Trade Show Exhibit Design Prep List

Trade show exhibits design is the art of communicating effectively in a 3D environment. The checklist below will help time-crunched marketing professionals communicate effectively with their design team. So let’s get started.

Besides conversions, what is the primary objective for your trade show display? Are you introducing a new product line, a brand update, a shift in sales strategy? Perhaps you want to strengthen relationships with your dealers, or you are a start-up company building your first trade show booth. Using the checklist below can help you prepare for to meet with your trade show exhibits design team.

You and Your Audience

If you are hiring an outside design team, they will need an instant immersion course in your company, brand identity and marketing goals. Start here:

• What are your objectives (e.g., branding/awareness, lead gen, product sales)? These will help shape the conversation so the designer has an overall sense of your needs before he or she starts building your trade show display.

• Describe your brand personality or image (from your perspective).

• What action do you want people visiting your trade show booth to take?

• Who is your target audience? Do they recognize your brand name, logo?

• What problem do your products/services solve? What need do they fulfill?

• Identify three competitors. What distinguishes your products/services from theirs?

The Look and Feel

Since making the right statement is critical to your success, it helps to be able to articulate that to your design team.

• What first impression are you trying to make?
• What adjectives would you use to describe the overall trade show booth design you envision? (e.g., modern, cutting edge, traditional, edgy, classic)
• What message would you like to convey in one sentence?
• Will color choices be dictated by your logo?
• Are there other colors, symbols, phrases that are associated with your brand?

Critical Components

In addition to your size requirements and budget, your trade show exhibit design team will want to know:

• Do you want to rent or buy a custom display?
• What are the general components you need? (e.g., demo counter, extra storage, private meeting space, audio-visual displays, literature stands, retractable banners).
• Are you planning a contest/raffle to capture new leads?
• Will your staff be setting up your trade show display or will you rely on union labor at the show?
• Will you be storing the exhibit in-house or at an off-site facility?
• How many trade shows will you be attending this year?

It can also be useful to describe past trade show experiences that have been successful (or the opposite) and what you found worked well (or flopped). A skilled trade show design team can accentuate the positives when conceptualizing your overall design to ensure your continued success.

If you are planning multiple trade shows throughout the year, partnering with a design house can save time and reduce costs. Your professional design team will adapt to your creative process and work closely with you to maintain a consistent brand image from start to finish.

Bay Area Exhibits is a full-service trade show exhibit design house in Santa Clara, CA.

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