exhibit design

Lighter is Better

Purchasing a lightweight, portable exhibit can save your company thousands each year in shipping and drayage. With trade show marketing budgets tightening across the nation, cutting costs in shipping is a great way for exhibitors to save money without sacrificing their look. When you ship your trade show booth via UPS or FedEx, your charges are determined by size and weight (larger and heavier will cost more money to ship).

At MODdisplays, every trade show display we sell includes a proper shipping case that can be shipped via UPS or FedEx. Many of our cases are designed to fit just underneath UPS/FedEx dimensional weight restrictions, which allows you to ship the most material possible without facing additional charges due to the size of your package. In addition to saving our customers money, this saves our carriers money and makes their life easier, which is an important factor in securing extra discounts with UPS and FedEx.

In addition to the cost savings, purchasing a lightweight trade show booth is good for the environment. Lightweight, portable exhibits are just one more way companies have found to reduce their carbon footprint and promote sustainable practices.

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Vector vs. Raster Artwork

Posted by Andy Keeler on September 06, 2008
Trade Show Graphics / No Comments

When designing trade show graphics, it is often important to know the difference between vector and raster artwork. Not every image is suitable for use on your booth display, because many images will appear grainy and pixelated when they are scaled up to the correct size. Understanding the difference between vector and raster artwork will make a big difference in the images you choose for your graphics.

Vector Artwork

Vector artwork is usually produced using illustration software (such as Adobe Illustrator), and it is always comprised of mathematically-drawn lines and shapes. For this reason, scaling up (or magnifying) vector artwork almost never results in a loss in quality. The word “vector” implies magnitude and direction, and that is exactly what vector artwork captures. In order to increase the size of this type of graphic, you simply need to increase the magnitude and direction in proportion.

Raster Artwork

Raster images are usually produced using digital photography or photo-editing programs (such as Adobe Photoshop).  Raster images are comprised of tiny blocks of color called “pixels”, which are aligned in a grid in order to form images. Unlike vector images, raster images cannot be magnified without the risk of pixelation. Increasing the size of a raster image forces the design program to add pixels that were not captured in the original photograph or drawing, which results in fuzzy or blurry images.

Whenever possible, MODdisplays recommends using vector images in the design of your trade show displays. Vector images will always look crisp and sharp no matter how big you make them. Since all photographs are raster files, nearly all booth graphics will utilize at least a few raster images. If you plan to use a photograph in the design of your exhibit, we recommend viewing the file at 100% (the actual size you will want the image to appear on your graphic) on your monitor. If the file appears blurry when viewed at 100%, then the resolution is too low. Low resolution files result in poor print quality.

Stock photography websites such as iStockPhoto and GettyImages are a great resource for high-quality raster photographs. Files can be purchased in a variety of sizes, and usually the “large” size is good enough to provide a crisp, clean image when printed. When in doubt, you can always send your files to graphics@moddisplays.com and we will check them out for you. At MODdisplays, we never print low resolution or low quality files, because all of our graphics go through a rigorous screening and proofing process.

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Exhibiting 101

Posted by Andy Keeler on August 28, 2008
Exhibiting Strategy, Trade Show Information, Trade Show Marketing / No Comments

Exhibiting at a trade show can be a daunting challenge, but through the application of a few basic principles, the process can be very manageable. Even seasoned trade show marketing professionals struggle to manage every aspect of their program, and every veteran will tell you that there is no such thing as a perfect event. If you are in charge of the exhibiting program for your company, you should be focused on increasing the return on your investment through best practices in exhibiting, and some of those practices are listed below:

1- Plan well in advance. Flights, hotel rooms, and exhibit space are all less expensive when you book early. In addition to the huge savings, planning out your exhibiting program well in advance will allow you more time to detect and fix mistakes. The number of exhibitors who wait until the last minute to purchase their trade show display or promotional products is astounding, especially considering the fact that those who plan well in advance usually have a more successful exhibiting experience.

2- Work to attract attendees long before the trade show begins. A good part of trade show marketing occurs even before the event begins through pre-show mailers and press releases. It is important to let your potential clients know that you will be exhibiting as well as what products and/or services you will be marketing. Many attendees only visit booths that are on their itinerary (which they create before the show even begins). If you’re not on that list, even the best exhibit on earth won’t help you make a sale.

3- Train your booth staffers well. Your people will always be the focal point of your trade show booth from the perspective of potential clients, so you need to have knowledgeable staffers who understand your products and your brand. Many successful marketing programs have been ruined when booth staffers unwittingly sabotage relationships with potential clients. Carefully review the basics of your company’s marketing program including your best selling points, competitive advantages, and your branding basics.

4- Invest in a hybrid display with a clean, modern look. If you’ve ever been to a trade show, you know that curved popup displays dominate the landscape. Although popup displays are very affordable and easy to setup, they virtually guarantee that you will blend in with the crowd at your next conference, which is usually not the best idea. Most companies work hard to stand out and differentiate themselves from other exhibitors to attract the maximum amount of attendees.

