Written by Brian Gordon
Boring booths are bad for business. To make your trade show exhibits more exciting and attention-getting, add one or more of these 11 elements to get more attention, booth traffic, and ultimately, leads.
1. BOLD COLOURS
It’s amazing how important colour is. The eye is drawn to bright reds, oranges, yellows, and bolder hues of green, blue, and purple. Bright bold colour stands out from the sea of blacks, grays, charcoals, and dark blues. You can make a big impact when your booth has one main bright colour, or 2 or 3 combined. It’s even better if these colours are your brand colours!
2. EYE-CATCHING IMAGES
People process pictures much, much faster than text. So give them a wallop. Put on your trade show exhibit images that are big, sharp, intriguing, and relevant to your target audience. Images can be photos and illustrations of the products, people, and places they identify with, plus graphs and charts of data that will impress them. Go for fewer and bigger images, not small and too many, so you avoid a bulletin board effect.
3. ENTICING WORDS
Words that matter to your potential buyers are concise, compelling, and tell what’s in it for them. Buyers are looking for products that solve their problems and solve them better than other alternatives. So quickly tell what products you offer, and why yours are better. As with images, use fewer but larger words. And remember what Mark Twain said: “The difference between the almost-right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.”
4. VIDEO AND AV TECH
Get everyone, not just Millennials, more excited about your booth with changing digital images and videos on screens ranging from a tablet to a flat screen monitor up to a video wall. Whether it’s as simple as a PowerPoint or as sophisticated as a custom app, moving images on digital devices catch attention and improve interactions.
There is a reason that some animals will stand perfectly still when they think they are being hunted – there are much more likely to get caught if they move. Well, you want to be caught by attendees, so move! Your booth staffers can move about the booth as part of a demonstration, or your booth itself can move, with rotating signs or other parts.
6. INTRIGUING PROPS
“What is that thing?” There are few things as exciting as the unknown. So try to find props that will tickle attendees’ curiosity or desire. One exhibitor at our recent seminar said they bring old cars or motorcycles into their booth because they know it will attract their older target audience. Here’s a picture of a big yo-yo one exhibitor brings — how could you walk by that?
Bring people from your team that actually want to engage with attendees, who will smile the whole day through. You can also add a team of excitement with professional crowd gatherers who fearlessly engage and invite people into your booth, and infotainers who do entertainment that has your marketing messages woven in. Celebrities can also bring in an excited crowd.
8. MORE LIGHTING
Light up your booth better and it will create a more welcoming environment. So add more lights, especially to light up your graphics and products. You can add more colorful lighting, more backlighting, more accent lighting, and even lights that move. LED lights have become less expensive to buy, and since they use less electricity, less expensive to use at every show.
Look up, in the sky, it’s a more exciting exhibit! Taller exhibits are easier to see from a distance and are more impressive. You can add height by going with an island exhibit that has a taller structure or a tower, or by putting a hanging sign above your island exhibit. Back walls along the outside of the show floor can usually be 12 feet tall, rather than the shorter, 8 foot limit for backwall displays in all the other aisles.
10. INTEGRATED FLOORING
Your trade show exhibit has another side to add visual impact, and that’s the bottom side. Your booth will stand out when you go beyond a gray carpet. You can choose other materials such as wood or tile – or flexible flooring that look just like them. You can even print photo images. You can create designs that integrate your exhibit graphics or shapes or create patterns that invite attendees into your space. You can even add words to brand your booth and invite people in. Make sure to find the balance between more exciting and too busy.
11. ALLURING PROMOTIONS
A big pile of colorful, coveted gifts will certainly excite the attendees walking by your booth. So will good food and drink, and promotional items that will help your prospects do their job better. For inspiration, think about the promotions you’ve seen that cause people to line up and wait to enter an exhibit.
That’s 11 ways you can add excitement to your trade show exhibit. Put them to use and make your booth a hotspot of fun and activity!
About the Author:
Brian Gordon is a founding partner of Skyline Toronto, helping companies communicate their message through trade shows, events, and related displays. Clients include a broad spectrum, from Fortune 500 companies to small home-based operations. Areas of expertise include message creation, graphic and architectural design, exhibit display design and build of all sizes, set up and dismantle services locally and throughout the world, repair services, and educational trade show related seminars.