Exhibit Design Quick Fix: Color

Examples of color design for trade show exhibits

There are standard colors for every industry and every brand has its own marketing department-approved shades.  But generally speaking, there are universally expected colors such as blues, grays, white and pops of red.  These are safe and work just fine, but we like it when our clients go for something bolder because it shows guts and a personality that speaks to their target market.

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Hanging Signs Can Do More Than Just Hang There

examples of hanging signs at trade shows

Hanging signs are staples on trade show floors.  Most exhibitors use them to maximize the display’s height and make the company name visible from a distance.  Obviously this is all fundamentally vital, but truly successful exhibits incorporate hanging signs that do even more.  Don’t contribute to hanging signs becoming the superficial backwards cap of events by just plopping them on top of your exhibit as simple identifiers.  Make them a part of your visitors’ experience to ramp up the effectiveness.

How can you make your hanging sign an actual part of the booth experience?

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How to Draw Attendees into Your Exhibit: Lighting

Typically trade show exhibit layouts require attendees to walk in from the aisles in order to engage with booth staff or product displays.  Many of you have already learned that funneling people inside the exhibits helps give them a sense of privacy and more focused attention.  Common ways to do this within exhibits might include relying on graphics, physical structures, placement of products or even music. But one trick is a little more subtle and still effective.  Thoughtful lighting not only draws attendees’ eyes to important features but can also lead them to important locations within the booth.

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The 68% of Attendees Who are Likely to Forget You

Mood Media's 2012 NRF custom exhibit.

At any given time, nearly 70% of trade show attendees potentially have no idea you’re exhibiting.  According to Exhibitor Online and Expoweb, 38% of attendees are first timers while another 30% of an average trade show’s visitors are considered regulars.  These are two segments of the crowd that can easily miss your exhibit if you do not regularly update it.

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Transport Attendees Away from the Trade Show

Yale's custom exhibit at Promat 2013

A major drawback to trade show exhibits is that you can typically only display a product, not its contextual usefulness.  With all of the distractions and unrealistic settings at trade shows, it can be hard for attendees to make an accurate mental connection to the product.  Taking an attendee away from those distractions and putting them into a real life environment helps them focus on how your products meet their needs, which in turn makes your products stand out.

The good news is that you don’t have to actually take attendees out of the convention center.  This can be accomplished in a number of ways with visual, auditory and emotional cues created by the experience within the space.  Even without the ability to recreate large or out-of-element settings to scale, your booth design and fabrication can mimic reality well enough to mentally place attendees in the time and place they will use your product.

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Why Your Trade Show Exhibit is a Trade Show Exhibit. Unfortunately.

A typical trade show exhibit.

Do you ever walk down an aisle at a trade show and say to yourself “my exhibit looks like a trade show exhibit” ? Exhibit companies pride themselves on creating exhibits that are lightweight, easy to assemble and use standard pieces to maximize value.  These features have become industry standards, but they lead to exhibits that look alike.  They all look like trade show exhibits.

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