By Brad Green
Choosing the right graphics for your exhibition booth can make all the difference when looking to stand out from the crowd.
Artful graphics are in my mind, clever or skilful visuals that communicate what your company does quickly and efficiently and in the context of this article, via a shell scheme stand at a trade show.
As an exhibitor you will want to attract as many potential clients to your stand as possible without spending a small fortune. To eliminate any stress in choosing your graphics it is imperative to first find the right graphics company to partner up with, to walk you through the process and to give you sound, honest advice on how best to “dress” your stand.
Having a fully dressed stand ready for when you arrive at the venue is one less thing to think about in the run-up to an event, plus, there are endless options for branding your shell scheme booth or custom built stand available.
When booking your shell scheme stand at a show or event you will normally be presented with a basic shell scheme package, comprising of bare walls and a simple name board header. Graphic upgrades from the show organiser or shell scheme providers can usually work out quite costly so, it is worth considering an independent graphics contractor, who can dedicate their time and provide you with a personal and comprehensive service.
Ultimately, ordering direct from an independent graphics company will also save you money!!
Shell clad graphics
This type of graphic is a cost-effective way of getting your message across without taking up any floor space. The shell clad system has proved very popular among many exhibitors which speaks for itself.
There are a lot of cheaply made graphics on the market at the moment. These graphic prints tend to be printed direct on to a substrate (rigid plastic board) without any lamination and can damage quite easily. Choose wisely and it is possible to get high-end quality print with a protective over-lamination that will last and can be used again and again at future events.
Let’s look at three different ways of dressing your shell scheme stand to achieve the best effect……..
Here you will see a simple shell scheme booth transformed with some striking overlay graphic panels combined with good lighting. This type of graphic is the most popular. Individual rigid plastic panels butted together with a near perfect seamless look. High quality print and an anti – scratch over-lamination for protection.
Below is a good example of a strong visual image and clear readable text.
A “graphic overlay name board header” is a simple and cost effective way of tying in your brand and completing the look of your stand. Remember sometimes less is more! Clear branding and text is much more appealing than lots of cluttered information on your product or service.
Fixing of graphics: don’t make this mistake
One of the common mistakes exhibitors make is fixing graphic panels with “Velcro” or double sided tape direct to the shell scheme metal work. This is not advisable because as the temperature cools in the halls overnight the graphics can come loose and fall off causing possible damage to your graphic and your display.
The best solution for this is to use a “click type system” as shown below. As the name suggests, a full length plastic strip clicks into the shell scheme ensuring a semi-permanent fixing.
Infill Graphic Panels
This popular type of graphic treatment, fits in-between the shell scheme poles and is held in by the stand structure. As there are no extra fixings they tend to work out a little cheaper than overlaid graphic panels. Again, these can be easily saved and reused. The ones below have been used at different venues and still look great (remember that not all graphic companies will dismantle and reinstall your graphics, so always ask first).
Seamless Fabric Graphics
This is a slightly more expensive system comprising of a stretched fabric over an aluminium frame. This is then fixed by a qualified graphics technician direct to the shell scheme poles as shown below.
The aluminium “frame work” is a hired item which will require installing and dismantling, therefore, an extra cost will be incurred.
Artful graphics with branding ideas to compliment your stand
When dressing your stand, you may want to think about branding your counter or podium or even using a hanging banner over your stand for extra impact.
Hanging a banner directly over your stand is a great idea as it enables potential clients to see where your stand is amongst a sea of exhibitors. There are various types of banners that can be used, just be aware that with very large circular or cubed banners, Organisers may charge more for rigging if multiple rigging points are required.
Always check with your organiser about their rules for banners before you place an order with your graphics supplier.
Your graphics checklist.
Things to think about before you exhibit:
- Get the right advice by talking to experienced graphics contractors – you want active input and their consultation not just a quote
- Regarding quotes; a good supplier should be able to produce a quote for you within hours not days
- Ask if your graphics will be laminated, therefore protected from scuffs
- Check that the supplier’s price includes delivery, installation and photographs of your installed graphics sent to you prior to leaving site
- Check that price quoted includes dismantling and delivery of graphics back to you if you need the graphics post-show
- Do you have “print ready” artwork or do you require a design service that can produce these for you? Can the supplier handle this for you?
- Use high impact graphic images with a strong clear message to suit your product or service to engage your audience
- Use suitable lighting to make your graphics and display stand out
- Will you be re-using your graphics?
- Will you want your graphics dismantled and saved after the show?
Choosing the right graphics contractor will provide you with peace of mind and also help you to make the most of your stand and any exhibiting opportunity.
About the Author
Brad Green had a passion for most things artistic from an early age, and he started working in exhibition graphics in the late “eighties” long before digital print was readily available. Back then, artwork was usually drawn by hand and materials were cut “free hand.”
In 2006, Brad launched Digital Art and very quickly won large graphic contracts with event organisers like BBC Haymarket and Clarion Events and although Digital Art still work with organisers, many of their current clients include exhibitors seeking high quality graphics for their stands. Unsurprisingly, Brad is huge advocate for exhibiting and the opportunities they offer for growth. He is a great exponent of producing artful graphics.
Brad can be contacted via LinkedIn
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