Graphic designers and marketing managers think and communicate ideas differently. Designers tend to focus on graphic elements and spatial patterns, whereas marketers tend to focus on messaging and calls to action. When designing your next trade show display, use these tips to ensure that you and your graphic designer are on the same page with a shared vision.

Why Do You Need a Graphic Designer?

Professional graphic design makes your trade show booth look polished, which helps trade show attendees to take your business more seriously. Graphic designers are great at what they do, and there are many graphic designers who specialize specifically in trade show design. It is worth spending the money to have a professional design, rather than trying to design an entire trade show exhibit on your own. There are many ways you could make a mistake with your design layout, structure, sizing, or overall look, but with a professional graphic designer, you know you are in good hands.

How to Decide What You Want

Throughout the design process, you will work closely with the graphic designer to ensure that your new exhibit accurately reflects your brand and corporate image. If you are unsure of what you want and you aren’t artistically inclined, show the designer your existing marketing collateral (logos, brochures, print ads, website, etc.), discuss your goals for your exhibit and what you want attendees to do/see/remember while visiting, and then let the graphic designer take the lead and show you some options. This is their job, after all, so they should be very good at it!

Graphic Design for Trade Show Booths

Because of all the competition and visual distractions across the expo floor, trade show booth design is a specialized skill, requiring you and your designer to get really clear and concise with your text and graphics. You will want something large, bold, and attention-grabbing that conveys what your business is all about in as few words as possible.

Keep It Concise

Trade show attendees are constantly on the move, so they aren’t going to be compelled to read through a wall of text. Keep your backwall and banner stand text short and concise, and make it as catchy as possible (there is a reason why jingles are short but memorable!).

Tell a Story

If you have multiple booth elements — such as a backwall, a banner stand and a reception counter — make sure they all flow together to tell a story. Whether it’s about how your business was created, what your services are, or how you can help your target market, stories are compelling. The longer you can keep attendees in your booth, the more new business you will acquire.

Color Is Important

Color is one of the most important aspects of graphic design, and your trade show booth designer can help you choose the perfect color scheme to create the impression that you want. Order Pantone® swatches to ensure that what you see on screen and in your mind matches what will be printed on your signs and displays. Color mistakes are expensive and easily avoidable.

Go Big or Go Home

Trade show booth design is always better when you make it as large and bold as possible. The easier it is to read, and the more attention-grabbing the graphics are, the more memorable the impression you’ll make on attendees.

How to Communicate What You Want

Be Direct

When speaking with your graphic designer about your new exhibit design, be sure you state exactly what you want in direct terms. Cast a very clear vision and don’t imply anything, as this may result in miscommunication. Remember, everyone is working together to bring your business to life. When it comes to what you like, there are no wrong answers.

Make Sketches

Even if you can barely draw a stick figure, graphic designers will have a better chance of understanding what you’re looking for if you can draw them some simple sketches and/or provide a simple mockup showing the placement of your company logo, photos, call to action, and the like. Doing so reduces the potential for misunderstandings about the desired layout and general design concept.

Get Color Samples

Always compare what you want and are looking at online to physical color samples before anything goes to print. Don’t skip this step because it can be one of the most devastating mistakes you could make.

Have a Brainstorming Session

Designing your trade show booth should be fun! Have a brainstorming session with your graphic designer — you might be surprised at what you come up with as a team.

Hire the Experts

If you want the most professional-looking trade show booth possible, the best option is to hire a professional design firm like EXHIB-IT! that specializes in trade show booth design. Contact us today and let us help you bring your vision to life.

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