What Woods Bagot’s Josh Carmody is Looking Out for at Melbourne Indesign

  1. Products It is a no brainer – but one of the main reasons behind Melbourne Indesign is to provide an opportunity to show your products. Be sure to have a plan on how you can best display your products in relation to the Indesign event and crowd.If possible, put an emphasis on new products. If you have just released a new line or have added to an existing range, it is worth using Melbourne Indesign as an opportunity and platform to promote this. Beyond the day being an opportunity for the showrooms to display their wares, it is also an opportunity for your clients to see new works in person, as opposed to online and in marketing material. Furthermore, a new product release provides an additional reason for people to attend your event on a day where there are multiple destinations to attend. A new product is also further point on which to base marketing for your event.
  1. Products in use When your clients are back in their respective studios, it can be hard for them to anticipate the impact of a particular range or pieces beyond the photographs and marketing material at their disposal.For example, collaborative working environments are a growing market but they are not the industry standard. Different furniture arrangements are being geared towards this growing market, and Indesign would be a good opportunity for designers and specifiers to see how these ranges of furniture engage and work with a group of people in a social setting similar to their intended use. While the aforementioned example is not applicable for all, I’m sure you have ideas on how you can demonstrate your points of difference to your clients through similar types of engagement with your products.
  1. Emerging Designers If you have products designed by emerging designers, have these designers at your showroom for the day to speak with and socialise with your clients. Their stories are great talking points for your clients to pass on to their clients. These insights, stories and information are a great way to create lasting impressions for the products you sell.
  1. Established Local Designers/Brands The same reasons and benefits listed above with regard to your emerging designers can be applied to your more established designers. However, your established designers often have larger networks of their own, and may well have had their works specified previously by your clients.Established designers and brands have a kind of insight and perspective on the industry which can only come with experience, and personally I always enjoy speaking with these people at events. They can be an ambassador for you, much in the same way you are an ambassador for them.
  1. Overseas Products and Brands Few showrooms stock exclusively Australian products. Products from overseas designers and manufacturers have a valuable place in the market and these products deserve attention also. At an event where design and manufacturing quality is always on the agenda for discussion, why not add some products for a tangible market comparison between local and overseas?
  1. Green Products/Locally Made Products/Points of Difference If your products are marketed towards and comply with the requirements of different environmental/sustainability ratings it is a good idea to have these on display somewhere or at least have this information close at hand for those looking for these particular items.
  1. Collaborations The Project is a great part of Indesign where various designers and studios collaborate with showrooms to decorate and fit out their space for the event. The results are always eye catching and great talking point, not to mention an opportunity to develop relationships with different designers and studios, helping to raise their profile as well as yours.
  1. Well thought out use of space/curation Indesign is a chance to interact with clients in your space, where you are most comfortable and familiar (as opposed to in their studio or in an exhibition hall). Use this to your advantage and have a plan in place so you can capitalise on this rare situation.Curate your showroom especially for the event; decide in advance what you want to display, how people will circulate through your space and which areas they can congregate in to catch up with other attendees. If you want to turnover a large number of people through the door and through your space, and back out again this can be achieved passively through your floor plan layout. If you want people to stay and chat, cater for this in your planning. Have a goal and plan in advance.
  1. The Unexpected By definition, this is difficult for me to prescribe but what I am getting at is somewhere within your plan for your event, there should be room for you to do something interesting and unexpected to set you apart for the other exhibitors. Whether this comes from an area previously mentioned like a new product or an interesting collaboration through The Project, or whether the unexpected lies in your catering or some entertainment.One example that comes to mind is the photo booth one year at Stylecraft. Everyone was dressing up with their friends and co-workers and getting their photos taken in a photo booth and laughing at the photo printouts. What many people didn’t know, or (maybe it was just me who didn’t know) is that the photos were being stored digitally, and the next week, each studio or designer who attended Stylecraft that day received a follow up email thanking them for attending. And attached to his email were their photos from the photo booth. These unexpected additions to an event have lasting memories for your clients.
  1. Personality Melbourne Indesign is a chance for your clients to meet, and interact with the people behind the company as well as the people around your company. Breaking down the barriers and formalities of meetings and studio visits can be a great way to build and further develop positive relationships with your clients.