Hue Robertson

Art & Experiential

Currently gracing RPM’s reception area is a double sided canvas stand dominated with distinctive doodles by artist Jon Burgerman. His graffiti-like style is quirky and lively to say the least and, we believe,is unquestionabley one to watch.

Burgerman is slowly but surely making his mark on the art world- his latest projects have included the development of a range of Ripcurl clothing, a series of soya surfboards and he’s also adorned the walls of Miss Sixty’s swanky hotel in Italy with swirls, shapes and scribbles.

Uniting art and experiential works extremely well. In fact, it pretty much dominated our Tiger Translate event held last year at Hearn Street Car Park. In the run up to the event, we hired a studio for a week to allow a group of artists to create work for it. They then took part in a live graffiti competition held in the evening.

Alternatively, what also works well is allowing the consumer to take over role of artist. For example, at Smirnoff UR The Night we created an interactive graffiti wall where designs were created using digital spray cans onto a screen canvas. These were captured and mailed directly or sent via Bluetooth to the consumer’s phone for them to share with friends.

Art is provocative, engaging and of course extremely cool; effective for engaging any audience.

  • Sam Moore

    I completely agree with the sentiment here, but how do you google a product or service which you have never seen, heard of or in every other respect are completely unaware of its existence.
    Would WOM alone work to transmit something innovative to your attention? Or is there still a need for a showcase event for innovations, and of course endure yesterdays innovations ad nauseum.

  • James Samuel

    A really interesting discussion, particularly with regards to ensuring that an exhibition space is an extension of the brand it represents.

    Despite the rise of the digital age, face to face networking remains a crucial part of the marketing mix and we receive feedback each year which suggests it’s not going anywhere. However, that’s not to say we shouldn’t be demanding more of these face to face experiences. Seeing products in person, touching and feeling them, asking questions of the experts and meeting the team you could be dealing with is an essential part of the buying process and one which we’re sure makes it a lot more informative and enjoyable.

    In recent years, a myth seems to have emerged surrounding exhibition stands and the need for them to cost a fortune in order to be an effective brand extension. This simply isn’t the case as a few simple factors can be addressed for a successful event, predominantly the provision of knowledgeable and engaging staff.

    The team are what make an exhibition work; they must be proactive in approaching people who walk past, not standing with their arms crossed or sitting checking their emails at the back of the stand; they should be senior, knowledgeable about the company they are representing and grabbing the opportunity to take people on a virtual brand experience journey. An inventive stand design can also help with this – you’re quite right a bowl of boiled sweets and one pop up banner just won’t cut it. Visitors appreciate effort and creativity so we encourage exhibitors to think outside of the box as much as possible.

    Perhaps consider using pictures from one side of the stand to the other to aid with the journey, not having chairs at the forefront which encourage people to sit down and with simple branding which makes it clear from the onset what prospects can expect. Look to brand experiences that are happening across the country week in week out – this industry is thriving so there’s absolutely no reason to conform to the tired and out dated exhibition format with the space you invest in.

    With regards the age old question about ROI measurement of exhibitions, the same can be asked of social media. Number of leads to number of followers? Number of those that subsequently use the service after an interaction? These activities should work in tandem with a broader marketing strategy rather than being pulled out as an individual focus.

    In answer to your final question, perhaps you don’t need to attend an exhibition to meet people but it’s a great way to do it. Our shows, and most others in the live events space, compliment the exhibition experience with networking functions and educational opportunities. As I said previously, social networking is fantastic and we’re embracing it, but you just can’t replicate face to face.

  • James Samuel

    A really interesting discussion, particularly with regards to ensuring that an exhibition space is an extension of the brand it represents.

    Despite the rise of the digital age, face to face networking remains a crucial part of the marketing mix and we receive feedback each year which suggests it’s not going anywhere. However, that’s not to say we shouldn’t be demanding more of these face to face experiences. Seeing products in person, touching and feeling them, asking questions of the experts and meeting the team you could be dealing with is an essential part of the buying process and one which we’re sure makes it a lot more informative and enjoyable.

