Interview With Crystal Chu

Name: Crystal Chu

Company: Kingsmen Creatives

Job Title: Creative Director

1) What does it mean to you to be a 2020 Finalist in the World Exhibition Stand Awards?

Kingsmen aims at producing quality craftsmanship alongside communicating and executing creative solutions attuned with our partners and clients. To be selected as a 2020 Finalist with WESA is affirmative to our quality service and design methodology. The projects submitted reflect the capabilities of our team. To be recognised will be a statement not just to our brand, but the industries we extend our services to, refining and shaping them collectively.

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

The business events industry will continue to be one of the preferred face-to-face meeting platforms for the sharing of knowledge and ideas. It enables relationships to be built and collaborations to take place within the community. Technology solutions that deliver curated content complement such events as it elevates engagement through multimedia display, projections, or interactive screens to excite attendees.

Simultaneously, technological solutions encourage a sustainable methodology that can create a broader range of visual presentation without material production. Greater focus on green design places attention on material, design, and maintenance to encourage re-usability and flexibility. Sustainability is driving the global narrative and is supported by the next generation of travellers – Millennials who are poised to become the biggest group of business travellers globally from 2024 onward. Conscious choices are essential to generate the best input and output at every tradeshow, exhibition or event.

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

Clients are looking to build strong brand experience & lifelong relationships with their customers through memories shared. This collective memory is formed through in-person connections and visceral experiences. In our era of separation, in-person connection and emotional engagement is vital for tradeshow experiences. The touchpoints are at every opportunity of introducing products, services within the space, and the brand exhibitors interacting with you. Interactions are also made seamless with common uses of technology like virtual assistants and mobile apps to automate guest registration and provide event information. Creating impressionable and surprising instances, the physical exhibition space can continue to be a powerful communication platform for brands and attendees.

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

Technology has made information more readily accessible and convenient for people to use and is responsible for the biggest disruption across all industries. Consumer preferences and needs have since gravitated towards more immersive and interactive experiences. Establishing the right engagement for a more personalized experience is important for brands to provide an originality and uniqueness that goes beyond the event halls.

Moving beyond the preoccupation with event technology, the key is to create relevant content by connecting with attendees using the right narrative. We establish a meaningful connection using experience zones or interactive activities. Application of new technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, automation and artificial intelligence has played a crucial role in this change, allowing for a more personalised experience. We blend the best elements of physical and digital to create a unique mix of creative and technological capabilities which will create new experiences that allow audiences to maximise its interactions with brands.

8) Do exhibitions get the status they deserve versus other marketing channels?

The MICE industry recognises the importance of face-to-face meetings. Its appeal lies in the ability to reach out to specific audiences, and in particular, major decision makers. To have exhibitions remain dynamic, the space taps into other marketing channels, connecting to social media, livestreaming, or exploring the marketable potential of products and gadgets beyond direct interaction.

Creating engagement to keep up with attendees’ interests can draw the appropriate audience from the saturated marketplace where digital marketing exists. Nevertheless, leveraging various channels is beneficial when we can integrate both offline and online marketing channels to communicate brand messaging in close proximity and through digital channels.

9) What’s the best exhibition stand or event you’ve seen in the last year?

 ‘From Singapore to Singaporean: The Bicentennial Experience’, is an experiential exhibition show that takes visitors back in time, as far back as 1299, to witness defining events in Singapore’s transformative journey. Kingsmen had the privilege to be engaged by Singapore’s government to create a sense of newness to a narrative told dozens of times before. Special effects were executed in each area to represent the journey over time. Visitors were taken on a multimedia sensory experience to explore history as series of visually astounding yet emotionally engaging adventures. The collaboration was multi-disciplinary as we worked with various partners, marrying detailed technical execution with creative content planning and production to define a nation’s history. The unconventional approach to showcasing history was well received and attracted almost a million visitors during its 6-month run period.

11) Does stand size matter?

The scale of a stand draws attention, and creates the all-important first impression. We have conceptualised pavilions and chalets that are on a larger scale to enable brands to engage with their audience effectively. Without the luxury of space, it is still possible to create lasting impressions that make attendees stay. A strong narrative creates a heightened sensorial experience. From the way information is displayed to the spatial flow within the stand, considering the intuitive behaviour of an attendee’s experience is where we continue to deliver an experience that is personalised and digitised.