How do you stand out at the largest industry event in the southern hemisphere?
Eye-catching design, interactive technologies and strong branding.
Exhibitions are an excellent way for a company to gain exposure in a highly targeted forum. However, it is inevitable that a company’s main competitors are also attending the same exhibition.
With a convention centre crawling with flashy, gimmicky competitors, how does a brand stand out from the crowd and draw in prospective clients?
CAF, designers and installers of comprehensive mobility systems, faced this scenario when exhibiting at AusRail PLUS in 2019.
AusRail PLUS is the largest rail event in the southern hemisphere and is firmly established as the major Australasian rail event. The competition in the market is robust and all exhibitors are vying for attendees’ time and attention.
To ensure CAF gained maximum exposure, meet ROI targets and achieved exhibition objectives, strategic elements were incorporated into the CAF marketing exhibition strategy.
Exhibitions, trade shows, and conferences are demanding new ways of catching an audiences’ attention to stand out.
Attendees are wanting more than a free pen or a giveaway bag full of pamphlets and propaganda.
Immersive activities provide attendees’ with truly unique and content-rich experiences. Such activities present information in a way that helps to shift information from short- into long-term memory. The immersion activity must align with the brand and its products to achieve the desired outcome.
CAF’s first immersive inclusion in their exhibition stand was the addition of 2 model trains prominently displayed within the exhibition stand. These displays were installed on custom made plinths to ensure they were at the ideal height for attendees to view.
The main feature of CAF’s immersive strategy was the inclusion of video walk throughs on the stand. This experience engaged the exhibition attendees on a level that other exhibitors could not.
Video has proven to aid the recall ability of participants and also change a customers purchasing behaviour.
The video walk throughs experience captured the interests of the exhibition attendees and gave the CAF audience a better representation of what CAF were offering. It allowed CAF to show potential customers inside a train or tram without having an actual train on site, adding a new tool to their arsenal of storytelling.
The to-scale train models and video allowed attendees to gain a perspective of the CAF product range. The immersion into the CAF brand allowed the relationship to grow to a higher level.
How would you demonstrate a company’s product if it did not fit into an exhibition hall?
At an exhibition, especially a major expo such as AusRail PLUS, there are hundreds of brands, multiple experiences and overwhelming sensory stimulations for exhibition attendees. Therefore, a considered design in both layout and aesthetics is essential to draw attendees into a company’s stand.
Floor plan selection starts the design process and will impact on all future design decisions.
CAF tactically selected an island floor space at AusRail PLUS 2019. The 12m x 6m floor plan (the surface of the stand was 72 m2) was selected for a number of calculated reasons.
- Determining where attendees enter an exhibition stand influences the entire stand layout and design.
- CAF desired for attendees to be able to access the stand from all sides. The island stand had to be inviting and easy for attendees to enter the space.
- One of strongest attributes of an island exhibition floor plan is the ability to control the traffic flow.
- Through intentional stand design, attendees can be guided down a pre-determined path, ensuring they encounter multiple touchpoints along their journey.
- While the CAF stand had multiple entry points, each one lead the attendees into the stand past at least one of the stands touchpoints (model trains, video walk throughs, hospitality station).
- Island stands give a brand a strong visual presence from every angle, they also portray the impression of brand superiority.
- Having no adjoining stands or walls allows a company to be seen from multiple points of view; this combined with mindful design choices, creates a strong brand presence.
CAF brand imagery, logos and messaging were placed at key positions to ensure attendees could recognise the brand from every angle.
The average attention span of an exhibition attendee is only 8 seconds, they make quick visual decisions on which brands they are going to focus their attention. The brand message needs to subconsciously imprint into the visitor’s mind.
How does a brand break through the 8-second barrier?
Effective booth design quickly grabs attendees attention and curiosity. It helps to increase brand visibility, makes your brand look credible and acts as a platform to bridge the gap between you and your consumer.
The CAF stand incorporated numerous brand elements that were highly curated in their positioning in order to gain the attendees attention and draw them into the CAF stand.
- Bulkheads allow exhibitors to broadcast their brand messaging at an exhibition with distinct, eye-catching flair.
- The CAF 5-meter-high bulkhead was designed in a unique way so that the CAF logo and branding be visible to all attendees no matter where they were approaching the stand from.
- The bulkhead was also designed to act as a structure to tie the whole stand together, creating a seamless look and feel to the stand. Opposite corners of the CAF stand contained feature light box towers, so rather than having disjointed rigged signage, the bulkhead connected to these two features to create a seamless finish.
- Graphics and imagery play a vital role in communicating a company’s brand messaging to exhibition attendees. The graphics need to project a coherent picture to your visitor.
- CAF is a recognisable brand in the rail industry so the placement of CAF logo was vital to benefit from this brand recognition. CAF logos were prominent in the stand design. Logos were strategically use on the bulkhead to gain the most brand recognition, they could be seen from every angle.
- Illuminated or backlit graphics help catch attendees’ attention and make the brand stand out from the crowd. The imagery is highlighted in a unique way that stands out above standard imagery – the artwork POPS!
Three 1.5m x 2m illuminated light boxes were incorporated into the feature towers on the CAF stand. These were purposefully placed in opposite corners of the stand so they could be viewed from every angle.
AusRAIL PLUS | ICC Sydney | 3-5 December 2019
AusRAIL PLUS is the largest rail event in the southern hemisphere and is firmly established as the major Australasian rail event.
Held every 2 years, AusRAIL is the 2-day, large exhibition year with AusRAIL PLUS being the 3-day, MAJOR exhibition year.
AusRAIL PLUS combines a three-day conference with dedicated plenary and technical streams and a three-day major exhibition with 450 expected exhibiting companies.
CAF | https://www.caf.net
CAF is one of the international benchmarks in the design and implementation of comprehensive mobility systems. CAF provides comprehensive project and engineering management throughout all stages of the project including feasibility studies, system design, civil work, signaling, electrification and other electromechanical systems, rolling stock supply and system operation and maintenance.
CAF´s core business is the manufacture and maintenance of rolling stock. CAF´s range of rolling stock includes high-speed trains, regional and commuter trains, locomotives, metros and tramways.
CAF is already present in the Australian market. CAF has supplied low-floor tramways to the cities of Sydney, Newcastle and Canberra. Its recent contracts include the supply of new light rail vehicles for Parramatta and regional trains for Transport for New South Wales.