You can’t go to a tradeshow without a professional tradeshow display. Eye-catching signage is crucial to attracting visitors to these events. You want to get their attention and keep it if you’re going to sell your product or service or generate leads.
A single sign can speak volumes about your brand. You want to let your audience know who you are, what you’re about, and what you can offer them. But that’s why it’s so important to choose the ideal sign.
Types of tradeshow displays
First, we’ll look at the basics. There isn’t just one type of tradeshow display. Sign-making companies offer a whole host of products that you can use at exhibits. Each of these comes at a different cost and with unique features.
So here are the main options you should choose between for a tradeshow sign.
All in all, this sign is a tradeshow favorite. It’s a great way to dress up your booth, advertise your business, and can be very practical too.
Typically, these are back walls that are made up of a frame with custom printed graphics that you can wrap around. We recommend that you buy one that you can easily assemble and disassemble at the event. They are even better when they come with some kind of carrying case.
Banners are a mainstay of tradeshow marketing.
Generally, these signs are cost-effective and versatile. Their vertical orientation can help you save on floor space while still giving you plenty of space for content. There are a few types, but most businesses prefer freestanding banners, which you can mount on a frame.
Another of the best products for tradeshow displays are table covers. This is a highly-effective way to dress up your booth while also promoting your business and your brand.
The design for these displays is typically straightforward and neat. You can use a black or white background with contrasting text for your companies name.
One highly customizable product for a tradeshow display is panel signs. Here you will have lots of options to work with. You can choose between materials like acrylic, wood, and aluminum, among others. On top of this, you can completely adapt the size and dimensions.
In some cases, you can even ask your sign-making company to attach a few panels together. You can place them on your tabletop, use them as a back wall, or hang them from your booth.
Instead of a table, you can also use an island as a surface for your stall. You can hire a sign company to construct one from scratch. Or you can jazz up an old stand. For example, you can buy graphics to wrap around it.
A well-designed island can make a fantastic centerpiece for your booth.
Put your message in the spotlight by hanging it from the ceiling or top of your booth. If you’ve ever been to a tradeshow, you know that every inch of the space is valuable real estate. This is a great way to catch the eye.
Sign companies have products that they created specifically for this. But you could also take any other type of sign as a banner or panel and hang them.
The above are undoubtedly some of the most popular signs for tradeshow displays. However, the list isn’t exhaustive. The following are more great options:
- Graphic tents and canopies
- Hybrid displays
- Modular exhibits
Guide to choosing the best tradeshow display
To help you pick the ideal display, we’ve looked at questions you need to ask about the event and your business.
Does it fit your budget?
Let’s get one of the most important aspects out of the way first. And that is what your signage budget is. You need to go into this process knowing how much you can afford and how much you want to spend.
As we’ve said, signage is usually an essential aspect of your booth or stall. But you still don’t want to blow the bank. The key is to figure out how to get the most value for your money.
Will it be more impactful to get one high-quality sign or several budget-friendly signs?
On average, businesses prefer to use one to three boards for their display. One thing that you need to keep in mind is that you can usually use tradeshow signs again and again. As long as there isn’t content that is specific to that event, you can reuse them.
Therefore, if you frequently go to tradeshows, it’s best to think of this as a long-term investment. In that case, you can probably spend more now to avoid spending later.
At Signarama, we’ve made exhibition signs for all kinds of budgets from $100 to $2000. But most displays are in the $300 range.
You can decrease or increase the costs through your choice of content, material, finishes, mounting, dimensions, and clearly the type of sign.
What are your signage goals?
Another critical question you need to ask is what are your signage goals. Signs can be pretty versatile. Yet there is only so much content you can effectively fit on one display. So you have to focus on one central message or purpose.
Overall, here are the most vital signage goals you can choose from:
- Promote your business
- Build brand recognition
- Sell specific products or services
- Educate your audience
- Grab attention
- Give directions or instructions
- Decorate the space
The sign you pick in the end needs to help you reach these goals. For example, if you want to educate your audience, a table cover probably won’t cut it, but it can work well for brand recognition.
How long will it take?
In an ideal world, you would be able to start planning several months to a year before an event. But the reality isn’t always that straightforward. Occasionally you will only have a few weeks to get your stand ready for an exhibit.
