Never underestimate the value of the proper lighting of your trade show exhibit.
Creative lighting for your trade show booth is sure to lure more visitors. On the other hand, a poorly lit exhibit detracts from the trade show exhibit space and can leave it largely ignored. Your trade show lighting professional can use dramatic illumination techniques to create a show stopping effect or simply use lighting to highlight graphics and/or products.
It is essential for the lighting designer to know the exhibitor’s goals, exhibit design and budget before presenting lighting options. Once this is established, the trade show lighting professional can offer multiple options to maximize the visual appeal of the exhibit display.
By innovative use of different types of lighting, the same trade show booth can have a completely different look, effect and mood. There is a wide range of lighting choices ranging from a simple clamp on arm, to high quality fluorescent lighting, track or rail lighting, recessed lighting or fully programmable, changing color LED lighting fixtures.
Each of these forms of illumination serves a different purpose. The selection of the proper lighting product is therefore based on what effect the exhibitor desires to achieve.
For example, in the more decorative trade show booth using tension fabric, the fully programmable, changing color LED lighting creates a dynamic, dramatic effect that is certain to draw the attention of trade show attendees.
For a clean appearance in the same trade show booth, very white fluorescent lighting works well. If, however, dramatic shadows are desired, certain types of targeted track lighting may be preferred. Quality clamp on arm lights can be versatile enough to deliver good white light on focal points or to wash lighting evenly on backwalls. High quality white light ensures that colors and graphics are accurately displayed. Since light can also alter color, it is essential that your white light renders consistent and true color.
Keep in mind that when searching for the right lighting effect, there are a number of price options that can help you reach your goals. Be mindful that there are rental options available for very high end lighting that may be an appropriate way to satisfy your trade show budget constraints.
Rob Cohen, Vice President/Owner of Display Supply & Lighting, Inc. of Itasca, Illinois, offers examples of how a professional trade show lighting company can help you avoid two of the more common exhibit mistakes. They are:
1. Be aware of the electrical codes, capabilities and constraints in exhibit halls. Find out in advance what is allowed or disallowed in the convention hall to meet local lighting requirements. Find out requirements for exhibit halls whether they be the McCormick Convention Center in Chicago, the Kaiser Convention Center in Oakland, the Moscone Center in San Francisco, the Las Vegas Convention Center, the San Jose and Santa Clara Convention Centers, etc.
Be sure your trade show booth lighting products meet the exhibit hall’s specified criteria for trade show exhibitors. For example, trade show halls require 3- wire grounded plugs on all lighting fixtures at the trade show. These fixtures are not commonly available at large volume box stores.
2. Scope out the location of the exhibitor’s trade show site.
This is important as not all types of light bulbs are allowed in some facilities. Recent regulations restrict a couple of major conference facilities from using certain types of light bulbs often for safety reasons.
Cohen says it is critical that your exhibit house either understand their lighting options or have a relationship with a company that can advise them on trade show lighting opportunities and concerns.
Remember, lighting can either attract or detract visitors to your trade show booth. It is best to know what your exhibit display emphasis is and what your lighting options are before you design a lighting system for your trade show display.