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Beginner’s Guide: How Many Acoustic Panels Do I Need?

 

 

How to Address Acoustic Issues in the Office…

 

 

Before we begin, if you are still on the fence as to whether acoustic wall panels are right for you, take a look at another of our blogs to see if acoustic panels are the right fit. If they are, then the natural next question is how many of them am I going to need in my room. For this blog, we’re going to be focusing on offices specifically, so bear that in mind. As offices present such large open areas, they can be a bit trickier to cover as opposed to home studios. Also, as every office is unique in terms of layout in design, it’s important to get the acoustic layout right.

Extremely busy environments may require a complete acoustic panelling system, while smaller, calmer offices may only require a few installations. In fact, the general rule of thumb that we recommend is a 15% – 20% wall coverage. This can be made up of acoustic wall panels, hanging ceiling panels or in conjunction with a range of other acoustic solutions. If you are looking for a solution which is not glaringly obvious, then acoustic wall panels are the way forward.

 

Acoustic Wall Panels

Acoustic Wall Panels – Photo Courtesy: BAKOKO

 

How to Fit Acoustic Wall Panels into an Existing Office Design…

 

 

First, we’re going to have a think on how acoustic wall panels integrate with the existing aesthetic. They stand out as acoustic options compared to say partition screens as they can be installed into the background of an office. At Go Displays, we offer two different designs. The common option which many clients go for is fabric acoustic wall panels. Simple in design and available in a variety of different fabric colours, these are made to measure, either to cover a wall completely or to create a number of different designs on a wall.

For context when creating a more stylish installation like the one featured below, remember that sound waves are completely erratic, so leaving hard surfaces free will ensure there is a reverberation of sound in the room. That said, if you are looking for a more stylish design which fits into your modern office, then art acoustic wall panels are ideal. These masquerade as canvas paintings, but, integrated inside the panel is acoustic foam which helps to combat ambient background office noise.

 

Acoustic Wall Panels

Photo Courtesy: Chattanooga Public Library

 

What Kind of Balance Should I Be Looking for With Acoustic Wall Panels? 

 

 

By balance, we’re talking about the distribution of acoustic panels within an office. It’s all well and good covering one section with panels, yet leaving another completely bare will cause issues to persist. It’s best to create a level balance across the office to reduce the overall reverberation levels. As mentioned before, this can be created with a balance of acoustic wall panels, hanging ceiling panels and also acoustic partition screens. With this kind of arrangement, there are various surfaces throughout containing acoustic foam. This helps to combat ambient background noise at the source and thereby preventing it from spreading across the office.

One of the common problems with acoustic foam in the past was the garish nature of the raw foam. Take a recording studio for example – while they are great for creating a pitch perfect sound, they hardly look like somewhere where you would want to sit at a desk all day. Fortunately, today’s acoustic wall panels and acoustic partition screens are taking on increasingly modern designs. This is essential for offices which are becoming increasingly vibrant.

 

 

Where Exactly Should I Place My Acoustic Wall Panels? 

 

 

One of the fortunate aspects of acoustic wall panels is that there is no wrong place to install them. What is going to make a difference in the acoustic quality of the office is the overall square footage used. Whether you decide to go with fabric acoustic wall panels or art acoustic wall panels – as long as they are spaced out evenly – they will both achieve a similar acoustic quality.

If you are particularly stuck on how much coverage you require, the folks over at Acoustic Surfaces have a robust solution:

  • Cubic Volume of the room x 3% = square footage of product
  • Height x Width x Depth x 0.03 = Sq/Ft

With this, you can calculate the approximate number of panels you will require to effectively reduce the overall reverberation within the room.

 

Acoustic Wall Panels

Acoustic Wall Panels – Photo Courtesy: Ben Kraan Architechten

 

If you require further assistance on addressing the acoustic issues within your office then we are here to help. At Go Displays, we manufacture acoustic wall panels bespoke, tailoring each to fit your office design and layout. For more information, please call 01733 232000 or send an e-mail to sales@go-displays.co.uk.

Why Do I Need Acoustic Wall Panels? – Analysis

 

 

The Complex Nature of Office Design

 

 

Office design is probably not one of the most exciting subjects you will stumble upon today. Yet for hundreds of millions of workers, the office is where they will spend a large partition of their day and a substantial slice of their lives. The world that we now live in revolves around computers and that results in monolithic offices where workers are corralled in to make the most effective use of the space. A few decades ago, you could be forgiven for mistaking an office for a cattle market.

But rather than viewing employees as cogs forming part of a machine, companies and organisations are waking up to the fact that they’re a bit more complex than that. Instead of squeezing as many people as possible into generic, carbon-copy cubicles – they are realising that there are better ways to get people to work. Acoustic wall panels and acoustic technology are a couple of the key advancements being quietly integrated to make the office more tolerable.

 

Acoustic Wall Panels

Acoustic Wall Panels – Photo Courtesy: Design Milk

 

What is the Purpose of Acoustic Wall Panels? 

