How to survive 3 days on an exhibition stand – make friends with a hologram

How to survive 3 days on an exhibition stand – make friends with a hologram

Your exhibition stand may look OK when you set it up in the office. You may even be quite proud of it – but OK isn’t enough when you’re just one of hundreds of stands at the event.

Visitors have limited time and energy. They won’t visit every stand, so they naturally gravitate towards those with interesting things on them. And after all your effort, its agonising to see people walk past you to visit other stands. So how do you get them to stop?

I’m assuming that you already know the basics. Don’t stand glowering miserably out at people; don’t have five of you on the stand, blocking access to anyone else; attractive assistants in eye-catching clothes are old hat (oh yes, they are) and – please people – no more fancy dress.

So its got to be something different and engaging. Interactive games are still OK – most people are up for a bit of fun, they learn about your products and you can throw in a prize, too. Much hotter, though, are 3D hologram displays. These allow you to project your products in hologram form – they are very new, have a real “wow”-factor, don’t take up much space and are cheaper than you’d think.

The hologram images are viewable from 3 or 4 sides and you can really mess with people’s minds by changing what they see as they walk from one side to another. You can create a true 3D walk-around of your product, or show cut-away views on one or more sides, or views of something completely different and unexpected. It makes people stare, come forward to take a closer look – and, there you go, you have another new friend to talk to.

Holograms primarily give a dynamic, attractive visual effect. So you might want to combine them with an interactive touchscreen so that people can drill down into detailed information about your products – and this needn’t be a 100-inch interactive wall, it can just be a nearby tablet. Or, for those with very large products (engines, vehicles), why not combine these with small-scale, pull-apart models of your equipment.

People don’t know much about holograms yet because they are so new. So here are answers to questions that we regularly get asked:

Yes, you can show multiple products: either have a row of hologram units, each one showing a different product – or get a tablet controller for a single unit which allows you to call up whichever animation you want to show.

Yes, if you’ve broken something you can easily get replacement parts at a reasonable price.

Yes, you can sometimes re-use footage from 3D product animations that you already have.

Yes, of course you can turn the soundtrack down or off; if you don’t want a soundtrack at all, don’t get one.

Yes, they have travel cases so that when the exhibition ends, you can move them to reception areas, boardrooms or other events.

How big are they? The small ones are about the size of a microwave oven, but they go all the way up to 2-metre, 360-degree walk-around monsters.

Costs? From less than £2k for little ones to over £40k for the monsters.

See your exhibition stand can be interesting, different and ahead of the game – and its not as hard as you thought.