Sue Winckler, Brandfuel’s Director of Marketing Communications. World Exhibition Stand Awards Winners 2019

Name: Sue Winckler

Company: Brandfuel

Job Title: Marketing Communications Director


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

Winning an industry award is always a great accolade and significantly helps to build brand reputation. At Brandfuel we have been fortunate to win a number of cross-sector and cross-platform awards. In the last ten years we have won a grand total of 35. However, to be a winner of a WESA has certainly helped to become recognised as thought leaders in the field of international tech influenced creative exhibition design. This endorses the belief  that we really are as good as our last project and are striving to achieve the best for our clients.


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

More clients are looking to promote themselves in an environmentally responsive way. In the past, the events industry has been notoriously bad at taking collective responsibility for their actions. With some organisations being more proactive in paving the way than others.

Now is the time for us all to take collective responsibility and play our part, together we really can make a difference.

At Brandfuel this means looking at the lifecycle of a project from its initiation to completion and beyond. Looking at designing stands in a creatively responsible way. Always looking for new ways to be more responsible in our use of materials, services. Minimising our carbon footprint and making sure that wherever possible we can recycle, restore, re-use, or even redistribute to local charities.


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

Exhibitions are a perfect environment for brands to bring stories to life. Story -telling has been with us since the dawn of man but the ways in which these stories come to light and the ways in which they will be told will change dramatically, as the technology used to help relate them will continue to advance.

Looking ahead from now, the landscape of a live brand experience will be dramatically different. From human tech implants changing the way we interact with the world, in real time, to virtual reality changing the way we see it – the tools that brands will have to drive engagement and connect with their audience will provide extraordinary and more personalised experiences. But, most importantly, we must use these advancements to keep telling better stories, to keep people networking and to keep creating these memorable experiences that everyone will want to share in.


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

Exhibitions need to be sustainable and designed to deliver zero-waste solutions, but at the same time be innovative and creative in their design.

Designers will be making more use of upcycled materials, adapting them in new and unique ways. However there is a possibility that booths will take on a familiarity as designers utilise the same recycled materials. The best designers will perhaps look to replicate a more traditional design aesthetic, whilst adapting traditional materials, to push new boundaries that will change the way we perceive what is sustainable.

Much of what you see at exhibitions is thrown away. Then there is the waste that you do not see. Like the wood crates and plastic wrap that are used for transporting events materials and later discarded.

At Brandfuel we are experimenting with everything from recycled and recyclable cardboard materials, to using blankets in place of plastic wrap and custom-built shipping crates. Rethinking the design of stands so they can be re-used and reconfigured time and time again. Our centralised warehouse helps us achieve maximum re-use and refurbishment of exhibition materials.


Does stand size matter?

Scale is often associated with corporate muscle. The bigger the stand, the mightier the company, the better the experience.  At Brandfuel we believe the best exhibition design is about creating an environment which is an immersive experience of the brand irrespective of scale. An environment that supports and facilitates business conversations.

This means serious attention to detail across all the touchpoints to bring the brand to life and resonate with people  enabling communication at every level connecting with all the senses. Making people surprised and excited about what they see and experience.Engaging people to talk, listen, touch, feel……even smell!  What matters is the emotional connection.