people) is drinks! cold drinks would be even better! ( a cool box and some ice if your not allowed a fridge, and thoses little cans of coke etc, will attract a lot of people, as after an hour or so of walking around looking at stands everyone could do with a little refreshment!
     
  7. JoeK

    JoeK Minimodder

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    Thanks for the tips. We do have a large amount of mousemats and USB keys that have our branding on. We normally provide them to customers after an installation. That is a great suggestion!

    The drinks cabinet is probably a bit too big for us. I imagine some of the larger exhibitions with centre space booths will have space to offer that. We might be able to get a water cooler in there - much more compact that a full sized drinks cabinet.

    I just found an app called kiosk pro which allows you to lock websites into the browser. It even has native navbar links. We can set that up to link to our homepage, linkedin, twitter, blog etc.

    I'm going to get an iPad stand in for that.
     
  8. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

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    I hope your boss usually plans things better than this...

    You need to communicate what it is that your company does within 3-5 seconds and from 10 feet away. People at these sorts of events are already over-stimulated and sick of people trying to sell them stuff they don't need long before they get to you. That's not a reflection on your product, but let's face it, most of the people at this event are not in the market for high end hardware and so you're selling something they don't need. If they can't figure out what you're selling, they're definitely going to keep walking.

    Pens are good to give away, so are USB sticks, but leave the mouse pads at the office. You might see if you can get tablet styluses (stylii?) or bags made by then. Any brochures you give out will be in the recycling bin by nightfall.

    Most of the people there, even at a b2b show, are there because it sounded more interesting than spending the day at home in front of the idiot box, and they might pick up some free stuff.

    One thing that does draw geeks like moths to a flame is hardware. An 8 CPU Opteron server with 192 GB of installed memory and 4 GPUs sitting open on the table will bring over more people than all the banners and TVs in the world. I don't know what you guys make, but if it looks sexy with it's cover off, bring it.

    If you want people to give you their information, then you are going to have to give something back in return. This is usually in the form of a chance to win something they might actually care about. Despite what they may say to be polite, people really don't want to be contacted by some vendor they met at a show who wants to sell them something.
     
  9. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Except booth babes. NEVER hire booth babes. They are proven to be counterproductive, no matter what marketing types say.
     
  10. Ljs

    Ljs Modder

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    You'll want to get in touch with a few exhibition companies ASAP. They will more than likely charge a slight premium as it is so close.
     
  11. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    Back when the economy started its nose dive, that was one of most visibly absent things from the annual convention I attend. For some reason, while all the other generic swag also disappeared, one of the things people noticed first was the decrease (or if present, the lack in quality) of the booth babes. You're right though. This isn't a comic book convention, and while the lack of booth babes felt weird at first, after about 10 minutes it was kind of nice.
     
  12. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Booth babes don't work. They are used to being hired to just stand there and look pretty --not to actually engage the customer. They know nothing of the product being sold. Most geeks are too shy to talk to them and are scared off, and business types don't want to waste their time doing so and are turned off; the only people who will come up and talk to them are the creepy weirdo's with poor interpersonal boundaries, and they're not there for the hardware.
     
  13. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    Booth Babes only work in Asia. East Asian media won't shoot anything unless it's got tits and a cute face attached to it. Women's lib took a wrong turn somewhere in these "conservative" places.

    Anyway. At the very least you'll want to know banner/poster sizes for your company logo and a banner to explain your services for those who just look in. Some business cards at hand for people to take without having to ask would be good too.
    You'll want to plan noms, drinks and comfy chairs if you're doing meetings, but generally doing meetings in the middle of a show floor is NOT productive. It's very noisy and impersonal.
     
  14. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

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    Sounds like there is a market for attractive women with strong technical skills who come in and spend a few days learning about your product before the show. Sure they would be expensive, but might be worth it.
     
  15. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    I knew a very intelligent, and also attractive, blonde lady who worked for a well-known tech company chose to dye her hair dark because people thought she was a booth babe or 'dumb blonde'.

    Generally no one bothers talking to them, they'd just ask them to hold the product near their tits/face (unless the girls want the photos for their 'modelling' - some have popular FB pages). Normally it's quite tame in PC and business shows, but the tradeshow I visited that actually infuriated me was going to a games show. Teens to 40 year old guys, who are clearly not as 'emotionally controlled', treating the booth women like they would their online porn with gaups and grabbing and dirty photos. It was repulsive and I almost got in a fight with one guy. Never again.

    Every PC journo has a story about tradeshows. /tradeshow vets
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 29 Jan 2014
  16. JoeK

    JoeK Minimodder

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    The only booth babe we're likely to use is our boss in a mankini. But I don't think I'll have much chance at convicning him to do that.

    I managed to get an entry into the Learning technologies conference at Olympia today and had a poke round to get an idea of how people are dressing their stands up.

    To be honest was a bit intimidated because some of them were done up proper with their logos and branding everywhere.

    But there was a fair share of very basic stands too.

    We're going to stick with a plasma TV with our high end graphics rigs. Rip open a panel to get a inside look.

    iPad stand will be used to showcase our website and social media profiles.

    Sent a request to our graphic designers to come up with a large backdrop design. Will be using a massive trifold banner to fill up the backgroud. Beige canvs is probably a reall bad idea.
     
  17. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    Not really. Whatever a person can pick up in a couple day's worth of basic training sessions can easily be found on the company's web page beforehand. If I'm spending money on airfare and hotel (not to mention my time) to attend a convention, it's likely I've already done some basic research. I'm there to get more detailed information.
     
  18. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    Make sure it's all secure, as someone will try to steal everything.
     
  19. JoeK

    JoeK Minimodder

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    We'll be using Kensington locks with everything. However not sure where we're going to fasten the equipment to because there doesn't seem to be any anchor points.

    When I was brosing around the learning technolgies conference I didn't see any kensignton locks. Perhaps they remove it on the day and just re-add at the end or something.
     
    Last edited: 30 Jan 2014
  20. JoeK

    JoeK Minimodder

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    as others have said, bad idea.

    People want to deal with someone inside the company who knows the products inside out. As a hardware assembler and builder we have clients with custom requirements. No matter how technically savvy someone is they will not be able to just come in and learn our business in a couple of days.

    They also wont have the powers to do deals which makes them pretty useless for a b2b. But I guess for b2c selling iPod accessories, headphones etc they might be useful. But I'd take a chance with a very talented salesperson over eyecandy any day.
     

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