Digital SIgnage at Trade Shows and ExhibitionsMAY 29, 2019| SpeedPro Towson
Trade shows and exhibitions give your company an opportunity to show off what you have to offer in person. Before you can interact with other business or consumers, however, you have to get their attention. A huge focus in preparing for trade shows and exhibitions is on your booth’s design and signage, which will determine people’s first impression of your company. It’s how you make those face-to-face interactions happen.
According to Exhibitor Magazine, use of exhibit- and event-related tech has risen in the past two years. Companies are beginning to see how technology can help them make the most of the trade shows they attend. One way some companies are incorporating technology is through the use of digital signage.
Digital signage is currently used by under a third of exhibitors, so by embracing this modern phenomenon now, you can be among the most cutting-edge exhibitors at your next event. Make sure your digital signage is eye-catching and directly contributes to your goals for the event, and you’re sure to reap the benefits of this new type of display.
Let’s look at some basics of how to have a successful trade show or exhibition experience and what types of signage you can use. Then, we’ll cover more about digital signage and why you should consider it for your next trade show event.
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF A TRADE SHOW EVENT
Just showing up at a trade show won’t necessarily benefit your business. Exhibitions best practices dictate that you need to:
- Have a strategy in place early on
- Reach out to customers and leads who may attend prior to the exhibition
- Attract attention at the exhibition with your booth’s design
- Be hospitable and interact with attendees who come by
- Make a memorable impression
- Follow up with leads after the exhibition
We won’t go into detail here about how to fully fulfill all of these tasks, but let’s look briefly at how important a strategic approach is to your success. You have to have a strategy in place that helps you determine factors like who will staff your booth, what signage you’ll bring, how you’ll attract attendees to your booth and more. A successful trade show event is one where you go in with specific goals in mind and let those goals dictate your strategy.
Let’s say you want to generate interest surrounding a new product or product line. If that’s your primary goal for a trade show, you’ll want to bring along staff members who are knowledgeable and excited about the new product. You may also want to demonstrate the new product or give out free samples. When it comes to the graphics in your booth, you’ll want at least some of them to feature the new product.
No matter what your goals are for the trade show, your booth’s design is key. After all, you’re competing with rows upon rows of other booths — in many cases, occupied by businesses that are similar to yours. You have to stand out.
SIGNAGE OPTIONS FOR TRADE SHOWS
So how can you stand out in the right way? You should be aware of the many types of signage you can choose to incorporate into a trade show or exhibition booth. In many cases, you’ll want to include several different formats for your graphics. Here are some popular options to consider:
- Popup displays: Popup displays can span the entire width of your booth. With these displays, your graphics will be printed on a fabric surface that’s mounted on a straight or curved frame.
- Banners: A popular banner option for trade shows is displaying them on stands. Your graphics will be printed on fabric or vinyl and can be placed anywhere on a stand.
- Table coverings: Graphics can also be printed on table coverings or runners, which come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit over the tables in your booth.
- Backlit graphics: Backlit graphics often come in the form of lightboxes — rectangular, three-dimensional signs that are lit from the inside. Banners and other types of graphics can also be backlit.
- Digital signage: Digital signage uses a screen to display a still image, scroll through a series of images or play videos. In some cases, it may even be interactive.
All of these types of signage can help you attract attention at your booth. You want to make sure your booth is eye-catching and doesn’t allow people to walk past without at least noticing your company’s name. The right signage can make all the difference in helping you achieve your goals for the trade show.
HOW DIGITAL SIGNAGE WORKS AT EXHIBITIONS
Digital signage can come in a variety of forms. At the most basic level, it includes some sort of hardware for displaying the graphic, software for determining what appears on the screen and some way of connecting the screen to the software.
As for the hardware, typically, it will fall into one of three categories:
- Projectors: You can display your sign using a projector and projector screen. For exhibitions, this tool will likely be a freestanding tripod projector screen. This option has a more involved setup process since you must find a way for the projector to display the image perfectly on the screen without the possibility of people stepping in the way of the projection. Another concern is that projected images can appear faint in a well-lit space.
- Flat screens: Flat screen televisions are a popular option for displaying digital signage. Today’s TVs are lightweight and can be mounted to walls. In a trade show booth, you may need to place your TV on a tabletop or other surface. Flat screen televisions are fairly affordable, so you may be able to invest in a large one to grab people’s attention. Smaller screens, such as handheld tablets, can also be used for digital signage. They can be placed in a stand on a tabletop.
- Kiosks: Kiosks involve a more self-contained, freestanding system. Imagine the ones you’ve seen at your local department store or movie theater. As with these examples, some kiosks used for digital signage can be interactive. In other cases, the kiosk will just display without any touchscreen capabilities. Kiosks work well for outdoor digital signage since they enclose the screen in a way that keeps the weather out and reduces the possibility of theft.
