Many exhibitors try so hard to have a flashy trade show presence that they seem to forget the most important part of their booth design—letting their audience know who they are and what products or services are offered. While nice-looking trade show graphics are important, it’s more important to have exhibit signs that communicate the right message. So we suggest you do the following exercise:

If you had only 60 seconds to tell a prospect what your company does what would you say? After thinking this through, audio tape your reply or write it down then use this information to build the message for your trade show graphics. If you also want to exhibit signage for a particular product or service, do the same exercise: In 60 seconds or less describe product and its value to your audience.

The benefits of doing the exercise are many: First, it will help you avoid a visitor having to ask or guess what you do, thus bringing in more qualified visitors through your exhibit signs. It will also help you avoid saying too much or too little on your exhibit signage. Remember that you only have a small window to attract an attendee’s attention. They can’t possibly read a lot as they are walking around the show floor.

Here are a few other suggestions from us to make sure that your trade show graphics work for you—not against you:

  • Make sure the wording is very legible and not too small.
  • Make sure the lettering and background offer enough contrast.
  • Make sure you’re working with high-resolution artwork. (What is acceptable on a website or a brochure is different from resolution for high-impact graphics).