 

 

Over the past 10 years, there has been a marked shift away from cubicle offices, with open plan offices taking their place. These open layouts are supposed to encourage collaboration and integration between different teams of a business. However, one of the major drawbacks on this kind of design is the noise levels that they create. When you have multiple teams working together at once, conversations, phones ringing and pens clicking all come together to create a cacophony of noise.

This is where Acoustic Wall Panels come in. They’re commonly forgotten in a lot of open work areas, although they’re a key addition for many office designers. The reason being is they can integrate seamlessly in the background, working perpetually to reduce those noise levels and you would never notice. Similarly, in environments that do not take acoustics into consideration, the focus is often on the noise, rather than how it can be addressed.

Usually, acoustic wall panels come in a couple of forms. Firstly, there are fabric wall panels, which can cover a complete wall or just sections of it. These are available in a variety of colours so they can even boost the aesthetic of the space. Then there are art acoustic wall panels which take on the guise of artwork while subtly improving the acoustic performance of the space.

 

 

What Exactly Do Acoustic Wall Panels Do? 

 

 

One of the reasons why acoustic wall panels are often forgotten is because they appear just as a simple panel. But integrated inside is acoustic foam – which you would commonly find in recording studios and auditoriums. For context, the reason that open offices often become so noisy is due to the number of hard surfaces in the area. White-washed walls and wooden floors look great in the home, but they are a nightmare when creating a productive environment.

This is because the hard surfaces reflect sound waves. So even if a co-worked is 200 metres down at the other end of the office, the presence of hard surfaces all around means that any noise they make still travels all the way to the other end. This follows the same reason why if you shout into a cave, you can hear your voice echo as there are only hard surfaces to reflect the sound.

In the context of the office, this leads to growing levels of frustration. The environment might look nice, but constantly being surrounded by loud voices, desk tapping and keyboards clacking is hardly a place to concentrate and get work done. This is why many modern offices at least use a carpet to help soak up some of those erratic sound waves. The acoustic wall panels are even more effective at reducing reverberation levels and keeping conversations reserved for their separate areas. There are even options for ceiling-hanging acoustic panels to keep the office open while reducing the number of audible distractions.

 

Acoustic Screens - Office Design

Acoustic Screens – Office Design

 

How Can Acoustic Wall Panels Benefit You? 

 

 

Whether you are a business owner or an office worker, the benefits of acoustic wall panels often go unseen. Every environment is completely different, so whether acoustic wall panels are necessary is completely subjective. This is dependent on the number of people in the area, the existing environment and the nature of work which is taking place. However, if you find yourself or your office being constantly distracted, there is a good chance that acoustic wall panels can help.

While persistent noises are unlikely to draw our attention away, it is a sudden change in noise levels which distracts us. So, if a discussion becomes quite lively or a particularly noisy co-worker picks up the phone, this will inevitably break your focus and ultimately reduce your productivity levels. This is one of the reasons why working from home has become increasingly popular in recent years as it enables staff to work in peace and silence and at their own pace.

In an open office, this is rarely the case due to the dynamic nature of most businesses. If you are looking to get more from yourself or from your employees, then taking disruptions into consideration is crucial. Tools such as headphones have been suggested before, but this ultimately defeats the purpose of open plan areas if moderation is not taken into consideration.

You only need to look at the now famous offices of modern businesses such as Google or Facebook. While your eyes are drawn to the exciting colours and fancy designs, it is easy to overlook the thinking going into the background of the design. The flexibility of these spaces and consideration for an individual’s needs is why their employees can be incredibly productive. While many of us do not have the luxury of a huge office, tools such as acoustic wall panels can be vital for creating a productive workplace.

 

Acoustic Wall Panels

Photo Courtesy: Chattanooga Public Library

 

Go Displays are designers and manufacturers of a variety of Acoustic Wall Panels. They tailor solutions based on the environment you have available. If you would like to find out more about how they can help your office design, please call 01733 232000 or send an e-mail to sales@go-displays.co.uk.

Why Is My Office So Noisy? The Value of Acoustics in an Open Office

 

 

Why is a Calm and Productive Workplace So Valuable…

 

 

If you have worked in an office before, or even if you are sat in one right now, chances are you are well aware what is meant by the term, the ‘open office’. Designed with the promise of collaboration, community and bonding, the open office theoretically had/has a huge amount of potential. In fact, a well-balanced office can even be a useful tool in attracting and retaining talent. Yet despite all this promise, the open office is a key source of frustration for office workers worldwide.

Whether it’s chatty co-workers, incessant phone ringing or even just the subtle hum of an air conditioning unit, the open office is plagued with constant and nagging distractions. While one instance of a noise can break our concentration, a persistent distraction inevitably leads to irritation and frustration. So, if you are prone to clicking the cap of your pen several times a day, you may be causing more of an issue than you expect. Chances are you are one of the many reasons why open offices make businesses less productive rather than more efficient.

