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Your Best Tradeshow Signs... A 4-Point Guide

Do you remember the statistic that two-thirds of what you communicate is nonverbal? This couldn’t be truer in the tradeshow environment. Make your booth do the heavy-lifing in communicating your company and offerings. Spend a little energy in thinking through your messaging for the visitor and reap the benefits of your customers being able to find you on the show floor and have a clear understanding of what you offer.


To think this through, you need to take away the human interaction in your booth and just focus on what the booth is communicating. I have found that the best way to communicate your message as an exhibitor is to follow this 4-point guide to graphic messaging.


  1. From a distance: Let customers find you by putting your brand name up high above the crowd and viewable from one, two even three aisles away. Make sure that sign is also viewable when they are down the aisle from your booth. It is very frustrating for visitors to look for your booth by booth number (as the numbers are not viewable while you are in the aisle), so make your brand name simple, bold and large enough to see from far-away.
  2. From 10-20 feet away: Not only should they see your brand name (as the master message), but at this distance they should see your product categories. Such as "Cutting" or "Sheeting". Let the visitor understand from this perspective what you provide to the industry. Have headings of your major product lines, categories or industries served, if that is how your organize your product portfolio.
  3. From within the booth: Product Name and Benefits. As they walk up to the different demonstration areas, they should know the name of the product being demonstrated and the benefit it provides (faster throughput, best quality, etc.).
  4. As they are at the product, list the features and provide the technical details. It would be optimal if you can tie those features to the benefits that the customer will receive by owning your product or service offering.


A fun exercise you and your team can do at the next show is to walk around and look at other exhibitors. What are they doing right and what are they doing wrong? Sometimes there are so many designed graphics in a booth that I know their name but I don't understand what they do. Other times, they have so few signs and their company name is an acronym and I think, "who are they and what do they do?".


Without good thought about what you are communicating, you are leaving money on the table by not optimizing your messaging. Signs are important to pull customers in to your booth and if you do it right, they will represent you as an easy-to-understand business. After all, who doesn't want to do business with someone who is clear and easy-to-understand?

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