Printed Fabric Graphics for Trade Shows

May 20th, 2013

Dye sublimation printed fabrics have had quite an impact on the Trade Show Industry over the last decade.  There are still a number of applications where laminated graphics or rigid panel graphics are the best solutions for trade show marketing, however dye sublimation printed fabrics have taken over as the primary trade show graphic media.  The print quality and resolution on fabrics are now equivalent to laminated and board graphics, and as an additional benefit fabric graphics will not reflect light and create glare as other medias will.  Aside from the advancements that printed fabric have effected in the custom trade show exhibit arena, even the mainstay portable trade show display products, Pop Ups and Retractable Banner Stands, now utilize fabric graphics as often as laminated and paper graphics.  The advantages that fabric has over laminated graphics and board graphics are many.

Custom Printed Fabric Exhibit

Custom Printed Fabric Exhibit

The largest advantage to fabric may be the portable and light weight nature of the materials.  Printed fabrics pack down more compactly and efficiently than most any other print media and therefore they save on shipping and drayage.  Largely for this reason, many companies are transitioning from crated hard wall exhibits to the far more portable and light-weight aluminum frame structures with tensioned fabric printed graphics.  From our perspective, this has been the largest trend in trade show displays over the past decade.

Durability is another tremendous advantage that fabric holds over other large format trade show graphic alternatives.  Whereas laminated graphics can become damaged if they are  bent or dinged, fabric graphics can be folded, rolled, or bunched up without concern as it is very difficult to damage fabric graphics.  The worst case is usually that if the graphics were bunched and stored you may need to steam the graphic with an inexpensive hand held steamer available from most any big box retailer.  Additionally, fabric graphics can be machine washed if they become soiled and dirty using mild detergent.  This benefit, coupled with the fact that it will not harm the graphics if they get wet with rain, makes fabric graphics the ideal choice for outdoor events.

Pop Up with Fabric Graphics

Pop Up with Fabric Graphics

Another great attribute of fabric graphics is the world of opportunity they open for creative trade show exhibit design.  There are many angles and forms that just can’t be achieved with any other print media than fabric.  Tensioned fabric opens the door for unique shapes and trade show design elements that previously only existed in renderings and drawings.

Fabric graphics have revolutionized the trade show industry.  Exhibitors can now display a cutting edge, modern design that packs down far more efficiently than previously possible, with both financial and environmental benefits.  Contrary to many claimed win-wins, fabric graphics truly are a win-win for exhibitors, designers, and trade show exhibit manufacturers.

Outdoor Events

May 9th, 2013

Outdoor marketing events can be an excellent way to promote your company or service.  In general, you’re getting an opportunity to get in front of potential customers at a time when they may be more receptive to your message, as outdoor events are often fun, less structured, and less formal environments than alternative marketing venues.  However, like any opportunity to present your company or service, you need to make sure to put your best foot forward and present a clean, professional image.  It is imperative to clearly brand your space so that people can quickly understand what you are promoting and to ensure “stickiness” so that you’re not forgotten as soon as they leave your booth.

 

Tent Display

Tent Display

There are a number of outdoor display options and event structures, with pop up tents being the most common.  Pop up tents work very well for outdoor event displays as they provide ample room on the tent canopy for branding and they provide plenty of functional space for entertaining potential customers.  Godfrey Group provides a full range of printed tents of various sizes along with banners to extend the height of your branding and increase your visibility.  Additionally, Godfrey Group can add counters and storage modules to tent displays to make them more functional for sampling and merchandising.

Outdoor Display

Outdoor Display

 

Another unique and portable outdoor display option from Godfrey Group, are our Mushroom Kiosks and Dome Kiosks.  These are aluminum frame kiosks with dye sub printed fabric skins that break down into shipping cases for easy transport, set up, and dismantle.  The rounded shape allows you to greet customers from all sides of the space and the top and base graphic wraps provide plenty of space for branding.

Sampling Counter

Sampling Counter

 

If you are limited in space, Godfrey Group offers a full range of outdoor banner stands and sampling counters. Again these displays are portable and offer full color dye sub fabric graphics to effectively promote your brand.

 

Trade Show Traffic Stoppers

May 1st, 2013

As anyone who has attended a trade show can attest, there is a great deal of competition for the attention of those walking the show floor.  Depending on the traffic at the show, and especially if attendance is on the lighter side, those potential customers walking the floor can be very sought after.  The customer can at times feel like a sheep among wolves as a sales person attempts to reach out into the aisle and hook them into each trade show booth they pass.  After all, the purpose of exhibiting and the justification of the cost associated with trade show exhibiting are to reach new customers and deepen the business relationship with existing customers. There is no question that trade show exhibiting is a very successful means of accomplishing both of those goals and that there is a great return on investment for companies that do participate in trade show marketing.  However, the exhibitors have to work to get the attention of those potential customers walking the aisles and make sure that their competitors at the show do not outshine them in any way and make a more lasting impression in that customer’s mind.

