Feng Shui is the Ancient Chinese practice of configuring home or work environments to promote health, happiness, and prosperity. By utilizing elements such as light and color, Feng Shui Masters used their skill to promote the flow of “chi”, or vital energy , to protect and enhance the prosperity of the Imperial Dynasties. Widely practiced today, Feng Shui theory focuses on methods to manage the flow of energy and with skillful application, can effectively lead people into your booth.
Johnny Cash had his all-black attire, Christo had the saffron-draped “gates” in Central Park. Were they embracing Feng Shui color principles? Perhaps not consciously, but both men instinctively knew the incredible impact that color has on our mood and our perceptions. Retailers and marketing professionals embrace color as one of their most effective tools. Psychologists have suggested that color impression can account for 60% of the acceptance or rejection of a product or service. Clearly, color is an important “weapon” in the Feng Shui arsenal. Master this key element of Feng Shui theory, and you’ll have people flooding into your booth.
Color can both soothe and stimulate and the two reactions are not mutually exclusive. It’s possible to excite your customer mentally while keeping him still enough physically to listen to you! A high energy presentation can be an effective tool, but it’s not to your benefit if your customer is too jazzed to pay attention to your sales pitch. Balance plays a big part in any Feng Shui application, and this is especially true when it comes to color.
Strong yang (masculine energy) colors such as red, orange, yellow or gold can be used to stimulate energy. Bright, rich color both pleases our eyes and excites our brains while yin (feminine energy) colors like green and blue promote a feeling of well-being. A combination of yin and yang hues is the most desirable but limit your predominant colors to three or less. Signage is an effective way of combining the two - try using light, yin-colored letters on a dark, yang-colored background. The contrast will make the lettering appear larger and viewers will find it easier to read.
If you are attempting to breathe new life into an existing trade show booth, nothing yields more bang for the buck than a fresh coat of paint. Even if you opt to stick with the same color scheme, a fresh coat without marks or nicks is more reflective and conducive to energy flow. If you do decide to go with a new color scheme, make sure it enhances the mood you want to set. Use red and yellow to evoke excitement and optimism and black to convey authority. Green and blue, colors found in nature are soothing and serene.
Careful consideration of color theory will go a long way towards conveying your message, even if (God forbid!) no one is in your booth. Combine this with the lighting strategies discussed in our other article and you’ll be well on your way to a successful show. But there are still a few tricks up the ancient masters’ sleeves – and the next article in our series will demystify them.
Patty Stripes is an editor for The Trade Show Both, an online resource where she has posted various articles about improving your trade show booth performance and getting creative with trade show displays .