Experiential Design Keys from our Chief Creative Officer

The experiential design keys below hinge on a single harsh truth:

People can learn everything about your company from the comfort of their Snuggies.

Why, then, should they bother coming to your event or trade show exhibit? To have their minds melted. Their synapses singed. As an experiential marketer, it’s your job to show guests something new, unexpected, and magnificent.

Unlike other channels, trade shows and events can give people a thrill no rollercoaster or rodeo could match. But to do it, you’ll need to master three experiential design keys.

We sat down with Tony Erpelding, Group Delphi’s award-winning Chief Creative Officer, to discuss the elements you need to make your experiences true to brand and unforgettable. Snippets from that conversation appear below.


Put yourself in the customer’s shoes first, and define what their journey is. Think about how the sights, sounds, and feels of your booth should emotionally impact your customer — and then design a booth with those specific senses in mind. The whole point is to leave your visitors feeling transformed. Offer a break from the show floor and a journey into a new, exciting world: your brand.


Don’t just stand there! Stock your booth with games, quizzes, compelling tech — and of course, people — to get your visitors engaged. The ultimate goal of experiential marketing is connection; interaction makes that connection possible.


The best experiences leave visitors feeling called to action and yearning for more. Entice your audience. Draw them in. Show them something amazing and then talk with them about it. Concise, compelling brand messaging leaves your attendees inspired to learn more and tell others about their experience.

Next steps: Scrap the predictable stacks of catalogs and business cards. (You’ll want to blow the dust off first.) Take a cue from the theater by bringing visitors on a magical journey. The perfect blend of set, story, and performance turns a trade show booth into another world — one where the armor comes off and the mind opens to new possibilities.

For more of Tony’s thoughts on brand experiences that mesmerize, download our full Experiential Design guide.

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