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LEARNING CURVEwww.exhibition-world.net Issue 8 | 201139. High margin products are placed on the eye level of customers, lower margin products at lower levels.. Increase dwell time. Research indicates that for every minute shoppers spend in the store, they spend about three per cent more.. Keep customers in the aisles for as long as possible. The most sought after products are therefore placed in the middle section of an aisle, which forces shoppers to take a look at the other products. Also, household essentials like fl our and eggs are often put at different ends of shops so that everyone has to spend time going from one place to another.. Get shoppers to follow a path that's decided for them, either by product placement or signage (Ikea is a prominent model of this).. Good location of products is offered at a premium: Manufacturers pay slotting fees to get a premium location for their products.. Manufacturers are requested to look after the display and presentation of their products in the shelves.upermarket aisles and those found in the halls of exhibition centres around the world share more than one attribute in common. Both offer stands full of third party products, both laid out in such as way as to keep visitors moving through the venue, and both want to make sure when you do leave, you've kept the companies using the venue coming back for more.So what tricks do the supermarkets use, and what steps can you take based on how these methods are put into action? Here, former UFI president and CEO and president of Messe Cologne, exhibition business consultant Jochen Witt, discusses the similarities between our two industries.What can the design of supermarkets teach trade show organisers?At fi rst glance, the question may seem surprising. However, when benchmarking an industry's performance it is always valuable to look into other industries. As an example: in an effort to reduce aircraft emissions on the ground, air traffi c control recently turned to another industry, where every second and every turn counts: Formula One. Airports are expecting high environmental benefi ts from the adaptation of race traffi c technology to air traffi c control. The question here is: is there anything organisers can learn from supermarkets and if so what would it be? Supermarkets are designed for a high turnover of a wide-ranging inventory, aiming for the highest possible ROI for the owner/shareholders. There are some core aspects of supermarket design:. Which products to place where? Research indicates 60-70 per cent of purchases in the supermarket weren't on people's shopping list. SUPERMARKET DESIGN IS A SCIENCE; I DARE TO SAY THAT FLOOR PLANNING IN OUR INDUSTRY IS HIGHLY UNSCIENTIFIC AND UNDERDEVELOPED. ORGANISERS HAVE NUMEROUS POSSIBILITIESIt's not very common to fi nd supermarket managers explaining to product designers how they can best entice people to their products. However exhibitors benefi t from the input given to them by organisers, and mindful stand directors will often go out of their way to make sure they're getting the best out of their exhibition experience. Can you imagine marketing execs from a high-end food purveyor approaching LIDL for style advice...WHERE THE SIMILARITY ENDS

LEARNING CURVEIssue 8 | 2011 www.40exhibition-world.netSupermarket design is a science; I dare to say that fl oor planning in our industry is highly unscientifi c and underdeveloped. Floor planning in Anglo-Saxon regions follows much different patterns than in continental Europe; the reasons are manifold.However, the fl oor plan is the core distinguishing feature for the product trade fair. It sets one major condition for the success of a show, and therefore can be the seal of quality for a show.Along the lines of supermarket design, the design of an exhibition show fl oor should address the following questions: . How can a fl oor plan help to create the highest possible customer satisfaction?. How can a fl oor plan help to create highest possible ROI for exhibitors?. How can a fl oor plan help to create highest possible ROI for the organiser?The goals associated with these questions appear to be contradictory, but in fact are not. There are numerous possibilities for organisers, which can be learned from the supermarkets or have similarities to supermarkets and addressed equally. For example, dwell time of visitors in the hall may be improved by placing certain exhibitors, bellwethers, not at the front entrance of the hall but rather in the back of the hall or evenly distributed in different zones of a hall. It can be assumed that this will enhance visitor fl ow and therefore enhance the ROI of other exhibitors as visitors will spend more time fl ocking around in the hall on their way from and to the different attractions. Sophisticated signage, aisle width, location of restaurants, location of coffee or snack bars and location of forums, workshops and so on will also contribute to an improved dwell time of visitors.As with supermarkets, different areas in a hall have different visitor frequencies, even though it is frequently denied in our industry. Price differentiation for different location qualities, for example charging a premium for a premium location does in most cases result in a better return for the organiser. At the same time it enhances customer satisfaction as exhibitors get choices and customers who have a choice are generally more satisfi ed than those who cannot chose.We have heard many times that locating bellwethers anywhere but the front entrance of halls is frequently diffi cult to implement. Experience, however, shows that pricing structures based on differentiation enable organizers to reallocate those bellwethers, to increase customer satisfaction and to enhance the ROI of both exhibitors and organisers. In summary: Supermarkets have a long history of research on customer behaviour; our industry should look at some of this research work and utilize it to improve customer satisfaction and organiser's profi tability. It's not much of a jump, swapping a trolley for an exhibition programme...The layoutFloorplans are made to entice visitors around the store. Putting bread and milk at the far corner make it more likely you'll stop elsewhere along the way.AislesPlacing the biggest or most interesting brands in the centre of the aisles ensures visitors loiter for longer.Aisle endsNot just bargains. Finding a place at the end of an aisle makes products stand out that bit more, whatever they are. But if you place the big brands further back, you'll draw them in.Island standsA stand you can pass on all sides offers that much more chance you will take a look at the products on sale.Loyalty cardsIf you are a regular, you get discounted products. And more importantly, they can plan on you being there the next time.