Get that best booth award-continued

Written by Susan Ratliff on June 29th, 2011. Posted in booth essentials

Here are the other four criteria I use to separate the drab from the
fab booths at a show to determine who are worthy of an award of excellence.

6. Is lighting used to
illuminate the booth, spot light products or set the mood?
Studies show
that lighting attracts attention to an exhibit. Lighting up your display graphics is a must, but don’t forget the unique
effects of fiber optic lighting, chase lights or flashing lights to catch the customer’ eye.  Set the mood in your booth with
colored lighting or spotlight a new product or bring attention to an improved service.

7. Are the graphic messages customer-focused?  Do they speak to the needs and concerns of the customer or simply list the serves the company provides.  Attendees are looking for solutions to their most challenging problems. They want to know you understand their issues and can solve them.  How you do it is of less concern.  Lead with benefits.

8.  Is the exhibit space neat and tidy? Clutter is not attractive or professional.  Supply boxes stacked in the back corner of
your booth, messy  papers on the table, too many racks of products, counters or tables blocking entry into the space will
detract from your image and turn customers off. Less is more and a clean exhibit space makes a good impression.

9.  Is the exhibit attractively merchandised? How are products or services presented to the customer? Are there interesting methods used to demonstrate the variety and quality of the offerings?  Are there multiple levels of elevation used used to display products or literature? Are there examples of products available to touch, feel and inspect?  Is the booth filled with too much product making it unattractive?

Consider all these factors when creating your display and conceptualizing your graphics and you could get the next Best of Show prize for you company.    If you want additional tips for creating an award-winning exhibit contact me at

Could your booth win Best of Show?

Written by Susan Ratliff on June 25th, 2011. Posted in booth essentials

Many times the organization or show producer that hires me to give an exhibitor training seminar will also be creating a booth judging contest for their exhibitors designed to motivate them to creatively decorate their exhibits in order to win a prize. The company that takes the time to tie into the show theme, add interesting elements to their display, illustrates professionalism and visual interest will be selected, awarded, photographed and often times will receive some good publicity too. The catagories selected for representation vary from show to show. I have presented awards for best theme, best use of color, best overall, best of show, best use of props, most professional staff, best exhibit etc. If you’d like to plan ahead to win one of those coveted awards at your next tradeshow here are a few of the criteria I use to separate the weak exhibits from the wow exhibits on the show floor.

  1. Upon approaching the booth can you immediately tell who the company is and what they
    do or sell?
       If it takes more than five seconds for a prospect walking past your display to figure out the name of
    your company and have a clear understanding of what you can do for them you are going to lose a lot of business.
  2. Is there a clever, unifying theme used to present the marketing message?  One of the ways to make your exhibit
    memorable is to decorate your space around a theme. Themes can tie into casino games, sports, a holiday, circus or Hollywood for example.  Work that theme into every element of your display to drive home your company’s sales message
  3. Does the Booth have the wow factor? Is the overall company presentation a head-turner? Do the graphics grab your attention?  Is there a coordinating color scheme?   Is the exhibit structure inviting and professional? Does it all come together in a dynamic beautiful way?
  4. Does the display incorporate unique props to enhance the company image?  Instead of the usual elements you find at
    every booth this exhibitor will display unusual props or accessories that help attendees understand what they do or sell. Items that may not normally get seen by the general public or tools of the trade to touch and feel
  5. Is there a lead generating process present? Collecting information from interested prospects should be the number one
    goal of every exhibitor.  Is this company using a game, contest, drawing or survey to capture leads?

Next time we will look at the rest of the criteria that could make your booth best of show

What you can’t live without at your booth

Written by Susan Ratliff on August 23rd, 2008. Posted in booth essentials, Uncategorized

 There was a great question posed on Linked In recently, that pertained to tradeshows. 

What would you not be without at a tradeshow booth?

There are some intriquing answers (including mine) with valuable information and interesting perspectives on what is absolutely essential to have at a show.  I especially liked  what Denice MacDonald had to say and I invite you to take a look.  Click on the question above or connect with Denice directly.

I’d love to hear what you have to say about this.

You can find out about what I consider to be the five essential elements that will turn your booth into a powerful profit center by checking out my latest book “Exhibit Like an Expert”, at any Barnes and Noble store, on their website or on my website


Denice MacDonald

President at MacDonald Consulting Services