Taking part in a trade show is always an important decision for a brand. Investing in an elaborate trade show booth, even more so. Sometimes just attending such an event can be a way of getting to know your industry better, testing the market and working on your network. Brands who invest in a proper display, on the other hand, are looking at measurable ROI. With this in mind, we created a spectacular trade show booth for Alfabus Europe – a brand specialising in green mobility – for a trade show in Stockholm.
Brand storytelling in a trade show booth
The point of designing a unique trade show booth is the creation of a memorable experience for the attendees. These events usually feature thousands of booths and stands, unusual displays and frantic pr. The average attendee gets bombarded with stimuli and information and gets quickly desensitised. The task we had ahead of us was not an easy one: we needed to tell the brand’s whole story through the medium of its trade show booth, in a way that could be experienced quickly and also understood immediately. It was all about emotional connection (and yes, you can apply emotional branding to a B2B context, if you know how to tell the story).
Sustainability is its own story
Sustainability, renewable energy, the dangers of fossil fuels, and global warming are among the hottest themes of our age (pun intended). From a marketing point of view, this is good news: there is a lot to say and most people want to hear it. Bearing this in mind, we worked on finding the right angle to tell this story. Alfabus Europa offered us the perfect angle by taking an optimistic stand: the future is green. This concept gave us the two main themes that we ended up developing in the trade show booth itself. The first theme, obviously, was sustainability, which was visually conveyed by the overabundance of green elements. The second theme was the future: we wanted to present sustainable policies and business models as the only option going forward, focusing not so much on the idea of possibility, but rather on the idea of a solid vision. Sustainability is the only future we can forecast. It has to happen. It is the future.
The first of these concepts we developed by creating graphics and visuals to match the brand’s mainly green visual identity. The pièce de résistance, of course, was the bus itself – Alfabus Europa’s main product – which was used to divide the space into two sections, thus helping us to introduce the second theme. We wanted the idea of progress to be experienced, rather than expressed or explained. Visitors would enter the bus from the back (i.e. from the past) and emerge from the front (i.e. in the future). We even gave our hostesses a futuristic look, with visor-like sunglasses, all the better to convey this idea. To make the experience complete from a sensory point of view, we also played extracts from the soundtrack of “A Space Odyssey”. We also surrounded the bus with some real greenery: real pine trees, real moss, real plants, giving out the real fragrance of a cool forest, with natural sounds being played to reinforce the message.
The Alfabus Europa stand became the talk of the trade show, generating a genuine interest in the project and drawing visitors to the trade show booth with the kind of enthusiasm that is more often seen in amusement parks rather than corporate events.