How to Increase Trade Show ROI with Style and Design

November 15, 2012
3 min read
3 min read

As fun as they can be, no business goes to a trade show just to hang out. It’s an investment – and you want to see a return on that investment.

Your goal is to increase your business by connecting with people, getting new ideas, and making leads. This is especially true if you’re going through all the hassle and expense of bringing a booth to a show, so you want to make sure that you do everything you can to stand out and catch the eye of attendees.

Obviously you want people working your booth who look professional and have great people skills. It’s also important to think about the actual booth content, because it’s a lot easier to get attention if you’re doing something unique and dynamic and involving the crowd. But one thing that not enough businesses pay attention to is the design of the booth itself, and they’re missing an opportunity.

A well-designed, attention-grabbing booth can help to reel people in before they hear the pitch or realize what you’re promoting

A well-designed, attention-grabbing booth can help to reel people in before they hear the pitch or realize what you’re promoting, and can even play a major role in influencing their purchasing decisions, which means a better ROI for you. Here are several things you can do with the design of your next booth to really make the show worth it.

Go green

No, not environmentally green, although that’s a great way to keep your costs down. I’m talking about adding some plants, flowers, and other greenery to your booth. Trade show booths (even really well-designed ones) tend to feel very plastic, artificial, and, well, dead, so adding some live plants can make it feel like a veritable oasis that draws people in. Plus, you’re probably not going to be saving those plants for next time, so you can use them in things like giveaways and raffles to encourage people to come back.

Let there be light

You might feel like there’s no need for extra light since you’re inside a huge exhibition hall, but it’s not uncommon for booths to appear dark and shadow heavy. This is due to many factors, including harsh lighting, excessive signage, props, clutter, and the size and proximity of other booths. Luckily, it’s a pretty easy problem to design around – just include your own lights! It can be as easy as adding a few lamps or involve things like floor lighting and track lighting that are built in to the design to give it a sleek, unified look. However you do it, extra lighting is better than none. After all, you want your potential customers to be able to see the pitch and merchandise, right?

Be big, bold, and simple

Probably the most important design rule. You want your booth to have large, striking signage and images that convey in a quick and easy way who you are, what you do, and why people should choose you. Obviously, that’s easier said than done, but keeping it big (i.e. visible) and simple (i.e. able to be read or seen and comprehended in only a second or two) often wins out over trying too hard to be clever and unique. Remember, your competition is all around you, so there are lots of ways to distract potential customers. If they have to spend half a minute (or even 10 seconds) just figuring out what your business is, there’s a good chance you’ve already lost them. Saved the in-depth information for once they’re already standing at the booth.

About the Author: Sarah Bridgewater has been writing about style and design online around topics like modular trade show displays for over 15 years. When not writing, you can find her at home with her family or at the gym training for her next marathon.
 
Photo credit to RickChung.com
 

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Sarah Bridgewater has been writing about style and design online around topics like modular trade show displays for over 15 years. When not writing, you can find her at home with her family or at the gym training for her next marathon.
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