effective trade show exhibit graphicsIt doesn t matter if you are entering a trade show exhibit for the first time, or hundredth time, there are always so many things to consider. One of the most important pieces of your exhibit is the actual graphics used for the display. What constitutes excellent show graphics? What are the important elements? What are the goals for my display? All of these are great questions. Let s take a closer look at effective trade show graphics.

Target audience: Most companies have done a strong analysis of their target market, but each trade show is different; you should pick your trade show wisely to be sure that your trade show goals match the expected audience at the show. Also, because each trade show is a specific marketing event, you might need to adjust your visual message to more closely match the market captured at the show.

Graphics message: The message is part of the planning for your exhibit. Consider the goals and targets that must be met for the event. Determine the purpose you have in mind, whether that is to showcase a new product, build brand awareness, collect new leads, or whatever. The graphics message must clearly support/reinforce that message, while keeping in mind the target audience. The message of your trade show graphics can serve to narrow down your target, so that you do not waste time with unqualified leads. In short, the actual message of your display directly determines who stops at your booth and why.

Standing out from the crowd: Your booth is competing with most all the other exhibits at the show, so it must grab attention within just a few seconds and stop people completely, or at least slow them down. The finest idea is to use a huge, colorful, stunning image that covers the entire exhibit, along with limited text. Too much text is a definite turn off. So, the image(s) used must support the message, as well as the text that is used. Therefore, the message, the image, and the text must pull together in an eye-catching must see way. When done correctly, you don t need to be the biggest, most elaborate exhibit in the show if your trade show display graphics are outstanding.

The basics: There are 3 basic rules to follow regarding effective trade show graphics:
  • Your company name or logo should be big, bold, and easy to read at the top of your exhibit
  • Explain your target message or your mission for the show in one or two very short sentences
  • List no more than 3 supporting statement or benefits that reinforce the message. Preferably these are items that your competitors cannot match.

Make it simple: As mentioned, too much text will push people away. Text should draw people in and make them curious. Further, keep all of the text at least waist high for ease of reading. And finally, keep the overall design as simple as possible.

Imagine what your prospects will see: Do your best to place yourself in the shoes of the people at the show. In fact, several opinions are always a worthwhile idea. The people want to know immediately: What s in it for me? They must see the importance of stopping in to your exhibit; they need to see real value. Very often your audience simply needs to see a viable solution to a problem.

Selecting your graphics professional: It definitely pays off to do some in-depth research on trade show vendors. A few providers offer free graphics, but beware: you often get exactly what you pay for that is a gimmick for gaining immediate sales. Again, do your research; there are a select few online display merchants that are interested in top-notch client support, and building long-term clients. These suppliers typically have their own in-house trade show graphics department and can make professional suggestions and recommendations.

In summary, effective trade show graphics is mostly straight-forward. When you have clearly defined your target audience, conceived your graphics intent (message), applied the basics rules, acquired a stunning image, kept the whole thing simple, imagined the viewpoint of the crowd, and selected a true professional trade show graphics artist, your display will be effective every time you use your exhibit.