It can be difficult for companies who are trying to design an impressive-but-affordable trade show exhibit for trade shows to know where to start, given the huge range of options available. When you walk the floor at a trade show, you’ll probably have a moment when you heave a wistful sigh at the sight of some large-scale exhibit fielded by a huge company with a much bigger marketing budget. Some of those large exhibits are pretty cool, but the truth is, you don’t have to spend that kind of money to have an exhibit that impresses your visitors and helps your team achieve your marketing objectives. Whether your company wants to minimize the costs of freight, drayage, and I&D, or you’re new to trade show marketing and building your first display, a well-designed trade show exhibit can be every bit as effective as it is economical.
A Solid Foundation
Trade show exhibits are commonly built on a foundation of portable display pieces like banner stands, pop-up units, inflatable elements like towers, and accessories to support multimedia and interactive technology, merchandising, and other specific needs. These pieces are engineered for an ideal balance between weight and durability, and they’re designed for fast and easy installation and packing, so that one or two people can handle set-up and tear-down quickly, and without tools. Most portable display pieces pack into a container that can be checked as luggage on a plane or loaded into a passenger car, so your shipping costs are minimal and you won’t need to pay for drayage of I&D at all.
Don’t Talk Over Yourself
It’s a big temptation – one that many trade show display booths suffer from – to include too much text, too many words, in your display. In one sense, it seems logical to include as much information as possible in your booth, but in practice, this is the visual equivalent of a room full of small, yappy dogs; it’s unpleasant and makes people want to leave. When it comes to marketing, people respond better to images than to words. Start with a large, eye-catching graphic, and add as few words as possible. Include one short central message and no more than three benefits: Best of all if those benefits can be distilled to a word or two each. Simplicity is elegance in visual design.
Less Is More
The idea of clean, simple design also serves well when it comes to merchandising and displaying demo products in your booth. Prioritize what goes into your trade show display booth. Start with the things that attract people most strongly: Things that are innovative, unusual, shiny, or moving. Plan spaces for those things first. If your products are not, themselves, visually impressive, you can draw attention to them with lighting or by using unexpected colors or textures to showcase them. There is a fine balance to strike here: If your booth seems too empty, people will walk right by, but if it crosses the line between attraction and overstimulation, they won’t be staying long. After you’ve planned for your “showcase” items, you can experiment with the quantity and arrangement of additional merchandise or demo products. If you have important items that may not be very exciting, such as replacement parts or refills, you don’t necessarily need to display those. Give your visitors an uncluttered experience, and they’re more likely to notice the things you most want to show them.