At one point in my childhood, I wanted to be an architect. I loved the idea of creating a space that connected with people’s emotions and created a feeling of excitement, intrigue or peacefulness.
While I didn’t pursue that career path, I’ve continued to be fascinated by architecture. Several years ago I discovered (and now follow) one of the most forward-thinking, award-winning architects focused on using smart building design to create experiential environments that inspire and delight.
Her name is Maria Lorena Lehman, founder of Sensing Architecture, and while I don’t have her as a guest on the podcast today (maybe someday!) … I did want to share some inspiration from one of her latest newsletters with you.
The topic is the principle of transition. Of course she’s talking about intentionally designing how a person moves from space to space or room to room within a building.
But the same holds true around the trade show floor or inside a booth space. Are you crafting a traffic flow that tells a story? Or are you consciously designing that flow at all? Where should an attendee’s journey in your space begin and what comes next? These are all valid questions to consider when you’re designing for the show.
But it doesn’t stop with the “architecture” of the space. Guiding the transition is important when considering booth staff too. Do you have a smooth way to hand a guest off between areas in your exhibit? Or perhaps guiding them through the entire in-booth journey? I mean … it’s sad when an attendee is left to fend for themselves with no direction inside an absolutely stunning exhibit.
As Maria Lorena says, “You can give them hints about what is to come, or you can minimize what awaits them to ultimately give them a grand surprise.” Either strategy can work on the show floor, but the key is to know what your strategy is, then educate each booth staffer on how to put it into practice.
She goes on to talk about helping people synthesize what they are experiencing, so they form memories that will linger long after they’ve exited the space. Now isn’t that exactly what you want your exhibit (or event) to accomplish?
Finally, she says, “The key is to think about transition as a means of preparation for what is next.”
In a trade show booth, that means guiding them on the journey from a lead or badge scan all the way to becoming a customer and advocate for your brand. You won’t accomplish that by accident! It takes a carefully-structured plan for follow-up after the show. Nurture your leads and help them to recall the experience they had in your booth. Help keep that positive memory alive!
If you’re intrigued to read more insights from Maria Lorena Lehman, I’ve curated a few other posts from her blog below … because you always want to take advantage of opportunities to learn from visionary thinkers, both inside and outside your industry.
More of Maria Lorena Lehman’s blog posts to explore:
- Transition is as Important as the Grand Gesture Within Your Design (the one I quoted from)
- Top 5 Ways to Spark Your Initial Creative Design Idea
- 10 Ways to Use Play in Architecture to Make it Stick
- What if Architecture Fused with Game Design?
- Architectural Smellscape: Designing for the Olfactory Occupant Journey
- 5 Reasons Augmented Reality is Good for Architecture