Accuray’s preferred means of approaching its trade show marketing is to bring its CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System to the show floor because the system is quite the draw on its own. The challenge occurs when Accuray doesn’t have enough room or budget in its exhibit to bring the entire system—which requires about 400 square feet for just the product display.
“When we have a 40-foot-by-40-foot exhibit or larger we bring our entire treatment suite. But when we have a smaller space we have to get innovative ” says Patti Cardoza exhibit manager for Accuray.
Cardoza is not alone in finding that space limitations are as much an opportunity as an obstacle. Four approaches for when less needs to be more:
Create a virtual version. Cardoza is one of the many marketers who knows that where there’s a will there’s a way. “Cutting to a smaller space does force you to get creative ” she says.
At a recent show Cardoza turned to a virtual reality game to engage physicians. The VR experience illustrated how Accuray’s software technology allows for the exact replication of respiration during treatment of the lung. “The contestants had an opportunity to treat a lung tumor and compete with our software delivering our message via a hands-on experience ” says Cardoza. The result was a big score for Accuray—within a 20-foot-by-20-foot space.
Create an logical connection. When GM Service and Parts Organization didn’t have additional booth space to show its growing parts inventory it was forced to take a look at how it was displaying the products. “We showed everything the way it’s sold—individually. Lots of parts on display walls and not a lot of synergy ” says Russell Riben experiential marketing manager for GM Service and Parts.
After careful analysis Riben realized that a better approach was to think in terms of how the customer buys the product. Now GM inspires customers by showing them how the parts work together. “Once the customer sees how great it all looks together they say ‘Yes I’ll take all of that ’” says Riben.
Leverage buzz for business. Printroom is a service for professional photographers that showcases their photos then fulfills print and gift item orders—freeing their time so they can focus on taking pictures. Downsizing from a 20-foot-by-30-foot exhibit to a 20-foot-by-20-foot exhibit the company needed a high-profile attraction that drew photographers and segued into a business conversation.
“Our strategy was to excite the attendees and showcase what we can provide ” says Andrew Baum vp-marketing for Printroom. Baum accomplished this by setting up the exhibit like a professional photo studio—complete with lighting and professional models. Then he brought in an expert photographer to give advice and do demonstrations around working with models. This led to a conversation of how Printroom’s services work and their benefits to the photographer. Customers could also be in the shoots with the models—which added an extra element of fun.
Baum says that one of the benefits of his approach was the tremendous buzz it generated on the floor. “Go for word of mouth. It’s very effective and cost efficient ” he says.
Create a reason for repeat visits. At another show Accuray hired a professional Lego sculptor to create a Lego version of CyberKnife. As the show progressed the sculptor added a Lego patient table doctor and patient. Visitors returned daily to check the progress—learning a little more about CyberKnife each time. “We were at the back of the hall and expected low traffic—but our results far exceeded our expectations ” says Cardoza.