 

 

Understanding Acoustics: The Science Behind It

 

 

Noise is one of the most studied factors when considering the impact of the open office. It also happens to be one of the most common complaints among employees who work in them. With that in mind, this is arguably the best place to pinpoint where the flaws in open office design are. To get a better understanding of why open offices are prone to becoming cauldrons of perpetual noise, it’s best to re-visit how sound waves work.

 

 

In the context of the office, these sound waves, like ripples you see by dropping a stone into water will bounce from solid surface to solid surface until they eventually dissipate. So, if you’ve got rustic stone walls, a thinly carpeted floor and no barriers in between, then any noise is going to travel all the way across the office and back again. Therefore, if you’re prone to tapping your pen on the desk or whistling when you’re bored, then there’s a good chance that everyone else can hear you.

Now, without locking people away in sound-proof boxes, how is it possible to concentrate in the presence of noise? Well, this can be explained by the changing state hypothesis, which in simple terms means that when a noise becomes anything but repetitive, then it is likely to drag our attention towards it. For example, we can filter out telephone conversations which regularly occur in the background, but when that person lets out booming laughter then it’s going to make you sit-up and take notice.

 

 

Acoustics

Ripple in the Water – Photo Courtesy: Alex Coltus

 

 

The Relevance of Acoustics to Your Workplace

 

 

Still with me? Okay, so how does this apply to your office. Perhaps you are one of the hundreds of thousands who endure the open office every day, perhaps you are a manager wondering why your staff never get any work done. The bottom line is that a poorly designed office damages employee morale and drains productivity. This is a core reason why huge companies are able to retain talented staff – because where they work makes it easier for them to concentrate, carrying out there work more efficiently and effectively without stressful distractions.

If you want to get more from your staff and yourself in an open office, then consideration for acoustics is vital. While distractions are annoying, persistent interruptions lead to frustration and frustration can strain relationships with co-workers long term. Considering that open offices are supposed to be happy, collaborative workplaces, keeping everyone in close proximity to each other can cause more problems than it solves.

 

 

Subtle Solutions That Can Boost Your Productivity

 

 

So, is it possible to reap all the benefits of an open office, all while eliminating issues surrounding noise and distractions? There is, and the key to this is being flexible – both the office and you.

 

Headphones

 

The simplest solution you are likely to find. If you were to wear them throughout the day, sure, it would eradicate the purpose of the open office. However, they can be a valuable tool to have on hand when you need to concentrate. Not only do they signify you are not to be disturbed, but they also block out most of if not all the surrounding ambient noise.

 

Flexible Workspaces

 

A rising trend, and one which is embedded in many modern offices for example at Google or Facebook is the idea of hot desking. This separates the office into various pods which adhere to different types of work. For example, quiet areas where talking is banned, loud areas where collaboration is encouraged and hybrid areas where you may find a permanent desk of your own. With this system, each employee has the freedom the pick the right environment for them and the work they are doing.

 

Soundproofing

 

The best way to confront noise issues is at the source and soundproofing can be a far more valuable option if you do not have the room to implement a hot desking system. As we covered earlier, sound waves will reverberate for longer if they are hitting a hard surface – much like why your voice always echoes in a cave. The way to address this is by using soft surfaces which are designed to soak up some of that sound wave. Carpeted flooring is a decent start, but to really make an impact, consider tools such as acoustic partition screens and acoustic wall panels.

The designs of these are increasingly in-keeping with modern workplaces and having the means to soak up a lot of that ambient noise helps to create an office which is far less distracting.

 

 

Acoustics

An Example of a Modern Office – Photo Courtesy: Bakoko

 

 

While the second and third options here do require some investment, the return can be substantial over time in terms of productivity and employee retention. If an office is constantly being frustrated by continuous noise throughout the day, then this only encourages stress levels to rise, creating issues that were not even necessary in the first place.

Whether you are an employee or an employer, office design is increasingly vital to the longevity of a business. By creating positive working conditions, this helps both you or your staff to focus for longer – leading to better results which are a plus for everyone. While sound waves may be invisible, they surround us all the time and addressing them in the office creates a solid foundation to build upon.

 

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Go Displays are specialist manufacturers of office partitions, acoustic pods and acoustic wall panels. With decades of experience in the industry, they have extensive experience creating bespoke solutions for modern offices. To further discuss the opportunities within your office design, you can give them a call on 01733 232000 or send an e-mail to sales@go-displays.co.uk.

 

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A quick shout out to Infinity Exhibits who featured our infographic on their blog. If you would like to find out more, then head over to their site.

 

 

3 Reasons Why You Must Consider Printed Display Boards

 

 

What Are Printed Display Boards

 

 

When searching for display boards, often our go-to is to look for pinnable or Velcro-friendly options. These have been around for years, tried & tested and proven to be reliable. However, just because we become comfortable with a product does not mean we should neglect other options out there. The most exciting part about display boards is when you can customise them, but often the result is not as we first imagine. As a remedy for this, we’re going to introduce to a unique option; printed display boards.

