Top 5 Things To Look For in Successful Trade Show Booths

Posted by Mark Holme on May 12, 2015 8:30:00 AM

By Mark Holme

Over the last 20+ years of designing exhibits, I have learned a few basic rules on what an effective design is, and how it attributes to successful Branded Environments. Every company has differentiators in their marketplace. The trade show environment can be very effective in increasing your brand presence to your industry and customers. It must be clear to the customer quickly as they glance toward your space what you do and who you are.

Here are a few of the things I look to when I am walking the trade show floor:

1) Clear Brand Identity

Custom Branded Environment for Leader in Retinal Technology

When walking by the space, I assess the exhibit with a few immediate questions.  Is the company offering clear? Do you get an idea of who they are in the marketplace? Is the quality of the company's offerings, culture, personality, etcetra, represented effectively in the architecture and messaging? Considering all of the distractions present in a trade show environment, can you sum up this information in a matter of seconds?

2) Engaging and Visually Impactful

Rental Branded Environment for Samsonite at Travel Goods Show

When evaluating the visual impact of an environment, I first look at how inviting the space feels from the use of lighting, color, and overall layout. The clarity of message also plays a vital role. Do I want to go in the space to learn more? If so, is it clear where I should go to learn more? I then take a look at how the booth staff is being utilized. Are they engaging or just waiting for someone to interact with them? Your staff may not seem as part of a "design," but they play an active role in the way the design is conveyed to an audience.

3) Simplicity 

Rental Branded Environment at International CES

The design rule of “less is more” truly can add value here. Simplicity does not mean sparse or boring. It can mean the design is true to itself by achieving consistency, speaking through one visual voice. If you can do it with less, then do it. Negative space can be magical and have dramatic results. Having too much product or messaging can distract the customer. Simplifying allows the audience to not be distracted, and to better focus on key messaging or products quicker.

4) Effective Use of Technology

Rental Branded Environment at Shop.Org

Cool technology alone without engaging content and booth staff can have a negative impact on the customer’s experience and ROI. Technology can attract from a distance but interaction is crucial to the experience. If the audience can attain everything from the aisle there is no need to engage with the exhibitor staff. They will move on. Content should have the customer wanting more.

5) Quality Materials

Custom Branded Environment in Gaming Technology

The exhibit architecture acts as an immersive architectural commercial for the company. Your customer’s eye can easily be drawn to imperfections or poor quality within the structure. Don’t give your customers doubt about your quality and attention to detail by not expecting it in your own Branded Environment. Your products should be enhanced by the displays, but not overpowered by them. Use of a variety of materials is great, but these details should avoid distraction and serve to enhance the brand experience.

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Topics: Tips & Tricks, Industry News & Trends, Brand Experience