5- Develop a strategy to collect and follow up on leads you generate at the conference. According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, almost 90% of leads generated at trade shows are never followed up on. This means that by developing an effective strategy for following up on the leads you generate, you will increase the return on your investment by over 900% when compared with your competitors. A simple, focused approach to trade show marketing will take you further than the flashiest literature or the most well configured trade show exhibit.

Trade show marketing is challenging, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Through the application of these simple tips, you should see a drastic increase in the return on your investment at your next event.

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Las Vegas Convention Center – Lighting Restrictions

Posted by Andy Keeler on August 04, 2008
Trade Show Information / 3 Comments

To their detriment, exhibitors are often unaware of the lighting restrictions in effect at the Las Vegas Convention Center. If you show up at your event with the wrong kind of trade show lights, you may be forced to decide between renting lighting at exorbitant daily rates or not lighting your trade show booth at all. MODdisplays can help you purchase the kind of lighting that is approved for use at the Las Vegas Convention Center (which is by far the most strict facility in the United States with regards to lighting).

Lumina 7 LIght

The Lumina 7 trade show light can mount to almost any display surface. Thanks to the universal mounting kit, you can mount your lumina 7 light to almost any display structure (including popup displays). This light is specifically designed for use at the Las Vegas Convention Center, as it uses an incandescent bulb as opposed to a halogen bulb.

For more information about the lighting restrictions at the Las Vegas Convention Center, click here. Feel free to contact our Sales Department with any questions at 877.663.3976 or email sales@moddisplays.com.

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Typography in Exhibit Design

Typography plays an important but often underestimated role in exhibit design. The font used in the design of a trade show display will often make a bigger impression upon attendees than the words themselves. Attendees and the general public are largely unaware of the influence that font choices can have on purchasing decisions, and you can use this to your advantage as an exhibitor.

Typical exhibiting goals include increasing brand recognition, generating positive brand association, marketing products and/or services, and distributing promotional literature, and typography can play a key role in helping you to meet those goals. It is important to be aware of what message you’re sending when you use particular fonts so that you can have tighter control of your company’s brand. Here’s a few brief points to ponder that may help you make better design choices when laying out the graphics for your trade show booth.

Over 90% of corporations use Helvetica-based or Helvetica-like font faces in their corporate logos. MODdisplays company logo uses a Helvetica-based font. Stripped of their ornamentation, Helvetica based fonts are very readable. Letters that are sized and spaced proportionally give viewers a strong sense of relatedness and order. Sans-serif Helvetica-based fonts give potential clients the sense that your company is made up of people like them, which instills confidence and promotes spending. We highly recommend using proportionally spaced type faces in company logos and slogans, as well as “skimming material”.

If unadorned fonts are more readable, why aren’t they used in books and magazines? Over the past thirty years, it has been consistently proven that serifed fonts are easier on the eye when reading large blocks of text. The serifed edges allow the eye to pass smoothly from one word to the next, which allows for increased reading speed and comfort. Visit any typography-focused website (one of my favorites is http://ilovetypography.com), and you’ll notice that (in general) headings and titles are displayed in sans-serif fonts and large blocks of text are displayed in serifed fonts.

Typography is a seemingly limitless field where the possibilities for learning are endless. Devoting some time to understanding why certain fonts are chosen will increase the quality and visibility of your trade show graphic design, and will hopefully generate some more leads for your company.

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Increased Interest in Hanging Signs

Posted by Andy Keeler on July 15, 2008
Trade Show Accessories, Trade Show Graphics / No Comments

Hanging signs offer an excellent way for a growing company to move into island exhibits and still keep a high-end, impressive image without spending a ton of money.  We have seen a huge increased interest for hanging signs and we contribute much of that interest to the great return on investment that they offer.   Basically for a relatively small amount of money, trade show attendees can see your logo and branding from all around the exhibit floor.  I know this is obvious but think about the impact of burning your logo and brand imaging in the mind of a potential customer and since the logo is so large and hovering high above the exhibit floor the impression is that much greater.

Many companies who are new to the larger exhibits and are used to setting up smaller displays can feel a bit overwhelmed about utilizing a hanging sign but it is easier then you may think.  Here are a couple of good points about MODdisplays hanging signs:  Our prices are very competitive for a turnkey sign that is ready for use when it arrives at your show.   Set up for these signs is 15 to 35 minutes depending size.  Production is 3 to 5 days on most signs.  Increased interest has resulted in show organizers better addressing the need by using simple order forms in your exhibitor handbook to have them set up the sign, often before you even arrive.  Also, we offer numerous shapes, sizes and accessories, like internal lighting or rotation harnesses so you are sure to be able to find the sign that compliments your new or exhisting display.

