Joe Greeley here, with Nimlok Minnesota.

Here’s what’s on my mind – Exhibit Technology.

When you think of technology, what do you think of?  Do you think of your phone, your iPad, your computer, your car? All sorts of things. It’s everywhere. We’re surrounded by it. It’s even in your tennis shoes.  Your tennis shoes talk to your wristband, which talks to your phone. You can’t avoid it, it’s here to stay.

Now, when I think of technology, I think of how far we’ve come. I can snap a photo of myself on my phone, text it to my long lost Uncle Shamus in Ireland, and within 20 seconds have his response.  “Oh, Joe, you look very, very handsome! And you’ve also grown quite a bit.”  I send him a quick reply within 10 seconds to say, “Hey Uncle Shamus – I’m the same height I’ve been for the last 30 years.”  He responds, “I’m not talking about your height!” Oooh! Either way, the technology worked, didn’t it?  It stung a little bit, but it worked.

What I’m really here to talk about today is technology and how you use it in your exhibit.  Too often we are posed with the question “Hey, I need technology in my exhibit.  We’re a cutting edge company and we have to have technology.”  Great!  How do you want to use it? “We have no idea – we just want technology.  A big screen! Yeah, that’s it, a big screen – maybe a touch screen!  And Bob in our office does some killer PowerPoints!”

Now, nothing against Bob, and nothing against technology, but this is all backwards.  I’m sure Bob does a wonderful job on his PowerPoints.  That’s great for a meeting, but probably not so great for a trade show.

So here are some things I want you to think about when you’re thinking about technology, before you actually get started and start requesting certain things.  How are you going to use it?  So, are you going to use it to educate? Is it going to educate your audience – is it going to help to inform them? Is it going to engage with your audience? Is it a tool to help your people tell the story? Will your people be on board with this? Will they actually want to use it?  Will they embrace it? Are they willing to get trained on how to use the technology?  Will this technology be used to stop people? To attract people? If so, how?

So these are just some of a few things I want you to think about before you start requesting technology.  Now, technology is a great thing, but it can also, if used the wrong way, overshadow your actual product or service.  You have this wonderful product and this new whizz-bang service that you’re rolling out, and then you use this technology and it’s fantastic! It’s cool – everybody flocks to it!  But do they really remember your product or your service?  Or do they remember the actual technology.

Think about it this way.  Think about the funniest commercial you’ve ever seen. Every now and then you think, that’s funny! That’s hysterical!  Then when you’re done you think, hmmm, what was it for?  It was funny, but I don’t really remember what it was for. Well, the humor overshadowed the actual product or service.

So again, think ahead, plan, talk to your staff about the best way to use it, how to engage and what is it going to be used for.

That’s what was on my mind – let us know how we can help.