Flexibility is great when creating a display, but it is important to consider the message you are sending out. Traditional display board design is suitable for businesses focusing on homemade and academics promoting their work. For others seeking a more professional or high-quality result, this is where printed display boards come into their own. By integrating printed Foamex directly into the panels, it is possible to create rich, vivid displays and combine it with a portable and easy-to-use display board. For individual exhibitors, this can be an ideal solution, especially when travelling to an event.

 

Printed Display Boards

Printed Display Boards

 

1. Embracing Quality to Gain the Edge Over the Competition

 

 

The quality of a display is the defining feature which determines whether it will be a success. The printed display boards themselves are designed to have an edge over traditional designs. All the options available here at Go Displays are manufactured with high-quality materials as standard. On a structural level, this makes the display boards more resolute and protects them against minor damage in the long run. This is crucial with a printed display which you would expect to not need to change for the foreseeable future.

The material which distinguishes the printed display board is the introduction of Foamex sheets. These are integrated within the panel, creating a seamless finish. Foamex is flexible by itself, however, the option of being able to print on it makes it unique. The structure of the Foamex ensures it is a favourite of digital designers as you can achieve high-quality, aesthetically pleasing results. It is also cheaper than other alternatives, as well as being extremely durable, guaranteeing a favourable return on investment for the user.

 

 

2. Integrating a Design Which is Eye-Catching

 

 

So, why opt for printed display boards when you are committed to a design? Obviously, if you are looking to change the format for every event, the printed boards are not for you. However, if you require a consistent design for multiple shows, then they provide a long-lasting and higher quality result. Furthermore, if you find yourself constantly struggling to tweak a display design, then now is an ample opportunity to pay a bit extra to get the professionals in.

All graphics are printed digitally, which means you can contract a professional designer to do the work for you. You can feed in your ideas, some photographs, as well as the text and then the visual side, is all taken care off. Printed display boards are a long-term solution, and commissioning a professional design ensures they retain their value. Consequently, the design of the display also rubs off on your brand. This helps to create a positive first impression when you first meet some of your potential new clients.

 

 

3. Designed to Last

 

 

Traditional display boards can often be filed under the cheap and cheerful category. This also means that its potential is limited by your creative ability. But just because marketing/design is a weakness, does not mean that your product or service need be hampered by it. Printed display boards are likely to cost more, but their design is developed around making that investment go further. While a home-made display may yield moderate success for a short-time, a printed display can be optimised to provide an excellent display tool for many years to come.

It’s this ethos which printed display boards from Go Displays are developed upon. We introduce quality materials at every stage of the manufacturing process. This helps to ensure a fantastic product when it arrives with our clients but also guarantees they can retain their lustre even after they have has been used multiple times. As a commitment to that promise, all the printed display boards that we produce include a five-year manufacturer’s guarantee.

 

Printed Display Boards

Printed Display Boards

 

Go Displays design, print and manufacture exhibition stands and display boards. A family-run business, we value creating display tools which are built-to-last and designed to impress. For further information on how we can help, please get in touch. To do so, either call 01733 232000 or send an e-mail to sales@go-displays.co.uk.

Introducing the Delta Animal Nursery Screens

Create Nursery Screens with Some Fun

 

Nurseries and classrooms are often quite hectic at the best of times, especially when there are multiple activities on at the same time. To remedy this, we have adapted the Delta Acoustic Screen for a younger audience. What this does is incorporate all the acoustic absorbent qualities which make them such a success in offices and scale them down to a child-friendly screen. We have taken inspiration from a variety of the most memorable farm-yard animals and transformed them into a stylish partition screen.

 

Delta Animal Nursery Screens

Delta Animal Nursery Screens

 

This helps to create familiarity when introducing room dividers to a nursery or classroom. Currently, we have designs for a pig, chicken, sheep and even a bear, with much more animals on the way. We’d love to hear your thoughts on these initial designs as well as any suggestions you have for which animals you would like to see transformed into fuzzy partition screens.

 

What makes the Delta Animal Nursery Screens unique is that they do much more than your conventional nursery room divider. With acoustic foam integrated inside, they help to soak up some of the ambient background noise, therefore helping you to keep a cover on playtime and keep activities separate.

 

So, let us know what you think in the comments below, or you can get in touch via our social media channels!

 

Delta Animal Nursery Screens

Delta Animal Nursery Screens

 

Go Displays design and manufacture bespoke exhibition stands and office furniture. Our partition screens are tailored with the modern open office in mind, meaning they are tried and tested when it comes to keeping commotion under control. For further information or to make a suggestion, please call 01733 232000 or send an e-mail to sales@go-displays.co.uk.

Infographic: How to Guarantee Success at Exhibitions & Trade Shows

 

Please click the image to zoom or hit CTRL + scroll with the mouse wheel.

 

How to Guarantee Success at Exhibitions

How to Guarantee Success at Exhibitions

 

Share Our Exhibitions Infographic On Your Site

 

If you have enjoyed our infographic and would like to share it with your followers, then we are more than happy for you to do so. All we ask is that you include a link back to our site -http://www.go-displays.co.uk. Below is an embed code which makes embedding the image straightforward – you can even adjust the width size to ensure it fits your site.

