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Booth Design: It's Not Just a Graphic, It's Your Brand

Trade shows are the perfect platform to connect with potential clients, generate leads, and amplify your brand. However, with every exhibitor vying for attention, it's essential that your exhibit stands out from the crowd.

How do you make sure your exhibit reflects your brand and draws in attendees as they pass by? An essential step is to focus on your exhibit graphics. It’s a simple and efficient way to level up your exhibiting game.

When executed precisely, eye-catching visuals have the power to attract attendees, enticing them to stop and discover more about your products or services. And when poorly done, they can negatively affect not only the number of attendees visiting your exhibit, but also your brand equity. With a keen eye, you can elevate your exhibit graphics to a brand-changing level.

“A picture tells a thousand words” - Frederick R. Barnard, 1921.

Pictures can instantly communicate a great deal. And people generally remember visuals more than words too. This is because visuals are processed by the human brain much faster than text. In fact, our brains can process an image in as little as 13 milliseconds, according to MIT. 

There are a few reasons why visuals are so effective. First, they are more engaging and attention-grabbing than text. Second, they can create a more emotional connection with the viewer. Third, they can be used to tell a story more effectively than text alone.

A study by the University of California, Berkeley found that people were able to remember 65% of the information they saw in images compared to just 10% of the information they read in text. This study also found that people were more likely to remember information that was accompanied by both images and text than information that was presented in text alone.

So, what does this mean for your exhibit?

It means that a little focus on the visuals within your exhibit pays off in spades. Exhibit graphics and images wield mighty influence on a brand's perception and are effective in the following:

  • Increasing Brand Awareness: Through captivating graphics and images, brand visibility and memorability soar. An excellently crafted visual or short headline can create a robust visual identity, etching your brand into the minds of potential clients. Carefully curated graphics printed on premium fabric garner attention and break though the noise of the show floor.
  • Conveying Brand Personality: Graphics and images showcase your brand's voice and personality. Use vibrant, colorful graphics for a fun and playful brand persona, while more subtle and sophisticated visuals convey elegance and professionalism. Talk with your designer about how to reflect your brand and tie your exhibit to other marketing campaigns.
  • Evoking Emotions: Graphics and images can evoke emotions in attendees. For example, beaming faces can create a sense of positivity and connection while breathtaking scenery can evoke tranquility and relaxation. Use images to connect with targeted attendees on an emotional level.
  • Telling a Story: Graphics and images enable you to narrate your brand's story. By showcasing your products in real-world settings, you can convey endorsement, creating a stronger brand-consumer connection. Or you can focus on corporate brand messaging and attributes with curated photos.

Overall, the strategic use of graphics and images elevates brand visibility, memorability, and relatability, forging a profound impact on your target audience.

Eight Guidelines to Creating Exhibit Graphics:

When it comes to graphics for your exhibit, the smallest details can make the biggest impact. It’s important to stand back and take in the full visual while also looking closely at the details. Implement these guidelines in your next exhibit.

1. Align with Brand Identity: Ensure graphics and images reflect your brand's values and personality, maintaining consistency across all visual elements. Share your brand standards with your exhibit design team and use consistent colors, fonts, and image styles throughout your exhibiting program and marketing campaigns.

2. Start with a clear understanding of your brand messaging: Once you have a clear understanding of your brand messaging, your exhibit design team can help translate it into high-impact graphics. Craft clear and concise messaging that communicates precisely what you do and why attendees should care. Avoid overwhelming graphics with excessive text. Instead, focus on delivering your key messages in a clear and concise manner for maximum impact. Often, less is more when it comes to graphics.

3. Speak to Your Ideal Persona: Identify your ideal client persona or profile and tailor your messaging and graphics to them. Focusing on one client profile enhances communication and increases the connection with your brand.

4. Tier Messaging for Attention-Grabbing Branding: Strategically position your corporate brand at the highest plane, creating a focal point and guiding attendees to your exhibit. Place product messaging at the next level down. And finally, more detailed, show-specific messaging at eye level. Remember that attendees will be standing in front of lower graphics. To ensure visibility, place all important information at eye level or above, avoiding lower placements that may be obstructed.

5. High-Quality Standards: Utilize high-quality materials and printing methods that ensure your graphics appear professional and can withstand the rigors of a trade show. Ask questions about the quality and condition of machinery and experience of the staff running them. For the best color match, choose an exhibit partner that prints all your graphics at the same location, on the same machine. Once installed, inspect the graphics to ensure there are no wrinkles or scuffs, and they properly affix to the exhibit structure.

6. Don’t Forget Digital: Today there are many choices for including digital activations in your exhibit and LED screens can really make graphics come to life! Including digital touchpoints opens a whole new level of engagement opportunities, including video and touchscreens. Plus, the innate measurement capabilities of digital are a game-changer.

7. Measure Effectiveness: Speaking of measurement, it is no longer limited to only digital engagements. With the use of anonymous motion-tracking technology positioned strategically around your booth, you can measure how long attendees are looking at specific graphics and how much time they are spending at various stops in the attendee journey. This provides invaluable insight for continually improving your exhibiting program.

8. The “Three Sets of Eyes” Rule: Having three people – or sets of eyes proof graphics before printing is a marketing standard that ensures the quality and accuracy of your exhibit materials. By having three different people proofread your work, you can catch a wider range of errors.

The visuals on your exhibit structure are not just graphics; they embody your brand. By aligning visuals with your brand identity, crafting powerful storytelling elements, and evoking the right emotions, you'll forge a deep connection between your brand and your target audience. Combine these strategies with quality materials, best-in-class printing, and clear messaging to make the most of your exhibiting program.