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Sure, anyone can type trade show exhibit into an online search engine and come up with millions of trade show displays and services, vendors, articles, blogs, and more. Even so, a quality definition and overview - seems to be as varied as search engine results. So allow me to offer an up-to-date classification.
A simple definition of trade show exhibit is this:
Used for the purpose of generating and promoting business commerce in order to realize a set of pre-determined objectives, a trade show exhibit is a visual or audio-visual material structure or structures, designed to gain attention within seconds, and pull people in for a closer investigation. Further, employing physical screens, banners, and an array of other pieces, a trade show exhibit is used to fill a temporary stall or booth within a trade show venue.
Oh, and by the way, the term trade show exhibit and trade show display are arguably synonymous.
Now that we have a simple definition, it s time to make a closer examination. All trade show exhibits share some essential attributes. Here are the basics:
- Immediate attention A trade show exhibit must be designed to be noticed by trade show attendees within the first two or three seconds. Further, within a few more seconds, the exhibit must pull in attendees for a closer look. Every aspect of the exhibit should be considered with that general goal in mind.
- Message/intent This means that an effective trade show exhibit must convey a pre-designed message or intent that is both simple and recognizable. Most often, this message is the marketing message that is intended to illicit a prescribed response. It is best when this message has a singular intent, like promoting a new product, or entering into a new market demographic, etc. Attempting more than one message or intent tends to be confusing.
- Structure/configuration Trade show exhibits range in size from a small portable display, to huge island exhibits. Of course, the larger the exhibit the greater the structure and the more possible configurations. However, exhibit size is generally determined by event experience, corporate size and budget, and defined goals or objectives. A smaller exhibit can be just as effective within scale as bigger displays, when done properly.
- Graphics Graphics are the centerpiece of all trade show exhibits, and therefore the most important component. Although opinions and advice on graphics have vast variation (and expense), there are a few key points that are fairly universal.
- Keep images crisp and simple Too many images or poorly chosen images spell disaster for graphics. Decide on one or two main images that directly engage attendees in the message of the exhibit. Images should be highly attractive, crisp, colorful, and to-the-point. Also, all graphics should extend consistently throughout all marketing materials used during the show, pre-show, and post-show.
- Color Scheme Select a bright and complimentary (compliments your image/logo well) color scheme and, again, use it consistently on the exhibit itself, and on all marketing materials as well.
- Logo and text The company logo is typically placed front and center in graphics panels. The logo should at least be at, or slightly above, eye level. Here again, simplicity is the golden rule for text in graphics. Exceeding one or two sentences is likely not a good idea, as this tends to make graphics too busy. Remember, the idea is to pull people in, not repel them.
- Accessories Accessories such as banners, furnishings, counters, kiosks, flooring, lighting, and so much more, bring fullness to a trade show exhibit. Use accessories in line with the scale of the display. Too much accessorizing drives people away because excess is not inviting.
- Staffing The people operating the exhibit must be trained and professional. So much is written on this and all of these attributes so it is definitely beneficial to do research and build the trade show master plan with staffing and training being central to success.
- Lead-gathering/sales The purpose of most all trade show exhibits is to generate leads and sales. There are many tactics and actions involved in effective lead-gathering and sales opportunities. A trade show exhibit must employ proven methods for capturing new leads and sales.
To sum up, it is useful to have a clear and distinct yet simple definition of the term trade show exhibit . The purpose of this article has been to offer an up-to-date delineation of the term. Further, this article has been expanded enough to illustrate several key attributes of trade show exhibits. Certainly this is but a beginning, and yet a strong place to start.