De Montfort University: Standing out in a crowd

“We were overwhelmed by visitors to the stand. It had amazing stand out along a row of conventional shell schemes. Some of the other companies were saying they were going to copy the idea for their next shows. To top it all, because it was such a fun and engaging way to do a show, it not only added to our enjoyment but sustained our energy over the two days. Can’t wait for the cafe’s next outing!”

Jan Worth, Business Development Manager, Faculty of Business and Law, De Montfort University


Context: Time and again, De Montfort University Corporate (DMU Corporate) had exhibited at human resource and continuous professional development events, only to feel they had not made the impact they could have.

Interest was difficult to drum up as a result, the enthusiasm of the team was flagging.

All to often, it felt like opportunities were being missed.

The requirement: DMU Corporate were confident that the way their programmes were delivered was different, and more to the point, valuably different than their competitors. But how to express that and use it as a way to attract people to the stand?

Between DMU Corporate and Glued, we felt there must be a way of conveying the flexible, unstuffy, human and practical way that DMU Corporate provided learning.

The outputs: In a creative debate, the client and Glued worked out that having something on the stand with which people could actually engage would increase
the footfall and provide the opportunity to pick and choose from the leads that arose. Various games and participation ideas were discussed and mocked-up.

In the end, an idea arose from the way the team engaged clients and prospects in their everyday work, informally discussing challenges, frustrations and solutions over a cup of coffee or tea.

The temptation was simply to invite stand visitors to the exhibition break out areas. But Glued went a step further and designed a welcoming and trendy coffee shop within 3m x 3m shell scheme.

The results: The stand was photographed and commented on even during construction. Once the show was underway, it truly was a show-stopper, with all and sundry dropping in.

Despite its diminutive stature, there was even talk of it being nominated as best stand in the show.

A true mark of its success is that, unlike the usual practice of discarding a stand after the show, the DMU Corporate stand is being stored for use at further targeted shows.

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