A key component to growth for businesses is exposure to prospects, customers and vendors. One way to approach this is through trade shows and conferences. The challenge is that your company is typically not alone at these events and you will be competing for foot traffic. Much like NASCAR, you will have a large audience in which your goal is to stand out from the pack while winning by gaining more “fans” or “customers” than anyone else.
Customers or prospects who attend trade shows are typically bombarded with collateral, free giveaways, enticements for prizes or free offers, plus a wide variety of other items. What many companies forget is that human beings are very visual and the booth display graphics can be the primary element to grab someone’s attention. A booth display, much like a marketing campaign, can be integrated, and your graphics should complement the message and product you are promoting.
There are a number of organizations that specialize in booth displays. Displays range from simple table top graphics to 40’ x 40’ massive displays with complex electronics and truss systems. It is important to understand the product, message and strategic goal for a return on investment and outcome from the event. This will help determine both the design, booth layout and materials that will help support a higher probability of foot traffic. Here at Synapse, we have partnered with a number of vendors who can offer a variety of booth layouts to meet each and every client’s needs.
When you begin considering what type of booth you are looking for, here are a number of questions to ask yourself that will help direct you in finding the best solution for your needs:
- What is the size of the booth you are looking to use? Trade shows and exhibits typically work with a standard size such as 10’x10’, 10’x20’, 20’x40’, 40’x40’, etc. Understandably, if you are introducing a new automobile at the event, you will need the necessary space to accommodate it, so a 10’x10’ probably won’t work. You will need to check with the event organizer to secure a booth and size.
- In terms of the graphics, would you like to use large or small panels? The bigger the booth layout, the more opportunities you have to visually capture the attention of people walking past – even from a distance.
- Did you remember to include lighting? A common mistake by a lot of companies is overlooking LED lights that can be attached to the display. Convention centers have overhead lighting, but at the height of which they are installed, they typically don’t provide enough wattage to help showcase the true colors of your graphics and products. Adding lights can really enhance your overall display.
- What type of material do you want to print your graphics on? Technology has advanced so quickly. Traditionally, most items were printed on a plastic PVC substrate, but there are newer, lighter products that can be used. For example, printing on fabric via dye sublimation allows for intense detail and color variation. The quality of this product is so high that most people cannot differentiate between this and PVC. Another key advantage is that it is more compact and much lighter in weight, which reduces shipping and transportation costs.
- Is one of your goals to keep people at your booth for an extended period of time? If so, you should consider adding accessories like tables and stools to complement your booth graphics. Metal and aluminum may work better with a modern design, whereas wood may be better suited with graphics that are more neutral and classic.
By asking these questions, you can in many ways become a true architect of creating a booth that is visually attractive with graphic displays that will help draw in foot traffic. It’s important to remember that booths are modular and the various components can conform to the design of the graphics and provide added value. You want to be the Tony Stewart of the trade show. His fans know he is #14 and that he has a great winning record – they can recognize his car anywhere very quickly. Get all the fans to follow you and you will get recognized quickly in a large crowd of competitors.
Take advantage of the services available to you – you want to stand out and not blend in. Marketing firms such as Synapse can help build a powerfully designed booth that will get you noticed and help you reach the finish line with the elite group.