Think back to your last trade show. Do you recall your team spending way too much time answering the same redundant questions or worse, watching the faces of confused attendees strolling by with nothing more than a slight pause? If so there’s a slight chance your trade show exhibit graphics could be at fault.
he fonts you use in your signage are your visitors’ very first clue to the type of company you are. With thousands of typefaces out there, make sure your graphics department takes the time to find ones that are not only in-line with your brand but also convey a clear message. It’s not always the case but more times than not trade show graphics cost are by the yard and not the design. Good news for highly visual companies but it doesn’t mean a free-for-all regurgitation of every piece of artwork in the arsenal.
Below you can see two very different styles: We not only have the pleasure of working with Lootcrate. We also get the opportunity to design around what we think is some really amazing branding. Fonts are simple, messages are clear and colors are defined yet sparse.
To the left you can see a the standard pop-up walls that are all too apparent in the trade show industry. Given this is obviously from a more corporate trade show, font sizes still are way too small to be seen from a distance. Imagery is less intriguing and inviting and will most likely result in a pass by or redundant question that’s already pasted in tiny font on the graphic. Worst-part: First impressions mean everything. Get this wrong and chances are you’ve lost a potential customer for life.
Try varying your font sizes, using a larger size to emphasize important words, like what your offering at that particular convention. Smaller sizing should be used on dedicated single wall panels. Try using clever wording that will create curiosity and a motivation to enter the booth on outside walls.
This becomes much more important when going vertical. Higher walls, double deck exhibits and hanging signs should display your main general message large and clear as well as your brand logo and primary images.
Below you can see two very clear message styles. Each one is laid out differently but consistently get the proper message across:
Relevant graphics let passersby’s take in information at a glance. To keep things uncluttered, pick a single, primary graphic and go big with it. If you need more space for your message, try experimenting with fabric wall panels. Fabric walls provide the ability for an uninterrupted graphic to span across multiple panels without seams and breaks. Which could indirectly project a lazy brand image or poor booth design company.
Coloring Within The Lines
The strategic use of color not only makes your sign pop, but it also helps set the mood of your trade show display. Not a very “colorful” organization? If your branding is monochromatic, try choosing a single accent color to draw attention to products or services you’d like to highlight.
Like a deer in headlights, 3D lighted letters, logos and graphics attract and direct a huge amount of positive attention. Lighted 3D logo letters are one of the simplest and most cost effective ways to brighten up your trade show exhibit graphics and booth.
Want to really go for the gusto? Try using displaying your signage on a backlit fabric wall. But don’t just stick a light behind it! There are dedicated fabrics and LED lighting for backlit walls that are fire resistant and light evenly.
If you find backlighting a little too adventurous, there are always the standard arm-lights, which have come a long way aesthetically from the old spring arm, incandescent lamp days.
To Another Dimension
When you stand in front of your exhibit, does it feel a little flat? Like nothing really jumps out at you? Bringing in features that add dimension can fix that.
Try mounting your signs on shelves or collapsible risers. Display them on folding panels, frame them, hang them a pole or create a montage on a slat wall. You can also set up a greeting counter or sampling station with its own signage. These elements give your exhibit depth, character and create a more interactive experience. That is after-all what “experiential marketing” is about.
Taking backlighting a step farther, a wall with animated image projection grabs attention with both light and movement. An animated wall will not only tempt visitors to get involved with your exhibit, but will also educate them on your products and services.
Still not impressed? Try an interactive wall where attendees can utilize all their senses (yes smell too) instead of just staring, which they can always do at home.
Expressive fonts, smart coloring, lighting choices, and a little extra depth and can really revitalize your trade show exhibit graphics. It of course isn’t the end all to an epic, revenue generating exhibit machine but it will be a step in the right direction.