Interview with Andrea Fiorito, Creative Director at Simmetrico

Name:  Andrea Fiorito

Company:  Simmetrico

Job Title:  Creative Director

1) What did it mean to you to win in the inaugural World Exhibition Stand Awards? 

Every award is always highly appreciated, because it allows to celebrate efforts giving us a confirm that we are taking the right path. I think that awards are doing very well to the entire process: the winning projects are the best showcases of our identity. They emphasize the company potentiality setting up a useful point of reference for the future challenges that we will face as a creative ecosystem.

Every award is a good chance to compare yourself with the best ones, it brings you to the next level, inspires you. At the end of the day we are the moving wheels of our industry in all its aspects.

2) What are the big trends in exhibition stand design? 

Contemporary trends speak globally. In our field they are quite known: smart design, edutainment, sustainability, interaction, big data collection, etc… everything to make your stand “spectacular”. But I think that the designers should explore the established trends with at least a little bit of curiosity being over the standards. The most disruptive projects are always the most original ones. They follow their own paths, they start from listening to the client without worrying about the approved feeling. Uniqueness was born as a counterbalance to the choir, it is a voice outside the choir. 

5) What are clients currently asking for in stand and experience design? 

In general, the “mantra” is about technology. Clients show you references, aiming to have the most up-to-date innovations before others. They want “wow”-effect, they want to conceive emotions. We are lucky to say that in Italy design and storytelling still remain the central project point. At the same time other elements become always more invasive, this is the fact. 

6) How are exhibitions and stand design staying relevant in a digital world? 

The stand is a physical place, where the relationship between exhibitor and target segments takes place. But it is also a time slot when the company is particularly exposed to social media. Trade fairs have always marked the calendar of communication activities. This moment corresponds to a communication peak. The company communicates more, and it is also becoming more attractive. The interesting thing is to observe how the public perceives this wave of visibility and how it uses space and installations, often intuitively and perhaps slightly in a different way from how we, designers, had expected. They invent incredible photo opportunities, they do not follow the hostesses’ indications, they spend a lot of time where we would not have expected, sometimes dedicating less attention to things we have dedicated more resources… The real “exam” is always an act of exploration, and it is the public that has the upper hand here.

7) What do you expect the next 5 years will hold for exhibition stand design?

I like to think that companies will narrate their true stories, which are connected to the involved communities, the real people. As it will be in social media, where the communications will be done by single individuals, who’ll look brands straight in the eye, without any fear or doubt. The stands will become kind of magazines, where true stories will live.

11) Does stand size matter? 

Yes and no. Sometimes being over others is already a good part of work. But when you have dimensional impact, certain nuances may be lost, certain particular environments.

But when you have to fight with square meters, interesting ideas and creative solutions come out.

In any case, the big and the small do not exist at a fair. We always measure ourselves with the square meters of the leading brands, but there is not always a direct connection between the exhibition area and market shares.

12) What are the biggest challenges for exhibition stand design and build currently? 

Making the largest number of stakeholders happy: customers, with the concept, its declination and the accurate management of the budget; visitors with emotions, the possibility of exploring serious things in a playful way; the media and influencers with clear and dense narratives; the working team with the new inspirations and motivations to approach.