TASC Software’s stand at bett had strong, clear graphics designed by The Design Frontier Ltd
In the words of Johnny Nash (re-recorded by Jimmy Cliff and others), “I can see clearly now…”
Not only are those words the title of a great song and one of my favourite get up and go mood tunes…
Those words and title contain sage advice.
For when it comes to stand graphics, you need to ensure that visitors can see what your business offers very clearly.
And also, very quickly.
Over the years, I’ve seen lots of stats about the average time it takes for someone to walk past a stand.
I can’t remember any of them now but I do know the answer was usually a small number of seconds.
We would all guess that too if asked I’m sure. The size of the stand in question might also be a factor in the calculation.
Anyway, be that as it may, we are talking seconds not minutes. And that’s the point to keep in mind when you are thinking about the design of your graphics. Printed or digital – clear messaging is VIP.
Here are some reasons why.
1. Showing very clearly what you “do” attracts people who want what you offer: Result? You have more sales conversations
I have helped two clients recently by working with them on their stands at trade shows.
With one client I had provided some advice on their stand graphics pre-show, but not with the other.
Their graphics had already been designed and put into production when we started working on the show.
It was interesting to weigh-up after each event how things had gone.
Both clients had good shows as far as leads go.
However, the first client, the one I had helped with the graphics, had a much more productive experience during their event than the other.
This was because the graphics on their digital screen spelled out exactly what they were at the show to offer.
People were coming onto their stand saying: “I need a new xxx (the things that their screen was displaying).
The second stand had nice graphics but there was no clarity about what they (the exhibiting business) could do for visitors.
Consequently, more time was spent by both parties on this stand, i.e. the stand team and visitors, finding out what each other did.
Visitors were coming onto the stand and actually saying “what do you do?”
In all other areas, my client had prepared well for the show. She had a well-briefed stand team and a stand that looked great.
Clients and prospective clients had been invited but the graphics were not working as they should have.
2. Graphics are an important part of your exhibition sales kit
When you exhibit, your stand is an important part of your sales kit.
It’s the place where you show prospective buyers what you do and offer them.
So when you are in the planning stage of an event, it’s important to think about how your stand is going to play its part in your sales process.
Depending on what you do, the shape of a stand can work for or against you.
Maybe a better way of saying that is that some stand shapes will work better for your business.
Long thin stands work well for small products and services.
Big, rectangular spaces with minimal construction work well for machinery exhibits.
The shape and space provide the base for how the stand will work physically. Where products will be placed. Where your sales team visitors will work and flow.
Graphics, whether print, digital or both, should support that presence.
How they do that may depend on the location of your stand and what’s around it. The venue may also have a bearing.
Ceiling heights may be high or low in different places. There might galleries and balconies to think about and deal with or benefit from.*
Consider the traffic flows as visitors make their way around the show.
3. Important messages should be above eye-line
Don’t display important messages on your graphics below the eye-line of visitors because visitors won’t see them.
It’s fine for images to run down to floor level but not text.
When planning your display the most important messages should be in clear sight of visitors as they come towards your stand.
You want your message to be something that makes visitors who are looking for what you offer, want to stop and talk.
This is how graphics become an effective part of your show sales kit.
Products and demonstrations can have the same “attracting” effect.
But if you don’t have products to display or if the ones you have are small components, then, graphics have to do a sales job for you.
4. Make it easy for visitors to find you
Clear messaging makes it easy for exhibitors to find you.
Keep in mind that many show visitors are attending with a list of things they want to find.
It’s the reason why they have made time to attend.
So make it easy for them to see what you do.
The fastest route to achieving the type of graphics that will work to your advantage is to employ a designer that understands the exhibition medium.
Here are some guidelines from Dan Robins of Colab Digital, a hugely experienced event designer and a member of our Expert Panel.
Dan has many years of designing for exhibition stands and event signage to draw on.
“When compiling the content for stand graphics ensure that any imagery, illustrations or other content are of high quality at their source.
Print technology, substrates, and other graphics-related materials have progressed hugely in recent years.
What this means is that any imperfections in image resolution will show-up when printed.
This is especially noticeable when images are placed alongside pin-sharp text.
Your designer or production team should be able to advise if any content is likely to reproduce at a lower quality than you expect.
Because of this, it’s quite acceptable to ask your supplier to provide a small printed sample prior to producing the graphics for the entire stand.
This is helpful and critical if particular colour references need to be achieved.
Where this situation occurs, colour matching should be agreed with your supplier before the supply and installation of your graphics.
When planning the layout of your stand graphics…
Always be mindful of any other items on your stand that may potentially obscure your message.
Typical things that can snag a view include hired furniture, water coolers, and desks.
Ensure your important message is placed within the top two-thirds of the stand wall if possible.
Your primary content should be closer to eye level. This way obstructions from other items on the stand are minimalised.
When placing products or exhibits on your stand, think about how the content on your graphics contributes to the presentation of your products.”
Dan’s last point relates to my first. Make it clear as possible for show visitors to see what your presence is all about.
Do this and your stand team will spend less time explaining things in opening remarks and more time actually talking about how they can help attendees get what they want.
And your graphics will have done the job they were supposed to do.
*You can use the rear wall of your stand or the roof to display a promotional message