Signalling your intent

Zarna Feltham (pictured below) offers some professional pointers for improving your exhibition signage and says that, for maximum show impact, make sure your graphics are as effective as they can be.

 

Exhibitions, tradeshows and conventions are all exciting parts of the business calendar. At events like these, your company can make a public appearance, connect with new customers and build its brand - and your booth signage is a key part of achieving these goals.

So, what makes the difference between good and bad exhibition signage? I’m going to look at several aspects you need to consider to make sure your show graphics are as effective as possible - and cover some common mistakes to avoid.

 

Showcasing quality

If you’re looking to give a really professional impression, it’s imperative that you don’t scrimp on the manufacturing quality of your booth signage. It can be tempting to try to save funds by opting for a budget banner or a DIY solution, but it might be hard for visitors and potential customers to trust your company if the presentation is lacking.

Getting your exhibition signage made by the right professionals can make the difference between a good or bad exhibition appearance for your business. There are many innovative display stand solutions available today, and an expert sign maker will be able to walk you through some of your options.

The same can also be said for the design. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a graphic design expert working for you in-house, it can be a good idea to enlist the help of a professional. After all, a substandard design with a naive layout isn’t likely to reflect very positively on your business.

 

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Readability

Exhibitions and tradeshows can be very crowded and hectic. Attendees are likely to be bombarded with stimulus, with hundreds of things to look at and lots of business vying for attention - not to mention the often overwhelming job of simply navigating some of the larger convention floors.

Many tradeshow guests won’t always have time to stop and slowly read every booth’s signage in its entirety. It’s important to make sure that the key aspects of your brand messaging come across very clearly in your signage - and that the text is legible from a distance.

In a convention environment, customers are likely to see your booth from across the hall or when approaching from any one of a number of angles. If your signs mostly feature small, fiddly, or otherwise hard-to-read text, you may find that your stand doesn’t draw in as many interested visitors as you might like.

It’s also essential not to over-clutter your signage designs with a lot of competing elements. Instead, it can help to use minimal elements to make sure the key features are easily understood.

If customers can read your signs from afar, get excited about your business and come over to your booth - that’s a great exhibition experience for you.

 

Brand values

Your exhibition signage represents a great opportunity to communicate your brand values to all approaching customers.

By using colours, typography and imagery to visually represent your company’s personality and ethos, your signs can do a good deal of the introductory work for you - before your visitors even get to speak to your staff. 

Your show signage should be consistent with your wider branding where possible (if a customer should visit your website or look you up on Twitter after the show, they should see the same recognisable branding in those places, too).

 

Context

When designing the visual imagery and signage for your exhibition stand, it can be a very wise move to think about your placement in the venue - and which other companies might be nearby (if you’re fortunate enough to have that information early).

You may find it helps to look for photographs taken at the same event the previous year - this might give you some good ideas for the kinds of visual design that will help your booth stand out. For example, you may notice that all of the carpets and booth walls in the convention hall are blue - meaning that a blue signage design may not have the visual impact you hoped.

Tradeshows and exhibitions can be among the most important opportunities for customer acquisition - so it’s vital to make the best impression possible.

With great booth signage to represent your brand values and showcase your professionalism, you can make the most of your company’s appearance at such a public event - and attract the right type of visitors to your stand. 

 

Zarna Feltham is Production Manager at Medash Signs, which has provided exhibition and other commercial signage throughout the UK for 40 years.

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