Whether you are using a simple pole stand, a high-tech tension stand, or a cutting-edge retractable model, your banner stand is only as good as the graphics it displays. Your banner is on your booth’s front line,just outside the entrance, at eye level with passers-by, and in the ideal spot to encourage them to come inside. A strong design will draw them into your booth. Here are seven key aspects to keep an eye out for when designing your own banner stand graphics.


Too much copy. Avoid putting a long sales message on your banner stand for customers to read. Even if it’s funny, touching, or highly informative, most attendees will only glance at your banner stand as they walk by. If there’s a concise, effective message on that banner, they could be persuaded to stop and check out your exhibition booth. If not, they’ll move on.


No call to action. On the other hand, your banner stand could sport a simple, concise, catchy message that still doesn’t work. Most of the time, it’s because the message doesn’t ask the customer to do anything. To get people into your booth, put a call to action on your stand, tell customers to ask about our new products or talk to us inside, or leave your business card for a free gift. This is much more effective than a general tagline, no matter how funny or memorable.


Lack of contrast in the color scheme. Striking contrasts draw the eye, and some color combinations are better than others. When contrasting a message over graphics, it’s especially important to have a lot of contrast?or the type will be difficult to read.


Distracting images. If your graphics are too busy, complex images, an elaborate logo, fancy borders, they could be distracting from your message. Your prospects won’t remember the name of your company if they only look at your graphics. Often, designing an effective banner stand means striking an appropriate balance between your visuals and your message.


No white space. You need white space to focus attention on your message. Many beginning graphic designers fill every available space on a banner with colors and images, but that distracts from your message. A banner with no white space can be hard for the brain to process, which encourages prospects to look away. Make sure your banner has margins and white space to direct attendees eyes to the message you’re trying to showcase.


More than two font types. The more font styles on your banner, the more difficult it will be on the eye. For your primary message, choose a Sans Serif font like Helvetica, which can be easily read from a distance. If you have a secondary message, fonts like Times New Roman can work fine. Avoid complicated scripts and calligraphy, as these take longer to process. Simpler fonts might not be as beautiful, but they’re much more effective at getting your message across in the split-second you have to persuade attendees.


Hard to read. What?s the distance you want your message to be visible from. Your banner stand will be at eye level, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn?t use a larger-sized font. Is your exhibition booth at the end of a long hallway. Will people be approaching you from a ways off? Or is the space too busy to effectively compete with closer displays?


It’s easy to get carried away with all the options you have for color, design, and fonts. But sometimes the best choice is the simplest. Good banner design must be striking enough to catch the eye, but simple enough to communicate your message effectively. Hit the right balance, and you’ll have a strong banner stand for your next trade show.