Anyone who has ever went to a trade show event can tell you they are essentially competitions for limited amounts of attention. In this article, we will build off these earlier articles and dive more deeply into how your trade show booth design specifically can raise you above your contending exhibitors. Let's begin!
The overall goal of your trade show display is to appeal to the right attendees and attract them to your booth with a short and bold statement. This holds true especially for young, lesser-known brands. It is critical to understand that using just your company name won't be sufficient enough. Attendees are not likely to play a guessing game in regards to what your brand is all about; they'll just move to the next booth.
Below are 10 trade show booth design tips for being briefer, bolder and more relevant than other exhibitors:
Tip #1: Use a clear, eye-catching tagline to qualify booth traffic.
As a rule of thumb, make an effort to develop a 6-word tagline your audience can interpret within 3 or fewer seconds. Keep it genuine, and do not make it too abstract. If you are a young brand, your brand name can be secondary to the tagline, as it will ultimately be more effective in attracting visitors to your booth. By stating clearly what your brand is about, you'll also discover that the people stepping into your booth are attendees who are in fact interested about your brand/products.
Tip #2: Choose one main thing guests should remember.
What would you like attendees to keep in mind following the show when they think of your booth? Your top get may differ from show to show. If you're introducing a fresh, new product or have a new way to solve a problem, for instance, you will likely want to market that fact.
Tip #3: Display your choice on your backdrop.
Your trade show display backdrop is the focal point of small to mid-sized trade show booths. Utilize it to convey the one thing you want the audience to keep in mind about you. Larger booths may have an extra point of reference, such as an overhead hanging banner or even two or more backdrops. The trick is to utilize these points of eye contact wisely.
Tip #4: Incorporate digital graphics for a big advantage, but keep your message clear.
Digital graphics shown on tv monitors aren't as pervasive as traditional printed graphics, however, they can do a great job of attracting attention by displaying changing images, like your company logo or videos of your product doing in action. Variety and on-screen action are powerful tools, but try not to overwhelm people. Concentrate on sending one strong message about your product or service.
Tip #5: Integrate QR codes in your graphics.
You can provide traditional print graphics an update by including QR codes, which are barcode-style images guests can scan using their smartphones. Scanning a code directs their smartphone's browser to a full page on the web like your website, a product description, an interactive experience, or Youtube training video. Ensure that the "experience" they are directed to after scanning the QR code is high-impact.
Tip #6: Restrict your design to a few static images.
Aside from your corporate logo, stay away from using too many static images (e.g. photos) around the booth. Think about how graphics are done on billboards. It's important to work with images that "hit hard" in simply a second or two because that's all that folks have to look into them. There's a time and a place for collections of images (e.g. your product catalog) but your trade show booth graphic design is not one of them.
Tip #7: Use a limited number of bright colors.
The rule of thumb here is to use a maximum of three colors. Again, the goal is to deliver a simple message across in the least amount of time. Using a whole lot of different and bright colors can make your booth feel "busy" and can distort the primary message you are trying to convey to attendees.
Tip #8: Respect empty space.
Another important guideline for trade show booth design is that your graphics should have a 40% empty space ratio. That's right, almost 1/2 of your trade show graphics should be totally blank. That is because what your message does not say is just as important as what it does say. Remember, you only get one shot at being memorable. Don't clutter your booth with extraneous information.
Tip #9: Use your graphics' height to attract visitors from all around the venue.
You may want to have three main types of trade show displays, depending how far away guests can stand from your booth: long-range, medium-range, and short-range. You should place long-range displays as high as possible within trade show rules limits. Medium-range displays should go above eye level, around 6-8 feet above the floor and short-range displays 5-6 feet above the floor.
Tip #10: Make sure your text is legible.
Sans-serif fonts like Helvetica are usually regarded as the most easily read. Of course, your brand's style will determine many of these font decisions, but keep in mind never to use more than two or three different fonts at the same time. As for size, a good guideline is to include an inches of height to the font for every foot away that viewers will stand. If you'd like people to read your text comfortably from 10 feet away, for example, add 10 inches to the font size.
At Trade Show House, our company is committed to offering you the right tools to ensure that your trade show display experience is easy and stress-free. If you have any questions about trade show booth design or other exhibit questions, please feel free to call us at (732) 326-2130 and one of our trade show specialists will be happy to assist you.