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How Trade Show Display Design Can Elevate Your Brand or Sink It

trade show display design
Custom trade show display design offers a chance to wow people with first impressions. Learn how to increase engagement and boost your ROI here.

Did you know over 90% of people going to a trade show are actively looking for new services and goods? While it may seem like many people are just browsing, they are there for a distinct purpose.

They want to buy from a standout company. So, become that stand-out company!

But how do you stand out amongst the crowd? With thousands of other traders there, it can be overwhelming for you and your audience, so you want to make sure your displays are impactful and memorable. How do you achieve this?

With great trade show display design, of course. Keep reading to learn how your show displays can make or break your time at a trade show.

Benefits of Good Trade Show Display Design

First impressions matter, there’s no two ways about it. In fact, recovering from a bad first impression is challenging. It’s doable, but it’s difficult. And you don’t need the extra work. At trade shows, your primary job is to generate leads and attract new customers, so you need to focus on crafting an unforgettable impression. 

That’s where displays for trade shows come in, especially when done with memorability in mind (in a good way). Aside from delivering an unforgettable first impression, here’s what great design can do for you:

  • Increases engagement
  • Elevates your return on investment
  • Sets your brand apart
  • Makes your brand more personable
  • Improves functionality and impact

This all sounds great, right? And with the right approach, it’s easy and more than doable. But a few bad design principles could sink your brand. Let’s see how.

How Poor Design Can Sink Your Brand

It’s crucial for designers and marketers to steer clear of novice mistakes, which can have a negative impact on their trade show’s ROI.

Some examples of common trade show mistakes include:

  • Building too big
  • Designing too small
  • The wrong color schemes
  • Lack of specific goals
  • Cluttered images and graphics
  • No pre-show marketing

Mistakes absolutely happen, whether you’re a pro or just starting out, but there’s nothing stopping you from avoiding these common mistakes. You want your customers and potential clients to find you easily, remember who you are and what you do, and follow up with you after the show!

To do this, you need to build a memorable and effective display.

How to Build the Most Memorable Trade Show Display

Trade exhibitions and shows are powerful marketing tools, and when done right, will attract new customers, preserve ties with existing ones, and give you an opportunity to showcase recent innovations. 

However, without proper planning and goal setting, you may not achieve these objectives. Ask yourself the following questions:

What can my design do to elevate my brand’s messaging? How can my design give the audience a clear idea of my message?

When you ask yourself these key questions, you can establish a common goal, meaning your team and stakeholders are all working towards the same thing. With a defined plan, you no longer risk losing leads because of misaligned messaging and poor design, which can have a negative impact on your image.

Highlight Your Identity

It’s likely there will be similar brands at the show. This is unavoidable. Though it makes sense that you will encounter identical swag or merchandise at a booth a few feet away, how will your own product stand out when put up against the competition? 

With careful planning, your merchandise absolutely can stand out from the crowd and be remembered long after the closing events. Once you’ve done your research and made sure your branding isn’t too similar, you can explore other ideas.

Here are a few you can use to increase your brand identity:

  • Use creative designs
  • Be innovative for business cards
  • Incorporate a theme
  • Work with a stellar designer

Just because you have competitors doesn’t mean your product is a lost cause. Consider including usable items with your logo and contact info on them. Think key chains or even bottles of water, but try to make it applicable to your product.

Promotional Products

What unique promotional style, enhanced product, or theme have you seen? What brand’s promotional merchandise left you with a lasting impression of their message? 

Perhaps you’ve noted something as environmentally friendly or had multiple use cases. People would rather have something they will use more than once, rather than a throwaway item. We are, after all, becoming a more eco-friendly society.

With that in mind, consider using things like these at your next event:

  • Custom tote bags
  • Promotional outerwear
  • USB drives
  • Custom hats or headwear

Readability and Clarity

The kinds of things that can ruin your show include having a text font that is difficult to see and a tagline that is unclear. If your text isn’t clear and simple to understand, potential customers will simply pass by. 

Your tagline should be succinct, memorable, and clear from a distance. You want a message that anyone could read in a few seconds. Avoid lengthy taglines wherever possible and consider how you can change the wording to make your main point clearer. Once you have that, use fonts that are easy to read for all age groups.

These are some of the best and easiest fonts to read for your next display:

  • Gotham
  • Helvetica
  • Futura
  • Poppins

Avoid using over 2 different fonts per panel. Any more and your display may look cluttered and unfocused.

Stand Out From the Crowd

You may be more excited about the trade show than the displays themselves, but there is so much you can do with the right trade show display design. Make sure your brand really has the opportunity to stand out from the crowd and don’t be afraid of pushing the boundaries! 

Working with a company that really knows what they’re doing will also seriously help. Whatever your ideas are, we can help bring them to life. Contact us today to bring your trade show display designs to life.


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