There are a number of time tested strategies that exhibitors employ to stop traffic in their booths.  Some, as always, are much more successful than others.  The idea of success can be misleading with a number of these strategies.  In the most basic sense, success can be measured by the overall traffic in a booth.  In that case the goal might be to scan a predetermined number of badges for follow up mailings and follow up calls.  The issue becomes the quality of those contacts scanned.

3D Showcase with Godfrey Group Stand for Trade Shows and Exhibits

3D Showcase with Godfrey Group Stand

Are these legitimate prospective customers that have stopped at the trade show booth because they were sincerely interested in the product or service that the exhibitor offers, or did they stop for another reason?  Several of the often used strategies for stopping traffic at a booth, while working well from the standpoint of providing leads and just the sheer number of scans, can also result in low quality leads.  This can occur when the trade show attendees are stopping not out of interest for your product or service but rather for the giveaway you’re offering, the business card raffle for a tablet, the convention model you’ve hired to wear your logoed apparel and work your booth, the magician performing tricks in your booth, etc.  Now all of those methods are certainly effective in stopping traffic and my intent is not to disparage those strategies.  However, the best traffic stoppers are those that relate to your product or service in some way so that you can raise the odds that the people that stop in your booth are sincerely interested in your company.  When possible, tie the promotion, giveaway, or presentation to your product or service.  One product that can be very effective in this regard is a 3D Showcase.  Godfrey Group has partnered with 3D Showcases to provide a series of portable stands to support the 3D Showcase product.  3D Showcases are a game changing technology that allow you to display physical product within a showcase behind a translucent video screen. Displaying video beside a product is much different that incorporating the product visually and physically into and behind the video as a 3D Showcase display.

This is a traffic stopper and potential customers can not help but to stop and watch the video as it is unlike anything that they have seen before. Use the product as a stand-alone showcase or with one of our suggested shelving stands to incorporate product display just beneath the 3D Showcase.  There are a number of ways to effectively use this product for stopping traffic at a trade show.  You can put one of your products inside the case or components of your product and we can assist you with the video content to relate to that product or the components.  If your product is larger than the case, or you’re a service provider, then you might consider putting a giveaway in the case and then using the shelves beneath the case to display or store more of the giveaways.  Whether you utilize a 3D Showcase in your next trade show or not, the key is to tie your “hook” to your product or service.  Doing so will provide much higher value leads that just free giveaways or visual attractions that have no relation to your product or service and your business will be much more memorable to that prospect as they come away from the show and reflect upon what they came across at the trade show.

Shelving Displays

April 15th, 2013

Trade show exhibitors who need to display and demonstrate a number of products in their 10×10 or 10×20 booth often encounter a challenge.  As with any exhibitor, these companies want to have a clean, professional presentation with a structure that is light-weight, portable, and easy to set up and dismantle.  The challenge for those companies that need to display a lot of products is that shelving, slat wall, and other merchandising type fixtures do not typically lend themselves to the light weight and portable principle of trade show marketing.

The most popular 10×10 and 10×20 trade show displays are pop up displays, but the very attributes that make this style of display so popular also make it a poor solution for displaying a large number of products.  The pop up frame is not strong enough to support a substantial amount of shelves and weight.  There are a number of heavy panel style solutions that utilize slat wall, however these are most often quite heavy and lacking visual appeal.

 

10' OutRigger Shelf Display - Standard 10' OutRigger Display

10' OutRigger Shelf Display - Standard 10' OutRigger Display

Godfrey Group offers a solution that is portable, versatile, and attractive with the OutRigger Display System.  The OutRigger offers a substantial amount of shelving space along with ample room for graphics.  Additionally, the display features a backlit header to showcase the company name and draw attention to the branding.  The unit can be tailor made to offer more shelving than the standard display package or slat wall sections can be added to display hanging products.  Add under shelf lighting to ensure that your products and well lit.  Godfrey Group offers a number of shelf options from standard high density plastic, laminate, and Plexiglas shelves.

The unique element of the OutRigger Trade Show Display System is the curved shelving supports.  These supports are constructed of light-weight aluminum, however they provide stability with their footprint and they provide a strong sturdy shelving platform capable of supporting a minimum of fifty pounds per shelf, potentially more depending on the distribution of the weight.  These curved supports also offer an element of design that most shelving exhibits lack.  If your exhibiting needs include shelving and product display, the OutRigger Trade Show Display System is an ideal solution.

