The Best Design for your PopUp Display

Dec 7


Rick Hendershot, M.A.

Rick Hendershot, M.A.

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A PopUp Display is ... a backdrop used to give your floor space ... and focus. Because it normally covers the entire back "wall" of your space, a properly designed PopUp Display provide


A PopUp Display is essentially a backdrop used to give your floor space definition and focus. Because it normally covers the entire back "wall" of your space,The Best Design for your PopUp Display Articles a properly designed PopUp Display provides you the opportunity to make a bold statement about your company and your most important product or service. This is why booth design is important.

When designing more extensive trade show booths — ones that occupy larger amounts of space —you must give considerably more attention to such things as position on the floor, relationship to other exhibitors, orientation relative to other major exhibitors, traffic flow, etc. For larger booths, trade show booth design is almost a different ballgame. A larger booth must be planned in at least three dimensions, and viewed from all sides. It must provide general display values when viewed as a whole, at the same time as creating as many functional display-areas-within-a-display, as space and budget allow. Ideally it will be strikingly creative, as well as beautifully functional. It will attract visitors by proclaiming your presence and your essential message, while giving you the space and tools to interact with them one-on-one.

A PopUp's mission in life is much less grand, but many of the functional characteristics mentioned above should also be kept in mind. Of course it is possible just to throw the popup up against the back wall, stick a table in front of it, spread our your brochures, and away you go. But you can do better than that.

First, since you want to maximize the dramatic graphic impact of your PopUp, you probably won't want to clutter the area directly in front of it. Yes, you have limited space to work with. But rather than putting a table directly in front of your most valuable asset (the PopUp), it is usually better to create two separate areas to either side. If you will be working the booth alone, then have a "distribution area" on the "incoming" side (the side most of the traffic comes from), and a "sales area" on the other side of your space. This will help both you and your visitors. They will be able to pick up brochures, samples, etc. from the distribution area without intruding on your one-on-one conversations taking place in the other area. And you will be able to have at least a semblance of "privacy" — as if this were possible at a trade show — when you pitch your more important prospects.

If there are two of you working the booth, then you should have two self-contained sales stations — one on either side. In other words, make use of your space intelligently. Don't clutter up the middle, if you can help it.

Which brings us to the design of the PopUp

I've suggested that you PopUp should do double-duty as both a backdrop, and your most important vehicle for promoting your company's presence and your "Primary Product Message". Stand back from your display for a second and look at it from the perspective of the casual passerby. What is he or she most interested in?

First, since she has come some distance to see a number of specific exhibits, chances are she is looking for a familiar name or logo. Don't disappoint. Display your logo prominently near the top of the display. That way it will be as visible as possible above the heads of the people standing in front.

The same goes for your "primary product message". Try to boil your product or service down into one or two words that you can focus on. This could be a product logo, especially if it is well known and easily identifiable. But it could also be a two or three word phrase — much like the "keywords" used in web pages. If you can't think of anything creative, then just take your primary product and stick an adjective in front of it (or a short phrase behind it) that gives it some "zing" this...

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The objective is to keep it near the top of your display, on one, or at most, two lines, where it will get maximum exposure.

So that takes care of the top 1/3 or so of your display. The rest should be devoted to enhancing or illustrating the "primary product message". Forget about using lots of copy to actually tell people about your product. If the show is successful, you will spend most of your time blocking the view of your display, and prospects won't be able to see it anyway.

That means you should find one or two large striking images and integrate them into a colorful background. The best designs often use just one large image. In our design section we offer some suggestions and show you some possible layouts.

The important thing to remember is that people are not going to walk up to your display and start reading the information on it. That is why a "graphic" approach is much more realistic than an informational approach. If you are considering sticking a bunch of information-intensive graphics on your display because you think that will give you more communication bang for your buck, forget it. It won't. The situation, the environment, and the motivation are just not right for this to happen. You PopUp is a very specific kind of "bilboard", and it should be treated that way.

When copying or reproducing this article, or parts of this article, please give appropriate credits to Richard Hendershot,

Trade Show Tips: Trade Show Booth Design