Interview

by writingtalks

Tips and Tricks from our Design Director and Brand Strategist on Trade Show Booth Designing.

Kshama Chhapkhanawalla is an MBA in Business Design from India and has over a decade of experience when it comes to events, exhibitions, corporate identity design and branding. Having worked with George P Johnson handling the create team, she has a deep understanding of how events work globally and how expos are different for B-B platforms and B-C platforms. Here is a one-on-one interview with our expert.

Background

Kshama Chhapkhanawalla is an MBA in Business Design from India and has over a decade of experience when it comes to events, exhibitions, corporate identity design and branding. Having worked with George P Johnson handling the create team, she has a deep understanding of how events work globally and how expos are different for B-B platforms and B-C platforms. Here is a one-on-one interview with our expert.

What do you like the most about your job within the exhibition booth designing and setup industry?

I love that every day is different. I have been working for 12 years and I have never had days when I am not excited about what I am doing. Each brief is different, each brand is different and hence each design idea that I have conceptualized is different. On one day you are working on a trade show booth design that is made for a pharma company to increase its sales, the next day you are creating an environment for a cosmetics company to show their product demonstrations. You are always learning new things about products and brands and this really broadens your perspective on life.

I also love the travel that is associated with this job. Because of my work I have set foot on every continent and with this I have explored new cultures and this really helps my design process as it opens my mind to new ways of thinking.  

How are the trade show booths in the USA different from the ones in Europe?

They are as different from chalk as cheese. In the USA you see the use of standardised or modular exhibit rental systems that you can rent or buy from trade show exhibit companies. Being modular, these booths are easy to install and low on labour and machine time. They can be installed by the labour that companies like freeman provide for the booth setup process.

Come to Europe and you are in a design dream. The possibilities are enormous. Each booth is customized as per the brand requirements and design brief. The booth is setup by the exhibition fabrication and design company and they have an extremely skilled team of carpenters, painters, pasters etc who are specialised for their jobs.

However, slowly now Europe is also switching to modular systems as organisers and exhibitors alike are looking for eco-friendly solutions that can replace the traditional build and burn systems.

When it comes to trade show booth design, what is the most critical element according to you?

From a production standpoint of a customised design, everything is very important. But if you ask me from a client perspective, then I would share that the trade show booth graphics are one of the most critical elements that a client can focus on. Graphic designing is an art and I have seen even experienced exhibitors making cluttered and unattractive graphics are a put-off for trade show visitors.

Once you finalise an exhibition booth design and the agency to build it, then the only things left in your hands is the graphics. I believe you should spend time in defining the message that you want to communicate. These messages should be crisp and solution oriented. You don’t want your brochure content pasted on your trade show booth walls. You want strong imagery with a catchy tagline so that you can attract those footfalls in the booth.

So yes, according to me graphics are the most important part of any trade show booth design. Good graphics can make a mediocre booth look amazing and bad graphics can make a customised structure also look mediocre.

How can one make small booths look impactful?

It is the trend now-a-days to make everything micro. From microchips to micro-mini skirts the world has started appreciating small things. On a more serious note, you can make your 10×10 exhibit or 10×20 exhibit impactful with these few tips:

  1. Don’t think that small means rental or pop-up. You can contract a custom trade show booth manufacturer to build a bespoke small space that is aligned to your brand imagery. You can make your small booth with a live planter wall – this will definitely make you stand out in terms of design
  2. Don’t clutter your small trade show exhibit with standees, brochure stands and bulky furniture. Use smart solutions. Put your brochures in acrylic pockets which are stuck to the wall, use sleek furniture and do away with the standees. All communication can happen on your trade show booth walls.
  3. Use light colours or bright colours, never dark colours. Dark colours will make your small exhibit booth space look even smaller. Pastels, whites, will make it look larger and by reflecting light it will look brighter as well.
  4. Restrict the amount of people travelling for the show. Do not fill your booth with your own company people. Use multi-talented people who can do 2-3 things so that your booth is not crowded. A crowded booth will put off visitors.

What is the most important element of making the correct trade show booth design?

Many years back when I had just started out, I remember we used to make multiple options and yet not get the correct design. Over time, obviously our design skills do improve, but we learn the real lesson. The secret to creating the best trade show booth design is to get the correct brief from your client. You really need to be invested in understanding your clients brand and its purpose of participating in the show. If you can weave these thoughts into your design then you are not presenting a structure to the client but you are presenting a brand relevant solution that satisfies the customers’ needs. This is the key to good and effective trade show booth design. 

Related Posts

Leave a Comment