How to Properly Use Graphics to Your Advantage

Welcome to “Exhibitor Lounge” sponsored by Exhibit  I am your host and Trade Show Mixologist, Michael Gray. Here, each week, you receive simple, practical, and proven tips to improve your trade show marketing strategy and get better results while maximizing your budget.


So to have a discussion about graphics, let’s start by understanding that your exhibit is a marketing tool, not a sales tool. So when you are designing your graphics you should limit the amount of information to three basic elements:

1. The company name and logo.

2. Your tag line (or the one thing you want people to remember about your company)

3. A few bullets which can be the buzz words that people are looking for. They can be the services that you offer, product categories, or industry solutions.


If you add a lot of detailed information to your graphics then you are turning your exhibit into a sales tool. That is what your people are there for. They should handle the details of the sale. Your exhibit graphics should focus on a single primary message. Ask yourself – If you only have one thing that you want people to remember about your company what would it be? The show floor is full of competition for attention. Attendees can go into information overload. That is why many seem to walk by your exhibit avoiding any eye contact.


So here is a rule of thumb that I suggest to our clients. Answer this question: How many words can you read on a highway sign while driving 60 mile per hour down the highway? Well, the answer is about 7 words. Use the same analogy when attendees are walking, or in some cases, running past your exhibit. If they can only read about 7 words – make those 7 words count. What are the buzz words that will make people stop and want to know more?


Whatever graphic space you have, you should always calculate that the bottom third is not visible. Always think above the belt, not below the belt when laying out graphic content. Below the belt should only be reserved for large images or corporate content that backs up or adds a “wow” factor to your message.

So bottom line:

  • Keep your graphic content minimal.
  • Let your people and your brochures do the detail sales work.
  • Use bullet points and keep any message very short.
  • Always remember that less is more.

At Exhibit Edge we have used short messages over our twenty year history to describe our company.

First there was: “Your Personal Tradeshow Specialist”. Then came: “Full Service / Lower Cost”. And now our current tagline – “Intelligent Exhibiting”

After our tagline we may add four or five bullet points to describe what we do like design, graphics, fabrication, storage and show management. That is where we stop. Your exhibit graphics are just one part of a total show strategy but they can be most effective by sticking to the big three. Who you are – what you do – and why they need you.

As always, please respond with your questions or comments and let others know about EXHIBITOR LOUNGE.COM. We will see you next week. Until then, I am your host Michael Gray telling you to RELAX in the Exhibitor Lounge.