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Beginner Buyer’s Guide to Trade Show Display: 2 Tips for Better B2B Sales

Beginner Buyer's Guide to Trade Show Display: 2 Tips for Better B2B Sales

Effective trade show displays are equal parts art and science. Today’s post reviews research by the Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing highlighting 2 tips for better B2B sales in Southfield, MI.

The Science of Trade Show Display Design in Southfield, MI

New research by the Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing explores the impact of trade show display design decisions on business-to-business marketing outcomes.

Unsurprisingly, results show that booth and sign designs matter in a B2B trade show setting. Effective trade show display designs help differentiate firms from competitors, shape initial reactions to marketing stimuli, and “generate inferences regarding other attributes,” such as brand quality and target demographic.

But, for the first time ever, Bloch and his team of researchers also identified a distinct set of trade show display design & banners features that upped returns and leads for exhibitors.

“Our results indicate that specific aesthetic design elements affect overall willingness to enter different booths among actual trade show visitors,” writes Bloch et al. (2017). “Our attendee sample displayed a coherent and interpretable set of preferences for exhibit design features.”

This is somewhat shocking, since trade show display design has long been considered more art than science. While the thought of a specific trade show display “formula” is reductive, every exhibitor should know best practices exist so that they can tweak them to suit their individual needs, demographic, and aesthetic.

So what design features appealed most to B2B trade show attendees? Let’s review the top 2!

1.  Trade Show Displays Require Optimal Surface Decoration

Surface decoration is defined as “the amount of visual detail in the booth facade” (Bloch et al., 2017, p. 13). Studies on environmental complexity and information rate show that people have limits on the amount of information they can process at one time, and exhibitors need to mind their lessons to make sure they aren’t overloading visitors with “too much, too soon.”

“High complexity may be viewed negatively on the aesthetic and load dimensions as with a billboard-strewn highway, producing unpleasant arousal,” writes Bloch et al. (2017, p. 13). This negative effect can be moderated when the signage is helpful, but research suggests it’s better to be “safe than sorry.”

Thus, for better B2B engagement in trade show settings, do your best to find optimal surface decoration. Remember: open, spacious booths seem more accessible and welcoming, so there’s really no benefit to crowding your limited booth space with signage that nobody could possibly take in all at once.

SignScapes can help. Whether you need an experienced eye to tell you to tone it down, or you’re looking for trade show graphics to increase visual richness without consuming space, we have what you need.

2.  Set the right “Color Temperature” for Better Trade Show Displays

“Color is central to design and affects the meaning that individuals draw from a stimulus,” writes Bloch et al. (2017). SignScapes trade show graphics & displays can be ordered in any color you need to add variety to product offerings or reinforce brand image.

Bloch et al. (2017) studied the effects of three different color temperatures: warm, cool, and neutral. Here’s some of their key findings:

  • Warmer tones produce more arousal in viewers
  • Cooler colors tend to be more relaxing
  • People tend to be warm or cool-color dominant, so it’s important to know your audience
  • Based on an approach-avoidance scale used in one study, B2B trade show consumers tended to prefer buying in cool settings, which made them feel “more comfortable and at-ease” (p. 15)

Whether you need some insights about your audience or a complete color overhaul on your trade show display materials, SignScapes is here to help.

Free Trade Show Display Quote and Consultation in Southfield, MI

Visit https://misignscapes.com/ or call 1 (248) 354-8346 to book a free consultation with our trade show display experts and get a 100% free quote on your custom booth design today.


Bloch, P. H., Gopalakrishna, S., Crecelius, A. T., & Scatolin Murarolli, M. (2017). Exploring booth design as a determinant of trade show success. Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing, 24(4), 237-256.


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