IDEC Displays Blog

Lauren Stickler

Lauren Stickler is Director of Marketing for IDEC Displays.
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3 Proven Ways The Best Trade Show Booths Engage Attendees

Written by Lauren Stickler on Jun 14, 2018 5:24:03 PM


One way to find out what show attendees really want when they walk into a trade show booth is to ask. That's what CEIR, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, did. Here's what they found out.

1. Show attendees want engagement.

No, not the kind that leads to marriage vows. The kind that places your products in their hands, entertains and educates, and leaves new prospects with a lasting impression of your brand. It may not lead to marriage but it can forge a new relationship with a prospective buyer.

Why bother? Because booth visitors say that these are the kinds of interactions they enjoy and are receptive to when attending a trade show or conference, according to a CEIR report published earlier this year.

When it comes to giving booth visitors what they want, Augmenix, hit a home run. Show attendees at their booth during AUA 2018, the American Urological Association's annual conference last month, were given the opportunity to try their hand on the company's new procedural simulators and learn how the product can help protect quality of life for prostate cancer patients. Was it a hit with booth visitors? Look at their faces and you decide.

Combine this with CEIR's findings that only a small percentage of exhibitors actually offer some of these types of interactive experiences at their booths, and this puts those who do offer them at a competitive advantage. 


2. Booth visitors are captivated by presentations and one-on-ones.

Inviting someone who actually uses your product to be a presenter in your booth and answer visitors' questions based on their own experience is a win-win. Last month, Convergent Dental, maker of the Solea dental laser, did just that during the 2018 American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Meeting in Honolulu. Convergent had one of their customers, Dr. Andrea Gamble, educating pediatric dentists at their booth. These new prospects  were hearing, first-hand, how using Solea on her patients had transformed her pediatric dentistry practice. 


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Topics: Trade Show Tips, Booth Design, Exhibit Displays

What Design Elements Do The Best Exhibits Share?

Written by Lauren Stickler on Apr 4, 2018 11:42:15 AM

My dad is a professional photographer so I learned early on that the best photographs, like the best exhibits, have certain design elements in common. The right composition, lighting and color produce a dramatic image that tells a story. If the image on your exhibit is not telling your brand's story it may be time to update your trade show display.

 Tips For Designing Your Trade Show Display

Take your time when choosing graphics, logos/messaging, and lighting for your exhibit as you want these three design elements to come together to create a vibrant, attention-grabbing trade show display that nails your brand personality. The best exhibits clearly communicate their brand personality. If you do this it helps customers develop an emotional connection with your brand and gain a familiarity and trust in it.

Interactions LLC updated the graphics and header on its trade show display to reflect its brand personality. The prospect-centered image combined with clear and concise messaging quickly convey its value proposition, which will attract booth visitors. The blue in the header will put booth visitors at ease because the color blue is associated with these emotions: trust, calming, reliable and responsible.


  •  Graphics - Simplicity is the key.  

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and that's certainly the case with trade show displays. All you need is a single large illuminated image as your focal point with clear, concise messaging that tells your brand's story and communicates your value proposition. The ideal image shows someone using your product.

ReWalk's trade show display features images of individuals wearing the ReWalk exoskeleton system to enable them to walk. When exhibiting at conferences and trade shows, ReWalk incorporates video and live demonstrations of customers it calls "ReWalkers" using its product to further reinforce its brand personality.


Ideally, you want a prospect walking the show aisles to glance at your trade show exhibit and be drawn in by your trade show booth design.  This will occur if your graphic successfully conveys three things: 1) how your product or service solves their problems, 2) what specific benefits your product delivers and 3) why they should buy from you and not from the competition. Hiring an experienced graphic designer will help to ensure a powerful impact.

  •  Logos and Messaging - Divide your vertical graphic space into four tiers.

