Trade show visitors need to find what they want
— but also what they didn’t know they wanted!
Urgent.Agency has teamed up with Bella Center in order to reinvent the familiar trade show experience, armed with a keen eye for human behaviour and spatial logic. Through a deep dive into people’s urgent needs, we aim for nothing less than creating the most meaningful creative tradeshow in the world.
The Bella Center Hospitality Group (BCHG) is host to some of the biggest trade shows in Denmark. This has been the case for as long as most of us can remember. Thankfully, BCHG is not complacent with being top dog. Instead, they agreed to team up with Urgent.Agency as part of the Danish Design Center’s Design Plus Program. The Plus indicating that the program focuses on the added value that comes from connecting business and design with a focus on fostering new offerings and solutions.
Our romance with BCHG begins with their three international trade shows: Copenhagen International Fashion Fair (CIFF), northmodern and Art Copenhagen, collectively run by CIFF - and all based in BCHG’s Bella Center conference facility. We set up a Creative Hospitality Lab from where we interviewed, observed, explored and analyzed our way to a new understanding of the quite human needs that need addressing. In other words: we dove into the user experience!
What are visitors really into?
Our research quickly proved that the average tradeshow visitor is on a quest. A quest for inspiration, interesting people… anything that seems relevant and designed to meet their specific needs. Unfortunately, they are also lost! The massive scenery of the traditional trade show is confusing and overwhelming in sheer size and activity.
Through a series of design-driven workshops we sat down with BCHG and identified the major pain points in the user journey, thereby revealing a number of untapped potentials as well as concepts and interventions that BCHG may address in their future trade show design. One source of inspiration being urban navigation – as in, how do we read and understand spatial hierarchies, functions and flows in the city? And how may we apply these self-taught instincts to the trade show navigation and thereby put an end to random wayfinding and user frustration.
The Design Plus Program has come to an end with a list of strategic and practical recommendations for the top management. But our engagement with Bella Center lives on! Inspired by the productive process, we are taking a closer look at the whole communicative process – starting with design of signage and wayfinding. And we hope to continue on a journey moving CIFF from being a cool host of trade shows to becoming the beacon for fashion, design and art in Scandinavia.
Published by: Urgent.Agency in News and views