In these cases, you might not have much time to have your displays made.
Creating quality signage takes time since the process has several steps. Usually, you would start by asking for quotes, designing the content, creating and approving proofs, and then printing.
Therefore, you must ask your sign making company how long their different signage products will take.
Some products might be done and dusted in as little as a week. However, others can take a month or longer.
If the margin of error is too small, pick another display. Miracles do happen, but sometimes it’s not worth the risk. You don’t send a newsletter without any content. Similarly, you don’t go to a tradeshow without any signage.
Nobody wants to be in the situation where they rush around last minute to pick up a display.
How much space do you have?
Hopefully, you will plenty of space to work with for your booth. But that’s not always up to you. The organizers will often allocate a specific area for each exhibitor, or you might get the opportunity to choose the size for a price.
Unfortunately, this means that you might get a spot that seems way too small. This is where you have to get creative. You need to find space where you didn’t know there was any. It can be handy to consult the experts about this as well.
Luckily, there are a variety of signs that can help you maximize the use of space. Here are a few of them:
- Table throws
- Panel signs
- And table tops
On the other hand, if the stall is large, your challenge would be to make sure it doesn’t look too empty. If it does, you risk looking unprepared, and your exhibit will probably be unimpressive and possibly dull.
In this case, you need to use several types of signs. For example, in a wide booth, you can use a series of freestanding banners as well as a pop-up display.
B2B or B2C?
Whenever you’re making ads or signs, you need to consider your audience or target market. The secret to great marketing is always designing for your viewers and not for yourself. To do that, you need to know who you are talking to.
Therefore, your signs need to be different depending on whether the tradeshow is for B2C or B2B. In other words, are you trying to sell to a consumer or to another business?
For example, a tradeshow for B2B might be one where different software developers for project management tools are promoting their products to interested companies.
Of course, your audiences might overlap at times. However, it can usually be pretty clear cut at these types of events.
Generally, a common mistake people make is to design their promotions in the exact same way for both. But that’s not the best way to maximize their impact. Instead, you need to choose your tradeshow display with the express purpose of meeting their unique needs and desires.
In the case of B2B, you want to focus on the following:
- These customers are looking to you to educate them. They want and need to make informed decisions that they can justify to their superiors. So this should be a key aspect of your displays.
- Unlike consumer marketing, you shouldn’t be shy about the details. This is your opportunity to go in-depth about your product or services and answer many of the questions they might have. You want to show them you’re the real deal.
- You need to have patience with B2B customers. Their buying cycle is longer, and there is usually a longer chain of command to deal with. So instead of including a call of action to encourage the audience, for example, to buy a product now, you can tell them how they can get more information.
- Above all, these customers are serious about returns on investment (ROI). There is no beating around the bush. They want to know what they are going to get from the deal. You want to give them concrete examples of information on what you can do for them.
That’s why you want to choose a sign type that allows you to fit in as much content as possible. Banners are typically your best option.
For example, take a look at the sign we made for Test Equipment Distributors. The height of the banners allowed them to use space efficiently to fit in as much info as possible without the display looking overcrowded.
If you want to, you can use more than one banner to convey additional details and make your stall look fuller and more complete.
On the other hand, for B2C marketing, you want to focus on the following:
- Consumers tend to rely more on emotions to make purchasing decisions instead of pure reason and logic. So you need to connect with them on an emotional level. Don’t talk about ROI’s. Tell them that the product can make them happier or boost their confidence.
- B2C customers don’t want to be overloaded with details. In this case, less is more. You will lose their attention if you can’t get the main point of the sign in a matter of seconds.
- You want to add some fun to your sign. Most of the time, consumers don’t want to look at a sign that reads like a user manual. So sprinkle it with a few exciting elements like photos and graphics.
Generally, you can also use banners for B2C tradeshow displays. But this isn’t necessarily the most efficient option for you. You can also choose signs like table throws, coroplast boards, routed signs, and so on.
Just take a look at the board we made for Mazda. The sign contains far fewer words, so they did not need as much space. And the colorful photo helps to make the sign stand out.
Take your event signage to the next level
Events can be a big deal for your business. It’s a high-impact method to attract new customers and keep your existing ones excited about your company. However, they usually require a significant investment in terms of time and money. That’s why you need to make the best of it.