    In recent years, a myth seems to have emerged surrounding exhibition stands and the need for them to cost a fortune in order to be an effective brand extension. This simply isn’t the case as a few simple factors can be addressed for a successful event, predominantly the provision of knowledgeable and engaging staff.

    The team are what make an exhibition work; they must be proactive in approaching people who walk past, not standing with their arms crossed or sitting checking their emails at the back of the stand; they should be senior, knowledgeable about the company they are representing and grabbing the opportunity to take people on a virtual brand experience journey. An inventive stand design can also help with this – you’re quite right a bowl of boiled sweets and one pop up banner just won’t cut it. Visitors appreciate effort and creativity so we encourage exhibitors to think outside of the box as much as possible.

    Perhaps consider using pictures from one side of the stand to the other to aid with the journey, not having chairs at the forefront which encourage people to sit down and with simple branding which makes it clear from the onset what prospects can expect. Look to brand experiences that are happening across the country week in week out – this industry is thriving so there’s absolutely no reason to conform to the tired and out dated exhibition format with the space you invest in.

    With regards the age old question about ROI measurement of exhibitions, the same can be asked of social media. Number of leads to number of followers? Number of those that subsequently use the service after an interaction? These activities should work in tandem with a broader marketing strategy rather than being pulled out as an individual focus.

    In answer to your final question, perhaps you don’t need to attend an exhibition to meet people but it’s a great way to do it. Our shows, and most others in the live events space, compliment the exhibition experience with networking functions and educational opportunities. As I said previously, social networking is fantastic and we’re embracing it, but you just can’t replicate face to face.

  • Pete Allen

    The world is in a massive state of change, it is adapting to fast developing and changing social, products and consumer values, and the exhibition market is no different , it is adapting and evolving to meet the demands placed upon it.

    The view you present, where a client wanders aimlessly around a hall looking at shell schemes, is not only an insult to our industry but to exhibitors themselves. Time is one of the 21st century’s most valuable commodities, so delegates arrive with pre booked, and pre planned agendas. They are well prepared and make the most of the opportunity that any show presents to them. It is worth remembering that many of the greatest innovations in business are developed and showcased on this stage.

    Exhibitions are still being launched, and are growing, where they have relevance and focus. Clients are not simply using the stands as sales tables, but as 3 dimensional brand environments that deliver at many levels. Perhaps it is the authors failure to engage with these opportunities that causes him to believe the exhibition platform to has no value. Where else can a business owner meet all his current and future business partners. Where can they deliver a consistent message of product and brand face-to-face and to deliver the required project objectives whilst also remaining open to seize, and capitalise on, other unknown business opportunities that arise?

    Well-conceived, professionally delivered and measured exhibitions, and the stands within them, do deliver and will continue to deliver again and again in a way that social media currently can’t. However, to see them as exclusive to one another or dismiss either as ineffective or irrelevant misses the greatest opportunity of all. To simply sum up a highly diverse and technically varied industry, with a single view based on the most simplistic version of this medium is poor at best.

    The question shouldn’t be “Exhibition to be or not to be”, but growth and opportunity, “Bothered or not bothered”?

  • Ken Clayton

    I wish that we could afford to spend 10k on just the stand for a show. We can’t and that’s why so many smaller companies have shell schemes. As for offering a boiled sweet and a raffle for a weekend in Derby, I realise that Michael is being facetious but he’s taking the mick in a way that displays his opinion of smaller exhibitors.

    Why do people ‘have the time to wander around a hall…’? For a variety of reasons. Find out what’s new in their area of interest. Meet people they know but haven’t seen since the last exhibition. Meet new people who might be useful to them. Discover products and services that they didn’t even know existed, let alone know how to find with a search engine.

    We exhibit at a number of shows and yes, we do measure the return by tracking the progress of enquiries gathered at each event. So our sales team can say ‘This exhibition cost £X and we got £Y worth of business from it’. And yes, the cost includes travel, accommodation, expenses etc. And yes, if a show doesn’t deliver, we drop it.

    Michael might think the small companies aren’t worth bothering with but there’s no need for him to display his contempt for them in such a clear manner.