Our New, Crowdsourced Design

Our 4 Final Concepts for Our New Trade Show Display
Our 4 Final Concepts for Our New Trade Show Display


We at FB Displays & Designs recently had an opportunity to interact with our clients in a unique way. In preparation of our participation at a few trade shows, our creative team (which is all of us) wanted new graphics to be used on one of our trade show displays. After several weeks of brainstorming & designing, we came up with ten concepts. Over the following week, we narrowed it down to four contenders. We came to the conclusion that everyone on our team liked all four finalists. With only a week until our first event, what were we to do?


This is where our story takes a creative twist: we decided to crowdsource our decision.* We sent an email to all of our clients & posted a poll on our social media sites, inviting our clients & followers to vote for their favorite concept.


We were pleasantly surprised by the high participation rate from our fans. In the end, there was a clear winner, (Design #1,) which we produced straightaway. Here’s how the vote totals broke down:


Design #1: 55%

Design #2: 17%

Design #3: 17%

Design #4: 11%


While Design #1 was the crowd favorite, #’s 2, 3 and 4 received the most passionate responses, including the following:


“For me # 4 is your best bet. It’s the most arresting/cool/ “check this out!” display in my opinion. And the words are not fighting with the background.”


I can’t automatically put 2 & 4 in a category or stereotype them because though my mind may try to find a file for them…when it can’t…I have to stop to think about what does this mean. My favorite is 2- just more gusto, spunk and power.”


We are thrilled to report that our experiment was a success. The amount of votes we received exceeded our expectations, and the feedback was an added bonus. And the rest, as they say, is history. At the SBA Expo on May 13th, we unveiled our new trade show display as chosen by our wonderful fans.


FB Displays Trade Show Booth
Our New Trade Show Display



Do you have an interesting story to tell us about your own design experience? We’d love to hear it-Please leave a comment, below. And to see more designs created by our team, visit our project gallery.


* Trained professionals performed this stunt. Don’t try it at home.


Written by Bill Henecke, Graphic Designer for FB Displays & Designs, Inc.

FB Displays and Designs trade show display

Turning Booth Visitors into Leads Pt.1

The driving factor behind exhibiting at a trade show is to generate new business for your company. According to the attendance survey done by Exhibit Surveys, 80% of trade show attendees either recommend or handle purchasing for their companies, and 47% of them are looking to buy within the year. While those numbers are good, considering the cost of exhibiting and having your competitors sharing the show floor, you cannot afford to waste the opportunity to show off for potential clientele.

Pre-Selling Yourself

Winning over attendees to your company shouldn’t start with the first day of the tradeshow. The sooner visitors know who you are, where you are, and what you offer, the better your chances in earning their business will be. A good way to start off your trade show campaign is by utilizing direct mailings. Usually, your event organizer can provide a list of people who plan on attending the show and their contact information. Here are a few tips to help your mailer stand out from bills, junk mail, and what not:

  • Sort out your target audience from the list of attendees
  • Tie your mailer theme into your display design
  • Tease people with what will be at your booth, make them want to come see you
  • Tell about a special offer at your booth: a contest, a product demonstration, a guest speaker
  • Include a small promotional item to tie in with another at your booth: i.e., pen in mail, notepad at booth
  • Make your mailer noticeable with an unusual size or shape

You will also want to rehearse the pitch you will be giving to attendees as they meet with you at your booth. On average, you will have 30 seconds to pique the interest of the people you will talk to, so don’t waste time on useless information. You will also never want to be caught off guard by not knowing what to say next. To avoid the dreaded “ummm” word, here are some ideas for what you and your staff should be versed in:

  • What sets your company apart from the competition?
  • What are some examples of how you’ve helped clients’ needs in the past?
  • Are there any new services or products you are showcasing at this event?
  • How do you handle and solve customers’ issues and problems?

Also, it’s a good idea to plan ahead of time how you want to collect visitor’s contact information. Since you don’t want to be stuck relying on your staff’s memory, here are a few options you can use:

  • Write a short survey asking open ended questions that key you in on what a lead wants and how your business can help that lead’s needs
  • Create a Lead Card to gather detailed information about contacts
  • Collect business cards, either by hand or by means of a drop box
  • Rent or buy a scanner to electronically collect data from attendees’ ID badges

Drop by Wednesday to read about helpful in-show tactics.

