Follow IBM’s lead in revitalizing your trade show presence

Everything in your trade show booths contributes something to your presentation and the way that visitors will perceive your business. The Washington Post recently featured an article on how IBM redesigned its trade show to inject new life into it and get attendees talking to each other. It's an example of how design has a very real impact on human response.

According to this source, IBM felt that its booths didn't reflect the right values of the brand to consumers: in this case, innovation and dynamic conversation. The article, by Andrew King and Jeanne Liedtka of the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, notes that the company decided to revamp its convention space with special test spaces filled with new furniture.

The results showed a marked improvement in visitor interest, with customers quickly taking to the redesigned areas. The source says that the test helped determine how to help people best experience their company.

"Customers stayed in the booth for hours, producing a level of 'hot leads' far higher than the traditional format," the authors state. "Subsequent events incorporated these designs with measurable success: deeper relationships and rising revenue."

Any company that frequents conferences should apply this level of thought to their custom trade show displays. It's entirely possible that your current displays are getting sufficient results, but a redesign could fix problems and bring your presentation materials more in line with who you are as a brand.

Don't use ineffective strategies just because they are easier. Instead, take a moment to think seriously about whether you're getting the most out of your trade show displays and start working toward more satisfactory results.