In a recent post from the industry influencer in his Whizard Strategy blog, Mark Mitchell observes that the AIA Show historically has been very “ineffective” for building materials manufacturers who exhibit at the show. Far be it from me to argue. Yet, in picking up the gauntlet, Kleber & Associates dared to seize the opportunity with its clients at the 2016 AIA Show and offers our recommended best practice take-aways to optimize architect motivation:


Speak To Architects in Their Own Language

The early bird truly gets the worm when you attend the annual Architectural Record Magazine’s Advertising Excellence Awards breakfast. The awards jury is comprised of architects representing the breadth of the profession; firms of all sizes working on projects from large scale commercial to residential and interiors. Most importantly, the early AM session allowed for an intimate view into the particular aspirations of this target audience… who critiqued publicly their impressions of exhibitor marketing, including comments on the way brands engage architects in advertising and in their trade show booth experiences. After all, our job as marketers is to get inside the minds of our audience. We’re particularly proud that this year’s jury (pictured here) was motivated to recognize our own agency’s creative work for Georgia-Pacific Gypsum as “Best in Class.”

While blueprints may be a relic of the past in our all digital world, booth displays that highlight technical drawings and take-offs for cost estimating like our client, Feeney Cable Rail remind show attendees that your organization is particularly well aligned with the needs of architects.

Rather than Fight the CEU Experience, Join In

As the exhibit show floor historically has been a competition for their time — architects invest every available moment in classrooms – smart marketers like our client, Natural Stone Institute created its own CEU auditorium right inside their booth. The opportunity to engage with architects in a congenial and mutually rewarding atmosphere is unmatched… with a forum for feedback, immediate.

Toys are for Children

Never forget that architects take their business seriously. This exhibitor’s attempt to lure attendees with Lego blocks… fell unfortunately, like a lead ballon. Respect this audience and treat them seriously. Be prepared to demonstrate performance testing and certification of your construction systems with product specialists who are well-versed to address the most specific architect’s query. And please, leave the toys in the playroom back at home.

Looking forward to participating with our industry friends next month at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference. But why wait? If you would like to discuss your brand’s tradeshow audience engagement strategy in further detail, contact us here.