By Jennifer Barham
When it comes to our booths and how we design & outfit them, we are usually prioritizing function and practicality. Yes, we want them to be attractive and comfortable, but beauty and imagination may not be our first ideas when we think of our bottom line. And there's probably a good argument that they shouldn’t be.
However, if your exhibit feels as sterile as a doctor’s office and the utilitarianism has swallowed up any inspiration it might offer, it might be time to rethink your exhibits’ features and furnishings. It might be time to make a statement!
The statement piece in a booth works just like a statement piece in any other area of your life. A statement necklace glams up any outfit without feeling like too much. A statement art piece enhances a room without overwhelming it. And that’s just what a statement piece – of any variety – can do in an exhibit.
Some examples of statement pieces for your booth include:
- A standout piece of furniture like a purple velvet loveseat, a big red leather armchair, or an antique writing desk.
- An accessory piece like a swanky Tiffany-esque floor lamp, an antique typewriter, or a vintage candy machine.
- An outrageous addition to your booth that maybe doesn’t relate to your brand but draws attention to your booth, like the 10-foot aluminum flamingo that I saw recently...or the giant elephant and hot air balloon pictured above!
- Replacements for furniture you already use in your booth like swapping black metal folding chairs for funkier, colorful seating or ditching your boring side tables for old wooden coffee crates, which make great conversational coffee tables, too.
A few things to keep in mind when you’re considering the addition of a statement piece to your exhibit:
- You can rent statement pieces from your exhibit house. If you tend to want to stay trendy, renting will keep you current. That will save you the cost of buying, but if you’re planning to rent it for the next dozen shows, you might as well buy it.
- Be sure the piece attracts visitors, not distracts them from the reason they are there...to learn more about your brand.
- If you have the option of integrating your brand’s color scheme into your statement piece, that’s a big plus. But it’s not necessarily a negative if you can’t. You can also go the opposite way of the color wheel to make your brand really pop. If your brand is largely chartreuse, you might not want something else neon in your booth. But going the opposite way on the Pantone wheel – to plum or eggplant – could really be spectacular.
- Less is more. Think “less stuff, more style.” One statement piece is enough. For example, one gigantic pillow is way better than several small throw pillows.
- Absolutely, positively, make sure it fits in your booth. Measure and remeasure and don’t get stuck trying to work around a feature.
You also don’t have to spend a ton to add a little pizzazz to your booth in terms of a statement piece. Consider looking at:
- Retail stores like home goods stores that have constant sales and BOGOs and 50% off coupons like Hobby Lobby, Home Goods, and At Home Stores. They have outrageous, fun, and oversized pieces you’ve never seen that run the gamut.
- Facebook Marketplace. My chiropractor found a tandem bicycle on FBM and has it mounted in his front office high up on the wall. It’s the first thing everyone asks about.
- Garage sales (online and real life). Two words: treasure trove.
- And, last but most definitely not least, work with your exhibit designer, consultant and project manager to find the best statement piece to attract visitors to your booth.
No matter your budget or personality, you can benefit from bringing some of your own vibe into the décor of your booth. Whether it’s a giant elephant, a player piano or some carefully placed plants and indoor trees, fresh style and designs for your booth will add life and vitality for your visitors. We can customize your booth to make it as unique as your company is. Help is just a click or phone call away. Exhibitor Source specializes in assisting with every aspect of the trade show experience.