Banner stands have earned their place as trade show marketing staples by providing exhibitors decades of versatility and extreme value. The humble banner stand may have myriad uses, but the best use for them is not as an all-purpose display, but, rather, as a targeted piece of marketing collateral. Sadly, many companies don’t make the best use of the potential marketing power of banner stands, or, really, of exhibiting at a trade show at all. Successful marketing, particularly trade show marketing, begins with having a clearly specified brand image, and quantifiable marketing objectives for trade show exhibits. Good design stems from a consistent brand image, including the color palette and logo, typefaces and formatting, tone and points of the unique selling proposition (USP). If you’ve already established these foundational things, you’re ready to consider design tactics. If your message and goals are less defined, you should take the time to get that in order, then move on to the design phase. The next question is, what do you need your banner stands to do for you?
Boost The Signal
Simplicity is always important in designing graphical banners, but especially when the purpose of those banners is to increase exposure for your brand and products. A banner isn’t going to fulfill the role of a brochure in your marketing collateral arsenal, but many companies try to design banners that lay out a logical case for their products. A banner is simply the wrong vehicle for that purpose. With banners, fewer words serve better than more words. Set your logo apart in the design, and use graphics to evoke a sensory response in the viewer. If your company makes computers, give them a visual that sets them to daydreaming about what they could accomplish with one of your computers. If you make a food product, your visuals should make their mouths water.
Social Media Matters
When you’re designing banners to increase your social media presence, it’s important to recognize that all social media are not created equal. Understanding the specific medium you want to target and how people use that medium are crucial to your success. What works on Facebook won’t work on Snapchat. There is no single strategy that will succeed across all social media, though in general, a more visual-based message will work better than one that relies too heavily on text. In most cases your goal is going to be to get people to take a picture and share it, so your banner design needs to be something unusual and interesting. Research the trends and usage patterns for whatever medium you want to target, and design your campaign to work within those boundaries.
Spotlight Your USP
Why will people ultimately purchase your product over that of a competitor? Often, the answer revolves around your USP. Effectively conveying that USP to your prospects, then, need to take a high priority in your marketing plans, and banner stands can play a prominent role in conveying your USP at a trade show. Here’s the catch: You have to have a very clearly, concisely defined USP before you can make good use of banner stands to demonstrate that USP. If your USP is spelled out in a 2-page document that you use to train your sales people, that’s a good start, but you’re going to have to distill the major points of that document into a series of single-word or short-phrase bullet points. Your other collateral and your sales team can build on that USP once the prospect walks into your booth, but to bring them in, your banner stands have to stop them in their tracks. Following up the earlier example, if you sell computers, and their USP is that they offer more computing power at cooler temps than the competition, your banner stand design could feature one of your computers in the middle of a normal looking office, with ice crystals all over the computer, and a background view (out the window) of a cityscape where the traffic lights spell out “COOL.”
Targeted Banner Stand Designs Bring Better Results
Make the most of your investments in trade show marketing in general and banner stands specifically, with detailed marketing plans and precisely targeted and custom trade show exhibits. You can’t score a bull’s-eye if you don’t know where the target is.