James Barrett looks at how photography brand Nikon won its fifth ‘best stand’ award at this year’s Focus On Imaging exhibition.
As an experienced photographic manufacturer with over 90 years in the business, Nikon is committed to quality, innovation and customer satisfaction. This flows into its exhibition presence, where it has the chance to impress visiting photographers from all over the world.
Nikon has formed a long-term relationship with design and production agency 2BP, which has stretched over the past five years. 2BP delivers Nikon’s exhibitions programme which includes national, international and regional shows like The Open Golf Championship, product specific events and dealer support programmes.
One of the most significant dates in the diary for Nikon is the Focus on Imaging photography trade show which takes place every spring at The NEC. The show averages 38,000 visitors through its door and is an opportunity for Nikon to communicate with its key audience.
With this in mind, Nikon briefed 2BP to create a new 260sqm stand that would reinforce its position as a leading brand at this year’s edition of Focus On Imaging.
The brief required 2BP to provide a cost-effective modular solution that would give the impression of a busy and active space. It also needed to engage with visitors through hands-on product evaluation and seminars that would effectively promote Nikon’s European I Am campaign.
“In an effort to accommodate both a large crowd and its needs, including a hunger for instruction and information, it’s no longer enough for exhibitors to just increase stand space to be memorable,” said show director Mary Walker. “It’s how a space is used that helps obtain the maximum return from an exhibitor’s investment.”
Flash of light
The stand solution was made up of two parts connected by an adjoining aisle, which featured the same floor finish. The main demonstration area occupied 160sqm and consisted of three internally illuminated cubes featuring the Nikon logo and product shots.
These cubes floated above the key product ranges aimed at professional, enthusiast and consumer audiences. Stand staff interacted with visitors and demonstrated products directly beneath the cubes, bathed in energy efficient bright lighting.
Nikon allowed visitors the opportunity to try out long lenses and binoculars by having 2BP build a raised viewing platform which offered a view across the main body of the stand thanks to its elevated position.
Each of the demonstration pods provided storage and security devices to harness the cameras on display. A waste disposal unit was also installed.
Look down the lens
The second part of the stand consisted of a 50-seater seminar area, a new 103-inch plasma screen, a raised stage and 4m high catwalk. The seminar area featured talks from expert speakers, such as international wildlife photographer Andy Rouse.
To ensure the VIP visitors Nikon invited into its meeting room had a good view onto the catwalk and across the main stand, semi concealed two-way glass panels were located in the walls. A kitchen, storage room and technician’s space were all located behind the catwalk wall.
A model prowled the catwalk at certain times of the day, which hosted a large plasma at the top of the runway. A photographer then took pictures using Nikon equipment and the resultant images went up onto the screen for visitors to see.
“The key to a successful event is the quality and quantity of visitors coming onto the stand. It was important to be accessible and convey an engaging experience,” said Nikon Imaging’s group manager James Banfield.
Focus On Imaging introduced stand awards in 2005 and run them at every edition since. It has 13 prizes up for grabs which Walker says sounds like a lot, “but the competition for them increases every year. Whittling down the nominations requires a discerning judging process”.
Nikon’s stand at this year’s show scooped the Best Stand In Show for the fifth time since the awards started. A big reason it seems to have won this accolade so many times is that it takes into consideration the industry it serves into its appearance.
“One consideration that suppliers to the photography industry seem to overlook is is their stand photogenic,” concluded Walker. “Nikon always seems to improve this aspect of its stand and it goes a long way to securing those titles.”
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