…and heck, even calling it “messaging” is pretentious.

Anyway, over the past few days I have tried to put myself in the position of a non-vendor, aka someone from a hospital, government entity or the military. I’ve looked at hundreds of booths, from the tiny tabletop ones with Kinko’s-produced signs (which is nothing to be ashamed of) to the floor-dominating monstrosities that are big enough to generate their own weather systems.

In doing so, I have reached several conclusions. First, many marketers either aren’t aware that terms such as “paradigm shift”, “synergized”, and “optimized” are beyond redundant and are, from a writing standpoint, just plain lazy. The veteran HIMSS attendee has been subjected to such buzzwords so many times that their brains simply dismiss any booth that perpetrates these word crimes. How could they not? Sometimes the use of these terms probably comes from a marketing department’s fear that if they don’t hop aboard the Buzzword Express they will be left behind. In fact, the train is only headed to a dead end.

Second, the companies that can provide meaningful info to as many potential customers as possible, thereby hitting both quality and volume goals, are those whose signs and marketing materials clearly state what the company does and either what challenges their products solve or what these products do – in some cases, both. Non-vendors have pain points and are looking for vendors that salve these, and that speak the same language, a lexicon that has no room for streamlining leveraged blah blah blah solutions.

If the booth signs and supporting materials can let passers by know that your company A) knows what the heck its customers are trying to achieve and B) can help them achieve it you are going to have a successful show, even if your color scheme isn’t enticing and you aren’t relying on scantily clad “temporary staff members” to do the enticing for you. Speaking of which, is there anything less subtle?

That aside, some of the booths near ours (860, if you need a way to get rid of paper forms and to get clinical data h EMRs – see, no buzzwords needed) have done a good job of creating simple, explanatory signs that, heaven forbid, actually say what the companies are selling. Here are some grainy images of their work:

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And, it doesn’t hurt to follow the Omnicell approach of combining straightforward messaging with the best espresso on the show floor (thanks to Mr. HIStalk for the tip).

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