Pim Jeurissen, Head of Design Europe
the new white?
You already have a lot of experience as a design director.
But how did you end up in the live marketing industry? What kind of education did you have and why did you choose live marketing?
Pim: I started studying interior and product design when I was 17. And in my second year, one of the professors approached me and told me that the live marketing field was for me. Because I had the spatial imagination that the field required.
I then did my first internships in live marketing when I was 18. And a year later, I took over trade show planning in-house at a manufacturing company.
The speed of our industry fascinated me. You develop something over a short period of time, see the results very quickly, and the lead times are relatively short. When I finished my studies, it was clear that I wanted to work in this field, and so I ended up at Raumtechnik in 1998. After two years as a project designer, I took over as team lead.
The great thing about our industry is that you always work with a different type of customer, a different size of project. You get insights into a wide range of industries and the clients benefit from you having that knowledge. You can think in a more eclectic way and come up with great combinations. For a creative person, it is the perfect platform. There is a white sheet of paper. There are a few written words and your interpretation of the task. Also, the cultural adaptation when we work abroad is always exciting.
Why the E3 WORLD Group? Are you in charge of all our brands?
Pim: I am responsible for all projects of our European brands. I can apply 25 years of experience here, and at the same time be there from the beginning to rebuild our structure.
As an international start-up with heritage, working at E3 is the perfect new challenge for me. Also in my career so far, I have always been attracted to the special projects, where global operations were involved and I already had the pleasure to work with a variety of different agencies and design offices.
Where does the main challenge lie when it comes to designing live marketing experiences?
Pim: The most important thing is to find out what we want the visitor to take away from the experience we create. In the best case, without having spoken to anyone.
A trade show is different from a website, for example. On a website, the experience is singular. A trade fair is like a marketplace, where many different brands are bustling about. I walk through the aisles and the object has to stand out the moment I see it, because the eye also sees other things to the left and right. What is the message from a greater distance and what is the experience when I am on the stand?
An orientation, an emotionalization through which the customer in the best case finds the solution / product he is looking for. In addition to the head, stomach and heart must be addressed in order to leave a lasting impression.
Over the years, there are of course changing media we can use for this. Our task is to find out and understand what our customers want. Not just their goal, but also their way of working. The booth is a sales tool. We develop a platform together with the customer`s relevant planning department, which is then operated by other people on site. So what can the sales team work with the best? And how do we get the message across, even if nobody from the sales team can talk to the visitor at the moment?
Furthermore, we try to look at our projects more holistically and see where we can support our customers before or after the trade fair. Parts that are becoming more important in this area are invitations, social media campaigns, digital product presentations, avatars, but also evaluations of visitor numbers and heat maps that show how the stand is being frequented.
How closely does the design department get involved with our clients? Are you present at every pitch?
Pim: Indeed, the design team is already involved in the front phase, where the E3 team is being put together. - To get enough information to be able to work out the pitch. In order to be able to learn the needs and also the emotions to be transported, we have to be there right at the beginning, also to ask the right questions. All the tasks that the customer hands over to us have to be answered. As far as the visuals are concerned, you can always say: I like it or I don't like it. It's relatively interchangeable. But the analysis on why something was designed the way it was should be indisputable. In most cases, the pitch happens directly in a live meeting. But there is also the case where the concept is handed in without a live pitch in the first round.
What different competences does the design team include?
Pim: Basically, it is mostly the interior design background, but with many facets in the team. Our interior designers and product designers work 3-dimensionally. But we also have the 2-dimensional component: graphic designers and communication designers. The conceptual approach is the focus for the whole team, always deriving from the briefing of course. Another component are the digital possibilities we have today to expand our services portfolio. Here too, we are future-oriented.
Black & White
Where do you see the trend going? Construction-wise and technologically? Is black the new white for instance?
Pim: [Laughs...] Black is actually rather on the rise again to set contrasts.
The interior design trend is catching on relatively quickly in our work. Certain trends come back as retro very quickly, often in cycles of 15 years.
Besides the product, companies today need to communicate so many meta-issues. They need to tell a story and communicate visions of progress.
Sustainability, of course, is a key value here: Construction is getting lighter. A lot is being done with big fabrics and less with heavy material. We recycle as much as possible the material we have in stock and use it as many times as possible. The material used is as sustainable as possible, but the issue remains a big challenge.
Our E3 AR Metarcube from the Vodafone collaboration, for example, is to be made from recycled exhibition stands. The trend is very much going away from pure product presentation. Customer journey and experience, sustainable experiences, live interaction and integration of social media hold huge potential. Images and moving images provide an important emotional extension. Large motifs and LED walls are currently very much in demand.
Of course, expectations also depend somewhat on the industry and region: An engineer wants to put his head in the machine and for other industries it is more about the action and the experience around it. In the US, a product presentation is extremely B2C-oriented. The marketing tools are more connected and the campaigns are more viral, celebrities are used, etc. So the tools for this can be very different from case to case, but it's always about generating feelings and experiences.
Pim Jeurissen, Thank you for the conversation.