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22 September 2015

Inviting Design in Oil and Gas

James Hall, senior consultant and business developer of leading design management and design leadership consultancy PARK, recently wrote an article questioning, what does the oil and gas industry have to do with design and design management?

James, who has previously headed up an insightful lunch and learn at think, has worked across a range of industries, but never oil and gas – and believes Offshore Europe 2015 was the perfect place to answer his question. James’ full article can be read here.

think has been working with the oil and gas industry in a PR, marketing and creative capacity for more than a decade, and finds exhibitions like Offshore Europe an ideal opportunity to see how companies ‘exhibit’ themselves when visually pitted against their peers.

Trekking around the 100,000m2 space that the conference encompassed, along with the 55,000 other delegates that descended upon Aberdeen’s AECC, was an exhausting but very interesting experience.

Scouring the halls with my beady thinkCreative eye, it was evident that everyone from large global companies to small local businesses had invested cleverly in their designated space, with the standards being high and exhibitors having utilised their area very strategically.

Having attended previous shows, I didn’t notice a massive impact following the downturn. However, I did think companies were more efficient with budgets this year. A number of the stands seemed to be more open, with graphics only having been placed in the background, leaving the floor space free for networking.

No matter the size, companies really looked at how to use the space to its optimum, making it as inviting and engaging as possible to visit, and allowing for people to flow through the space and not feel intimidated by the scale of the build itself. thinkCreative developed a stand and exhibition publication for client Lokring with that in mind.

Others however felt the need to fill the stand with as many gadgets, screens and give-aways as possible - but in doing so, unfortunately created a barrier between the visitors and the company.

Looking at the marketing collateral on display, I noticed there was often very little tie-in with the visual elements on the stands and the printed materials that were available. This was very possibly a cost saving tack, ergo by designing a more generic set of material, the company is able to reuse the merchandise at future events.

All in all the show boasted a wealth of creativity and impactful marketing, but at thinkCreative we always advise that there be some visual tie with both stand and merchandise, as you may find visitors will remember the stand but not be able to link it with the print material they have in their bag bursting full of flyers and freebies.

If you need a creative boost with future exhibition design, get in touch with the thinkCreative team and we’ll advise and support you to make sure you stand out from the crowd.