1. The Trade Show Attendee
The most obvious person you design your trade show display to attract – your clients and prospects who will be attending the event. Design your display booth to attract with compelling messages, inviting architecture, appealing colours and appropriate images that make an impact.
Existing clients want to visit you at the show to confirm they’ve made the right decision choosing you. Reassure them with a welcome environment and use the opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell. Prospects rely on the unique environment of trade shows to compare suppliers. Ensure you come out on top with a clear compelling message that promotes your value and an at-show experience that demonstrates your superiority.
2. Your Booth Staff
While trade show attendees may only visit your stand for 10 minutes, your booth staff will call your stand home for several days at a time. Give them a temporary office that helps them to do their job. Provide places to meet with clients, demonstrate products and most importantly to allow them to write and store the valuable show leads. Make it simple for them to maintain an uncluttered booth space by incorporating storage within your design. When you design for your booth staff you increase their productivity and the trade show result.
3. Your Display Installer
This could be you, your sales people or hired show labour. Keeping your display installer in mind during the design phase will pay big dividends in the long run. Many exhibitors choose portable trade show systems specifically to lower their display set up and dismantle time or costs.
Considering your display installer when designing larger display spaces can also make a significant impact on your show budgets. Designing with modular exhibition systems engineered for ease of assembly will reduce your labour and logistics costs show after show.
Think whether certain design elements will add to your costs i.e. will high level signage require rigging services at each event or can you design this element within the architecture of you stand to reduce ongoing costs?
4. Your Marketing Team
Your marketing department wants your trade show to meet multiple objectives:
- Build or reposition your brand
- Communicate your primary marketing messages
- Launch new products & services
These objectives seem reasonable however problems occur when the marketing department wants to fill the display stand with too many messages or products. You may have to remind your marketing staff that too much information on a trade show stand reduces its ability to quickly capture visitors’ attention and if your trade show stand is filled with product you reduce the available space for visitor conversation.
If your marketing message needs to change throughout your show program a flexible trade show display that allows you to easily reconfigure the architecture or exchange graphic panels will make your design task simpler and save the company money.
5. Your Sales Team
Your sales team want the trade show display to help facilitate leads and increase sales. Your display must pull prospects in and give your booth staff the tools and environment to convert visitors into qualified leads. Your Sales staff wants to be proud, not ashamed when they host their best clients and prospects in the booth. They want your stand design to create such a memorable experience in the minds of attendees that when your sales people make follow-up calls after the show, they are greeted with “I’m glad you called”, rather than “Who are you?”
Depending on the sales process your team’s key design considerations may be the need for a private meeting space, an inviting hospitality area and/or product demonstration space.
6. Your Finance Department
At some phase within the design process someone in your organisation is going to scrutinize the cost of the trade show display. The first instinct is to push for the lowest priced bidder or even to question the expenditure all together. You will need to provide persuasive industry statistics about the value of trade show marketing and your own ROI measurement from previous events to demonstrate healthy sales generated from this investment.
You can more easily advocate for your preferred display provider if you can show that it will make the most impact for the lowest cost. Remember to look at the budget across the entire year. A custom modular display may be more expensive initially but how much will you save in labour and other services throughout the year.
7. The Boss
The top person in your company will want your trade show display design to meet the expectations and objectives of your marketing, sales and finance departments. Depending on the size of your company, the boss may even have the final say on the display design. If you know that the boss will want the final say or at least some input, spend some time investigating what their trade show goals are before beginning or completing the design process.
It can be quite a challenge to satisfy all these people with a single display stand design. You must muster your best communication and diplomacy skills to keep all parties engaged without relinquishing complete control. Just remember that if you design your display to best reach your clients and prospects and set the right expectations with everyone else, then you are on the track to winning unanimous approval of your trade show design.
Share your comments or advice on designing effective trade show displays below.