 

 

If you require further advice or for are in need for an exhibition stand for your event, then please head over to our site for more information.

To Buy or Not to Buy: Pop-Up Stands

 

 

A Conclusive Guide to the Most Popular Exhibition Stand

 

 

Whether you are a seasoned exhibitor or relative newcomer, I would wager that you know what a Pop-Up Stand is. It’s been the staple tool of the modern event marketer for the best part of two decades. The simplistic yet stylish design has ensured it is more affordable and more efficient than most custom-built alternatives. Its introduction came when there was a drastic shift in event marketing, as many of the key names turned away from dedicating huge sums to multiple events. In the line with most of the general advice that you will receive today, that means attending exhibitions which are relevant and do not require a £10,000 entry fee just to attend.

Modular exhibition stands still feature at trade shows. However, the swathes of pop-up stands and related displays mean that there is the space for even small companies to shine. As the pop-up stand begins to reach the point where it is older than some of the people attending the exhibition, it’s understandable to begin looking towards modern alternatives which cater to the contemporary event marketer. However, with changes in the event industry, the pop-up stand has continued to grow with demand for exhibition displays.

 

Pop-Up Stands

Pop-Up Stands

 

To Buy: All You Need to Know About Pop-Up Stands

 

 

Pop-up stands have remained popular for so long because of one factor; simplicity. If we were to travel back 40 years, a business calendar would revolve around trade shows throughout the year. Tens of thousands would be spent and huge teams would be deployed to get newly released products into the hands of influencers. Now, with the world-wide-web, there simply is no room in the budget for such an outlay. Statistics have shown that businesses are attending fewer events, instead concentrating their outreach to a select few relevant exhibitions.

As this depletes the demand for event marketers, it means that teams attending events are smaller and they require a display stand which adapts with them. This is the main strength of pop-up stands. Compact in size and simple to configure, they allow the exhibitor to travel, set-up, exhibit and pack away all on their own.

Furthermore, these events have evolved beyond just being a direct selling event. Instead, there are far more networking elements, encouraging the development of relationships and business partnerships. As such, there is no longer a large demand for custom-built, modular display stands. While the exhibition stand is there to promote branding, products and services, it serves more as a backdrop. Meanwhile, marketing tools such as product demonstrations, video and virtual reality are increasingly used to promote the product.

 

 

Not to Buy: What to Avoid When Searching for Pop-Up Stands

 

 

One of the key demands from modern exhibitors is for the exhibition stands to last the season. In this space, quality almost always prospers over the price tag. Cheaper models and cheaper alternatives are often blighted with durability issues which goad the exhibitor into spending their money over and over again. When pop-up stands rose in popularity, it was because they could be modified throughout the year. This allows them to adapt to different events without the outlay required for a new stand. Versatility should be a key priority when investing in a new trade show stand.

For a busy exhibitor, they may only change their graphic design a few times a year. That said, considering the exhibition stand will play a vital role in projecting the brand to the show floor, it is crucial to perfect the design. Blurry images, ineligible text and blinding colours simply turn away any potential clients. Despite being cheaper than modular exhibition stands, there is no reason why pop-up stands should compromise in the design. In fact, there are a variety of options available which allow the user to create a similar, eye-catching effect.

Remember, any exhibition stand is an extension of your brand and opting for a lacklustre stand and design can reflect onto you. As the pop-up stand is well-established, all it requires is a polished design to create a professional backdrop. Some modern alternatives have yet to build such esteem, so ensure all the features are thought through to ensure they are suitable for your brand.

 

 

The Alternatives

 

 

Generally, a pop-up stand drops right in the middle of what exhibition stands are available. On one end of the scale, there are cheaper, smaller options. This includes banner stands and fabric display stands which are even easier to use but lack some of the impact found with the pop-up. Then, at the other end of the scale are the bespoke modular exhibition stands. These can be extremely impressive in size and quality – however, you must be prepared to pay for such a result.

Nowadays, these custom-built exhibition stands are often only used by organisations focused on a single key event or larger businesses with a significantly bigger budget available. These stands are completely unique, making them the most effective way to promote a brand at an event. Another cost of that, however, is the logistical issues that can come with it. Due to the size and technicality of some of the pieces, they often require dedicated teams to transport them and set them up, further depleting the potential return on investment.

As manufacturers of bespoke pop-up stands for many years, our slightly biased opinion is that they hit the sweet spot for exhibition stands. They’re not overly expensive but are not so cheap as to compromise on the quality. Meanwhile, they are easy to use, taking out the stress of travelling to and from the event. When used by ourselves and our clients, the pop-up stand has proven to be a reliable companion when promoting our brand, products and services.

 

Pop-Up Stands

Pop-Up Stands

 

About the Author:

 

Go Displays design and manufacture bespoke exhibition stands, pop-up stands and banner stands. Based in Peterborough, they have developed and refined the design of their stands over the years. For more information on how Go can help you to promote your brand, please call 01733 232000 or send an e-mail to sales@go-displays.co.uk.

