The Rainbow Connection: Using The Right Colors In Your Trade Show Display

Color Wheel
A large part of making a lasting impression at a trade show is creating an environment that evokes the right emotional connection between your attendees and your brand. The colors used in your display set the tone for the mood of the entire exhibit. Here are some general guidelines for choosing the colors to utilize in your trade show display.

  • Choose colors that are consistent with your corporate branding. Remember that attendees will be walking around for long periods of time looking at a large number of exhibits. The presence of your corporate colors helps attendees remember your company’s exhibit once they return to the office.
  • Select a base color and 2 accent colors. The accent colors should complement the base color. Use the base color for the background and use the accent colors for text, borders, outlines and areas that need to be highlighted.
  • Decide which emotion you want attendees to feel when they visit your exhibit and choose a base color that conveys this emotion. Do you want to excite your attendees and get their pulse racing? Consider using red as your main color. Do you want your audience to feel calm and relaxed? Make use of a blue or green hue.
  • Consider what type of buyers you are targeting and how they respond to different colors. For example, black and royal blue tend to attract impulse buyers, while teal and navy blue tend to attract budget-conscious consumers.
  • Pay attention to colors that are contemporary, but avoid “trendy” hues if you plan on re-using your graphics. Trendy colors can make a display look dated once the color has gone out of style.
  • If you are attending an international trade show, do some research on what different colors symbolize in the country where you are exhibiting. For example, in Eastern cultures, white is the color for mourning and funerals. Yellow is sacred in China, but symbolizes jealousy in France. Culture defines a person’s perception of color, so consider how your host country audience will respond to the colors in your display.
  • Consider how the venue lighting and your overhead lighting will affect how the color looks at the show. It you use a pale yellow, it may appear white in a bright spotlight.

Following a few basic color guidelines will make sure that your graphics are eye-catching, compelling and effective. When choosing the colors for your display, keep in mind your corporate branding, your target audience and the emotions your choice of color portrays to your audience.