The ABCs of Lighting Your Trade Show Booth

Ambient light in a trade show hall can be as bright as an operating room.  Worse, it’s beyond your control. But, within the boundaries of a trade show booth, you have the power to design with light.

Used effectively, lighting draws visitors to your display and influences their behavior. Well-placed lighting points customers in directions you have pre-selected, and creates a subliminal mood that makes it easier for your sales team to engage.

Thanks to technical advances lighting is more flexible. Designers can get more illumination from smaller fixtures, add dramatic visual effects anywhere, and discretely hide the sources of light.

And yet, says one veteran trade show designer, “Clients don’t budget enough for quality lighting and too many booths are insufficiently lit, which makes branding and message secondary.”

Here are a few things to keep in mind when working with your trade show exhibit designer:

  • Decide what you want your visitors to do: Watch a multi-media presentation, interact with a sales rep, sit at a demo station for a hands-on product demonstration, sign-up for a raffle, grab a brochure. This will help your designer develop a custom lighting plan that meets your goals.
  • Back and side walls, the most frequently neglected areas in a booth, are a missed opportunity. Dramatic backlighting can reinforce your branding message. Use micro fluorescents and L.E.D. strips to create this look. Exhibit arm lights used throughout a booth to wash light onto graphics and back walls are another effective way to capture attention. Both up and down lighting frame banners and backdrops to add impact.
  • The human eye is attracted to the brightest spot in a room.  Use accent (directional) lighting to showcase a new product launch. Consider using track fixtures for accents and to highlight important areas of a booth. Use linear lighting for a soft glow and an array of special effects including RGB color changing L.E.D. luminaires.
  • Consider lighting your trade show booth like a theatrical production. Your space is your stage, your sales reps are the players and your visitors are the critics. Use dramatic lighting to play to your audience and earn their applause. After all, you’re putting on a (trade) show.

Looking for a trade show lighting expert? Contact us at Bay Area Exhibits in Santa Clara, CA.