designing a good trade show booth
17 Commandments for Better Trade Show Booth
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You have about 5 seconds to get a potential customer's attention
at a trade show, and to then make an impression. What kind of impression
do you want to make? Follow these 17 commandments, and make sure your first
impression is a good impression.
1. Your trade show booth
must be eye-catching and attention-grabbing. If you're looking for creative and
different ways to draw more attention and traffic at your next
trade show, check out these
trade show booth ideas.
2. Big colorful graphics these days are a must.
If you don't know where to get them or need some ideas, just google the word
"stock photography" and then browse through the websites you find. Or visit
istockphoto.com for impressive but budget-priced stock images.
3. There are lots of new options in portable
trade show displays these days,
check them out. Portable displays can be used for 10ft by 10ft spaces, but
also for larger booth spaces. They are much more cost-effective than
modular displays that have to be crated and trucked - though expensive modular
displays were my company's bread and butter.
4. Your graphics MUST say who your company is.
5. Your graphics MUST say what your company does.
6. Your graphics should say why you are better than your
7. Pictures are great, but don't forget some text to communicate
the above 3 points.
8. Keep all of your text at waist level or above. Don't make
people look down to read. And keep your text big and short, and easily readable. Don't
make it a novel.
9. Plan ahead and start early.
Don't wait until the last minute to come up with your design concept, determine
your trade show message, and create your trade show graphics. Plan ahead, way
ahead. Do not procrastinate! Attend several trade shows well in advance and
wander the trade show aisles to see what kind of trade show graphics other
exhibiting companies are using. Let them help inspire you. Find some trade show
display company websites and see if they have same trade show display designs
available on their websites. Review them for more design inspiration. The key is
that it is easier to be creative and come up with an amazing design if you give
yourself as much time as possible and get started NOW, not two weeks before the
10. Have a website and include the
website url somewhere on your design. It's up to you if you want to also include
a Facebook page url and a twitter account... I think those two things are a bit
11. Think about using a famous or authoritative
quote for your trade show display.
12. Get a proof of your trade show booth displays graphics before they are printed.
Ask someone to who doesn't know much about your company to quickly look at it.
Then take the proof away and ask them if they can tell you what your company's
name is, what it does, and what they know about it.
13. Get some kind of halogen lighting
for your booth. Many
other trade show exhibitors don't bother, and it's an easy way to stand out
among the sea of same-as-the-next-guy trade show
14. Pay the premium for the plush padded carpet. Prospects
15. Leave the front of your trade show booth space open so that people can
easily come in.
16. Keep your trade show giveaways inside your booth space so people
have to come in and say hello. Don't make it easy to snatch and dash. If you
invest in giving out free trade show giveaways, make sure you get something out
of it. If you don't know what to hand out, check out these
trade show giveaway ideas. Just
make sure that your company gets something by handing out freebies, and not just
17. Don't be a like crotchety old man and think that computers are
too complicated. There are some amazing software design programs out there for
creating absolutely stunning trade show booth designs, plus just creating 3D
mock-ups of the actual trade show booth layout. It's amazing what computers can do for design.
Don't be afraid to use them.
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