Design 101

When you are showcasing your company at a tradeshow, your booth represents who your company is, what you have to offer, and why you’re different from your competition. At best, you’re going to have only a few seconds to catch attendees’ attention and draw them in. While this may seem a daunting task, there are a few design ideas you can keep in mind to make your booth a worthwhile stop.

Know Your Audience:

  • Find out who is attending the trade show and why
  • Decide whom you want to attract
  • Appeal to your target market to generate booth traffic
  • Don’t market minivans to bachelors if you know what I mean

Your Display is a Giant Billboard on the Show Floor:

  • First thing visitors will see is the top of your display, at a distance
  • Fill it with your company name or logo, or even a representation of your service or product
  • Design it large and clear enough to be seen from 10-20 ft

The Whole Display Matters:

  • Highlight the important details that make you unique
  • Less is more, avoid unnecessary words or images
  • Place important elements at eye level, they’ll be seen naturally
  • Use neutral or complimentary colors for a background to make your company’s images and colors stand out
  • Don’t be afraid to break the mold

Extra Extras:

  • Use monitors or projectors to catch people’s attention
  • Lighting can be used to highlight areas of interest
  • Backlighting or spotlighting accentuates designs
  • Sound can set a mood for your visitors
  • Create your own environment away from the hustle, bustle and chatter of the show floor

In creating a design scheme, it is important that all aspects of your booth share the same look. From your graphics, to your marketing handouts, to the clothes your staffers wear to even your giveaways, everything should flow together to create a feeling of unity. It should be created around your company, your brand, and should give attendees a distinct feeling of who you are. The essence of any good design should boil down to a phrase, a word, an image, or even just a feeling that will last with an attendee. And remember, just because you are fond of something, doesn’t mean your customer will be.

Branding and Making it Work for You


Branding is a marketing concept as old as business itself. A brand is a promise of value, of quality, a promise that your product or services are better than the rest. A brand is what sets your company apart from all others. A good brand should be something simple, yet unique. Your brand should not be generic or a derivative of what other people are doing. They should represent your company, be personal to your goals, and they should stand out in your customer’s minds. If you can catch a customer’s attention for even a few seconds, it could last in their minds for years, and come back to you in unexpected ways.

Lets look at Shell gasoline’s simple, yet defining, shell logo : (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_ySCIT3KO9Zc/SJTAA-YtYhI/AAAAAAAAJx4/UM6EeKvF3h0/s400/logo-shell.jpg). While the design and style has changed several times in the last century, the basic idea has stood the test of time. And any brand, while staying flexible to adjust to current trends and taste, the core idea should never be compromised. As the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Trade shows and conventions can be a great medium to show off your brand and grow your business. With hundreds to thousands of potential and existing customers viewing your product and company in person, it is your chance to make a lasting impression.

One of the most important parts of your trade show is the display. Here, you want to showcase what makes your company unique, and in prominent fashion. Whether you’re known for a specific product, a phrase, your logo, friendly service, or even a particular color scheme, make it the focal point, and let it define your show as simply as possible. Your brand should be displayed clear and distinct enough to process in three seconds. Anymore, and casual passerbys will be on to the next booth before they can think to stop and learn about your company.

At your booth, your staffers should be dressed in a manner to accentuate your brand. Whether in a unique color scheme or a style of clothes, make your people different from everyone else’s.  With both, avoid theatrics and over the top humor. While they may draw the crowds, the majority of people can spot a gimmick when they see one.  Instead, offer product demonstrations and first hand experience with your services to arm attendees with the knowledge of exactly why your business is better.

Word of mouth is everything at trade shows. If you can get a significant buzz going about your booth, more people will stop by. This is where mass distribution of your brand comes into play. Make sure every trade show hand out, flyer, or guide possible has your brand printed, written or even just a sticker on it to generate interest and familiarity with your company. A helpful tip with any giveaways you hand out is to hand them out in pairs. Now every person your staff talks to can also spread your word to someone they know. Just as in candy apples, double dipping is better than once!


Renting vs. Purchasing a Trade Show Display

rent or buy

With the trade show season quickly approaching, now is the time to make plans for your display. Your booth design is the most effective way to attract visitors, and having an impressive display can be just the thing to generate that flow of traffic you’re looking for. Owning a custom-made display is ideal for most, but there are also reasons to consider the option of renting a display.

