Strategy: Rather than bringing products directly to the show, Kodak used a series of easily transportable digital elements that can be reprogrammed with new content depending on the audience.
Results: Booth costs were reduced by 70% and sales expectations exceeded.
For their attendance this year at the print industry's annual commercial printing gathering, Print 09, Eastman Kodak Co., a printing and photo company, decided it was time for a booth redesign. The company's new director and VP-worldwide brand marketing and communications, Leslie Dance, wanted a design that could be easily repurposed for different shows but that also retained a consistent brand image wherever it went.
“ We decided we should look like Kodak wherever we go,” Dance said. “We wanted to make sure it was an interactive experience. We wanted to figure out a way to use digital technology and bring the experience alive. Part of it was you don't need to spend all that money [bringing products]. It's about the conversation with the customer. You still get an essence of what the product is.”
To meet the goal, the company designed a series of interactive digital screens that displayed information about its products and services. Attendees would meet a Kodak representative at a welcome desk and would then be escorted to a 24-foot-long touch screen called the “Innovation Pipeline.” On the screen, attendees were able to interact with a series of bubbles floating down the stream. Touching a bubble for a particular product or business segment would open more detailed information.
Attendees could focus on a particular product by moving to the next digital display: a series of displays with individual touch screens attached. Each pod was based on a segment of Kodak's business, such as commercial printing, packaging, publishing or data-driven communications.
After selecting a product on the touch screen, attendees would see detailed information inside the circular screen at the center of the pod.
By letting each person at the booth interact with the digital stations in their own way, the company was able to customize the booth experience for each attendee.
In addition to the two main digital elements, the booth was surrounded by application tables where customers could select a Kodak-printed product—such as a book or a magazine—and scan the product, which would activate a presentation showing how that product was produced using Kodak's technology.
Finally, the booth featured a stage resembling a late-night talk show set where the company presented panel discussions related to print services, technology and the industry in general.
At first, Dance said, some of the members of her team were worried about the major changes to the booth. The company traditionally brought its large printing products to shows. Sales members worried the customers would be expecting to see and interact with the company's physical products. However, Dance said, the booth was a resounding success with attendees.
Additionally, the changes to the design and the elimination of the need to bring their large printing products cut Kodak's booth costs by 70%, a savings that will follow them to every future show.
“It's a platform we can leverage at every trade show,” Dance said. “You don't have to bring the [printing] equipment in order to have an engaging time. Trade shows are about customers and having a conversation with them. ...We exceeded all of our sales goals.”