You only have a few seconds to make a great first impression with your trade show booth design. A few seconds to tell a passerby who you are and why they should stop and chat. The trick? Big, bold GRAPHICS. It’s a tall order, but it’s not impossible. Here’s how to implement effective graphics into your trade show booth design:

 

1. Show your brand identity:

A passerby should learn a lot about your brand just from the colors and images they see on your booth. An organic, plant-based snack company might use lots of green and natural wood textures. How weird would it be if the same organic snack company used sleek metal tones and industrial textures? Not only would that be confusing, but potential clients would walk straight past that booth.

Here are some brand personality questions that will help you choose appropriate colors, graphics, and fonts:

  • Is your brand playful, or serious?
  • Is your brand more masculine, feminine, or neutral?
  • Are your customers more traditional or are they trend-setters? 
  • Is your brand bright and cheerful, or subdued and professional?

The answers to these questions will help you choose an appropriate theme and color scheme. 

2. Show them exactly what you do:

This one is a little trickier, especially if your company offers a more abstract service rather than a product. A logistics service could give clues into their offerings by displaying large maps within their graphics. A pet-safe lawn care service could use imagery of dogs playing in the grass. It shouldn’t take anyone too long to guess what your business does.

There is one exception to this rule: generating curiosity. For example, if you walked past a booth featuring a life-size graphic of a toddler graduating from college, wouldn’t you want to know what they’re selling? If you have an intriguing idea to spark curiosity and draw visitors in, go for it!  

3. Give them a reason to stop:

You’ve heard it before: customers just want to know what’s in it for THEM. You want to highlight a customer BENEFIT rather than a product feature. This is where text plays into your graphics display. For example, rather than stating “The #1 Business Lender In Louisiana,” you might say “Secure Your Business Loan Without Collateral.” Just keep it under 10 words. 

You can also do it without text... For example, a company offering a new kind of dental whitening may just need a couple graphics showing dazzlingly bright smiles. 

4. Use psychology:

People view graphics the same way they read a magazine: top left to bottom right, starting with the title or headline. Your most important text should be large and visible from a distance. Then the flow of text and graphics should lead the eye through the story you want to tell, starting with an introduction of your business. Aside from your company name, which should be high on your booth, keep copy within 2 feet of eye-level.

5. Coordinate your materials:

Your trade show booth design actually includes all your product displays, brochures, flyers, and freebies. To achieve good synergy, make sure the theme and color scheme is consistent across all the items in your booth. 

 

6. Avoid cluttered graphics:

It can be tempting you use lots of photos and fonts to grab attention. However, that typically overwhelms the eye and confuses the viewer. Some basic tips are:

  • Don’t use photos as text backgrounds
  • Use a maximum of two fonts per graphic
  • Put light text against a dark background, and vice versa, to enhance readability
  • Use high-resolution images to avoid pixelation and blurriness 

 

7. Light ‘em up:

All the hard work on your graphics will be pointless if it’s too dark. You can’t control the lighting in the expo site, but you CAN control the lighting in your own booth. Use lightboxes and position halogen lights every 2-3 feet to attract visitors to your booth like moths to a flame. 

8. Get help:

If all of this makes your head spin, bring in the pros! An awesome graphic designer will help you create effective imagery. To take it a step further, enlist the help of an experienced exhibit house, which can provide expert solutions throughout the design process.

Humans are visual creatures with short attention spans. While these qualities offer challenges when it comes to trade show booth design, they also give you an opportunity to use graphics to stand out from the crowd and leave a lasting impression.

Best of luck, and happy expo-ing!

Tags: Booth Design