Trade Fair Industry. What Does the Ideal Booth Look Like?

Otto Bock_12108_033

Brand development to enhance market competitiveness has also become more significant in B2B markets over the last few years. Companies place particularly high importance to trade fairs, showrooms and events – tools of live communication – in this context. In addition to personal contact, trade fairs allow the target group to actively experience the brand and its manufacturer. How does a booth have to be designed, especially visually, to represent the brand identity defined by the company in the best possible way? And how can you measure the perception and effect the booths have on their target groups?

Color, shape, space and movement determine perception and effect of a booth

Dr. Beatrice Ermer answered these key questions in her dissertation, which she completed under the mentoring Prof. Dr. Manfred Kirchgeorg at the Chair of Marketing Management of HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management. Prof. Dr. Manfred Kirchgeorg summarizes, “Dr. Ermer’s dissertation is characterized by an extensive analysis of literature published on this topic and is particularly valuable with regard to its empirical design systematically combining surveys and eye tracking to answer the research questions. The findings generated using a company from the energy sector as an example offer great insight providing valuable information for the optimization of multisensual booths.”

Dr. Beatrice Ermer says, “Analyses of perception and effects supported by eye tracking data provide indications about how to optimize the visual design of exhibition booths. In order to translate brand content into an adequate appeal to the visual sense, the four fundamental dimensions of vision – color, shape, space and movement – must be factored in.” The scientist deduced the following results for brand-adequate booth design from her research: The architecture of the booth should be brand-specific and distinctive; the same applies to the color scheme. It must fit the brand image of the company. It is also advisable to utilize a well-thought-out, adjustable lighting concept. The space should be structured in a way that allows for easy orientation and the clearest possible arrangement. When designing a space, peak and idle times should be considered. Decoration items and exhibits should be integrated in a way that fits the overall concept of the booth and ensures they are not covered at times with high visitor numbers. The placement of elements providing information on the exhibitor should be well considered. Bulky wide and high information terminals blocking the view of the inside of the booth are regarded as unpleasant barriers by trade fair visitors and should be analyzed for their effect. In general terms, a booth should have a visual design which allows visitors to quickly connect to the topic of the booth and the brand of the exhibiting company when passing by. Highly visible integrated experience and activity areas, where visitors can get involved, increase the drawing power of the booth. People also work as attention magnets. Therefore, the appearance and impression of the exhibitor’s staff should be taken into account as well. “Exhibition booths which enhance market competitiveness, where visitors like to stay for a while often offer – just from a visual standpoint – spacious, light, open, clearly arranged rooms with photos and uppercase,” summarized Dr. Beatrice Ermer. The dissertation was published by Springer Gabler Verlag in June 2014 as the 49th volume of the “Innovatives Markenmanagement” series.


Ermer, Beatrice

Markenadäquate Gestaltung von Live Communication-Instrumenten: Untersuchung der Wahrnehmung und Wirkung von Messeständen

Publishing house: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH/series: Innovatives Markenmanagement, volume 49 2014, 388 pages ISBN 978-3-658-04810-5

Available as a soft-cover and e-book.