How Are Trade Shows Embracing Virtual Reality?

 

 

Providing a Unique Insight Which is Unavailable Anywhere Else…

 

 

Virtual reality was a matter of science fiction less than 100 years ago, yet today it is very much reality. With a quick search, you can quickly pull up grainy programmes from the 1950s and 1960s which predicted how the future would look. Some ideas such as video messaging and computers in the home have become a reality. Yet, for a while, it looked as though virtual reality would drift into obscurity, much like the flying car. There were shoddy attempts over the next four decades until a breakthrough was made in 2010 by the team which would later found the Oculus Rift.

In the seven years since the Oculus VR and a variety of competitors have undergone development and been released globally. From its original purpose for video games, the potential of virtual reality now lends itself to sectors including; education, medical, mental health, military and the events industry. In most cases, virtual reality has proven to be a revelation for these industries, providing a unique way to immerse people in certain situations without economic and logistical barriers. For example, the introduction of these VR headsets for the trade show industry has provided marketers with a unique tool to appeal to their target audience. Furthermore, the same can be said for brands who can now let their users experience the work they do.

 

Virtual Reality - Photo: Maurizio Pesce

Virtual Reality – Photo: Maurizio Pesce

Why Virtual Reality is Being Used Within the Trade Show Industry…

 

 

The format of trade shows is relatively clear cut for attendees now. You turn up, walk around the show floor until you see a stand which grabs your attention. Usually, it’s a familiar brand name, competition or demonstration which pulls you in. After taking it in for a minute or two, you will probably be approached by one of the team members on the stand who will tell you more about the company and what they are doing there today. Then rinse and repeat for 100 more stalls. Well, when you are attending several of these events every year, the same cookie-cutter sales pitch starts to wear thin and it’s often one of the main reasons why people stop attending.

However, virtual reality has begun to shift this slide. Before you may have had to ‘listen intently’ through a well-rehearsed sales pitch delivered by a beaming representative just to find out a vague idea of what they have to offer. Assuming you did not zone out completely, you can then decide whether finding out more is worth your time. Instead, with virtual reality, it is possible to get rid of that interaction completely. Sometimes, a brand’s mission, products or services cannot be explained with words. Previously, exhibitors would use video to convey these ideas but consider the fact they are readily available online, where is the value in attending trade shows?

This is why virtual reality has become a revelation for exhibitors. Unless their target audience is likely to have a £499 VR headset sat at home. Then, chances are you can offer them an experience unlike what they can try in their living room. The internet had been eating up what could be considered unique about trade shows. However, now there is a reason for exhibitors to continue attending.

 

 

How Virtual Reality Works…

 

 

Without going into the technical details, describing virtual reality is tough. The headset itself is designed the block out the physical world around you while immersing you in a digital environment. In the past, companies have used it to display 360-degree videos. These keep you on a rail track (meaning you cannot walk around), however, you can look around you and see a completely different perspective.  For example, if you were looking to sell a holiday or excursion, I’d feel more excited after experiencing something like the video below, rather than flicking through a brochure.

 

 

Rather than spending 10 minutes trying to explain a complex product or situation, instead it can be summed up in an immersive 3-4-minute video. This kind of technology is exceptionally useful for companies who cannot fit their product or service onto the show floor. For manufacturers, virtual reality can be used to show how products are made. For vehicle producers, they can let users experience their product in action. Or for holiday destinations, the potential client can be whisked away, even just for a few minutes.

This kind of interaction can be incredibly effective in closing a sale. Much of the selling at trade shows now tends to take place afterwards, after the potential client has had the opportunity to weigh up their options. Having an experience like this has proven to have significant sway on a final decision. This especially applies when you are not simply peddling a ‘we’re cheaper than everyone else line’. People are comforted by the idea that they are getting the most from their money and virtual reality provides a guarantee on that.

 

 

How Virtual Reality Can Be Applied to Any Business

 

 

Virtual reality can be used as an extension to any exhibition stand. Much of the concern from initial users stems from the technicality of creating the product demo as well as the overall cost. Well, considering there are quite a few virtual reality headsets which are commercially available now, the peripherals are likely to cost significantly less than the stand itself. That said, it’s important to consider whether VR is worth your investment. If the product or service you provide can be simply explained in words or with a video, then you are better off using the money elsewhere.

If it provides a rich insight into an element of your business which you struggled to convey before, then read on. First up, identify the hardware you are going to use. Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive are the two most dedicated and immersive tools, but that means you’ll need to shell out more of your budget. Alternatively, Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR are significantly cheaper, however, you will have to sacrifice some of that immersion.