Custom 10' OutRigger Shelf Display - Custom OutRigger Shelf  Display

Custom 10' OutRigger Shelf Display - Custom OutRigger Shelf Display

Dress Up Your Pop Up

April 8th, 2013

The curved wall pop up display has been a staple of the trade show industry for many years now.  This style of exhibit has remained so popular for so long due to its light weight construction and ease of set up, dismantle, and transport.  It is a great design and it is something that every exhibitor for 10×10 or 10×20 booths should consider when purchasing a new trade show display.

Straight Wall Pop Up Display with Internal Shelves and Backlit Graphics

Straight Wall Pop Up Display with Internal Shelves and Backlit Graphics

However, with this type of sustained success and longevity, the pop up has become a common look.  In other words, it is not unusual to see a trade show aisle filled with one 10’ pop up curve wall after another with little to no variance to break up the monotony.  Herein we have a conflict of trade show principles.  On the one hand the pop up achieves the critical criteria for an exhibit by providing the appearance of a substantial structure with a large area for graphics and branding, while remaining light weight and easy to set up, dismantle, and transport.  On the other hand, at most shows the basic pop up is so common that it violates another key principle of trade show marketing.  That being that you should strive to stand out in the crowd.  Trade shows are very competitive environments and you must stand out from your competition to garner attention.

Pop Up Display with TechForm Monitor Mount

Pop Up Display with TechForm Monitor Mount

At Godfrey Group we have a solution to this issue.  We do more with pop up displays than anyone in the industry.  Since we manufacture our pop up displays in house in North Carolina, we can customize the display and tailor it to the individual customer’s needs.  We also offer more accessories than anyone in the industry such as backlit headers, pedestals, monitor supports, shelves, and backlit graphics.  The solution is to dress up your pop up so that you have a functional, sharp looking trade show exhibit that is unique to your company and is still very light weight and easy to set up.  We provide standard pop up displays with laminated graphics or Velcro fabric.   We also provide printed fabric pop up displays with one piece fabric graphics, stretch fabric panels, and even backlit fabric graphics.

Pop Up Display with Storage/Demo Counters

Pop Up Display with Storage/Demo Counters

Additionally, since we manufacture our displays in house you can rest assured that your exhibit can grow with you as we can update your graphics easily, add on to the exhibit to increase your booth size, add accessories as your needs change, etc.  Visit our site, http://www.godfreygroup.com/products/portable-trade-show-displays/pop-up-displays.html to see our full array of pop up displays.

Less is More with Large Format Trade Show Graphics

March 25th, 2013
Tensioned fabric graphics provide for unique shapes and forms which are effective in grabbing attention in a crowded trade show environment.

Tensioned fabric graphics provide for unique shapes and forms which are effective in grabbing attention in a crowded trade show environment. At Godfrey Group we manufacture both the custom aluminum structure for this display as well as print the large format dye sub fabric graphics in house.

There is so much competing for attendee’s attention on each aisle of the trade show hall that it is easy to be overlooked.  It goes without saying that the goal is to stand out in the crowd.  The busy and competitive environment often elicits a guarded and cautious feeling among show goers and they are wary of “being sold” on something at every trade show booth in the show hall.  This leads your potential customers, who are walking the trade show aisles, to be dismissive and leery of slowing down as they speed walk past your booth. As discussed in our “Basic Principles for Effective Trade Show Exhibiting” article, one of the most important things that you can do to avoid becoming a victim of fly-by traffic in the show is to display clean, concise, and eye catching graphics on your trade show display.

This Godfrey Group 10x10 Hybrid Trade Show Display benefits from a very clean and concise graphic design.

This Godfrey Group 10x10 Hybrid Trade Show Display benefits from a very clean and concise graphic design. Graphics like this, that are not too busy, are especially effective when displaying a video in the trade show booth as busy, cluttered graphics would compete with, and distract from the video.

This Godfrey Group Forum Frame backlit tower is another example of effective, clean graphic design combined with back lighting.

This Godfrey Group Forum Frame backlit tower is another example of effective, clean graphic design combined with back lighting. The graphics pop and are visible from a distance due to the back lighting and the clean design allows the message to convey across the show hall.

