VI HAR 40 ÅR'S JUBILÆUM  -  1979 - 2019

Meet the Thoughtleaders: An Interview with Jakob Dyrbye, by Gordon Nary

Gordon: When was Faust Dyrbye A/S organized?

Jakob: The company was founded in 1977 by Mrs. Helle Faust. I joined the company in 1995, coming back from an expatriation/employment in Tokyo, Japan. (Today I am the sole owner of the company)

Gordon: How many staff members do you have? 

Jakob: Currently we are 15 persons working in 2 areas of expertise. 1: Logistical/operational projects such as design, production and I&D of stands 2. Tactical/Value creation such as objective-/goal-/ROI oriented projects aimed at shifting a client from "just exhibiting" to knowing exactly the why, how and what in terms of the returns over time.

That has led to a somewhat different staff profile as, since 2009, we have expanded with high level academics who are experts in targeted communication, Customer Experience Management and Digitally based Marketing Performance.

Gordon: Are the majority of your clients in Denmark or are there other EU members in which you provides services?

Jakob:: We primarily serve our Danish clients which also means travelling with them abroad. We do also get referrals from our global network leading to projects with Americans as well as Chinese.

Gordon: Do you have any recommendations for US companies who may be interested in exhibiting in Denmark?

Jakob: My recommendation is in the one size fits all categories. But before coming to that I can safely say that US companies will be happy with the infrastructure, easy access, high service level etc. when coming here. In terms of recommendations I always ask; Why are you here, what is it this specific show can/should do for you?

So in my experience visitors at exhibitions in Denmark – and the rest of Europe as I know it – are well prepared and are attending exhibitions with very specific purposes. This puts increased pressure on the exhibitors to be clear and to the point in their communication and activities – not only at the booth but also before the exhibition and particularly in the follow up process.

Gordon: Are most of the staff at Danish events fluent in English? 

Jakob: I would be very surprised to find that Danes at large would NOT be able to speak English, no matter where you go. From an early age we are taught languages and while English, German and French are obligatory, we can also choose between Spanish, Chinese and even Russian back in the day.

We are a small country and have since the beginning of day travelled the world to learn. Hence, we have always been oriented towards foreign languages and cultures

Gordon: What are some of the major changes that you have noticed in the EU Exhibit Industry over the past ten years?

Jakob: The crisis dating back to June 2008 has had e gigantic impact, not only in the exhibition industry, but everywhere. If I were to point out one consequence, it would be a dramatic increase in people's and companies competence levels. There is no doubt in my mind that everybody got very scared, very fast.

So the way we do business, plan projects, invest, integrate sustainable thinking etc. etc. has become much more intelligent. So we have all been forced to jump on to an upward turning spiral. As a stand builder we were at risk of extinction if we did not move with the client in terms of business understanding. If we, from our side of the table, are not willing to ask the one critical question we won't see what hit us.

The question, of course, is, what value we bring to the client by designing and building their stands? Pretty soon it will only be a matter of price, who gets the order. But what if we could also challenge, educate and develop the clients, based on business understanding, to become successful when exhibiting. Obviously the reaction time, if I am right, will span out as we have a few first movers, then a larger group of first followers and the eventually the whole market will adapt.

On a more general level I see 2 things:

1. Show organizers and even the exhibition halls will have to be more active in addressing where they can work better to create value for both exhibitors and visitors. The 2 latter are, in my opinion, left too much on their own out there.

2. The megatrend of organizations changing into networks, virtual presence and social networks fighting with physical meetings, the new generation of face downers etc. will be some of the major game changers for the exhibition industry and we need to be at the forefront of this development if we want the trade show/exhibition industry to not only survive, but also excel in redefining itself to DOCUMENT value in a SYSTEMATIC way.

You have strong background in digital technology. What are some of the advances in digital technology that we may see in the exhibit industry in the next five years?

The digital advancement in the industry meets a large number of needs and even trends. I often ask my clients about their visitors on their stand. How many came, who were they, what's the split between existing clients and prospects etc. 2 questions are new:

1. what platforms are they on?

2. what about those who did NOT attend the show?

We set up the stand, prepare to have visitors, conversations and maybe even meetings. Then what? On to the next person? So, what are YOU bringing home and what is your visitor bringing home. Is there alignment? Digital gives you the opportunity to move from involving to retaining your visitor. It allows the show to last 365 days and be accessible 24 hours a day. It caters for market analysis, you can track and trace EVERYTHING and you can reach your audience's audience. It can do that and much, much more.

Compare to general marketing automation principles and apply that to our industry and you should be happy. In the next 5 years we will see companies being more active in thinking outside in. We will have to orientate ourselves much more towards where our clients are both physically and digitally instead of forcing them to come to us at a tradeshow. Digital is key to that new scenario.

Gordon: You have an exciting new app that you have been promoting for the past few month ago named Painstorm. Please tell our readers some of it's principal functions

Jakob: Many thanks for asking as this project is very close to my heart. Allow me to start my answer from another angle.

I have hosted app. 2,500 people since 2009 at our seminars called: How to be Successful with Trade Shows and exhibitions. It did not take long before we found out that up to 90 % of the participants thought that becoming successful was close to impossible. Budgets, deadlines, internal procedures, cooperation between sales and marketing, lack of objectives, no tools to measure, too few relevant visitors at shows etc., etc. all got in the way of perfect execution of their face to face marketing projects...

2,5 years ago we "suddenly" learned that we had tons of input ranging from feelings, and observations to realities from more than 2,000 face to face mkt. pro's. We then came of with the idea of giving the whole thing back to all of these people who offered us their thoughts and sentiments. We saw all of the short comings as pains. All of these people had pains and they all knew it. We wanted to provide a process which would take them away from the pains by using them proactively. It is a 4 step model. You formulate your pain(s). The APP will suggest objectives, actions and documentation based on each pain, so that is no longer just sitting in your head as something you will have to get round to, at some point. The APP takes you from "what" to "how to"...

So, the PAINSTORM app is a tradeshow troubleshooter process …

It is now "out there". It is an easy to use tool to structure and document all choices made for your trade shows. No matter the nature of your exhibition and the pains you experience in planning or executing it, the app gives you guidance in solving each one of them. We have collected more than 150 ideas for HOW TO overcome pains as generate valuable leads, use of digital technology at the booth, calculating ROI etc. and the APP also holds a blank version for you to add exactly the pains you experience. All of it made easy to share with your colleagues. On you can see much more about the app!

The whole idea is about the face to face marketing professional being able to reach her og his full potential, so that the company she or he works for, can reach IT'S full potential with their face to face marketing activities. Now there is a systematic process allowing you to do just that.

Gordon: I hope that many of our readers will check out PAINSTORM

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