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How To Design An Inviting And Open Trade Show Display

Ken MacKenzie

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When designing a trade show booth it's important to realise that your trade show display serves as a direct, powerful reflection of the quality, image, and service of your company and its products.

It's imperative that the visual impact of your trade show display makes a strong first impression and communicates your message in a matter of seconds.

You only have a very small window of time to attract visitors to your booth and to maximize sales opportunities.

The first thing to consider, when designing your trade show display, is to ask yourself what you hope to accomplish by participating in the event. As you begin considering the type, size, design, and configuration of your trade show display, answer these questions:

  • How do you plan to use your exhibit to meet your objectives?

  • How large is the show in which you plan to participate? Does it attract national, regional or local audiences?

  • What location type (in-line, corner, end, island) and size of trade show exhibit display space will you reserve?

  • How will you transport your display to the show?

  • How much money are you willing to invest in your exhibit?

    Your trade show display decision should be based on your specific show objectives, your budget, and your corporate branding goals and guidelines.

    Whether you decide to have a custom display produced, or adapt a used or rental unit, the type of booth you need, will be based on the nature of the show you are attending and what you want to accomplish.

    Why does exhibit design matter? Because a well-designed exhibit is so effective at cutting through the trade show clutter and getting your message to your target audience.

    The average trade show attendee will spend 7 to 8 hours on the floor over a period of 2 to 3 days visiting an average of 25-31 exhibits. This leaves 5 to 15 minutes per visit. This gives you only 5 to 15 minutes to make a lasting impression that will give you an edge over the competition.

    Design principles for trade show displays are critically important and there are many aspects that will help to ensure that you achieve the maximum impact from your display.

    Here are just a few:

    Keep the focal points of your trade show display at eye level or higher (i. e. main image, company logo, principal messages, etc

    Do not position any meaningful part of your graphic or language in the lower 1/3 of the booth as this area offers the least amount of visibility and can often be obscured by people, chairs and podiums, etc.

    The number of images should be kept to a minimum. If several images are required, focus on one or two main images and use the remaining ones for support purposes only.

    Exhibit graphics are meant to stop people and to enhance what is being displayed.

    Text should also be kept to a minimum. Keep your message short and concise. In fact, seven words or less work best.

    Remember, your display, besides grabbing attention, needs to stop traffic and draw in customers.

    When designing an inviting, open trade show booth there are many different aspects to take into consideration. For additional information on how to make your trade show display stand out on the trade show floor, please visit: "The Trade Show Edge" for how to design an inviting trade show display

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