For better or for worse, image matters in all things! The image we see with our eyes translates to developing an opinion in our brain – we like, we dislike – and that translates into the decision to either want to buy a product based on looks, or not.
Today is my dad’s birthday. Happy Birthday in heaven, dad!
I was thinking about all the lessons he taught me – and the importance of appearance is one of the most crucial lessons I learned. After I graduated high school in 1979, my dad set me up with a job “staging” homes to sell. Daddy was a talented trim carpenter in Wichita and worked for several popular builders in our area in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Anyone with a house built in that time period probably has cabinetry that was handmade by my dad. Ironically – the house I currently live in has pre-fabricated cabinetry and is in no way special. 😦
I’ve heard so many women make comments as they tour a staged house – they say something like, “Oh I wish my house looked this nice and clean.” I have to laugh when I hear it because once a family moves into the house – the level of perfection automatically lowers! If you have to live in a house, you’re not going to keep the plastic on the carpet – you’re not going to leave all the staged silk flowers where they’ve been placed because think about it – the stuff you need to store or have on hand set there instead! A staged house is not occupied, so it’s lacking life and vitality! I’d rather see a house that looks like it’s lived in, wouldn’t you?
Working with amazing designers and staging experts, I learned how color and texture and in some cases even the smell of freshly baked bread make impressions on people interested in purchasing a house. One of the realtors actually brought dough with her to bake in the oven! Triggers are different for everyone. Some folks are turned on by sound, so we always tried to have soft music playing. It was so soft that you barely noticed it – but it was there. And remember, back in the late 1970’s, the big thing was intercom systems! We liked the idea that we could push a button in the room we’re in to talk with the rest of the family instead of yelling across the house. Those intercom systems also played music throughout the house. I’d be curious to know if they still work today. New construction does not offer intercom systems. That was definitely a late 70’s, early 80’s thing.
Appealing to the senses is what marketing is all about. Trip the trigger – make the sale. Cha-ching!
Sometimes I wish I had pursued that line of work because I’ve always been drawn to design, staging, and making a living space “speak” to people. It’s important to do the same kind of “speaking” at trade shows. Even a little touch like having a bowl of free candy available can help draw them to your booth. The rest is up to you. Sell your product. Let them know why their life will be lacking without it.
Just as my dad added special extras to every set of cabinets he made, I try to add extra to my design projects or photographs so the eye is drawn to whatever I want to be noticed. Image improvement can apply to all areas of life – personal and professional.
What can you do to build a better trade show image??? It depends on what type of product you’re selling, of course. There are creative ways to draw a crowd and then wow them. Don’t be afraid to try new things because when it comes down to it, it’s all about trial and error. If you don’t try, you won’t know. It might work! 🙂