BLOG: Eye-Popping Tips

From Karen Saunders

Your Branding, Marketing & Self-Publishing Coach

5 Tips on Creating an Eye-Catching Trade Show Banner

Businesses that exhibit in trade shows and showcase events must have an eye-catching trade show banner to draw attendees to their booths. Here are 5 tips to creating a banner that will work for you, not against you.

  1. Think of your banner as a billboard. It needs to capture attention and be easy to read. Your message needs to be grasped quickly by trade show attendees. Keep the idea and design simple and concise.
  2. Most businesses capitalize on their brand by incorporating their logo and tag line. If you are running a special deal or offer, limit your message to only 7 words.
  3. Use your brand colors or bold, bright colors. Use high contrasting colors to increase legibility from a greater distance.
  4. Avoid patterns and busy backgrounds by using solid colors or gradients.
  5. Include your contact information –  your website and/or a phone number. You don’t need to include your street or postal address.

Trade Show Banner Display

A lightweight vinyl banner is easy to transport and set up. You can use grommets spaced about one foot apart (to prevent sagging), or add pole pockets for aluminum or PCV pipes. You can purchase a lightweight, freestanding telescopic or rollup banner stand for around $100. Booths are typically 8 or 10 feet wide, so you can have a 10′ wide horizontal banner or a 6′ tall vertical banner. These are easy to transport and set up. When mounting your banner, check to see if it is viewable from a distance and doesn’t block important parts of your booth.

Trade Show Banner Materials

Flexible banners come in vinyl, scrim or paper material. Eco-solvent vinyl banners resist fading caused by UV rays, are waterproof and are very durable for outside displays. They may last between 3 to 5 years when displayed outdoors, and many years when used only indoors. Eco-solvents are more ecologically friendly than solvent inks in the past. Water-based paper and scrim banners are more susceptible to fading and water damage and are mainly used for indoor trade shows. Water-based banners used to have superior graphic resolution, but now the eco-solvent banners are as good quality.

Eye-Catching Trade Show Banner Artwork

Create your banner with a professional software package in CMYK color inks, and deliver your file to a banner or sign vendor. PDF or eps files in the vector format can be enlarged to any size without degradation to the graphics. If you are using photos, (which are in the raster format) be sure to use the highest resolution possible so when they are enlarged they will still be sharp. A rule of thumb is to create a jpg, tif or Photoshop file at 1/2 or full size at 150 DPI to maintain crisp results. Keep in mind that banner printing machines work in the CMYK inks, so sometimes they may not be able to precisely match PMS inks that are often used in logo designs. Get a sample swatch of your logo printed first before making the banner.

Shown below is a banner we designed for Tuscany Valley Alpacas.

Eye-Catching Trade Show Banner Tuscany Valley Alpacas