Americans are known for their short attention spans, and this is certainly true at the trade show exhibit hall. With a crowded trade show floor bursting with hundreds of exhibits, the essential job of the exhibitor is to attract immediate attention with a compelling trade show exhibit display.
Finding a fast way to capture visitor interest with an exciting trade show display booth is quite a challenge. Attendees want a quick fix. Catchy graphics can give a bold deliverance of message, and humor can be used effectively too, but the trade show exhibit also has to be consistent with the exhibitor company’s marketing message.
To be successful, the trade show booth design must answer the visitor’s three key questions:
• Who is the exhibitor?
• What does the exhibitor do?
• Why should I spend time inside the exhibitor’s trade show booth?
According to Karla Krause-Miller, Director, Cappa and Graham, Inc., a professional event-planning company in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, the psychology and strategy of trade show booth messaging is the key to success at a trade show. She advises that you follow the guidance from experienced account managers to stay on track for achieving a successful trade show display. Here are a few of her tips for exhibitors:
1. Focus on the big picture of what you want to have happen at the trade show. Keep your company’s trade show marketing goal in mind when planning a display booth.
2. Avoid common trade show graphic mistakes, such as trying to explain your new product by putting too much information in your graphics—that is the job of your trade show booth staff.
3. Make sure your trade show graphics are readable from a distance of 10 feet away and from 8 feet above. Design your booth with people in mind—what people will see when they approach from the aisle, what they see when they step inside the booth, and what they will see at the back wall.
4. Add excitement and pizzazz to your trade show graphics by using color and movement. Avoid boring graphics.
5. Use appropriate models and messages that match your industry standards.
6. Pay attention to lighting. Have a clean, well-lit trade show booth—people are attracted to light.
7. Make your booth the place to be. People want to be where the action is.
8. Avoid being too product-focused. It is best to highlight the application of what your product does, rather than rely on an unknown product name. The former Nellcor Puritan Bennett medical equipment company wanted to feature its new product, N1000, at a trade show. Instead of using the product name N1000, they showcased graphics that featured its application. Visitors were better able to understand what was inside the trade show display. Nellcor was smart to focus on N1000’s application, rather than rely on a product name unknown to potential visitors.