A simple guide to exhibiting at a trade show or event

Exhibition events offer your business the perfect solution to meeting potential customers face to face. Majority of these customers have paid an entree fee and will therefore be in mood to negotiate or buy. An annual exhibition can bring in the highest return on investment if you follow the simple rules.

Where do I find a suitable exhibition?

Firstly find out the service or industry you wish to exhibit, search the closet city or town for exhibition or trade show. Most will be online where you can book your space if in doubt give them a call. A locallarge format printing services business may be able to help if you can’t find a suitable trade show close by.

Will my potential customer base visit the show?

Most importantly do your customers visit the show, call the trade show organiser and ask the targeted audience if they fit the bill you are booking the right show.

Inform potential customers you are exhibiting?
Be prepared to roll your sleeves up now, email current customers on your database producing a mail out or e-blast. (A marketing agency can provide this service or a good graphic designer).Tell them you are exhibiting and send them an enticing offer if they attend, get hold of a database and e-shot potential customers with your offer. Write article and post them on useful sites related to the industry.

What type of stand do I choose?

Very expensive you the business are responsible for everything with the space including carpet, wall finishes, stands, and lights and branding board. Unless you have a pre-designed stand this option is not worth taking because of costs involved and time.

Shell Scheme:
This includes a basic structure from which you can sell and promote your services; the standard height is 2.4/2.5 metres. Basic Shell Scheme stands all look the same to make yours stand out you will need to design roller banners and pop-up stands to have an impact.

Top tips for purchasing your roller banners stands graphics:

Will you re-use your banners or a one off stand?
Would you like to change the graphic in the future for other exhibitions?
Is the height right for the shell scheme stands?
Don’t buy cheap, make sure the banner can be rolled and un-rolled several times if you need to use it repeatedly

Is there a warranty?

Costs, do they include design artwork (additional costs involved hiring a graphic designer)

Sticking to these rules will ensure that your stand will not only be cost effective but displayed to the correct target audience for you chosen industry.

The importance of colour modes for graphic design artwork

Colour modes in Graphic design are pretty complex and needs correct to insure your artwork is using the correct colour mode for its media. Web graphics use RGB, print CMYK & finally PMS Pantone matching system.

Using basic principles below you can produce better results within your design work.
RGB colour mode is primarily used when working on graphics displayed on television or computer monitors (i.e. websites or video. Red, Green and Blue are the primary colours when working with Light. So how can you tell it uses RGB, look very closely at your screen to see a small pattern including Red, Green and Blue dots (RGB colours). When RGB colours blends together equally it creates white none of the colours present black will be created. This colour is known specifically as ADDICTIVE COLOUR. The secondary colours are Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. A simple theory is imagining sitting in a dark room with no light at all the wall in front of you will appear black. Now with three friends sitting directly behind you were to shine three lights Red, Green and Blue.
Red and Green create Yellow light, Green and Blue create Cyan and Blue and Red create a magenta light. But interestingly when the three colours combine together equally they then create White. This is  RGB colour mode primarily used for video and website design graphics.
This colour mode is for print purpose or media, you may have heard it called the four colour process. Main colours are Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. When applying ink to paper or canvas. You must double-check with the printer before sending artwork as some large format printers can use other colour modes for printing depending on their set-up.
If you have a graphic ready but it is in RGB mode you can convert it to CMYK, but be aware that this can make the colours very muddy (Subtractive colour), it is always best to start using the colour mode you are going to use rather converting the graphics. This is why a printers proof is important to get a feel of how the piece will print, too many clients sign off design from screens and when they receive the print ask questions about why the colour looks different. So be sure to get artwork signed off from a printed version rather screen. The difference between RGB and CMYK is how it uses light, CMYK does not give off light of its own, it simply reflects light from other sources .

In  CMYK  white is created by absence of colour and the black is created by combining the three main colours.
Cyan and Magenta create Blue, Magenta and yellow create Red, Yellow and Cyan create Green. Black is created by combining all colours equally; White is when no ink is present thus blank canvas or paper.

If a client asks why the colour differs from computer screen simply tell them a computer screen produces RGB colours and print is CMYK as we described so they will look different because they use light differently.

If your project is colour critical a Pantone matching system colour would be required to keep the colours exact to the customers branding specifications.

Pantone matching system – PMS
Pantone inc developed the matching system way back in 1963 to overcome the above problems with RGB and CMYK when a job requires exact colour matching. They are specials or spot colours used and matched to the Pantone booklet either coated, matt or non coated stocks. You can create your artwork and specify this spot colour whilst asking your client to sign off the colour from Pantone colour book. Pantone colours keep consistency and are exact with the printer mixing the colours as directed from Pantone.

The only downside to this special colour is the cost, much more expensive but worth it if your job requires accuracy in colours.

If your client isn’t colour critical use CMYK and hard copy proof for sign off the peace of mind.
I hope this article helps any experienced or budding graphic designers in understanding colour mode. You can apply this knowledge to any of your projects; always check with your client or printers to save time and money.