What story does your trade show booth tell?

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What story does your trade show booth tell?

Your company has an important story to tell. For that story to be heard above all the competitive noise, every piece of your marketing materials needs shout it from the rooftops – including your trade show booth.

It’s easy to consider that story when you have the luxury of unlimited digital space on a website or the running time of a two-minute video. But how do you shout that story to throngs of distracted people strolling a crowded, noisy convention center floor in a way that gets them to stop and talk with your booth staff?

Like billboards along the interstate, your booth has to tell a compelling story in those few precious seconds before your audience has passed you by.

Of course, you can rely on tired trade show gimmicks to pull people in, but once they’ve spun the wheel or putted the ball into the hole to win a tchotchke, they still will likely go on their way without ever taking interest in your sto­ry. To get a true return on your sizeable trade show investment, a booth that’s only up for a couple days needs to be an even better storyteller than a website or YouTube video.

There isn’t enough space in this blog to address all the design possibilities for building a great trade show display. Depending on your budget, your options are almost limitless. But no matter how much you have to spend, there are some general rules of thumb that can help you design a booth that will clearly tell your company’s story.

Every great storyteller starts by knowing their target audience intimately. Take a look at your marketing materials. You probably already have many of the components that speak to that audience.

If your company has a powerful tagline, it tells your story in just a few words. Display it prominently on the back wall of your booth. On a crowded convention room floor, size matters. Add one inch of height to the letters for every foot away visitors will stand. So if your audience is 12 feet away, letters should be a foot tall.

When it comes to messaging, display height also matters. People aren’t looking down as they pass by. Don’t drape a banner across the front of a table at waist level and expect people to notice. Visitors also aren’t craning their necks looking at the ceiling. Display your most important messages at eye level or slightly higher.

Ever got confused when trying to read a story that had too many competing story lines? A booth with too many graphic elements will have the same effect. Avoid displaying too many competing visual elements. Confused visitors will just keep walking rather than stop and try to figure out what your booth is trying to say.

Every great story has a bigger-than-life hero. Your product is that hero and it needs to be displayed prominently in a way that shows how it will make your audience’s life better. If your product is a service, use two or three powerful visuals that illustrate the service you provide along with a short, well-crafted tagline to show how your service makes people’s lives better. Save long blocks of copy for your brochures and catalog. No one is going to stop and read a paragraph printed on a banner.

Avoid the temptation to use the brightest colors possible. Like an author that uses way too many flowery adjectives and 25-cent words in his story, obnoxious colors will only detract from your message. Instead, consider colors and textures that are warm and inviting. Of course, you have brand colors that you use in your marketing materials, they’re an integral part of your story. Be sure they’re included prominently in your display.

After you’ve designed and purchased an amazing booth, remember it’s just the beginning of your story.

Even the best designed booth still needs to be staffed with friendly experts with a well-stocked selection of marketing materials that can tell the rest of your tale and seal the deal with your visitors.

Outlook Business Solutions offers marketing and contact center services that can boost your presence at your next trade show or event. Contact us to learn more.

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