When you are designing and laying out your exhibit what do you want people to think, feel, and (most importantly) do as a result of interacting with your company? It does not matter if you have a 10×10 or the largest booth on the floor, your exhibit is a satellite office for your company during a trade show. Many visitors only physical impression of your company will come from your exhibit, preshow marketing, and website. What message do you want to send on the convention floor?
For every 10×10 space, you have three to four seconds to make an impression. Your exhibit is more than a backdrop; it is both the chance to make a strong brand statement while prequalifying and educating visitors. Make the setting inviting, a place people want to enter. That means don’t overload your graphics with too many words. Make your exhibit accessible by not blocking the entrances. Your company’s name and products are important and should be easy to read, but the benefits of using, buying and/or recommending your product are of an equal or greater importance.
When beginning the design for your exhibit, figure out what you want visitors to do when they approach your exhibit. Where is the “hot corner” of your exhibit? Do you want them to enter at a specific point? Do you need demonstration stations or a stage for a presentation? Do you want causal seating area(s) or private conference room(s) to have extended conversations? Are visitors going to visit multiple sites within the space or only one? You can design around these physical needs and ideal traffic flow since it doesn’t matter how beautiful your exhibit is if it doesn’t function properly.
Some questions to ask before you begin exhibit design are:
- What types of products/services will be shown to visitors?
- What is your goal for the individual to DO as a result of the visit?
- What are the best ways to showcase your product?
- What image should the booth convey?
- What are the key messages you want to communicate?
- What is the next step after leaving the exhibit for the visitor?
And lastly, when your exhibit is ready, walk about 30 feet and look back, putting yourself in the shoes of a visitor on the show floor. What do you see? Is this how you want others to see you? Be objective and take notes that you can discuss with during your post show review internally and with your partners.
Every company’s exhibit needs are different, but if you ask yourself the right questions at the beginning of the process, you will put yourself on the right track for a successful event.
About David Brull
David Brull has 15 years of experience in sales and marketing for brands, associations, and agencies. He is Vice President for kubik, a global leader in the exhibit and event marketing industry. He can be reached at (443) 716-6836 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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