Tips and Trends

Multi-Purpose Your Trade Show Exhibit Messaging

Thursday, February 20, 2014

trade show exhibit messaging hierarchy

Trade show exhibitors instinctively think about their outward facing exhibit graphics. Headers and banners positioned toward the aisle announce high-level messages such as your company name or tag line.

But what about the reverse side of that graphic?

The one that faces the inside of the booth? Should that surface reiterate the same message? Not necessarily, says Jeff Bartle, our 3D Exhibits chief creative officer. Bartle calls the inward facing side of headers and banners “the ideal place for exhibitors to communicate their second and third tier messages.” That is, a message that falls one or two steps below the outward facing message in your messaging hierarchy.

“It’s an approach that allows attendees to quickly see and understand you’re your corporation has to offer. It works really well for companies presenting multiple brands or product categories under a single corporate umbrella,” says Bartle. In other words, if you have your logo or umbrella brand facing out, use the reverse side of the graphic for your tag line. If the outward-facing graphic is a tag line, consider using your inside graphic to communicate your component brands or product categories. The strategy behind this is that you should use messages that will help draw people into your exhibit on the outside of the display.

Once they have entered, you use messaging that will teach them more about your brand or educate them about your products. MAKO’s custom rental exhibit, pictured above, features its logo facing out at the aisles and its brand promise facing in

. Smucker's trade show exhibit messaging hierarchy

Smucker’s uses a custom display design where the outside of its central oval ring to articulate the entire family of brands that reside within its “house.” The interior of the same header communicates the promise shared by all of the brands.

Bio-Rad trade show exhibit messaging hierarchy

Bio Rad commutates its tag line to all attendees outside the exhibit...and its product categories to visitors who have already entered the booth. The interior list helps cross-sell to customers who may not be aware of everything your company has to offer.

Bio-Rad trade show exhibit messaging hierarchy 2

“We like to think of this as a paddler, swimmer, diver-approach to engagement,” says Bartle. There is a message that addresses every attendees’ needs. Read more about messaging hierarchy.  

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