Trade show pop-up banner and booth design considerations.

Simplicity of booth design will bring you into focus . . .

Simplicity of design will bring your booth into focus . . .

I remember standing on a mezzanine a few years ago looking down on a convention hall floor crammed wall-to-wall with booths that melded into a chaotic kaleidoscope of noise and colour. With each individual booth clamouring for the attention of the throngs of attendees slowly flowing up and down the isles, it looked hopeless. What could a booth do to be noticed?

The theory behind Seth Godin’s business book, Purple Cow, is that in order to be noticed, you need to stand out from the herd. And what would stand out more from the herd out in the field than a purple cow? But at this trade show every cow in the herd looked purple, at least from up on the mezzanine. So with this in mind, I went down to the convention floor to see how, if at all, the purple cow theory might help a booth stand out from the rest. How could a booth be made noticeable among the clamour and the clutter?

Now this is where designers of pop-up banners and other booth materials need to take note. The secret lies in the reverse of Godin’s purple cow concept. At this show all the cows were elaborate and purple. So, to be noticed you had to stand out; that meant being a simple, uncomplicated brown cow.

Just about all the booths had spent a lot on graphics but not wishing to leave a single detail out, hit one with a confusing clutter of information. People attending conventions and trade shows soon become tired, grumpy, and impatient. They’re not inclined to read a lot of stuff or process a lot of data. If they can’t figure out what your booth is about in a nanosecond, they keep moving.

So, first and foremost, the overriding consideration is simplicity. Then design your client’s pop-up banners and booth backdrops etc. with three things in mind: (1) you have a nanosecond to catch an eye; (2) you must motivate them to take action (come into the booth); and (3) you must tell them about a problem they have that can be solved.

Accomplish this for your client and they’ll stand out from the clutter.