Then find an agency to take care of the demo for you. The cameras used to capture these shots are incredibly expensive. So, make sure, you do your research on the developer to guarantee a professional finish which is going to make your exhibition experience worthwhile. From there you should be ready to go. One point to mention, keep the length of the presentation under 3-4 minutes or you might give your potential client motion sickness…

 

 

Virtual Reality in action at SXSW (Photo by Nan Palmero)

Virtual Reality in action at SXSW (Photo by Nan Palmero)

 

About the Author:

 

Go Displays design and manufacture bespoke pop-up stands and exhibition stands for a wide array of clients. Each is tailored to their individual needs, providing us with valuable insight into how to create an effective exhibition stand. For further information on the services we provide, please call 01733 232000 or send an e-mail to sales@go-displays.co.uk.

 

Key Design Trends of Pop-Up Display Stands in 2017

 

 

Styles and Tones You Can Expect to See This Year

 

 

The design is at the heart of any great marketing strategy. Whether it is the outer appearance or the inner cogs, any of the great pop-up display stands are reliant on diligent planning and professional execution. Every year, new trends come and go as designers and businesses alike jostle to get the edge over the competition. 2016 was the year when exhibitors truly began to embrace curves, sustainability and we saw the first signs of augmented reality entering the exhibitions industry. Digital media such as these are key tools which exhibitors have been utilising to ensure their pop-up display stands are unique. Furthermore, graphic design trends are evolving in tandem to grasp the attention of anyone and everyone walking by.

For exhibitors who have attended many different events, the design of their pop-up display stands is often tailored down to the finest detail. Perfecting the display requires placing yourself in the attendee’s shoes and forgetting everything you think you know. Often, the most successful displays are those which veer away from the well-trodden ground of their competitors. While many of the trends featured below will figure prominently with many leading exhibits in 2017; where they really shine is when they are linked with the unique brand of the organisation.  Jumping onto the trends bandwagon can be great for exposure, but only when coupled with making it relevant to your identity.

 

Pop-Up Display Stands

Pop-Up Display Stands

 

Graphic Design of Pop-Up Display Stands – The Cornerstone of Any Exhibit

 

 

The visual appeal of the exhibition stand was once the primary focus for any exhibitor. Before we had flat-screen televisions and social media, the only way of getting your branding seen was through physical products. In what was considered the heydey of exhibitions, competitors would invest tens of thousands into a stand which would literally tower over the competition. Nowadays, the playing field is far more level, however, the artwork of the stand still plays a crucial role. In terms of which styles to explore, we only need look at some of the designs adopted by those who have gone before.

Bright and loud colours are unsurprisingly back in fashion. Over an extended period of time, powerful yellows, bright reds and imposing blues can be overbearing. But when you have just a few seconds in the exhibition hall, an eye-catching shade can make the difference. The same reasoning is why minimalist artwork is prominent once again. Walls of text are hardly endearing when there is so much to see. Therefore, it is vital to create a design which is short, succinct and gets straight to the point. When it comes to images to complete the design, there is no better choice right now than authentic photographs. In the past, poor printing technology contributed to blurry images which ruined the stand. Now it’s the opposite, as breath-taking images can be used at the centre-piece of the stand.

 

 

Engagement – Why We All Should Be Taking Notice of Virtual Reality

 

 

Engagement is the key to any marketing activity. We can spend millions securing clicks through to our site, but if there are no means to convert, then what is the point? The unique selling point at exhibitions used to be that you could talk to an expert and gain the inside track. Now, all of that can be conveniently displayed online. Therefore, exhibitors need to make the most of the fact that their audience will be there in person. In the event that bringing your product with you to the showroom may be impractical or pointless, then being able to show visitors your product in action, provides a completely unique experience.

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality are emerging technologies in this field. Initially developed for the gaming industry, VR equipment such as these create an experience which is completely unique. In many cases, they provide a revolutionary way to experience a service or product, without the need to have one there in person. Videos are still a popular tool for exhibitors, although, their accessibility online has dampened their impact on the show floor.

 

 

Engaging Event Marketing with Digital Marketing to Create a Complete Strategy

 

 

Exhibitions still hold great sway over consumers and buyers and to make the most of this, marketers are having to engage with both audiences. Using social media at events has been around for quite a few years. However, sending out a few tweets while you are there does very little to create conversions. Similarly, the sight of a stall holder armed with a tablet computer is becoming a far more regular occurrence. These technologies hold a great deal of potential with very little pay-off, although many exhibitors are still struggling to make the most of them.

For example, intuitively designed apps and games can be used to gather data on those playing them. Traditionally, this could only be achieved with a monotonous, drop-down form to fill out. This not only engages them for a few minutes, but it also provides a prime opportunity to promote your brand further. With trade shows regularly being attended by hundreds or even thousands of exhibitors, it’s crucial to make the most of those 3-5 minutes that you get with a potential client.

Engagement reaches beyond the show floor of course, as innovative social media managing can spark interest from followers at home. Live streaming has become a popular trend here as it displays the event in all its glory, without any post-production nonsense. The joy of this is that it is then available for attendees to see, potentially triggering more attendees to visit the stand on a later day.

 

Virtual Reality in action at SXSW (Photo by Nan Palmero)

Virtual Reality in action at SXSW (Photo by Nan Palmero)

 

About the author:

 

Go Displays are expert designers and manufacturers of bespoke exhibition stands. Our work has enabled us to work with a variety of unique and interesting projects for clients. For further information on the services we provide, please call 01733 232000 or send an e-mail to sales@go-displays.co.uk.

