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How To Create Social Spaces And Boost ROI With Trade Show Event Signs

How To Create Social Spaces And Boost ROI With Trade Show Event Signs

Today’s post reviews interdisciplinary research from the Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing to explain how to use trade show event signs to create social spaces that boost ROI.

Read on to learn more, or call (314) 726-5500 to speak directly with a trade show event sign designer in St. Louis, MO.

The Value Of Creating Social Spaces With Trade Show Event Signs

Trade shows are the second largest and fastest-growing source of B2B revenue in the U.S., which makes your trade show booth one of your most important touchpoints for sales prospecting.

According to research published in the Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing by Bloch et al. (2017), “the design of a booth plays an important role in attracting visitors and providing a positive business atmosphere,” and trade show event signs are largely what distinguish your booth from any other.

So how should you go about designing your booth for best results?

New studies by the Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing are increasingly highlighting the value of designing booths as “social spaces,” emphasizing their function as communication hubs, rather than passive displays meant only to be viewed.

In the words of Waterhouse (1987, p. 4), “exhibitions are about meeting people,” and if your booth doesn’t facilitate B2B interactions, product demonstrations, and personal connections, you’re not getting the most out of the exhibition experience.

How To Create Social Spaces With Custom Trade Show Events Signs

So we know that we should design our trade show booths as “social spaces,” but how exactly?

Here are a few things you should strive for when setting up your trade show event signs:

  • Avoid trade show event sign clutter or obstructions – keep your space open and inviting. Scholars in environmental psychology have determined that trade show attendees prefer to visit booths that are “strongly legible,” which means that they are easy to navigate, free from clutter and obstruction. In contrast, booths with high levels of “spatial mystery” due to trade show event sign obstruction can be off-putting. The best approach when designing social spaces is to strike a balance, making your space open and inviting, with clear “lanes” between freestanding custom trade show signs, while still leaving a bit of “spatial mystery” to add intrigue and invite exploration.
  • Use a warm color palette to encourage socialization. While cool color palettes have been associated with calm and productivity, your trade booth is not an office space – it is a social space, one that should encourage mental arousal, engagement, and excitement. To that end, warm colors, such as yellows and reds, work especially well, according to retail scholars (Bloch et al., 2017, p. 14). That does not mean you need to rework your entire palette, though; a few warm accents can make a big difference:How to Create Social Spaces and Boost ROI with Trade Show Event Signs
  • Set up interactive trade show event signs. Whether you order digital trade show event signs, or you simply include sign copy encouraging readers to speak with a staff member on the floor, interactive signs like these encourage exploration, which is exactly the kind of energy that draws crowds to social spaces.
  • Use trade show event signs as a short introduction, not an exhaustive explanation. Your trade show event signs should be used to encourage social interactions, getting readers to ask your staff to tell them more about your products and services. But if your trade show event sign tells the whole story, your visitors won’t have much reason to engage with staff. What’s more, dense walls of text on trade show event signs often end up getting tuned out in favor of shorter, snappier messaging.

Get A Free Quote On Custom Trade Show Event Signs In St. Louis, MO

Call (314) 726-5500 to speak with a trade show event sign specialist in St. Louis, MO and get a free quote on any custom booth display materials.


Bloch, P. H., Gopalakrishna, S., Crecelius, A. T., & Scatolin Murarolli, M. (2017). Exploring booth design as a determinant of trade show success. Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing, 24(4), 237-256.

Waterhouse, D. (1987). Making the most of exhibitions. Aldershot, Hants, England: Gower.

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