Where do you look when you walk the aisles at a trade show? You read it right; where do you look? Too often we look right past an obvious visual that provides vital information to our suspects, prospects and customers and vice versa.
For example, where do you put your name badge when you're manning the booth? The correct position for a name badge is on your right side (near your collar bone). The highest majority of attendees shake hands with their right hands and their eyes travel up the arm to the right side of your torso just before they reach your face. Put your name and the name of your company in large type on the name tag and position it on your right side; high enough up on your shirt, blouse or coat to be read readily and easily. If you have a name badge on a lanyard, then draw up the lanyard to where the name tag is positioned under your chin. The whole purpose of this subtle but important detail is to communicate your name and company to the most important individuals at a trade show - the visitors to your booth space. This is most effectively done when your name and the name of your company are easily within your prospect's or customer's line of sight.
How about banner stands next to the aisle? Great idea if done right; bad idea if done poorly. A banner stand can effectively call attention to a new product or service, an exciting feature of a new product or service; even something going on inside the booth - it just can't do it all at once.
Here's an example of a good banner stand. Let's say you're introducing the new Widget-A1. An image of the Widget-AI should be at the top with the obvious title 'Introducing the Widget-AI'. Underneath in no more than SIX to EIGHT words about whatever the greatest feature is of the Widget-AI that offers the prospect the highest benefit - 'With X1000 - Cuts your process time in half'.
An example of a bad banner stand would be one that has way too many words - such as a schedule OR an agenda OR too many features and/or benefits of a particular product, service or entity with multiple images. Let's face it, too often the potential reader of the banner stand will simply pass right on by a message that's too complex or one that's easily misunderstood.
Next, the famous or 'infamous' computer monitor - if you're determined to use this as your primary communications vehicle - make a specific presentation with large type and simple graphics - keep the presentation to two minutes or less.
Next raise the monitor to a minimum of 40' high (set it on a case or podium) and, if at all possible use the largest screen size possible (this is not always a practical fete; especially when you have an aggressive trade show schedule and you have to transport this from Point 'A' to Point 'B' extensively). It may serve you best, if you have a larger flat screen, to invest in a heavy duty travel case.
Finally, the cardinal sin of all visuals is when you put your table parallel to the aisle. Don't do it! This is both a psychological and physical barrier to your booth space. You want every potential visitor to come inside your booth space. Move any table you use to one side of the booth space or the other and have it perpendicular to the aisle. And, drape the table with a table throw that has your logo on the front. Naked table - terrible visual. Draped table - excellent visual.
Last but not least, don't use your cell phone inside your booth space AND don't have food and drink(s) in your booth space unless you're hosting an event.
All this information comes to you from Jim Deady, a thirty five year marketing professional who owns Showstopper Exhibits, LLC, an online trade show display, graphics and banner stand website. Visit www.showstopperexhibits.com or call (888) 440-0377 to make your next trade show display and all its visual elements a showstopper.