Five things that make a great design event
By Carlene Thomas Bailey

Plan well and make sure you inspire visitors. Key tips for planning a great event space from guest blogger Saul Leese

Feb 04, 2016
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Whether you are planning the social media strategy or the layout of the event space, it’s important to get the look and feel of your event right so that people are talking about it for all the right reasons.

Here Saul Leese, former interior designer turned Head of Retail Brand Marketing for Spring Fair, Pure London, Glee, Jewellery and Watch and Autumn Fair explains the key things you need to think about ahead of your event.

1. Inspire

“Inspiration! Inspiration! Inspiration! And without it you may as well pack up and go home”. On visiting an exhibition, rarely do we remember every image, product or feature. All too often it’s that one stand-out design or idea that resonates most with us and sets tongues wagging. The design community or indeed peers from any industry can be your harshest critiques which is why you have to set aside plenty of time to research and refine ideas.

2. Detail 

It really is all in the detail. Detail sets the tone and forms an important part of the visitor experience. You would not believe the amount of time organisers spend going through carpet samples, stand designs, signage, registration areas, features and bar designs; the list is endless. I also have to work closely with a host of designers, agencies and technical specialists to establish if the concept is viable, relevant or indeed useful. Cost is another key factor when putting together a feature area and at some stage you have to make sacrifices for the greater good, especially if your idea is to see the light of day.
3. Timing and location

Understanding where and when visitors expect to see innovation is almost as crucial as knowing what they are looking for and expect to see. Choosing the wrong time and place can be disastrous.

4. Evolve

Industries rarely stand still and a good trade event should reflect this. While it’s fair to say most visitors enjoy the ease of familiarity which allows them to navigate an event, visitors also need to learn,  and well curated content can do just this by adding value to their experience. Digital innovation and social media is a key part of this too.

5. Exhibitors

Last but not least, without the right products, ideas or services that appeal to the majority of your visitors, your event is destined for failure. Event organisers often forget that they are simply a gateway between supplier and customer.
Like this guest blog? Follow Saul Leese on Twitter here

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