Backdrop Design Tips

Creating a great trade show backdrop can seem like a daunting task but done right this is actually the easy part of the booth.  You just need to keep in mind that the whole goal of the backdrop is to entice people to stop in and talk to you and your representatives.   People will pass your booth in less than a few seconds and if there is a booth across the aisle then your exposure time is cut in half. Your booth is like a billboard on the highway as the cars pass by at 70 miles an hour, you need to peak interest quickly and effectively.

Think like your customer would.  “What's in it for me?”  

From a customer’s perspective you need to step to their side of the aisle and put all of your knowledge of what you do aside and pretend you are a customer who knows nothing about you.  So many people inadvertently assume the people in the aisle have the same level of knowledge that you do about your business.  Some may, but for the most part they will not and you need to understand the majority of peoples level of knowledge about your product or service.  Always remember “what's in it for me” is from the customers perspective not yours.  Bring a value to them and they will be more apt to look and see what you have. 

Boil it down to the bare essentials 

So many people want to add everything they do on a backdrop and in the end they are no longer an inviting booth to go into.  Too much text and information equates to work from their side of the aisle.  By going more general with your points you can encompass many of the finer details under their umbrella.  This will be one of the harder aspects of designing your backdrop.  If you can boil your unique selling point down to one phrase then you will be able to shout it across the aisle. Don't load up your booth backdrop with too many details, they should be in a handout that can be grabbed or better yet handed to your potential customer while you talk to them. Peak their interest, but don't try and have your backdrop close the deal at the same time, it will be too overwhelming for people to digest in the 1 or 2 seconds you have.

Rank the importance of your elements

After boiling down the elements I am going to include in my backdrop, I like to rank them in importance to my customer.  Items such as phone numbers I would rank low (I would not recommend phone numbers on a backdrop, but a lot of my customers ask for that) because I actually want them to interact with a representative of my company to get a name and a card before I would expect someone to be standing in the aisle writing down a phone number.  Rank your items, if you have a household name that lends credibility then that would be ranked 1, maybe followed by my boiled down message, followed by a tag line, followed by some bullet points.  Your high ranked items need top billing and your lower ranked ones must not compete against the higher ones, only support them.

  1. “Factory Direct Gears”  
  2. Gear Guy Logo 
  3. “Ships same day” 
  4. Thousands of gears in stock 
  5. website


Backdrop Design Tips

Simple and Big draws attention

The whole idea of a booth backdrop is to peak the interest of the passer by.  You have but seconds to form a bond that makes the potential customer want to stop and talk, so use large graphics that support what you are trying to convey.  Some of the best booths have but one gigantic image that tells a quick story.  Compelling images can be hard to find on your camera but there are lots of images you can buy that don't necessarily have to be your work but convey the idea of your company.  If you are a landscaper, I don't say you should buy great landscape images and claim them as your work, but if you pride yourself on great customer service, you could buy an image of a happy person and simple put “friendly, courteous, service”.  Think simple and big and your booth will pop.


Backdrop Design Tips   Backdrop Design Tips

Using your logo on your backdrop

Your name and logo need to be on the backdrop so you can start equating your service/product with your name.  How prominent your logo is depends on a few things (and this is part of the element ranking). If you have an identity that people readily recognize that will add value to your business, then you need to have that at the forefront.  If you do not have an identity that will be recognized by most then you need to sell what you do more. 


Backdrop Design Tips  Backdrop Design Tips

You want people to feel compelled to come into your booth and that is where the booth backdrop's job ends.  Let your reps take over and sell, that is what they do best.  Have plenty of supporting material on hand for those people who want more details.  Remember your booth's goal is to invite people in to interact with your staff and make a personal connection.  If you try and tell people everything you do on a backdrop you will achieve 1 of 2 things; either your backdrop will be so cluttered with information they will walk by, or you will have answered all the questions and you will not have made the important personal contact.