5 Tips for designing a successful service based trade show booth
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I’ve always found preparing for trade shows challenging, both when I was a professional organizer, and now as a web designer. How can someone with a service-based business make their trade show booth as interesting as someone who has products to display? I asked Mike Weimar of Iconic Displays for advice, and I’m happy to share it with you today.
Designing the best trade show booth can be difficult because there are so many images and colors that you can use, but you have to make sure that it perfectly works with your business message. There are many service-based businesses that visit trade shows. In fact, some trade shows are primarily visited by service-based businesses. If you’re having a hard time making the perfect booth for your business, then here are a few design tips to help you out.
Businesspeople who sell products will often bring small samples of their items to give away for free. This allows people to try the product, and it also gives them a lot of attention. Service-based businesspeople should do the same thing.
Bring some samples to show people what you can do. While the samples have nothing to do with the design, they are important for keeping visitors interested. A portfolio of before-and-after photos, for instance, serves as excellent proof of your skills and expertise in service-based fields.
Consider the Customer
Consider the customer’s needs when choosing or making graphics. What type of feelings do you want the customer to experience when using your service, or what drives most of your customers? For example, include an image of a client enjoying her new organized, functional space. People use services because they have a need for them. Be sure to keep that need in mind when adding graphics.
You should also add a few images of your services so that people know what you offer. Before-and-after photos are useful in this regard, as well as images of organizing products you use to help your clients make better use of their space or time. One helpful example might be a stack of disorganized papers and folders in a haphazard pile, compared to an attractive bin with dividers, color-coded folders and all documents neatly organized and easy-to-find, or an example of a time-management system you’ve implemented for a client. This takes advantage of the customer’s need for your service while also displaying your business.
Be sure to focus on your main demographic. The majority of services are often for a niche audience to some degree. While there are some generic services, the majority are aimed for a certain type of person. Keep this in mind when designing your trade show booth.
People also use services because they are simple. It’s much easier to have someone else tackle a disorganized work space or living area, offering expert suggestions for making the existing space more functional as well as tips for keeping things organized after you’ve addressed the task at hand. Dedicate part of your trade show booth to how simple your service is and how easy you’ll make the process of getting organized.
If you have a five-step process, then illustrate the five steps to show customers what they need to do to enlist your services.
It’s also a good idea to emphasize your professionalism at the same time. Show people why your service is better than your competitor’s and why it’s better than doing it at home. This will show people why you’re the right person to help them regain control over their time or space.
Lighting is often overlooked because most people are worried about graphics and colors. While lighting doesn’t require as much time or concentration as other design elements, it’s just as essential as everything else. Inadequate lighting will make your booth appear shadowy or dreary in conventional halls. You can expect your booth to be ignored if you don’t have enough lighting.
Add some overhead lighting to really illuminate your graphics. If you’re going to a small convention and you only have a limited amount of room, then you may not need lighting.
Much like giving away products, most people who sell products demonstrate them at trade shows. You have to do the same thing with your booth. Show people exactly why your service is necessary. Telling people might get them interested, but showing them will build excitement.
Incorporate this into your booth. For example, have a table or projector to help with your demonstration. This ensures that you can adequately show people why they need your service.
Designing a successful trade show booth for a service-based business is nearly the same as for a business that sells products. The only difference is that you’ll display your services instead of a product. Be sure to consider the customer’s needs, have a demonstration ready and use graphics that show the heart of your business.
Photo courtesy of Pam Bowers, Organized Chaos
Mike Weimar is the CEO of Iconic Displays. Mike is enthusiastic about trade show displays and booths for small and large businesses. Contact Mike to learn what Ionic Displays can do for you!