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May 20, 2010 / marden928

Industry booths can be awesome presentation inspiration

A very dear friend of mine was in town last weekend for the ICFF (International  Contemporary  Furniture Fair  www.icff.org), exhibiting her fabulous wallpaper and pillow designs.  Seeing as she came in from London, I volunteered my help with setting up her booth and standing in so she could step away from her booth and maintain representation.  As part of that experience, I got to meet a lot of the other designers in from the UK and learn a bit about how one networks with potential trade partners.  And yes, of course, I found some lessons for presentation givers (because that’s the kind of girl I am – obsessed with the PowerPoint).

More successful booths had a few visual qualities:

  • Simplicity
  • Color
  • Designers who’s outfit co-ordinated with their designs (and those designers got the most press photos taken of them!)

And the most striking part was designers who said hello, stood tall with their shoulders open, made eye contact, and had something to offer the people walking by (like a card or something to take a picture with).  We also noticed that people attract more people – not because the work is any better, but because everyone wanted to see what was going on.

So, what lessons are there for you when you give a presentation:

  • Don’t be afraid of color when designing your presentation
  • Co-ordinate your outfit with your visuals – you’ll be more picturesque and maybe get more press as a result
  • Always stand up straight with your shoulders wide
  • Make eye contact!

And in general, if you’re looking for inspiration for your next presentation design, go ahead and check out art form other disciplines!  So many fantastic designs were at the IFCC – new hot colors (acqua and bright green seem popular this year), new hot trends (recycling and repurposing is big and smart – maybe something to consider for report covers?), and lots of interesting shapes.

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