Interview with Mossadegh Hamid, Managing Partner DIMAH, Ostfildern
Trade fair visitors are not supposed to just walk by, but instead should like to enter the booth. It‘s the key question for all exhibition booth builders on how you manage to accomplish this. They support exhibitors with creative ideas and on-site service in the show hall. Mossadegh Hamid, Director of the trade show agency DIMAH, founded in 1994 and based in Stuttgart, Germany, wants to appeal to the subconscious of visitors, to where they don’t have to think long to just come closer. Though technology is important to him for this, the main focus has to be the communication goal of the client.
Financial crises and economic boom – how does the current economic situation affect your business at the moment?
At the moment we sense a strong interest in trade fair appearances with somewhat more design and creativity. All of our regular customers once again book their exhibition booth area regularly, at least in the usual size they had before the financial crisis. We also gain more and more new customers who also look for that something special.
Where does the trend go in corporate events?
It’s a little bit of everything. People are prepared to spend more money. On the other hand, they also expect more effectiveness and a great price-performance ratio.
What technical innovations in event production do you currently recommend to your customers?
It is very difficult to make a general statement about that. We provide tailor-made solutions and first take a look at our customers and literally take measurements. Then we decide on what technology matches this. But on the other hand, technology plays a rather secondary role, since first and foremost it is all about the creative thought. The technology needs to serve the cause. It doesn’t get you anywhere to use the latest technology, but to have lost sight of the topic. Naturally, you always have to be on the cutting edge of technical innovations to be able to pass substantiated know-how on to your customer.
A trade fair is not an amusement park. What limits are there for booth production?
There are no limits. It hurts your creativity if you think about limits.
There are basic rules that every booth builder needs to know to develop an appropriate concept. In addition, authenticity of the exhibitor and brand promotion – or alternatively a holistic way of thinking of the designers – assists the exhibitor in standing out.
Planning before the exhibition booth construction: eye-catching booth for the DuPont chemical company. Graphics © DIMAH
How do you manage to have trade fair visitors not just walk by the booth, but rather also come in?
The visitor has to stand at the booth without knowing why exactly he is standing there. The effective booth appeals to all sensory organs of the visitor. It appears harmonious and pleasant and thus appeals directly to the subconscious. This can be accomplished through booth architecture, pictures, words and sound. The booth has to affect the observer like orchestral music that is superbly balanced. Many exhibitors dispense with trade show messages and real slogans. I think that’s the wrong thing to do.
Shouldn’t exhibitors invest a lot more in motivating and informing their booth staff instead of investing in more and more technology?
Trade fairs are platforms for communication. The relationship between people is more important than the technology. As I have said already, the technology needs to serve the cause. The friendly reception, the way you shake hands with the visitor, the interaction with the customer and your conduct are more important than technology. And so it is advisable to instruct and inform the staff.
Small exhibitors often just book standard booths – and barely get noticed for lack of creative ideas. Are they saving money in the wrong place?
If the budget is not enough to get a creative booth, I fully understand if you go with a standard system in which you can also be creative. Otherwise, I would prefer an expensive booth with the right concept to a cheap booth with the wrong concept. It is not profitable for us to launch a concept with a budget of less than 20,000 Euros. If you want to achieve a great deal, you also have to invest a lot, but sensibly.
Some companies forgo trade fair presence and focus on in-house exhibitions. Is this trend strengthening from your point of view?
I don’t believe so. Actually, I think that there are fewer in-house exhibitions than in the past. One cannot replace the other. Both are important measures to gain customers and retain them.
Booth of the American chemical company DuPont. © DIMAH
Let’s take a look back to the EuroShop. What booths did you build?
We were a sub-exhibitor of IFES and didn’t build booths, because we were active at other exhibition sites during the same time.
What was your own account of the trade fair?
The trade fair is very exciting and hopefully –time permitting- we will be a part of it next time with our own booth.
What are your next activities?
We are working on a new website that is going to showcase us even more authentically. In addition, we are also in the process of networking more strongly regionally. With the UfO association – short for Unternehmer für Ostfildern/entrepreneurs for Ostfildern, Germany – we want to create a platform for the entrepreneurs for cultural and innovative events. It’s a great pleasure for me to do this. During the next few weeks we will carry out a great many trade fairs for international brand leaders like Mikron SA Agno from Switzerland and Gehring Technologies GmbH at the EMO in Hannover and many other customers such as SMC Pneumatik GmbH, Allianz Deutschland etc.
How is the market for event technology vendors going to develop from your point?
The technology develops more rapidly than in the past and is indispensable for the design, particularly for creative trade fair and event performances. It won’t get any easier for vendors of these technologies to assert their position in the market.
Interview by René Schellbach EuroShop.de