In the 5th article of our expert guide series on exhibiting, we look at the importance of stand graphics and they role they play in creating a successful event. Be sure to read '4 key factors to consider before exhibiting at a trade show or industry conference.
Graphics are an essential element of your exhibition stand. When used properly, they attract the attention of visitors, drive potential customers and reinforce both your branding and its key marketing messages.
It’s important to spend time and effort to ensure the visuals right, mainly because they can be expensive—typically accounting for 5 to 10% of the overall cost of a stand. In addition, due to wear and tear, graphics tend not to survive the dismantling of a stand once an exhibition is finished.
But the good news is that there are a few simple rules to follow to ensure you get the maximum return from your investment in visuals. Here are some simple considerations to help you during the planning stage:
Most importantly, use a designer who is familiar with the large-format displays that typically adorn an exhibition stand. What works on a magazine page or a website may not work so well in an exhibition hall. Availing of the services of a designer with experience of producing graphics for exhibitions will prove to be a worthwhile investment
Second, and to repeat a point often made: Content is King! Resist the temptation to cover every inch of available stand space with images. That is only likely to result in a cluttered appearance and confusing messages. Remember, the point of the visual aspect is to drive traffic to your stand and to engage people’s interest once they are there. Information is best displayed in bite-size chunks that can be processed quickly and efficiently. Keep your messaging clear and concise.
The third important rule, which applies to graphics too, is to ensure consistency of your brand or marketing messaging. The graphics must reinforce the key messages and it helps if these are consistent or topics you are discussing elsewhere. As a general rule, an exhibition is not a good place to relaunch a brand. Familiar messages, boldly displayed, will help you to stand out from competitors in a busy exhibition hall.
Take good care and prepare high quality images in advance with the designer. Remember that with large-format displays any imperfections are magnified in a way that may not be apparent in other media. An experienced designer will identify and advise on likely pitfalls to help ensure a satisfactory result. It is perfectly reasonable, and a good practice, to ask for a sample of graphics before making a final selection. This will ensure that both the right messages and the appropriate quality are being delivered.
Consider factors such as the location of the stand and the position of any audio-visual displays you may be using. Remember that graphics are an excellent tool for attracting visitors to the stand, so take the opportunity, if available, to display messages at the most visible point to people exiting a lecture hall where a keynote address is made, for example. Also, try not to have graphics displays clashing with any AV presentations on the stand.
Historically, graphics have been created for one-time single use, but the exhibition industry has been making significant progress in pushing a code of sustainability, so speak to your stand builder about the materials and products used in your graphics to see if there is an opportunity to reuse them for future events.
‘Using the best method and materials for stand graphics is always a challenge, Foamex and acrylic graphics are plastic composites which are not very portable and have an impact on the environment.
More recently the development in tension fabric systems seems to have answered these concerns,
as they offer an attractive and cost-effective way of producing large printed displays with high impact and seamless graphics. They are also eco-friendly, lightweight, and highly portable. ‘
Remember, strong visual graphics can transform the quality of your stand and engage both new audiences and potential customers. Think about your target audience from the outset, take the right advice from the best people and your investment in an exhibition will pay dividends.
Speak to one of our experienced Project Managers today for a free design and cost consultation on your stand, use the contact form or call us on 01527 510 154.