Ambiente is defined as "the meeting place for the market". I was fortunate to visit one of the shows which took place in Messe Frankfurt, Germany. The exhibition provided the showcase of consumer goods delivered from more than 80 countries. It is an idea place for networking and observing design innovations and trends. It included three different types of consumer goods: dinning, giving and living. This little article is my personal insights and things which inspired me about the event.
To begin with, Ambiente should be awarded with a badge of logistics. The exposition tickets provided free-of-charge ride from the Airport to the train station. Furthermore, the guests enjoyed free U-Bahn, S-Bahn and tram travels through the whole city of Franfurt. The building exposition took place in was easy to to reach with trams welcoming visitors with English translation. It is only a 6 minutes ride from the train station and tram conveniently stopped at every 500 metres.
Once you entered the building, exhibitors were be happy to meet large red signs which directed through the whole exhibition. It was easy to find what you were looking for because the floors were based on mapping principles: large letters were there to guide shinning at the end of passages. Without saying, every stand had its number. Once you have finished with one floor, you were invited to go ahead and explore 11.1, 11.2 and the others, based in different floors. If you were too lazy walk from one hall to another, there was no problem. Shuttle buses were there to help. They too visitors from hall 1 to hall 12, stopping at every each them and again, translating numbers to English.
If you suddenly felt hungry, there were more than five cafes on every floor. Visitors could have a meal just in the centre of the expo, or hide in a closed corner and taste some organic Wurst (sausages) and mashed potatoes. If the guests were not up to a proper meal, they could grab a snack at one of the many cosy minimarkets.
As it is expected in Germany, the exhibition was very easy to use, so visitors did not have any inconveniences at any level of logistics.
Most of the displays were extremely attractive and welcoming. The products were usually placed on the tables or hanged on the sides. Exhibition visitors were able to walk around every table covered with beautiful plates or glasses. In contrast, little vases and lamps were usually hanged. Some objects, such as artificial flowers or Christmas lights were suspended like lianas.
A few exhibitors such as Kare Design went beyond ordinary offering drinks and paths of cigarettes at their inside bars. However, they were only enjoyed by business people who organised an appointment. Furthermore, one flower producer provided wonderful experience giving a seat of comfortable sofam playing heavenly music and once again - placing a fancy bar inside the stand.
On the other hand, some exhibitors did not perform as well. There were cases then products were too close to one another. Visitors could not really distinguish the unique design because everything looked like a pile of carrots. At some times, you were feeling as standing in a Middle-East bazaar, waiting for someone to come and offer "a special price".
The most important lesson to be learnt was that exhibitors must represent their brand. The best-prepared ones were shinning with their brand. You could feel they were part of the whole picture. It was the way they dressed, the way they talked, or simply the body language they used. Everything said they were part of the company. The key factor is to believe in what you are selling.
I was lucky enough to watch business-to-business marketing with my own eyes. An exhibitor presented his knife brand to one shop owner. First lesson to be learnt - exhibitors must make buyers comfortable. In this particular example the men were making jokes and thus braking the ices, expanding their comfort zone. In the end, the exhibitor felt so familiar to the shop owner that he invited him to go out for a beer whenever he visited Spain (this is the country the exhibitor was from). Another tip to become an excellent exhibitor - show your product's practical use. For instance: the knife promoter represented the sharpness by cutting hamon brought directly from Spain, giving a piece to try after he finished. Third lesson: the exhibitor must be informed about company's history and be able to tell the story. As an example: the knife man said it was a family company which have been in business for more than 100 years and current owner is from initial family.
Visiting exhibition inspired to give attention to detail, innovate visual displays and produce satisfying experience. It was also full of exceptionary and quality design.