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Illuminating attraction: Lighting the way to trade show success

As a trade show exhibitor or attendee, you know how hectic the trade show floor can be during peak hours. Although the commotion may be inevitable, shrinking into booth anonymity doesn’t have to be. One way to stand out from the crowd is by concentrating on your exhibit lighting.Gone are the days when an organization could make a slam-bang presence at a trade show based on interesting product information and friendly staff members alone (although—those elements still contribute to success!) Now, it takes additional time and effort put into ensuring your booth offers show-goers the entire package … including attractive, eye-catching lighting. Read on for a few illumination techniques to boost the impact of your next trade show presence.Plan ahead
Before you go hog-wild with intense lighting effects, be sure your bases are covered:

  • Check out the venue specs before planning your lighting. Look into where outlets are located, how extension cords will be handled, and how much voltage can be utilized per vendor.
  • Choose your desired effect before purchasing any lights. Is your booth going to have a crisp, clean look? Then fluorescent lighting may work best. Perhaps you’re going for a more shadow effect? Try targeted track lighting. If you’re considering making your booth a warm, welcoming spot, consider repurposing household table lamps.

Guiding light
Lighting can be used at a trade show to effectively guide eyes to points of interest:

  • If the show floor is crowded and booths are packed in, consider lighting the way to your table and staff with strategically placed rope light. Drape it between polls for an off-the-ground effect, or fasten it directly to the floor to make your pathway.
  • Spotlights are perfect for bringing attention to new products that are being unveiled, like your booth’s Logo’d Banner or a special promotional Gift Set giveaway. Use multiple spotlights to focus attention on key booth elements.
  • To guide customers to your booth’s staff members, try Clip-on Blinking Lights! They work as the perfect way to signify who is there to help from your organization and always ensure your teammates stand out in the crowd.
  • When using a TV screen or computer monitor as part of your booth’s display, treat that as the only light in that area of your exhibit. Show-goer eyes will immediately be drawn to the illuminated on-screen graphics if there are no other distracting lights nearby.

Create buzz
By using lighting in out-of-the-box applications, you’ll be primed for attracting additional attendees to your booth and creating a memorable show experience:

  • Consider creating an incentivized “scavenger hunt” around the show floor by placing imprinted Flashing Round Lights in semi-hidden places. Stick one to the top of a door frame. Place another one behind a garbage can. You get the idea! Then, consistently announce to attendees that, if they find a light, they can redeem it for a special prize or offer at your booth.
  • Connecting your lighting effects directly to a theme can effectively build interest and encourage attendees to stop at your booth. For example, if you’re going all-out with a summertime beach theme, what better lighting to incorporate then a few heat lamps? Outfit all employees with Bermuda shorts and brightly coloured T-Shirts and invite passersby to stop for a moment in the “sun”!
  • If the show venue has high enough ceilings, make a statement by renting a Hollywood-like searchlight and periodically turning it on to signify a special event, drawing or presentation at your booth. Attendees will see it from all corners of the trade show floor, making it well-worth the investment.

When the average trade show exhibitor has only three seconds to attract a passerby’s eye, it’s important to have a plan of attack—one that involves quality lighting used in a creative capacity. Incorporate a few of these ideas into your next trade show to build buzz, direct attention and keep the potential leads flowing in!

Sowder, Jules. “Tradeshow Booth Displays: Affordable Options.” Trade Show Advisor. Jules Sowder, LLC, 2009. Web. 28 Jan. 2010.

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