Custom exhibits can be incredibly fun to design, but ultimately trade shows are about business. Although you want to have fun and show off your company’s personality, there are certain guidelines you need to follow to actually attract new leads. Otherwise, attending a trade show is just a company­-sponsored vacation, only instead of hanging out poolside, you’re handing out business cards. So to make sure you aren’t wasting any time, or money, when designing your first custom exhibits, here are seven proven pieces of advice you can run with:

Know Your Audience

Custom exhibit booths should be tailored to reach specific audiences. While much of your audience is determined by your company or products, you may also want to tailor it for the different shows you plan to attend. This means that your custom exhibits may have multiple elements you can choose from depending on the show. Ask the exhibit house you work with what kind of options are available for your budget. You just might be surprised at what you can do.

Show Regulations

Different trade shows have different rules, and it’s an amateur mistake to skip over the fine print. For instance, some shows may limit the size of your custom exhibit displays, so you need to strategically plan how to best use that space. If you need electrical outlets or other services, plan in advance to make sure they will be available at the site.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

If you plan on reusing elements of your trade show displays from event to event, then versatility should be a major priority when making a custom exhibit design. Different venues will require you to obey specific dimensions, and your designs need to abide by those rules. This allows you to maintain the visually stimulating elements of your design and stay true to your brand, while also increasing or decreasing your trade show footprint. Even better, you can reduce costs.

Use Graphics, Not Clip Art

If you want to attract more consumers and get your point across, your custom exhibits are going to need some graphics. And while there are plenty of free clip art libraries online, it’s worth the money to invest in graphic designers to create original, attractive visuals for your space. Additionally, some of the best custom exhibit displays have three different types of graphics to draw in visitors from different areas of the venue: long­range, medium­range, and short­range. These will help grab the attention of consumers, whether they are on the opposite side of the exhibit hall or just on the other side of the aisle.

Create Taglines and Attention-­Grabbers

Your exhibit booth design needs to make its point in the time it takes someone to walk past your space. Our exhibit experts recommend a six­word tagline that consumers can interpret in three seconds. It shouldn’t be too abstract, and it should of course be honest. With this type of preparation, the people entering your booth are more likely to actually be interested in your brand or product, helping avoid time­wasting, low­quality leads.

Stick To Easy­-to-­Read Fonts

Strange or unreadable fonts can quickly turn consumers off, even if they look sophisticated on your computer screen. You need something that can be easily read from a distance. When creating your custom exhibit designs, you also need to take into account how big the font needs to be. Experts recommend adding about an inch to the font’s height for every foot away your consumers will be. So if they’re standing 10 feet away, you should add 10 inches to your font size to allow them to be read comfortably.

Don’t Go Overboard!

Finally, we’ve mentioned this before in previous blog posts, but it bears repeating: sometimes less is more. Don’t give into the temptation to crowd as many different graphics, slogans, product samples, interactive displays, and other elements into a single space. Even when it comes to something basic like your graphics, experts say that at least 40% of your design graphics should contain empty space.

If you have any more questions about your first trade show exhibit, don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts for professional help.