<a href="http://www montreal viagra.cliffdigital.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/REP-DOM-RENDER-FULL-COLOR.jpg”>Everyone’s been to a trade show and seen “that booth.” The one sitting all by itself in the corner with a couple of bored-looking people behind the counter; the booth that looks like it was inspired by Lucy Van Pelt’s psychiatry kiosk in Peanuts; or the exhibit so overflowing with goods that customers can’t effectively walk from here to there. A bad trade show booth stands out in the crowd, but it doesn’t pull in business! Here are eight signs that can warn you your new booth is about to go bust!
1) Foot Traffic
Trade shows and expos are all about foot traffic. When you get the kind of foot traffic corresponding to your target customer base or people who come in with intelligent, reasonable questions, you can feel pretty confident that your booth is doing exactly what you designed it to do. On the other hand, if your foot traffic consists mostly of people wandering through seeking directions to the food court, restrooms, or worst of all, another booth, something is probably badly out of whack with your exhibit. Of course, it’s also possible that you might be set up in the wrong trade show for what you’re trying to accomplish.
Good signage is as easy to pick out as poor trade exhibit signage. Good signage features clear, concise messages in colors that don’t conflict or “clash” with one another and is readily visible from a reasonable distance away. If your signage goes in for a lot of neon or opposing colors such as red and blue, has the entire Encyclopedia Britannica written on it, or is hard to see two booths away, something’s off. People avoid booths with bad signage whether consciously or not. Make sure your sign is sending all the right messages!
If all you’re distributing is flyers and leaflets, you won’t need a very elaborate setup for your trade show booth. A simple “lemonade stand” booth should be more than adequate. Showcasing your main products, especially if they’re large or bulky, calls for a different approach. Using the available space to your best advantage is just as important as any other aspect of your trade show exhibit. Because it’s the first thing prospective customers notice, wise use of your space can help generate foot traffic and sales or contracts for you!
Your decor should be appropriate to what you’re selling. While this shouldn’t come as any surprise to anyone with a basic grasp of aesthetics, there’s always someone who insists on setting a big-block 454 engine on white plush carpet or showcasing cosmetics and other beauty products against a backdrop of Astroturf. The visual indigestion this can cause subconsciously steers people away from your booth because the contrasts are too extreme. This doesn’t mean your space shouldn’t be inviting, but the decoration you choose should enhance and highlight your product, not create a lot of visual white noise that distracts from it.
5) Customer Base
Knowing and understanding who your customers are and their common patterns and behaviors makes a big difference in choosing every aspect of your trade show booth. People in outdoor or labor-intensive fields such as construction are more likely to feel at home in an environment that mimics their usual working conditions while blending them with a “softened,” more comfortable spatial dynamic. Similarly, people who work indoors such as attorneys, writers, and office personnel will be more comfortable in homely but businesslike surroundings. Knowing how your customers think and act is a key part of making a great trade show booth.
This is considered differently from customer base, because as much as we’d all like to pretend it’s not so, age and other socioethnic factors do play a role in who buys what. If your target customer is a middle-aged Caucasian male, odds are you’ll set up your merchandise, information, and other aspects of your both a little differently than you might for a young African-American woman. Study your client demographics carefully, and then implement your design accordingly.
7) Basic Aesthetics
This was touched on lightly in #4, but we’re going to consider it as a separate entity here in more detail. A good aesthetic design consists of materials that complement one another, such as wood, plastic, or glass coupled with metal or fabric paired with wood. A bright color overlaying a dark one, such as electric blue over black or maroon over gray, or a dark color accenting a bright one, such as green atop purple, is subconsciously inviting and puts potential customers at ease. This in turn makes them more receptive to your information, sales pitch, or product.
8) Personal Preference
Ultimately, the key to great booth design is your own preference. There are a lot of “always” and “never” rules to exhibit design and signage, but personal taste and preference can trump all of these rules provided they’re executed correctly. Some people really like florid, eye-catching color schemes and hectic, busy designs. If done properly, this can actually help rather than hurt your business, but before you break the rules because “It works for me,” you’d better be sure your customers will agree. Otherwise you’re in very real danger of being “that guy” at “that booth,” sitting by yourself playing a handheld video game while your customers walk right by your booth, easy pickings for your competition.
As you can see, a lot goes into the development of a trade show booth: signage, color scheme, even market research about your expected customer base! By following these rules and, if necessary, engaging the services of a professional trade show exhibit creator, you can expect your next trade show or expo to be a successful one. Showing off your products and services to their best advantage in a natural-seeming environment is a great way to draw attention and business. Understanding and implementing these basics frequently means the difference between a successful investment and a disastrous waste of money, time, and effort.