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The human attention span is a fickle thing. Our brains have instincts and protocols hardwired in that affect our focus. Our survival instincts cause us to constantly scan our environment very quickly until we choose to focus on something.

The key then is knowing how to position your booth as something worthy of focus in a visually cluttered and noisy environment. In the few seconds an attendee takes to sweep their vision over the trade show floor, your graphics will be what makes your booth stand out.

Our eyes are equipped with cells that help us notice fast movement and then zero in on the source of movement. So, having fast movement in your graphics is one way of taking advantage of our hard wiring and attracting attention quickly.

We are also programmed to notice sound as a means of survival. Because sound provides information about things we cannot see, you can combine sound with your visual graphics to attract attention of attendees, especially if your booth location is off the main aisles.

But, as a trade show exhibitor, one of your most important tasks (and biggest challenge) is not just attracting attention to your trade show booth, but to attract the attention of the right audience. And while a specific event does a great job of narrowing down the demographics of attendees, you can be sure not everyone that attends is suited to become your customer.

So, how do you attract the right audience in a sea of trade show attendees? Your trade show booth graphics need to be designed in a way to take advantage of the human sensory instincts AND to communicate the message that your audience is looking for.

It starts with knowing who your target audience is. Specifically, you should know their motivation for attending the trade show and how you can provide what they are looking for. When designing your booth graphics, you should anticipate audience pain points and motivations and have your graphics show the realized relief of those pain points and motivations.

If you are a newer company, or your branding is unfamiliar to the attendees of the trade show, using your logo on your graphics is a waste of time. You need to use bold, concise statements that are benefit driven for the attendee.

Allen and Heath booth-size matters

Size matters.

Your graphics should take into consideration distance. Attendees that are far away will only be able to recognize large, bold graphics. For most businesses, this will be a logo, but it could also be an image of your product or maybe a slogan. Your branding strategy will determine the large, bold graphics used to attract attention from a distance.

As attendees get closer, you can use smaller graphics with more text, but always keep it concise. Think in terms of billboards. You need to convey your brand messaging in small chunks that are easy to grasp in a few seconds glance.

Anoma images layout
Layout Matters.

When designing your graphics, make sure to take into consideration the appropriate amount of negative or white space around your message. Your fonts should be clear, professional, and easy to read. You don’t want your message getting lost in the design.

If you are going to use images, be sure they communicate the appropriate message you want trade show attendees to remember. Don’t use imagery just for the sake of it. This is not the time to show off a ton of images of your product. Instead, use one large image that causes an emotional response and draws attention to your booth. Then, once you have attention, you can show off product catalogs or other printed material.

Graphics Placement-Katzkin
Placement Matters.

Your large, bold graphics that are designed to get attention from a distance should be placed at a height that they can be seen from several areas of the trade show floor. Hanging signs above your booth work very well for this.

Additionally, you can use lighted towers with your large graphics on the aisle-sides of your booth so that your message can be seen from farther away. As attendees get closer, be sure to show your important message on the back wall of your small/medium booth spaces. This is a focal point as an attendee approaches your booth. Remind them why they approached in the first place.

Material Matters.

What you design your graphics on also makes an impact on drawing attention. Different materials can impact design in different ways depending on your intent and needs.  You can choose from fabric, vinyl, printed sintra, backlit graphics and even LED motion walls.
Material-Vinyl Califa Farms


Vinyl is printed on and then usually cut to size. It can be applied directly to any substance like laminate or plexiglass. These graphics have the appearance of being part of a wall. They work best for permanent graphic solutions or graphics that don’t change often.

Backlit Graphics-Valex


Either Plexiglas or fabric lightboxes can be used in an almost unlimited way. The internal lighting gives more eye-catching appeal to graphics.

Printed Fabric
Printed Fabric

This material is very cost effective, especially for large format prints. When you need to cover large surfaces and avoid multiple seams, large printed fabrics are the way to go.

Printed Sintra
Printed Sintra-Green Foods

Sintra graphics are very easy to remove with attached Velcro or magnets. They can also be used as stand-offs. They are good for any area that accommodates removable signs, especially if they are swapped out often.

LED Skin Tiles
LED Skin Tiles

Digital graphics can be used to inject motion to your display, and motion is an extremely effective way to attract attention. Depending on how you communicate your value proposition, motion graphics might be a cost effective alternative to the traditional printed graphics.

With the LED skin tiles, which install in modular frames, you can create embedded, flush video or moving graphic out of any wall in your booth.
LED Skin

Don’t guess.

When it comes to graphic design, you need to work with a company that understands not just how to attract attention, but how to do it so your brand and your value proposition are clearly illustrated.

If you are unsure of what graphics to use where, work with experts that know how to properly integrate effective graphics into an overall trade show booth design that not only draws attention, but draws the right attention.

Please contact us if you are ready to talk about your trade show booth graphics and their effectiveness in your overall marketing plans.