Nicely Branded Displays Help Sell! (i.e., Branding and Your Trade-Show Booth)

Opportunities to exhibit your products and services are another key way to take advantage of and further promote your branding efforts.  Whether you are participating in a sales convention, a “meet and greet” at a mall or shopping center, or a charitable or educational event, you are typically provided with an empty space for you to make your own.

David Brossard, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

While your goal is certainly to have a visual image that immediately identifies you to all bystanders, lots of simple (and more complex) methods exist – ranging from a table cloth in your corporate color and brochures that show off your logo to a high-tech, continuously scrolling video or presentation on large screen monitors mounted on portable walls set on top of carpet squares to get maximum control over the space (including special music and lighting).  I’ve seen elaborate settings that could require a small army for set up . . . as well as versions that got pulled out of a briefcase.

Personally, I’ve been involved with both extremes.  I helped create upon request a custom environment with a rug that had a repeated logo and included branded signage done in gold that reflected custom lights shining down from above – creating the right ambiance for a silent presentation on a loop that reinforced the message being spoken by the salesperson.  The booth was designed to fill a 12’ X 12’ space that provided brand recognition appealing to all senses.  And yes, logo embossed giveaway items were spread across the surface, including various novelties and free water bottles that had a logo imprinted label as well as candy molded into the shape of the logo.  This environment got loaded into several custom wooden crates about 2’ X 2’ X 6’ that often resulted in shipping costs.    (Useful Tip: We’ve found that providing logo-embossed bags for attendees to use in gathering their freebees from other vendors are a very good, inexpensive way of getting your branding seen!  These bags tend to get retained longer and are more visible than many alternatives.)

 The Human Factor (Practicality Matters)

Invariably, our salespeople thought they wanted the largest, most complete and complicated display . . . until they realized that setup would be difficult and time-consuming hard work that took time away from opportunities to meet prospects.  While some companies might be large and affluent enough to have special dedicated staff do all required preliminaries, such situations are – in my experience – the exception, not the norm.

So, what kinds of compromises exist that allow for an impressive display with reasonable setup?

After experimenting with full-sized “pop ups” as well as table tops (which were pretty reasonable), we eventually landed on the use of various-sized roll-up banners with customized artwork (including logos and by-lines) done in our corporate color and placed behind a table with an imprinted table cloth that held additional signage in acrylic holders (allowing artwork to be changed easily and on demand).  We found these roll-up alternatives to be affordable AND very manageable . . . so even small business owners on a tight, fixed budget can be properly equipped to have a well-branded space in situations ranging from a large arena or convention center to a small corner in a local gym or public library.

If you have a laptop computer, you can also add a touch of tech by creating a presentation or video in a software app such as PowerPoint and set the show to run on a continuous loop.  Such creations can be done quite well DIY and need not incur additional expense.

Note:  Need help picturing these types of hardware setups?

search “roll up display”

search “collapsible trade show booth”

search “pop up trade show booth”

In the end, the bottom line is to consider likely situations you might encounter and take steps in advance to prepare.  Branded environments need not be overly expensive but do take time and some planning to get ready.

As always, we welcome any thoughts or feedback, and we encourage you to comment by using the space provided below.


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