Depending on the type of hardware you use, you can achieve different looks with your digital signage. For instance, you can use small screens on your table for customers to engage with once they’ve already been drawn to your booth. Or you could set up a large TV screen at the back of the booth to grab attendees’ attention. You could even potentially suspend a screen from the ceiling if you’re in the right kind of space.
Because of the versatility of digital signage, you can use it for all sorts of displays beyond the typical still image you’d have with other types of signage. Here are a few types of displays you can use digital signage for.
SOCIAL MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS
About nine out of every 10 exhibiting companies currently use social media as a part of their face-to-face marketing strategy. Engaging trade show attendees who come by your booth in social media campaigns is a great way of creating buzz over your presence at the trade show and generally increasing your brand awareness for attendees as well as anyone who follows your social media accounts.
Let’s say you ask attendees to tweet about your company with a certain hashtag in order to be entered to win a prize. You can have all of those tweets show up, one-by-one, on your digital sign. When people see the action, they’ll want to stick around or come back to hopefully see their tweet show up on the big screen.
Many products and services need to be demonstrated for people to see and understand their true value. Exhibitions present a golden opportunity to show your product. However, if a member of staff is doing demo after demo, their enthusiasm may wain — or you may, like many companies, offer demonstrations only at certain times.
Digital signage gives you another option for demonstrating your products. With a digital sign, you can play prerecorded demos in a loop. That way, anyone who visits your booth, no matter what time they stop by, will see your product or service being demonstrated. You can also make sure the screen is positioned at a height where everyone can see it without the potential you have with live demos of people blocking each other’s view.
You can tell people how great your business is, but there’s no substitute for honest feedback from your past customers. People care about your past customers’ experiences. One study found that when customers could see reviews, it increased their conversion rate by 190 percent for lower-priced products and a staggering 380 percent for higher-priced products.
Digital signage allows you to display multiple customer reviews or testimonials one after another, which demonstrates to anyone at your booth right away that your company has a track record of success. They may still look up online reviews, but they won’t need to. Seeing these testimonials is likely to influence them to make a purchase or commitment right then and there.
ANIMATED TEXT OR GRAPHICS
You can also use digital signage to display an enhanced version of what could otherwise be a still image. Here are a few examples of what you could do:
- Turn your logo into an eye-catching three-dimensional graphic that rotates.
- Animate your company name by having it appear as though it’s being typed or written.
- Give a high-tech feel to a display that features a new product by having the product rotate.
- Have your company’s core values fade in one at a time.
There are endless possibilities for how you could animate text or graphics — dive in by exploring your options.
SHOULD I GET DIGITAL SIGNAGE FOR TRADE SHOWS?
Now that we’ve looked at what digital signage is and how you can use it as part of a trade show or exhibition display, let’s talk about whether it’s a good idea. In a word, yes. Digital signage can be more expensive than other types of traditional signage, but it offers some important benefits. Digital signage is:
- Modifiable: One of the greatest benefits of digital signage is that it can be updated and altered whenever it needs to be. Let’s say you want to show off the number of satisfied customers you’ve helped. As that number grows, you can update the sign to reflect the most current number.
- Sleek and modern: There’s no doubt that digital signage offers a more high-tech, ultramodern look and feel compared to most other types of signage. Especially if your company is in the technology industry or you have an emphasis on innovation, you want to make sure you appear high-tech.
- Eye-catching: If you’ve ever seen an energetic child suddenly mesmerized by the colorful glow of a TV screen, you know just how eye-catching a screen can be, not only for kids but for adults as well. When your signage is bright and colorful, you’re more likely to attract people’s eyes and their attention.
- Video-capable: The ability to show video is a big distinction that digital signage offers. Moving beyond still graphics opens up a whole new world of possibilities. You may choose to use more traditional types of signage to show off your company name and logo and use digital signs for video marketing.
- Cost-effective: We mentioned that digital signage can be on the pricier side, but that doesn’t take into account the money you could save over time. The fact that digital signage can be updated for each trade show means that you can save money in the long run. The same is true if you use digital signage in your place of business.
- Environmentally friendly: Opting for digital signage will also eliminate or diminish your need for printed materials. For example, by letting photos from your portfolio scroll on a screen rather than printing these photos off and displaying them in a binder, you can save ink and paper. You may also be able to use digital signage instead of printed banners or other types of signage.
With so many advantages, it’s easy to see why digital signage is an option you should at least consider for your next trade show or exhibition.
TRADE SHOWS MADE EASY
If you’re interested in using digital signage at your next trade show to grab people’s attention and show them why they need your business, turn to the experts at SpeedPro. We’ll consult with you or your marketing team to find out more about what your goals for your sign are and what vision you have in mind. Our designers can make that vision a reality.
Also, check out what other types of trade show signage we can provide you with. The right combination of vivid graphics can make your booth stand out and help you meet your goals for any exhibition. Don’t leave it up to chance. Partner with SpeedPro for professional graphics that get your company noticed. Find a local studio near you today to get started.