In-House Banner Design Pros and Cons

Some of the biggest reasons to exhibit at a trade show are to get your brand on the map, enhance it, launch a product or service and above all else – sell your brand and its products or services. If  trade shows are a big part of your marketing budget, then making sure all your displays and banners are helping you get the most of the money you’re spending is important. If you’re going to reach the most potential customers, that means your graphics for your displays are extremely important.

How important are graphics? Generally, you have about three seconds to capture an attendee’s attention. That’s long before you have even have the chance to ask them where they’re from. So when it comes to graphics and designing your trade show display, should you do it yourself or should you hire a professional? There are some pros and cons for designing your trade show graphics yourself.

Pros

  • Nobody knows your business and its selling points better than you do. By designing graphics yourself, those don’t get lost in translation visually when trying to describe them to a designer.
  • It’s easier to tailor graphics to any trade show you attend. You know how to show people who you are, what your business does and how your product or service helps them. You can create a design that communicates that no matter what kind of audience you will see at a trade show.
  • You probably already have a logo. That takes some of the leg work out of the design process. Having an established logo is a good starting point and is easy to work your design around.
  • There are design tools that are available for affordable prices. Even if you don’t want to pay for pro software design tools, there are other less expensive options out there that are pretty user friendly.
  • Using photos from real life examples of your product or services is an easy way to go as well. Most cameras take high-resolution photos now and those cameras are affordable as well.
  • If your display mostly consists of banners, there is less work involved in the design and layout than larger trade show displays.  There are smaller parameters to work within that give clarity on what you can and can’t do and where to place images and text so they are visible.
  • Of course, one of the reasons most people would pick doing graphic design in-house is to save money.

Cons

  • Remember the three-second rule? Graphics play a huge part in capturing the attention of attendees in that window. If you can’t create graphics that draw attention, you might be hindering your success exhibiting.
  • Graphic design is actually more affordable than you might think. Plenty of trade show display companies have in-house designers and the fee to utilize their services and expertise is actually affordable and could potentially even pay for itself if you have a successful show.
  • There is nothing that looks worse for your business and its brand than setting up your trade show booth and having the graphics look a step below your neighbors or competition. If you’re not a professional or at least have some experience in designing trade show displays and your competition used professional services, it may draw some unwanted negative attention to your display and graphics.
  • While there are cheaper web tools out there for you to use to design your booth, paying a professional to design it for you means pro tools as well. The do-it-yourself tools might be more affordable and work just fine, but professionals use the high quality software programs for a reason.
  • Smaller displays like banners might be easier for you to design yourself, but bigger displays usually require more attention to detail that might come with more experience and training. Adjusting colors, placing graphics, texts and images in visible areas that will attract attention and making all the information flow as it’s meant to be taken in is probably best done with a professional eye and touch.

Finally, one of the biggest questions you will ask yourself as a potential trade show exhibitor is ‘Will I get return on my investment?’

There are many factors that go into determining what your ROI will be from exhibiting at a trade show. You will have to determine whether or not the potential negative impact on your ROI from exhibiting is worth not paying the affordable cost of a professional graphic designer to design your trade show booth.