Tier 1 - Reserve the top quarter of your exhibit space for your brand's logo or flagship product, the bigger the better. It should be visible from at least 25 feet away. Island and peninsula exhibits do not have the same height restrictions as inline booths and may include a hanging sign, which can be seen from across the exhibit hall. 

Tier 2 - The second quarter should contain your tagline. It needs to encapsulate both what your company does and what particular innovation or expertise sets your company apart. What is your edge?  

Tier 3 - The third quarter of your booth space should be at eye level or slightly above and include images and text that identify key products or services.

Tier 4 - Keep in mind that the bottom quarter of your vertical exhibit space may be blocked by your booth staff and visitors or booth furniture and accessories so while images could appear here, avoid placing text or important graphics at this level.

Type fonts for your messaging should be easy to read from a distance of 10 feet and consistent. Stick with 1 to 3 typefaces to maximize readability.

  • Lighting - Highlight the most important parts of your trade show display. 

The importance of lighting is threefold: 1) It sets the tone of your trade show exhibit design. 2) It draws attention to the most important areas of your booth. 3) It attracts trade show attendees to your booth. 

There are several different types of lighting you can use to bring your display to life, such as, backlit lighting,  display case lighting, spotlight lighting and lamp lighting.  Lighting is an integral part of any exhibit design and your exhibit company can provide you with options and guidance on the placement and the type of lighting that will showcase your products and messages and illuminate your brand.   

Maxon Motor uses backlit lighting and display case lighting in its booth to highlight key products and its brand.



So now you know how the best trade show booths attract new prospects. Remember, understanding the three essential  elements  of trade show booth design: graphics, logos/messaging and lighting, will not only increase brand awareness and help you become a better exhibitor, it will build brand loyalty and trust.

 guide to become a better exhibitor



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Topics: Trade Shows, Trade Show Booth Design

How to Excite and Engage Visitors at Your Trade Show Booth

Written by Lauren Stickler on Mar 9, 2018 11:44:46 AM

Static trade show displays are a thing of the past. An interactive trade show booth experience is where it's at. That means building elements of engagement into your booth design.

As a smart consumer, you probably do your research and comparison shopping online. Your potential customers do the same. Whether they're buying a new car for the family or investing in new software or technology for their business, the information they need is a few keystrokes away.

So when these business decision-makers with purchasing power show up at your booth at a conference or trade show, they don't want to read a product brochure, they want to experience that product, service or technology first-hand.

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Topics: Trade Show Exhibit Design, Experiential Booth Design, Custom Exhibits, Trade Show Planning

The 5 Most Important Things You Can Do to Attract Meeting Planners

Written by Lauren Stickler on Feb 8, 2018 4:14:12 PM


Have you ever stood in front of a room full of people presenting at a meeting only to discover that the video, which played fine when you tested it on your laptop back at the office, suddenly won't work with the LCD projector provided at your meeting place?  I have. It can be a rather awkward moment or two or three or four, depending on how long it takes to resolve the problem and if there is an AV team at the meeting place to help.

So it's not surprising that participants at the opening session of Convene's first Meeting Planner Forum held in 2013 ranked "Quality and Capability of AV Equipment" fourth, in their top 10 most important factors when choosing a meeting location. 

Here are 5 key action steps you should take when marketing your venue to corporate meeting planners. These are based on what planners identified as being the Top 5 criteria they use when selecting  a meeting location:

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Topics: Meeting Planners, Event Planners, Meeting Venues, Venue Managers

2018 Is the Year of the Illuminated Trade Show Booth

Written by Lauren Stickler on Jan 11, 2018 5:22:35 PM

Illuminated exhibits are one of 2018's hottest trade show trends. Why? Because companies are looking for ways to maximize their booth design's impact on the show floor without increasing the heft of their exhibit.

LED backlit displays offer a vibrant viable solution.

Studies conducted by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research show you have only  3 to 5 seconds for your booth to catch the eye of a trade show attendee. Backlighting offers a simple, elegant way to achieve this.