Your primary objective is to get the attention of your potential customers walking the aisles, rather than to have them understand the full scope of your company in a glance.  It is very important to understand the difference between marketing materials like brochures, flyers, websites, and trade show displays.  Often companies will try to use the same content across all of these marketing mediums.  This is a big mistake as each of these are designed to be viewed or consumed in drastically different environments.  Cluttered and busy graphics will lead to lost opportunities while concise and clean graphic design is one of the best methods of garnering attention in a trade show.  Obviously, graphics need to convey something about your product or service, however that association can be loose.  It is more important that they are eye catching and arresting.  Once the show goer stops because your graphics have caught their attention, then you can tell them your story, and about your product or service.  This is the appropriate time for your elevator pitch.  Do not try to deliver your elevator pitch in text on your trade show display graphics.  Graphics need to be warm and inviting and create intrigue.  They should invite the potential customer to stop and ask, “Tell me more about what you offer.”  At that point you can consider your trade show marketing program a success.  You have achieved what you set out to achieve in attracting attention in a crowded and competitive environment, and you have been given the opportunity to present your product or service.  That is the true measure of success in trade show marketing.  Whether or not that prospect becomes a customer is a different measure pertaining to your product, your sales pitch, and a host of other variables.  The primary focus in trade show exhibiting should be on stopping traffic in your booth, and effective graphics are one of the most important elements of achieving this objective.  In our next article, we will elaborate on some additional tips for stopping traffic at trade shows beyond well designed graphics.

 

This Godfrey Group 10' Pop Up display conveys a 3D effect and the graphic panels look like real concrete.

This is a really effective graphic design job. This Godfrey Group 10' Pop Up display conveys a 3D effect and the graphic panels look like real concrete. This graphic presentation will grab attention in a crowded trade show.

Basic Principles for Effective Trade Show Exhibiting

March 11th, 2013

 

The graphics on this Godfrey Group 10' Curve Pop Up Display are clean and effective. In a glance a trade show attendee can understand the service that this exhibitor is promoting.

The graphics on this Godfrey Group 10' Curve Pop Up Display are clean and effective. In a glance a trade show attendee can understand the service that this exhibitor is promoting.

For the vast majority of exhibitors, the primary objective of their trade show marketing program is to drive sales of their product or service.  This is achieved by capturing the attention of trade show attendees away from other exhibitors, often competitors, on the crowded and busy trade show floor.  There are a few basic principles to follow that will keep you from losing opportunities right off the bat:

  1. If your trade show exhibit is tired, dated, dirty, or damaged allocate some of your marketing budget to update your presentation.  It is a waste to invest in the booth space, travel expenses, pre-show marketing, etc. only to exhibit with trade show display that is on its last leg.  If the message that your trade show exhibit conveys is that of a tired, faltering company, then you will likely lose the opportunity to speak with potential customers at the show as they will just pass you by.
  2. Do not overlook lighting.  A well-lit exhibit draws attention from your potential customers walking the trade show aisle and creates a warm and inviting trade show booth.  You want people to feel comfortable stopping at your booth to discuss your product or service and a poorly lit space is a turn off.

    This Godfrey Group trade show display combines two elements from our recommendations, lighting and well designed effective graphic layout. This Pop Up Display is backlit and back lighting is an excellent way to stand out from the crowd.

    This Godfrey Group trade show display combines two elements from our recommendations, lighting and well designed effective graphic layout. This Pop Up Display is backlit and back lighting is an excellent way to stand out from the crowd.

  3. Do not crowd your space to the point that it becomes uninviting.  Often, a 10×10 booth, 10×20 booth, or 20×20 booth will seem much larger in your mind’s eye than in reality.  It is helpful to tape off the space on a floor in advance of your show and then tape off the space dedicated to your exhibit, greeting counters, etc. so that you can see how much free space you will have inside your trade show booth.  If your space is crowded, attendees will likely pass you by.
  4. Do not eat in your booth.  Picture in your mind that you are walking a trade show floor and you see an exhibit that catches your eye.  The product or service looks like something that might be of interest to you and  you decide you will stop in to find out more but just then you see that the person working the trade show booth is sitting at their counter eating.  Many of us will decide that we will keep walking rather than interrupt their lunch and the potential sale is gone.
  5. Finally, and the point we will delve into further in our next article, do not try to tell your entire story in bullet points or paragraphs in your graphics.  This is one error that we see many companies make, and in many cases, those that are new to trade show marketing are guilty of copy overload on their graphics.  Again picture yourself walking an aisle in a busy trade show.  You have your guard up as exhibitors have been trying to pull you into each trade show booth that you pass.  You approach an exhibit that looks like a product or service that you may have an interest in but the display is crowded with enough copy and bullet points to fill a novel.  Are you going to stop and stand in the aisle and attempt to read all of that copy or are you more likely to just keep walking?  More often than not, you will have subconsciously made that decision as the copy heavy graphics are so unappealing that you will have dismissed that booth with just a glance.

    This Godfrey Group custom 10x20 trade show exhibit is well lit and the lighting is warm and inviting.

    This Godfrey Group custom 10x20 trade show exhibit is well lit and the lighting is warm and inviting. Also, from point number three in the article, this booth utilizes the space well with a greeting counter, conference table, and the backwall. There are a number of elements here for a 10x20 booth, but it is not crowded.

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