You can browse our online store for the shape that meets your needs and use the pull down menu to adjust the sizing or feel free to call us up to discuss all your options.

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Unique Pedestals for Trade Shows

Posted by Andy Keeler on July 02, 2008
Trade Show Accessories / No Comments

MODdisplays offers a wide variety of trade show pedestals that can be branded with your company name or logo. Our trade show pedestals not only provide additional counter space for your exhibit, but they also provide storage for extra promotional items or literature so that your booth doesn’t appear cluttered and messy. Our website has the widest selection of pedestals, all of which were designed to be unique and stand out from the crowd at your next event.

Exhibit One V-Lead Pedestal

The Exhibit One V-Lead Pedestal (pictured above) can only be found at MODdisplays. This distinctive system has sold well thanks to its unique appearance and functionality. Two internal shelves serve as a good place to store excess promotional material, while the large top counter surface provides plenty of surface space. The v-shaped piece can be kept as a frosted plexi (pictured) or can be a full color direct print with your company’s branding images.

The E2.S Pedestal is by far our most popular pedestal thanks to its simple design and ample storage space. This oval-shaped pedestal is surrounded on all sides by styrene panels (which can be printed with your company image or left blank). The rear shelf serves as a great place to hide materials that you don’t want visitors and attendees to see, and there is a huge amount of storage space inside the pedestal itself. This functional pedestal is extremely popular because its uses are not just limited to the trade show environment. Many exhibitors use the counter in their office when the trade show is over, which is a great way to get use out of your investment all year.

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Simple Design, Big Impact

Designing trade show graphics can be a daunting challenge, especially for a graphic designer who lacks experience in large format printing. Using bold images and large text is a great way to garner attention, but it may weaken your marketing efforts if the final product does not reflect well on your company. Creating a simple design for your exhibit is easy, but creating a simple design that communicates your company’s message is a challenge for any designer.

XR Wave Simple

So how do you know you can trust MODdisplays to create a professional, simple graphic design that will work for your company?

  • We staff professional graphic designers that are well trained in the principles of exhibit design. Our graphic designers understand the need for high-impact graphics that are simple enough to convey your message in a short amount of time. Having spent time interacting with exhibits and attending trade shows, our exhibit designers understand what it takes to exhibit well.
  • Browse our website to find past examples of high-quality exhibit design. Our clean, modern approach is recognized across the portable trade show industry, and is easily distinguishable from the graphic design work of other companies. Our graphic design department works much like a marketing firm by analyzing your exhibiting goals and creating a solution that effectively presents your company to your target audience.
  •  Compare the design of our website to the design of other websites in our industry. When you realize how little time and effort other companies spend on their own marketing presence, why would you trust them with your marketing presence? In the same way that our website is simple, clean, and intuitive, our large format graphic design is simple, clean, and effective.
  • Because we offer our graphic design services for free, you can rest assured that you’ll never waste a single dollar on graphic design with MODdisplays. Even if you staff your own graphic designers, why not save their time for something else and put our designers to work for you?

You only have three seconds to grab the attention of a passing visitor or attendee, so make those seconds count by utilizing MODdisplays free exhibit graphic design services.

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Go Portable, Save Thousands

20 x 20 Exhibit One DisplayPortable trade show displays are the wave of the future. Rising gas prices have resulted in increased transportation costs, which encourages exhibitors to buy trade show booths that can be shipped all around the country via UPS or FedEx. Standard exhibits must be shipped in advance to pre-show warehouses in order to be set up by unionized drayage personnel, while portable exhibits can be wheeled directly onto the show floor to be assembled by your own staff members.

Although portable exhibits got their start in smaller spaces (table top displays and 10′ x 10′ spaces), they are now becoming popular choices in large spaces such as 20′ x 20′ islands and 10′ x 30′ inline sections. Because portable exhibits have taken on a much more custom feel in recent years, they have the appearance of a personlized exhibit designed by a custom exhibit house.  With the ability to add a wide variety of accessories such as monitor mounts, literature holders, product shelves, reception counters, and demo kiosks, exhibits can take on a new look for each exhibitor without needing to be custom-designed every time. Through the use of stocked, modular components, exhibiting in a variety of spaces with custom-looking exhibits is more affordable and practical than ever.

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Director Chairs with Your Logo

Posted by Andy Keeler on June 26, 2008
Trade Show Accessories / 1 Comment

director chair with logoOffering visitors and attendees a comfortable place to rest is a great way to attract them to your trade show booth. A long day on the trade show floor will take a toll on almost anyone, and potential clients will be eager to relax in your comfortable director chairs. MODdisplays also offers director chairs with logo options, as well as fully-printed director chairs.

Our trade show furniture is affordable and durable, and many of our clients find that it works well in the context of larger exhibits. If you go the extra mile and brand your trade show accessories, you will find that your investment will pay off as potential clients visit your space. Their perception of your company will only improve with every branded accessory you add.

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