When you begin planning for a new trade show display, branding that display should be your highest priority, and should present your image and message in a logical way from the top down. The total impression visitors take from your exhibit should be that all of your amazing products or services and all the benefits they provide are – quite literally – under your company’s banner. If your trade show exhibit includes ceiling-suspended display space or towers, that’s where your design focus should begin, then down to the back wall, tall interior displays like shelving units, then eye-level display space, followed by banner stands and other floor-based displays like tables, which should be wrapped in custom graphics.
In most cases, your company’s logo should be displayed above all else, much like a flag. Not only does this place your over-arching visual mark in the most prominent place of notice, but it also indicates that all of the other positive things your visitors will soon notice come from your company. Since these top-most display spaces also tend to have the largest surface areas, your logo will be visible from a greater distance. One rare but important exception would be in the case of a product like Kleenex®. It would be difficult to find anyone in America who doesn’t know what Kleenex is, but how many people know the name of the company who makes that product? This is one situation where it would be a better choice to place the brand logo above that of the company that makes the product.
The next element in this vertical arrangement should be a message. Which message depends on your objectives for your trade show presence. It may be a tagline for your brand message, or it might be a bullet that points to your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). If your company has a lot of product lines, a brand message might be a wise choice here, with more information about your product lines closer to eye level. If your business is built on a single major product, a short, punchy USP slogan can be very effective in this position.
Inside your booth, there are plenty of places to place additional visual branding and messages, but you’ll need to select carefully in order to create an overall impression that visitors can absorb quickly. Most of them won’t stand there for five minutes reading everything; they’re more likely to get overwhelmed and move on if you try to overload your booth. If you’re displaying merchandise, use the back of the shelving unit to display large graphics that attract visitors to the shelves. Use banner stands next to the shelves to explain the product’s USP and benefits very briefly, and with plenty of negative space around the words: Think bullet points of a few words each, not complete sentences.
Create A Lasting Impression With Top-Down Branding
Branding a trade show display effectively depends on placing the right elements in the right places and using each element in a way that strikes visitors as harmonious with the rest of the trade show exhibit and messages.