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Topics: Trade Shows, Backlit Displays, Trade Show Exhibit Design, Portable Trade Show Displays

How To Crush Your 2018 Trade Show Marketing Goals

Written by Lauren Stickler on Dec 14, 2017 3:40:52 PM

As the New Year approaches, list making becomes as popular a national pasttime as watching football or hockey. But, whether you're developing a trade show marketing plan for your company or making your own personal bucket list, if you want to reach the goal, the same rules apply. 

1. Know where you want to go so you can advance in that direction.

Keep your list clear and concise. A long, vague list of goals is nothing more than a wish list.  A trade show marketing planning checklist is a valuable tool to get you started in your goal-making process.

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Topics: Trade Shows, Trade Show Planning

Insider Tips on How to Score Big at Top Boston Trade Shows

Written by Lauren Stickler on Nov 22, 2017 11:44:07 AM

The Boston Celtics' current 16-game winning streak is epic, but it has not been a smooth ride. Some of those games have been real nail-biters, where players had to make split-second decisions and scramble to come back from behind for the win. 

Likewise, exhibit managers have to jump through a lot of hoops, like choosing the right trade shows to exhibit at, selecting an exhibit partner to design their  custom trade show display, meeting trade show deadlines and creating a memorable giveaway item to offer attendees. These are among the myriad decisions that exhibitors have to make every day to ensure a win on the trade show floor.

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Topics: Trade Shows, Trade Show Planning, Trade Show Tips, Exhibit Displays

How to Pick the Best Components For Your Custom Exhibits

Written by Lauren Stickler on Nov 9, 2017 1:44:18 PM

Fall is trade show season. It also happens to be apple picking season. And since moving back to my native Massachusetts three years ago, a highlight for me has been traveling to the orchards of Stow, Mass., to go apple picking with family.

There's nothing like the smell of warm apple pie made with fresh handpicked apples to lure family members back into the dining room on Thanksgiving Day. Even the diehard football fans tear themselves away from the TV.  If you want your custom exhibit design to attract prospects to your trade show booth like my family is drawn to that homemade apple pie, you'll need to select just the right mix of ingredients, or structural components, to accentuate your display. 


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Topics: Booth Design, Custom Exhibits

Fundamentals of Booth Design Every Exhibitor Should Know

Written by Lauren Stickler on Oct 6, 2017 12:45:17 PM

Designing a custom trade show display is like jumping out of an airplane. The first step is a doozy but with the right training and experts to guide you, the sky's the limit on what you can achieve.

When I decided to jump out of an airplane the spring I turned 29, I knew there would be some training involved. I threw my Nissan Pulsar into gear on that sunny Saturday in April, feeling anxious and excited, and as fate would have it, Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'" was blasting on the radio. Pumped up from the music, I made the half-hour drive from Milford, NH, to the skydiving center in Pepperell, Mass., where my friends Bill and Dave were waiting for me. We laughed and joked nervously as we signed the liability waivers and  joined a class of about a dozen students, eager to learn the fundamentals of skydiving so we could pass the tests and make our first solo jumps. 

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Topics: Booth Design, Custom Exhibits

How to Rebrand Used Exhibits and Boost Your Bottom Line

Written by Lauren Stickler on Sep 18, 2017 2:00:00 PM

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are painful reminders of the devastating impact that climate change has on our environment and our communities. If you're looking for ways to save some money and save the environment at the same time, consider purchasing used exhibits and reskinning them instead of buying new.

Oftentimes, you can find a like-new trade show display for half the cost of a brand new one. This is a win-win. You are reducing your company's carbon footprint by keeping perfectly good exhibits out of the landfill and redirecting those saved dollars into other areas of your trade show marketing budget that you've wanted to grow, such as digital technology. A bigger booth, combined with adding more engaging technology in that booth, like interactive video kiosks, will increase your brand's visibility on the trade show floor and the overall effectiveness of your marketing plan.  

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Topics: Used Exhibits, Green Exhibiting