Boo! Will Your Tradeshow Product be a Superstar or a Fright?
Boo! Tradeshow season is here. Will your tradeshow product be a superstar or a fright? Here are three things to keep in mind.
To Market, To Market--Think Toward The Future
Don't think cheap when attending a tradeshow. Take the time to perfect the design as much as possible. Why? Simple. The more accurate the design, the easier it will be to modify it after receiving feedback at the tradeshows. Putting the time and effort in up front will make for smoother and faster transitions from CAD to finished parts. With a company like ThermoFab, you can go from completed design to finished parts in just 4-6 weeks.
Think "Touchy Feely"
Appealing to the senses is important from a marketing standpoint (did you hear about the billboard for chocolate chip cookies that gave off the scent of cookies baking?). Vibrant colors appeal to the eyes, sleek edges appeal to our sense of touch, and even the smell of a freshly thermoformed part adds a certain allure.
Your prospects need to see and touch a real product--one that can withstand bending and prodding and holding. Because of this, avoid stereolithography (SLA). But why, you might ask, considering SLA models can be created from CAD files in a matter of hours? Sure, you might have a "real" three-dimensional object in hand, but problems with SLA models exist. They're costly (the liquid photopolymer used in the SLA machine can cost upwards of $800/gallon), and the process (which involves the layering of the liquid photopolymer) is not always structurally sound. Imagine having an SLA model at a tradeshow and it doesn't bend or flex the way it's supposed to or worse--it breaks in a prospective customer's hands. Wouldn't it be better to have the actual part instead of a raw piece? Even if you attend a tradeshow with a prototype, it should be made from materials similar to those that will be used in the final product, and it should have a production finish.
Show and Sell
It might be easy to rationalize that tradeshow product displays aren't that important in the grand scheme of things. After all, the people looking at these products realize these items are just examples, right, not fully rendered parts?
Well, not so fast. Think about it. In today's hectic world and crowded marketplace, a person has only so many chances to engage a prospective customer. The beauty of tradeshows is that they're filled with captive audiences. People attend for a reason, such as a vested interest in a particular industry. Many of these people are looking for products--perhaps products like yours. Where else besides a brick and mortar storefront will you have the opportunity to speak with a hot prospect face-to-face while showing your wares? When you look at it like this, suddenly those products displayed at tradeshow booths take on new meaning. This is your opportunity to show and sell. Don't skimp.
Case in Point--Tradeshow Superstar: Particle Insight
The Particle Insight is a Particle Shape analyzer capable of capturing images and measuring numerous shape parameters of particles as small as 1 micron (about 100 times smaller than a human hair). The instrument is used by very well known companies for measurement of numerous raw materials that go into the making of final products used in many common applications. Peter Bouza worked extensively with the ThermoFab team. He summarizes the description of the process: "When this instrument was developed it was important that form and function be maximized to the full potential. This is why the development of a well designed and very attractive exterior was critical. In a sea of instruments used in industrial labs, the Particle Insight has stood out not only because of its performance but also because of its look. The sleek and curved design of the Particle Insight is a definite eye catcher not to mention that the covers were designed and produced in such a way that they are functional. In fact, the design of the covers of the Particle Insight play a significant role in the structural integrity of the instrument and also ensure compliance to all EMI shielding requirements. The covers were also designed for easy access to the instrument. In the case of the Particle Insight, the design and use of the covers that ThermoFab produces plays a significant role in the functionality of the instrument as well as the sale-ability due to its look."