Too many exhibits are judged by
how much they are liked by their owners not by how they functioned for them in
and communicating to show attendees.
An exhibit is a selling tool.
It provide sellers with a place to do their business at trade shows, exhibitions
and other nontraditional events. It is where sellers entertain their existing
customers and hopefully attract new prospects with whom they could do business.
It has evolved into an environment where visitors come to be
also functions to attract attention of the audience. The structure is like a
billboard in that it communicates who the seller is,
what they do and what they
offer. Lastly exhibits are designed to support the staff to determine visitor
needs and communicate how
they can fill visitor needs. It provides the backdrop
against which live presentations can be conducted and product demonstrations can
be offered to prove application and benefit.
Before you can sit down with a
designer, you need to ask yourself:
Why are you exhibiting?
Generating leads, consummating sales, positioning, meeting with existing
customers, learning and teaching
Who is your target audience?
Can you describe the audience you want to visit you?
What do you want to
What messages do you want to
deliver to this audience?
What do you want to take home that is a measure
of your success?
If you can answer these
questions then you are ready to sit down with your designer since you have a
clear understanding of what role
the exhibit will play in accomplishing your
What most exhibit professional
say is, “I need a tower, three pedestal tables, an information counter with a
lead slot”. This is all about
the exhibitor’s needs, not those of their
audience. Try asking these questions:
Why do visitors come to your
exhibit? What is their reason for targeting your exhibit to visit? Do they
want to learn, have
conversation, attend a live presentation, participate in a
What do they want to do when
they come to visit you? Do they want to sit down and have a conversation? Do
they want to see
how the product works?
What are their most asked questions? What do they want to know?
How do you want to interact
with the audience? After they have achieved their objectives, what do you want
to with visitors to your
When you find the answers to
these questions, the form, the structure, the elements of your exhibit will take
form. Rather than having to
say, “I need a tower, three pedestal tables, an
information counter with a lead slot”, you will see the exhibit evolve.
Every year Exhibit Surveys, Red
Bank ,NJ, researches what makes an exhibit memorable. After size, which is
always #1, having a well
known name, an interesting product, demonstrations and
attracting live presentations follow. Having a well trained staff, unique
promotional products and location are all ingredients that make an exhibit
memorable. But a critical ingredient is having an attracting
design to which
the audience can relate.
The exhibit is a tool. It
performs. It has functions. It sells. It communicates. It recruits. It
introduces new products or positions an
organization in a new market segment. It
houses product demonstrations and live presentations. It also has to be very
flexible, because the needs of the audience are varied and many.
When sitting down with your
designer consider these factors when seeking a design that will appeal to your
What function does your exhibit
need to fill?
What are the ergonomic
considerations of your audience?
What structure do you need to
carry your messages and communicate your position?
How will lighting be used to
create an environment?
What logo treatment can be
undertaken to create the image you are desiring?
Is there a theme that can be
internalized in the exhibit design?
Are their safety considerations
– two story, platforms, product demonstrations?
What colors will communicate
your messages visually?
What kind of furnishings are
appropriate to meet their needs in visiting you?
How will you utilize the
exhibit as a selling vehicle?
Will your graphics create
impact to attract, maintain and communicate your messages?
Exhibit design is one of the
wonders of the industry. If you consider your visitor first, and your last,
then your exhibit design will function
as the tool you need it to be – telling
your story. Telling people what you sell.