Are Exhibitions Still Relevant in the Digital World?

 

 

What Does the Digital World Mean?

 

 

We can all agree that we are now in the midst of the digital age. Rather than being driven by the fire and ovens which defined the industrial age, instead it is computers and information which are driving us forward. The coal mines and steel factories which once supported communities and created new ones are now all but obsolete. As the digital era of computers evolves, industries and practices which we once accepted as the norm will gradually be phased out in favour of more efficient methods. The factory, a common sight in most countries across the western world was once the lifeblood of the nation. Now, with the advent of machines and automation, the whole process is streamlined, drastically reducing the necessary input of labour.

In that sense, change is inevitable and it is happening all around us. For example, print newspapers were once delivered to every home on a daily basis, brimming with news from across the country. Now the industry is ailing and struggling to compete with free, and easily accessible versions available online. In the same vein, interest in shopping on the high street is also waning. For many, why spend the best part of a day trapesing around busy town centres when goods can be ordered with the click of a button online? The events industry is another, seemingly under threat. Where is the benefit of travelling hundreds or even thousands of miles for an event, when e-mail and video-conferencing now exist?

 

Digital Exhibitions - Credit: Aminul Islam Sajib

Digital Exhibitions – Credit: Aminul Islam Sajib

 

The Future of Exhibitions in the Digital World

 

 

One important point to keep in mind is that while manufacturing may no longer an integral part of the digital era, it still exists. Very few of the practices and methods which were once so crucial became obsolete so fast. The same can be said for newspapers, the high street and event marketing. While their demand may have dropped due to new technology, they often find ways of adapting to survive. The print industry now offers digital versions. The high street is underdoing rejuvenation to highlight the value of visiting the store. Then, events and exhibitions are embracing digital technology, rather than competing against it.

For exhibitors and purchasers, it is not time to give up on exhibitions and display stands. It’s true that video conference calls allow us to connect with contacts half way across the world. But how can you create those contacts without ever getting your foot in the door? It’s true you can reach out to more people in a few hours than you can at an exhibition. But how many of these e-mails fall into a spam folder or leave a poor first impression with a potential new client? It may seem like we can conduct our lives through a computer screen, but human interaction will always be an incredibly valuable tool.

 

 

The Advantages of Committing to Exhibitions in the Future

 

 

There are many benefits of creating and building relationships in person. First and foremost, establishing a positive first impression is crucial for any future development. If a potential client gains a negative potential insight into the company, the chances of them later doing business is significantly decreased. For small businesses in particular, being able to speak to fellow industry professionals in person provides them with the opportunity to demonstrate that there is potential. If the client is looking to establish a partnership for the future, they will be looking at the people they will be dealing with rather than just the business.

When announcing a new product, even with the diverse methods which already exist, exhibitions and trade shows remain an extremely effective marketing tool. These events are not just attended by other businesses, they are visited by professionals, journalists and bloggers. Securing a re-tweet or share from them online often proves to be a struggle. However, launching that product live and being able to get it into their hands there and then does not require an exuberant marketing campaign. Rather than committing tens of thousands to PPC, allow your product or service to do the talking.

One benefit which is often forgotten comes in the form of the social events after the show floor closes. Nowadays, these events are less about buying and selling in the day. Instead, it provides the opportunity to develop some ideas and get to know the people they could be working with. After establishing a rapport with a new contact, the social events in the morning, midday and evening provide ample opportunity to solidify some of those contacts.

 

 

How Are Exhibitions Adapting to the Digital World?

 

 

New media such as a video and social media have been beneficial innovations for exhibitions and trade shows. While there is the potential in the future for wholly digital trade shows, it remains to be seen how they could re-create the vital social aspect of these events. Instead, exhibitions, their attendees and their display stands are all adapting to a changing world. These events are seldom about who has the biggest display stand anymore. The attendees often value quality over quantity and many appreciate the hidden values of companies which are not lumbered by a big brand name.

Exhibitions and trade shows provide unrivalled access to companies such as these. Online, they may be hindered by Google algorithms or a lack of followers. However, on the show floor, they stand equal with major names in the industry. This coverage can even be harnessed to enhance their digital presence too. Clever competitions can be used to highlight social media, while establishing a rapport with a blogger may garner valuable referrals.

When sat behind a computer screen, it is impossible to see the value which exhibitions still provide. Important contacts and connections are made and nurtured, but not shouted across social media. These relationships can open doors to avenues never considered and perhaps were never possible when operating exclusively in the digital world.

 

Display Stands

Display Stands

 

Go Displays are UK-based manufacturers of display stands, exhibition stands and office partitioning. Creating bespoke display stands for a variety of clients has provided us with incredible insight into exhibitions. To find out more about how we can enhance your exhibition experience, please call 01733 232000 or send an e-mail to sales@go-displays.co.uk.

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