Looking for ways to improve company performance at the next local trade show event? Today’s post explains the value of creating cohesive trade show sign systems
What Does It Mean To Take A ‘systems Approach’ To Custom Trade Show Displays?
First introduced in the 1950s, the “systems approach” became the foundation of systems engineering. However, the underlying concepts went on to influence numerous fields, including “psychology, political sciences, ecology, jurisprudence,” and yes, even custom trade show display strategy!
Scott Jackson and Howard Eisner define the systems approach as follows:
“The systems approach is a problem solving paradigm. That is to say, the systems approach considers the attributes of an entire system to achieve the objective of a system, which is to solve a problem. The systems approach allows the designer to manage, encapsulate, and anticipate complex behaviors. The systems approach allows the designer to anticipate and design for emergent behaviors.”
Let’s unpack this definition piece-by-piece from an advertising perspective. What follows is a look at the benefits of the systems approach with some examples of how it can take your custom trade show display to the next level.
Sign Systems Make Custom Trade Show Displays More Efficient
As per Jackson and Eisner’s definition, “the systems approach considers the attributes of an entire system to achieve the objective of a system.” In other words, when taking a systems approach to your custom trade show display, every sign has its own purpose, and each of these works together to build towards your ultimate goal, which may be to sell a product or simply fill out a sign-up sheet for virtual demonstrations. This makes each and every sign more efficient, which in turn makes your ultimate advertising goal more attainable.
For example, you might hang a massive banner above your booth to draw eyes and visitors from across the trade show space. This banner would not include your calls-to-action, brand history, or detailed product information because that’s not its function in the overall signage system. This banner’s only job is to showcase your brand name (and colors, and maybe your logo) to attract visitors. Once visitors come closer, the other parts of your sign system will start to take over–maybe you’ll have a digital kiosk or display set up to highlight product information, or the guest will be directed to a sales representative via a series of wayfinding graphics.
However you choose to set up your trade show display, it’s clear that the system approach is far superior to one in which a single sign tries to do it all. Crowding signs with all of your product, service, and brand information is a recipe for disaster, as cluttered, dense signage typically gets tuned out in fast-paced trade show settings.
Sign Systems Let You Target Multiple Demographics At Once
Jackson and Eisner highlight how sign systems allow users to “manage, encapsulate, and anticipate complex behaviors,” as well as “anticipate and design for emergent behaviors.”
Put simply, taking a systems approach to your custom trade show display means you can personalize your displays to target multiple audiences or demographics at once, all within the same sign system.
While certain sign system components work for everyone (e.g. the high-visibility banner used to draw eyes in the previous section), there’s value in creating targeted sign copy, too.
For instance, you might advertise the same mobile device in two very different styles depending on whether you’re selling to a senior (“easy to use,” “stay in contact with family,” “access safety features”) versus somebody from Gen Z (“all the latest games,” “fast internet everywhere,” etc). Sign systems allow you to engage multiple demographics in highly specific ways, whereas going “all-in” on a single sign does not.