Trade Show Display Blunders to Avoid

Rarely are we honest about what is bad about trade show displays and the truly horrendous ideas that we have seen at trade shows. Usually, this blog stays positive and builds upon creative ideas. But sometimes reviewing mistakes and the disastrous directions of some trade show displays is instructive, because it allows us to be honest with ourselves.custom two sided SEGUE frame with silicone edge tension fabric graphics

It is like a mirror – you cannot avoid what you see there. If the following reflections on bad trade show booths at all resembles your own, there is always time to change! Just be honest with what can go wrong, and what you have seen others do wrong, and avoid it in the future. Without further ado:

Trade Show Display blunders to avoid:

Vanilla: Personally, I enjoy a little bit of French vanilla ice cream every now and then. But vanilla and trade show displays do NOT go together. If your trade show graphics are dominated by white and light pastels, you are disappearing into the background. You may not want neon signs at your display stands, but neither should you project the same colors that dominate tranquil neighborhoods across America. Without some contrast or some color, your ideas are being passed by for the red booth or the splashy presentation in the stand next to you.

The crowded closet: Booths that pack way too much information and too many graphics into a small amount of space are also to blame. With overload, the potential client’s attention span is tested before you even begin your pitch. If it is difficult for the eye to read the most vital information, or if it is hard to walk inside of your booth space, you are sending disastrous messages to your customers.

Creating effective space – and the confidence to have open space – is one of the most inviting aspects of trade show displays. Think of the booth as a well-designed living room. Let the customer fill the space themselves.

Encyclopedic Signs and Banners: Don’t write a treatise on your signs and banners! Folks walking by are going to glance at your banners and signs – they’re not going to stop and read a book. Use an eye-catching photo and maybe a couple of words – catch their attention and reel them in to ask you some questions.

Generic graphics: Although it can be easy to think that simply placing an American flag in your display will appeal to most clients, it is actually the most overdone image out there. Graphics that are ubiquitous are not appealing or catchy. Your own images should be carefully chosen and unique, not just like every other ad campaign out there.Modified VK-1307 Segue portable hybrid display with tension fabric graphic and stand-off signs

The typical smiling happy person is also overdone, unless you couple that smiling happy person with something unique that makes them smile and appeals to the passing customer. For instance, a cell phone vendor may have a smiling image of a person talking on the phone. What about a 3-D display in which the person holds the phone’s display to the customer bragging about all of the features they get? It accomplishes two purposes: it is an arresting image and it makes the customer read what is on the display of the phone and your own display. Think outside of the box on trade show displays and their graphics and you will see results.

Just as in life, more people will remember your company if your trade show displays are unique. This involves imaginative use of vibrant colors, effective use of space, and innovative graphic choices. Don’t go with the alternative: bad displays that aren’t memorable, exciting, or unique. Plan your trade show booth design so your signs and graphics stand out with vivid and creative genius!

For more, check out our list of trade show don’ts or our article on 7 trade show planning mistakes to avoid

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