Why you should rent:

  • One-time need. You only need the display for a one-time use, and it would be a waste of money to invest in a display that will never be used again.
  • Lower cost. Your budget is tight and now is not the best time to invest in purchasing a custom display. You want to spend your marketing money elsewhere, such as on samples or promotional items.
  • Overlapping shows. Your primary company display is already reserved for the time you need it.
  • Less maintenance. Most display companies will install and dismantle the display if you rent from them (especially if you rent from a company within the same area of the event). You also won’t have to worry about shipping or storing the display.
  • Flexibility. A rental often allows for the capability of changing display (graphics or hardware) from show to show, to fit the unique requirements of each trade show and the attendees.
  • Experimenting. If this is your first time attending a trade show, you may not be sure what sort of display will work best for your needs. Even if you have attended many shows, there are so many different display types and sizes, it’s a good idea to “test drive” the ones you like in order to see which is right for you. You can also monitor how successful each booth type is and, when the time is right to purchase a custom display, refer to your experiences from renting.
  • No commitment. If the display turns out not to work for what you need or want, no problem. You aren’t stuck with it for the next five years, as you likely would be if you had purchased it.

Why you should purchase:

  • Consistency. Purchasing a custom display will create a consistent brand image and allow your company to be easily recognized at all your events.
  • Availability. Whenever the display is needed, you’ll have it. You won’t run into a situation where the display you normally use is unavailable because another company has already booked it.
  • Attending several shows. If your company attends several shows every year, it will be a better deal in the long run to purchase a display.
  • Customized. Every detail about a purchased display can be specified for your company. Colors, sizes, shapes, accessories, etc., it’s all up to you!
  • Unique. Because it is designed to your specifications, you will have a one-of-a-kind display that can set you apart from others.

Niagara Transformer Reinvents its Trade Show Image

Niagara Transformer Island Display

Buffalo, NY- August 3, 2010. Niagara Transformer Corporation has once again teamed up with FB Displays & Designs, Inc. to construct a brand new trade show display. With the help of the creative team at Harold Warner Advertising, FBD2 produced a clean and spacious 400 square foot design giving the display a striking appearance while providing Niagara Transformer brand identity and graphic solutions to meet their marketing goals.

The 20’ island display, with a center tower standing 16’ tall, was launched at the 2010 IEE PES Space Transmission and Distribution Conference and Exposition in New Orleans in April.

Since 1938, the worldwide-recognized Niagara Transformer Corporation has designed, built, and serviced power transformers to meet specialized needs for difficult applications in over 75 countries. Niagara Transformer provides a single source for all types and ratings of liquid-filled, dry-type, VPI, and cast-coil transformers. (http://www.niagaratransformer.com/)

FB Displays & Designs, Inc., provides full service event marketing solutions, from custom exhibits and modular displays to trade show material and design services. The company, which is “Certified Woman-Owned”, is a member of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce and the World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara, and the president and founder, Francine Brooks, is a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners and sits on the board of the Center for Entrepreneur Leadership at SUNY and several other advisory boards.

For information: http://www.displaysanddesigns.com
Contact:              francine@displaysanddesigns.com
Phone:                (716) 635-0282


RSVP Calls in the Best for their Next Show

RSVP 10' Display

Buffalo, NY –April 5, 2010. RSVP, a software solutions company, located in Rochester, NY, needed a fresh approach for exhibiting at the 2010 SUN Conference in Nashville. Their decision to partner up with FB Displays & Designs, Inc. led to the creation of a magnificent large mural display, complete with flat screen monitor, inter-active demo station, backlit counter and custom flooring.

“When you get the opportunity to collaborate with professionals who are at the top of their game, it makes the whole project a joy to participate in.  From the initial design to the final review of setting up and breaking down the booth, FB Displays & Designs ensured that our booth will draw visitors and is designed to have a timeless look that can be updated as we change our message,” says RSVP C.O.O., David Heffler.

RSVP is a full service provider of cost-effective enterprise software for manufacturers and service companies. RSVP’s comprehensive and fully integrated software solutions provide the tools to grow and thrive through increased efficiency.(www.rsvpinc.com)

FB Displays & Designs, Inc., provides full service event marketing solutions, from custom exhibits and modular displays to trade show material and design services. The company, which is “Certified Woman-Owned”, is a member of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce and the World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara, and the president and founder, Francine Brooks, is a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners and sits on the board of the Center for Entrepreneur Leadership at SUNY and several other advisory boards.

For information:            http://www.displaysanddesigns.com

Contact:            francine@displaysanddesigns.com

Phone:            (716) 635-0282