Tips and Trends

Ask 3D Exhibits: How Do I Make the Most Out of My Drill Down?

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Drill-down programs empower your trade show attendee to pick and choose the content that is most relevant to them. Drill-downs can present high-level overviews to the “paddlers” who visit your exhibit, deliver more in-depth information to the “swimmers” who want a little more context—and dispense a myriad of specs and details to the “divers” who want granular information.

The challenge is that you need to ensure that you design your drill-down to convey your content in a way that holds attendees’ interest and reflects your brand personality. After all, you want engagement—and only the divers will have the patience to stick with you if your content is too dry.

So how do you create a drill-down that offers something for everyone—and is as appealing and on-brand as possible? After producing dozens of drill-down programs over the past decade, the 3D Exhibits technology team recommends these best practices to maximize the success of your drill down program:

1. Use your drill down to show customers what your product will look like in their environment. This is your opportunity to demonstrate something that the audience would otherwise have to visualize for themselves. For instance, a drill down can demonstrate what your product will look like displayed in the customer’s store or what your product will look like in use in a consumer's home.

The drill-down we created for Boulder Brands does the former, transforming the entire monitor into a life-sized recreation of grocery store shelving and freezer cases. Via the drill-down, retailers visiting Boulder’s booth are able to view a life-sized mockup of how Boulder’s products will look displayed in their store.

2. Integrate lifestyle and/or brand satisfaction imagery. Video or images of smiling customers experiencing the benefits of your products do more to convey your brand than any copy or charts ever could.

3. Include testimonials and case studies. Customers like to hear from other customers. What have their experiences been? What challenges have they overcome? When it isn’t feasible to have a customer in your booth to do this in person, incorporate it into your drill down.

4. Keep it moving. In order to get people’s attention, you’re going to have to be strategic. Short video, animations and gifs are better trade show storytelling tools than large blocks of copy.

5. Be visual. When you can’t use motion, look to convey your information via charts, graphs and infographics.

6. Break it up. When you have to use text, keep it as concise as possible. Think short statements, bullet points and lots of sub-headers. Save the dense technical information for the most granular level of your drill down.

7. Offer an incentive to participate. Once you’ve invested in your drill-down, you want as many booth visitors to engage as possible. A small gift will help convince attendees that your activity is worth their time.

8. Incorporate a knowledge quiz. You’ve seen this technique applied in museums—and it works equally well on the trade show floor. Quizzes appeal to the segment of customers who love to compete—especially when they can earn a prize. An added bonus is that with a drill-down you have the option of educating the attendee by providing the correct answers to any questions they miss.

9. Include the nitty-gritty. For the divers, you’re going to want to have all of the specs and stats available. Attendees who engaged with the Boulder Brands interactive drilled down to view ingredient and nutritional labeling information.

10. Integrate short cuts and minimize layers. Even though it’s called a drill-down, visitors who know what they’re looking for shouldn’t have to drill through multiple layers to get to the content they want. Make it easy for them by providing links. Ideally, an attendee should be able to pull up any piece of content that interests them in two to three clicks or less. Any more than that and you run the risk of losing them.

11. Enable sharing. Add e-lit delivery to your drill-down so attendees can select the information they find most relevant and forward it to their own computer desktop—or share with colleagues.

12. Train your staff. Incorporate practice using your drill-down into your exhibit staff training so they’ll be comfortable with the interface before the attendees arrive. Coach your team to walk attendees over to the drill-down and to use it as an educational tool. This way, you’ll maximize the tool’s usage in your exhibit.

How do you make the most out of your drill-down program?


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