Is your graphic media wall doing all that it can for your trade show booth?
Depending on the venue, a classic logo-imprinted step and repeat may fulfill all of your graphic media wall needs. But what if your wall could do more? What if your media wall could actually function as a sort of trade show Sherpa, guiding your customer’s eyes, hands, and feet toward your booth’s key, target areas?
With a little extra planning and design time, your media wall can do exactly that.
Conventional Uses of the Media Wall
Traditionally, the primary purpose of a graphic media wall is to display one or more logos in a repetitive pattern across a straight wall. This approach works great when used as a simple photo backdrop. You’ll see media wall backdrops most often at red-carpet events or press conferences, but exhibitors also use them to make it easier for show attendees and prospective customers to identify the company’s booth and brand at a glance.
Next-Generation Media Wall
Contemporary media walls function as far more than just window dressing. When executed properly, they can actually improve the traffic flow, retention, and overall “stickiness” of your booth.
Here are a few strategies for getting optimal performance out of your graphic media wall:
TIP #1: USE YOUR MEDIA WALL TO FOCUS THE CUSTOMER’S ATTENTION. When viewing your graphic media wall, the average trade show attendee will sweep your display in sort of a zig-zag fashion, focusing on your tallest element first, then scanning the sides, then doubling back to the tallest element, then down. You can help streamline your customer’s visual focus and get him to your information counter more quickly by designing your media wall in a variety of ways.
Here are two of our favorites:
- The Stair-Step Method: By setting up multiple banner stands of varying heights to create your wall, you can easily guide the customer’s eye toward your primary point of focus using a simple stair-step layout. By employing word and graphical breadcrumbs, your wall will lead the average customer to read your display starting with the tallest banner first, then sweeping over to the left side, then working his way across, then down to your information counter.
Here at EXHIB-IT!, we love the idea of using multiple banner stands to create your media wall because of both the flexibility and the dual-purpose potential they provide. Group them together as shown above, or use them individually for smaller events. (Suggestion: A set of varied-height, rollup and retractable banner stands, such as the Media Screen XL, works very well with this approach.)
- The Visual Cue Method: If you’d prefer the simplicity of a single piece for your media wall, you can still guide your customer’s visual focus through the use of graphical elements. With this method, the customer will generally view your wall based on visual cues that you provide—such as horizontal swooshes or even human faces—to guide her. Eye tracking studies, for example, show that when human faces are featured in a graphic design, people tend to focus their gaze on whatever item the human featured in the image happens to be looking at.
For many businesses, a single, large, graphic media wall is the best way to present their brand, offering easy set-up, tear-down, and storage, as well as a huge visual impact. (Suggestion: A fabric dye-sub graphic system such as The Wall works very well with this approach.)
TIP #2: USE YOUR MEDIA WALL TO FUNNEL FOOT TRAFFIC. Using a flexible display system such as LinkWall, you can easily adjust your media wall configuration to accommodate different booth sizes and locations (corner booths versus mid-aisle, for example). Choose a classic U-shape configuration to funnel traffic into the center of your exhibit. Alternatively, a serpentine layout offers multiple “drop-in” points for visitors. Islands and towers can also be configured using the LinkWall system to keep booth traffic moving in the right direction.
With the right amount of planning, your media wall can go a long way in helping to prevent clogged, congested areas in your booth.
TIP #3: USE YOUR MEDIA WALL TO SOLICIT INTERACTION. Consider adding QR codes (scannable, barcode-style images) to your media wall for instant, seamless integration with your social media strategy or other interactive campaign. In recent years, innovative exhibitors have continually pushed the envelope when it comes to QR code-driven campaigns, offering secret, attendee-only content, special deals, and even trade show scavenger hunts. Whatever your strategy, be creative and be sure to reward the customer with something intriguing and unique.
Media Walls: More than Just a Backdrop
It’s easy to see how media walls have become such an integral part of well-performing trade show booths. When executed properly, your graphic media wall functions as a critical element in getting the customer to really see, understand, and interact with your brand.
“Using Eye-Path Heatmaps to Design Kick-Ass Landing Page User Experiences,” Angela Stringfellow, January 2012. http://unbounce.com/landing-pages/the-basics-of-eye-path-tracking-in-designing-a-good-landing-page-user-experience/
“Cracking the Code” from EXHIBITOR magazine, November 2013. http://www.exhibitoronline.com/topics/article.asp?ID=1496