Putting together a tradeshow exhibit without a creative brief is kind of like grocery shopping without a list. While it certainly can be done, you could end up being all over the place and will most likely spend much more money than you intended.
If this is the first you have heard of a creative brief, you’re not alone. So let’s start from the beginning.
What is a creative brief?
A creative brief is a written document that details – in a clear and concise manner– what you hope your tradeshow will accomplish both in terms of business strategy and creative objectives. Most importantly, it helps gives your designer clear direction to ensure the final outcome links the two together.
What should be included?
Creative briefs vary depending on who is putting it together. But the exact format is not as important is the information you need to be sure to include. The following are key points that should be addressed for the best possible outcome:
- Background / Overview
Provide a brief synopsis of the event and why you are participating. This is also your chance to share what is going on in your industry with the creative team. What are some opportunities or challenges you face?
- What is the objective or purpose of your exhibit?
We all want our event to generate leads and ultimately sales. That goes without saying. This section should encompass what you want your exhibit visitors to think, feel or do.
- Who is target audience?
You audience is most likely made up of customers and potential customers. Again, this goes without saying. Target audience demographics are helpful, but make sure to delve deeper and consider psychographics as well. Explain what your target audience may already think or feel about your product or service. What do they get excited about or what drives them? What hesitations may they have to your product or service?
- What’s the single most important thing to say?
If you could say just one or two sentences to your exhibit attendees, what would you say? While this section should be one of the shortest and most precise, it is also one of the most important to be sure and include. Your final product should support this statement.
- What else should your designer know?
Make sure to include any additional information you think would be helpful to the designers to achieve the results you are looking for. Are there “must-have” components? Any nuances or pet peeves they should be aware of?
Use a creative brief to your advantage when it comes to deadlines. Be sure to include a schedule of events as well as any intermediate deadlines. It’s a great way to ensure everyone is on the same page and aware of expectations.
How will this process save you money?
Relying only on verbal input to your designers can lead to miscommunication and disconnects, which could translate to costly re-work or an end-product that doesn’t meet expectations. Having a creative brief in writing ensures everyone’s expectations are clear and aligned. The process of putting one together, while it may seem daunting at first, will save you time and money in the long run.
About Peggy Swords
Peggy Swords is the founder and president of Excalibur Exhibits, a $10 million Houston-based exhibit manufacturing and production corporation. Excalibur Exhibits designs, builds, delivers, assembles and disassembles as many as 300 exhibits per year. Swords was named as a finalist for NAWBO Houston 2003 Woman Business Owner of the Year and 2005 Enterprising Woman of the Year Finalist. Additionally, Excalibur Exhibits is a five time member of the Inc 5000, a three time member of the LSU100 and a two time member of the Houston Fast 100, a list of fastest growing privately held companies.