Designing Great Trade Show Graphics

The importance of well-designed, high-quality trade show graphics cannot be overstated. 

Trade show graphics can be as important to your business as exterior product packaging is to a retail sale. Take advantage of every opportunity. Grab attention, tell your story, and engage the hundreds or thousands of attendees who need to know your products, even if they don’t know it yet!

At a well-attended show, you may have the opportunity to personally interact with dozens of qualified prospects. But there will be hundreds or thousands more who pass by your booth that you will never speak to.

Unless you are on the attendees’ list of “must see” booths, the graphics you use in your display speak for you. In fact, they will often determine how long attendees stay in your booth . . . or whether they stop at all.

Here are some tips for making the most of the opportunity:

  1. Stop the scan. Attendees scan a trade show floor like they scan their mail. They scan the horizon, looking for which booths attract their attention and which they want to visit first. Use large fonts, bright colors, and crisp images to draw attention.
  2. Focus! This isn’t a time for nuance. Even from a distance, clearly communicate who you are and what you do.
  3. Cut the clutter. Keep your message and graphics simple. Attendees need to see the key points without being overwhelmed with information.
  4. Use high-quality images. Unlike most banners, which are designed to be viewed at a distance, trade show graphics will be seen up close. Even if they are large, you’ll need high-resolution images so they maintain their clarity even when viewed from inside the booth.
  5. Think “matte.” When sending brochures and postcards, gloss is a good thing. But trade show banners are generally viewed under harsh lighting, so go with a matte finish so attendees can see your message, not the glare!

Once your largest graphics draw people into your booth, be sure to have a wide range of collateral that tells the rest of your story.  You want every booth visitor to walk away with a full understanding of who you are, what you sell, and why they should choose you, whether they speak to a salesperson or not.

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