The last ten years have been a fast and fun-filled journey for 4D Design, where I work as Client Director. Not least, because having been within the events marketing space at 4D since 1994, things have changed quite a bit!
As a result, it’s important to us as a company and as progressive, ambitious individuals that we continually reassess who we are and where we’re going. Only then, do we feel we are able to focus on how we can help our clients to achieve their best, which is really what it’s all about.
Finding our why
For those who are into business literature, there’s a well-known book called ‘Start with why’ by Simon Sinek which, as the name suggests, tells us to look at what we do from a different perspective. For the uninitiated, ‘the why’ is the purpose behind what we do, linked closely to the cause and beliefs which underline our work.
It’s usually easy to depict ‘what we do’ (especially after years of networking events) but why we do what we do? It can be a different story. Sure, work pays the bills and gives us a reason to get dressed every morning but you can’t work in events, where long nights and tiring travel are part and parcel, and do it just for the money.
This led me to think more about 4D and our aims as a company, our responsibility to the clients we work with and our responsibility to ourselves to work with methods that fulfill a personal satisfaction.
Here are a few of the enlightenments I had along the way about our ‘why’:
Their success stories
Everything we do is orientated towards the success of our clients. Our motivation and our guidance is to create success stories for them. This may sound obvious but it is something that is easily lost, with many B2B organisations striving for their own success first and foremost. The way we see it, our clients achieving success within their business and brand, will lead to us achieving success. This is the difference between creating a stand or event experience that makes the agency look good and creating a stand or event experience that grows a brand and a client’s perception within their own market or industry.
Is there anything else quite like that final client walk-round just before an event, exhibition or pop-up goes live? The designers among our team can always visualise what a drawing will look like when it becomes a 3D structure, but for the less design-minded it is deciphering that catch of breath, the gentle exhalation or the eyes that widen ever so slightly when a client sees their brand come to life. For us, it is those ‘standout moments’ that became our why and which drive us forward in our mission to continually inspire and excite.
More than just a ‘stand’
While it may not be a unique positioning, it is certainly less common to find a creative events agency that’s led by marketing and design, insight and experience. Agencies are usually split between those who are creative and those who are brand-led, those with a fresh pair of eyes and those who have years of industry experience. We have both and this is why we are driven to work so hard at bringing the two together to create experiences, moments and brands that create far more than just an exhibition stand.
Some brands only exhibit once a year. Others only organise an experiential product launch every two. Unlike traditional marketing spaces, there are some clients who simply don’t have scope for events teams more than once or twice a year. But this doesn’t mean we don’t care about what happens in the meantime. We’ve seen small and medium enterprise clients go from almost startup stage, through to unprecedented growth and even acquisition, largely down to the deals and conversations sparked from a single exhibition stand design or creative experience. That’s why we put our all into each and every exhibition experience we create. Because their power to change businesses, company culture and ultimately lives, is huge.
Lastly, we do what we do to learn. Every industry changes and is affected by global, technology and industry trends, but there is no pace of change quite like that in the events industry. Each day brings a new question, a new opportunity to learn about an emerging brand, a new technology or a material or a structure we haven’t seen before. And when you’ve been in the same industry for over 20 years, learning is the flame that keeps our passion alight.