Storytelling Success: How To Use The Hero’s Journey In Your Trade Show Booth Design

Thursday, May 31, 2018

By Don Colliver

Whether you know it or not, you’ve been captivated by what’s known as the “Hero’s Journey” for as long as you’ve been captivated by stories. Joseph Campbell codified this common template of tales that have engaged humans for as long as we’ve been around on earth.

In its simplest form: a hero leaves home, goes on a journey, faces a decisive crisis, then comes home transformed with the ‘elixir.’ Think: Star Wars, Forrest Gump, The Lion King, The Matrix… But you can leverage this eternal model of engagement right in your trade show booth, by taking your prospects on your own “Hero’s Journey.”

Here are three tips to help:

1. Create your Prospect’s “Journey”

Cognitive Psychologist Jerome Bruner said that humans are 22 times more likely to remember a fact that’s been wrapped in a story. Your trade show booth can use this fact by wrapping your messaging in a physical journey through incremental stations, qualifying questions and give-aways. I was lucky enough to attend a presentation from the Live Marketing creative agency describing their collaboration with tech company CenturyLink. Their booth used the “Hero’s Journey” model to achieve award-winning results, taking prospects through a literal tunnel and deeper into CenturyLink’s marketing messaging.

Can you break down your prospect’s journey into three or four info-rich stations?

2. Challenge your Prospect

Each station on the journey provides an opportunity to illustrate your prospect’s pain points, and gives them an opportunity to engage. By involving your prospect in the story, they relate emotionally, releasing the neurotransmitter dopamine, which has been proven to make associated information easier to remember and with greater accuracy. A professional Trade Show emcee can guarantee that your booth challenges effectively anchor your messaging.

What messaging-related booth challenges can you create for your prospect to overcome?

3. Provide your Prospect the ‘Elixir’

Of course, your product or service serves to help your prospect ultimately overcome their pain points. Finally, your prospect-hero can return home to headquarters, enlightened and ready to move deeper into your sales funnel. It’s important to remember, your product or service is not the hero. Your prospect is the hero, and you are simply providing them with the tool to overcome their problems.

How can you frame your trade show prospect as ‘hero,’ not ‘lead?’

By engaging the “Hero’s Journey” in your trade show booth messaging, you can tap into your prospect’s eternal fascination with this ancient model of storytelling. By creating a prospect journey, challenging them along the way, and providing them with your product or service as the solution, you may be surprised to find yourself a hero in your own marketing department.

Originally published on Don Colliver’s blog. Don Colliver is a professional trade show presenter and booth staff trainer who helps teams surpass their event marketing goals through next-level engagement.

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