Almost everyone in the trade show and event industry has seen great trade show graphics on booths at some point. Chances are you have also seen exhibits that the younger generation would call “epic fails.” Both have common threads you can analyze. What is surprising is how much effort businesses put into their show presence with custom and elaborate booths, and then fall short on the last piece of the puzzle – graphics.
Let’s take a look at how you can make sure your trade show exhibit does not fall flat and rises to the occasion no matter what size booth space you are exhibiting in.
You’re attending an event with your new exhibit structure. Now what?
Showing up to any event with the perfect exhibiting structure guarantees you nothing. That is right, absolutely zero. Your message or brand does not exist on a modular, custom, or portable exhibit. The next step you need to concentrate on is critical – trade show graphics.
Your show’s successes and failures hinge largely upon how you project your message. Getting that right is key.
How do you create successful graphics and messaging for your booth?
The answer is a bit more thoughtful than a simple branding study. You need to create messaging with insightful graphics for your target audience. The attendee or user should be the focus so you can draw them into your exhibiting space and engage them in conversation. Your message should be tailored to the show’s primary attendees and what interests them.
Your structure is less important than you think.
You should always remember that your trade show exhibit is just a platform to showcase your messages that are catered to the theme of the show. Quality graphics and design can stop people in their tracks if executed thoughtfully.
With the careful and precise implementation of your graphics, you can gain the traffic you desire by delivering a message that speaks to their interests. That attention can pull them into your booth space with those all-important visuals.
How much should I spend on trade show graphics?
Depending on what kind of results you want from your time at the event, the amount you invest will proportionally increase the attractiveness of your booth. Do not be afraid to be bold and experimental. You have already spent time and money to attend the show, so why treat your exhibit graphics as an afterthought?
For larger exhibits, I would argue that 1/3 of your budget should be focused on graphics – both static and interactive presentations. For smaller trade show graphics display systems, it is not unusual for a 10×10 exhibitor to spend more money on graphics than the structure itself to get noticed. It really is a worthwhile investment and not an expense.
Gaining more visitors through graphics and messaging.
Your graphics should do the initial work, so do not cut corners. These tailored graphics should work in harmony with the design of your structure. Once inside your exhibit space, your enthusiastic and motivated staff should take over. The higher the quality of graphic design and messaging you put in front of your audience, the more qualified attendees will visit you weeding out the casual browser. This should result in better conversion rates at the shows you are exhibiting.
Where can I find quality graphic designers?
If your in-house team is not familiar with trade show design, talk to a trade show graphics expert at the exhibit house you are working with. They will guide you to the right professionals who know how to get the results you want. If possible, have their in-house design team work with you to accomplish your goals.
Exhibit house graphics teams such as those working on large format graphic design at Blazer have the knowledge and insight on where the best locations for your messaging should be located and at what to avoid. This valuable experience will maximize the graphics interest and help you avoid common mistakes that are made by less experienced graphic designers.
If you are tired of qualified attendees walking past your trade show booth, then improve your exhibit with the all-important visual appeal graphics can provide. Setting aside the proper amount of effort and marketing resources to develop, produce, and execute professional high-quality designs – you will see positive results within your exhibiting space and that is money in the bank!
Written By: Matt Smith
Matt Smith has been a professional Graphic and User Experience designer for over 28 years who works closely with trade show and event companies in the San Francisco Bay Area and Denver Colorado.