INTERVIEW SERIES: ROTOR-CLIP
The 2017 International Fastener Expo Best Booth award winners were recently revealed! The awards winners all deserve a virtual round of applause! Marketing a company, its products, team players and booth presentation at a trade show is an important task that takes creativity, thoughtfulness, marketing skills, and choosing the right team players to execute.
This years Most Creative Booth winner was Rotor Clip. We caught up with Jürgen Wenzel to learn more about his incredible creativity year after year!
Please give us your name, title, job function and how many years you are with Rotor Clip.
Jürgen Wenzel, Global Marketing Manager –
I implement and oversee all marketing activities in all global markets that Rotor Clip pursues. I have been with Rotor Clip for 15 years.
What inspired the design of the booth?
This year’s inspiration stemmed from the fact that Rotor Clip celebrated its 60th anniversary this year. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to incorporate this into our booth theme to let show visitors know that Rotor Clip is a company with longevity, experience and that we will be there to provide solutions for our customers in the future.
Can you tell us about the significance of the ‘BallPark” Theme?
The Ball Park idea came when I was looking into themes connected with 60th anniversaries. A 60th anniversary is also known as the “Diamond Anniversary”. We were discussing diamond idea after diamond idea, and discarded several diamond clichés like “Diamonds are forever” or “Diamond in the rough”. Then I thought “How about America’s favorite diamond, the baseball diamond?”. I presented the idea and everybody here at Rotor Clip was instantly onboard and excited about it. We put our heads together and started combining America’s favorite pastime with the 60th anniversary of Rotor Clip, a U.S. based, industry leading manufacturer of retaining rings, wave springs and hose clamps. The result was “The Rotor Clip Diamond Anniversary Stadium” complete with turf colored carpet, bases, Pitcher’s Mound, baseball gear and jerseys for the booth staff.
What process do you use when trying to design the best possible booth for Rotor Clip?
It all starts with the message, which is the answer to the question “What do we want to inform or educate the booth visitor about?” Once we have the message we go into brainstorm mode. By involving people from different departments we come up with many ideas on how to best express the message and what booth details will help shape the customer experience. Next I build a small booth model to see if or how everything fits together, what is missing and what needs changing. Then comes the challenge to turn the model into an actual full size booth that stays within budget and can be set up/ broken down as easy as possible. This is the hard, but also fun part because real creative thinking is needed at this point to come up with solutions to problems that were not obvious in the model.
How important is customer experience in the design process?
Customer experience is key in the design process. There are several general goals I usually try to achieve.
- Make customers curious about what is going on in the booth as they walk up and down the aisle.
- Once in the booth, make the customer feel comfortable about being there.
- Give the customer the information they came to you for in the first place. Make it worth their time, they are affording you! (It’s an obvious point, but most important)
- Make sure the customer receives the message you are sending with your design.
- Make sure the customer leaves your booth not only with the information they came for, but with something positive to remember you by even after the show is over.
These points may seem like commonsense, but are all too often ignored in my experience.
How long does this process usually take?
Given that there are many other responsibilities on a day to day basis, it’s approximately a 3 month time frame from first ideas to final booth.
Should budget be the overriding factor before design-build begins?
Budget dictates many aspects of your design. Booth size, show rental options, electric, graphic displays, promo items, etc. are all dependent on your budget and sets limits to your design options . This brings us back to the hard, but fun part about booth design I mentioned earlier. Coming up with a creative booth design while working within those limits can be very challenging, but also very rewarding once everything comes together.
How many trade shows does your company participate in per year?
Rotor Clip participates in approximately 20 trade shows per year worldwide.
How do you choose which team members will be on the show floor? Is the team members attire part of the overall theme?
Our team members are generally a mix of sales, marketing, engineering, and upper level management. Sales team members for the show are chosen by their territory and existing customer relationships. A marketing team member is there to handle the in-and-outs related to booth setup and the show itself. Other members present are owners, VP Sales, and an engineer to give booth visitors high level access to Rotor Clip’s management as well as technical information when needed.
Yes, team member attire has always been part of the overall theme. Details, such as matching the booth staff attire to the booth theme, amplify the theme or message and round out the customer experience.
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