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How can one use graphics to attract attention and communicate quickly? Here's some tips.

by Nomadic Display 3. December 2009 01:59

Display According to recent trade show industry research, the average attendee spends less than a day at an event. During that time, there are literally hundreds of exhibits, each vying for the most precious commodity going: the attendee’s time and attention. From high-tech interactive displays to scantily-clad models working the show floor, there are countless vivid stimuli to catch the eye, entice the ear, or even tantalize the nose.

In this highly competitive environment, you have approximately 2–3 seconds to grab an attendee’s attention. If you miss this critical window of opportunity, you miss everything. The attendees are already past you, on their way down the aisle to the next exhibit.

What can you do?

There are two graphical elements you can use to attract attention and capitalize on the two second window open to you. These elements are headline copy and product graphics.

Headline Copy

Headline copy is the text used in your graphic. Brevity counts: you want to limit your text to a few words. The more clear and concise your text, the more likely the attendee is to actually read it. Remember, in the chaotic environment of a trade show or other display event, no one is going to take the time to read great blocks of text. Instead, you want to aim for clarity. You want your audience to understand instantaneously, almost intuitively, the message you’re attempting to convey. Reduce your message to its simplest elements: a few words and simple to understand imagery. At the same time, you want your headline copy to be visually compelling. This means an emphasis on bold and simple. Forgo fancy fonts that are difficult to read, or small text that cannot be perceived at a distance. In addition, highly contrasting color schemes are desirable, interesting and inviting.

Product Graphics

The conventional wisdom says: “One picture is worth a thousand words.” We’d even take it a step farther, and say that “one picture should replace a thousand words.” There’s often a great temptation to add secondary copy to display graphics, further enriching the content and adding detail to the display. However, yielding to this temptation results in a cluttered, busy display which can, more often than not, visually alienate your viewer. Embracing the ‘Less is More’ approach gives you room for images or logos, which can communicate your message just as effectively and often more efficiently than text. Make sure that any imagery used reinforces both your brand and your marketing message. Again, simplicity carries the day. Clean, easy to understand design makes your exhibit easy to understand at a dis- tance.

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Trade Show Tips