Trade shows are the lifeblood of many companies, but too many organizations have displays that don't work in their favor. Design factors should encourage visitors to enter the space and engage with personnel manning the display. In addition, the display design must catch the eye of a visitor without being garish. Finding that magic point where visitors will actually want to enter the space is the goal, but that's not always as easy at it might seem.

Tailor Display Designs to the Target Demographic

Each organization and product are different, which should suggest their trade show exhibits must reflect those differences. When the targeted demographic group is somewhat older, the color choices, fonts, and graphics used to create the display are likely to be far different than those used for designs targeting a younger group. For example, a Nike display is likely to differ dramatically from one used by a company like Birkenstock. It's always important to carefully review a business plan and identify the target demographic well before beginning an exhibit design.

Keep Designs Barrier-Free

Most designers will suggest a design that encourages event visitors to enter a display area rather than trying to interact with a representative from the aisle area. That means it must be easy for the visitor to move out of congested aisles and into the display area. While the size of the display will certainly impact the strategies used to entice visitors to enter a space, every effort must be made to encourage visitors to stop, view any materials, and ask questions. It's only after a visitor understands the value of a product or service that they're likely to consider a purchase.

In most cases, exhibit design professionals will encourage clients to keep perimeter spaces free of physical or psychological barriers of any kind. Here again, it's important to understand the importance of color and other design elements that might be off-putting to potential visitors. While physical barriers like tables or display racks tend to discourage visitors from entering a space, color choices, music, and videos with loud soundtracks will also impact a potential customer's decision to enter an exhibit.

Controlling Traffic Patterns

Booth locations will affect, to some degree, how traffic to a display area is controlled, but the display itself should be tailored to make the best use of all available space to move traffic efficiently. That's one of the reasons many organizations like to snap up corner locations or larger spaces, as those options provide more avenues to explore when the display is designed.

If potential visitors perceive the area is too crowded or they won't be able to reach display materials or products, they may well choose to move on rather than entering the display area. That costs sales and must be avoided. Well-designed exhibits will ensure visitors are encouraged to enter and exit at specific points while still making them feel welcome.

Dedicate Design Efforts to Attracting More Visitors

As noted earlier, every display should be designed to attract the targeted demographic group. However, budgets also impact what design elements are stressed and which ones tend to be minimized. Not every organization can afford a large display that includes room for products, videos, and in-person demonstrations. When working with a design expert, it's important they understand any budgetary constraints before the design process is initiated.

If your budget can't match that of a large competitor, it doesn't mean your exhibit needs to be mundane or ineffective. Top exhibit designers know how to make the best use of any space, regardless of its size. Even minimally sized displays can be dramatic when the experts know the restrictions in advance.

Keep Your Eye on the Goal

The objective of attending any trade show is to garner new business. That means the exhibit's design elements must lead to that end. While the display has to be welcoming, it must also be designed to encourage prospects to move to the next step - buying. Simply handing out business cards or promotional materials is no longer considered to be effective. Today's successful exhibitors understand marketing has changed and show visitors expect more. Interactive displays, for example, encourage visitors to try products or learn more about them in an entertaining as well as informative venue.

Following up on leads generated by the event is also vital, and that will only happen when exhibit personnel actually define how a product or service will benefit a visitor. That means personnel should be well trained in the products or services rather than being hired specifically to man a display. Only when the display visitor is convinced a product or service are of benefit will they be willing to place an order or schedule an appointment for after the show.

Is Your Trade Show Display Generating the Profits You Need?

Even if a current display is moderately successful, it pays to explore ways to enhance the exhibit to garner additional sales. In some cases, modifications to an existing exhibit might be sufficient for increasing revenues but, in other instances, a new display might be a better idea. Dated or minimally effective exhibits are best replaced, as the competition at trade shows is fierce, and having a top-quality display can (and will) impact how many prospects are willing to take the time to interact with the display itself or the personnel manning the booth. To learn about exhibit design and how it can positively impact your bottom line, contact a design expert today.

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