Mistakes Exhibitors Make with Lighting

September 29th, 2015 by Interex Exhibits


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Lighting is a critical element of trade show exhibiting, but unfortunately, it sometimes doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Here are 5 mistakes to avoid when it comes to lighting at your next trade show.

Underestimate its Importance

It is a mistake to assume the only purpose of lighting is to illuminate. Everything about your trade show booth, including the lighting, reflects your company’s brand image. Trade show lighting can have many functions—it can dictate the mood, focus attendee attention and even deliver brand messaging.

Don’t Do Homework

Lighting done well takes more than a few bulbs scattered about. In fact, designers need to take a variety of factors into consideration, including size, color, brightness, distance and direction. If you are not well-versed in these aspects, you might consult with a design expert on how to properly use lighting to communicate the company message.

In addition, like most everything else installed at your trade show booth, there are regulations involving lighting. You must have a plan for the electricity, how things will be wired and installed and what you can and cannot do yourself. Of course, more lights generally mean increased utilities fees, so don’t forget to budget for electricity as well. To keep costs low, consider going with LED lighting. LED lights generally use less energy than their older alternatives, making them less expensive and more environmentally responsible.

Don’t Consider Target Audience

Just as your exhibit design should reflect your brand image, it should also speak to your target audience.  Lighting can have a dramatic effect on the mood of your space. Bright lights create a clean, high-tech vibe, moving lights evoke feelings of high energy and soft tones make attendees feel more relaxed and at ease.

Over or Under-Do it

They key with lighting is to create a well-balanced scheme. Remember, the exhibit hall will be lit, so you don’t need to over-do things in your exhibit and risk overwhelming attendees. You might even need to detract existing light from the hall. Likewise, you don’t want your space to be too dark—this might create a lethargic feeling inside your booth.

Instead, be thoughtful. Highlight items you wish to bring attention to with spotlights or accent lighting. LED lighting is a popular accent and can be used in strips along walls or countertops. Or, draw attention to your booth and impress visitors with a backlit display. In this way, you can use lights to illuminate an entire wall instead of simply shining a spotlight on the company logo.

Too Gimmicky

While new advancements in lighting technology are exciting, be careful not to venture into the gimmicky. Moving lights can create a dynamic vibe in the booth, but they should only be used when in line with your company’s messaging. Be careful not to overwhelm visitors with too much movement or flashing.

Be mindful with colored lights, as well. These can be a great way to draw attention to a focal point, but color just for the sake of color can be distracting. Be thoughtful, and remember to adhere to any branding specifications regarding color as well.

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