Last month I attended a trade show, at one of the booths there was a rather large black box hanging from the ceiling that dropped below people’s head height. It had a hole at the bottom, to put the head through it. It attracted attention, it was curious to see such a large object that you would bump into in the middle of the stand and it also made you curious about what would be inside the box, what you would see or what would happen when you put your head through the bottom hole.

How cool! I thought, a stand that has caught my attention, that has captured my curiosity and that proposes an action that I want to do, that does not happen with all the stands, so I got ready to put my head in that big black cube full of excitement to discover what I was going to find, what was my disappointment when I put my head in and all I see, in the four inner sides of the cube, are images of the products that the exhibiting company was selling, what? I thought, I’ve been taken for a ride, what kind of experience was that? That was certainly not what I was expecting, neither I, nor all the people who were anxiously waiting to discover the contents of the bucket.

In a booth it is very important to look for the experience, that the visitor does something, participates, interacts, feels, learns, has fun, in short, that we make him live an experience that at the end of the day, after having passed through hundreds of booths, he remembers our booth and has a positive feeling towards our company. To do this, we must create and plan an action, depending on what we want to achieve. What do we want visitors to do after passing through our booth, that is the key, to know what we want to get, and plan the experience of our booth to achieve our goal. We cannot think of an action simply because we want people to stop at our booth or because we know that what makes a booth memorable is precisely that the visitor does something.

The black box company did make me remember their booth at the end of the show, but certainly not that I had a positive feeling towards them, quite the opposite. Clearly he didn’t think about what he wanted me to do after looking inside his black box because I just walked right out of there.

We must first think about what action we want the people who pass by our booth to take and based on that we will plan an experience that will result in the participants taking the action we want them to take.

To achieve that result we have to focus on the visitors.