Monthly Archives: May 2015

How to Think like a Designer

Paint_digital_istockWhether you are a part of a small business or large corporation, creating eye-catching artwork for your promotional tools or simply brainstorming effective ways of marketing your company can be exhausting. In order to generate marketing campaigns and printed signage that accurately reflects your brand and does not go unnoticed by your target audience, take some guidance from the experts and think like a graphic designer!

In her article “How to Lead with Design Thinking,” Natalie Nixon describes how you can be a powerful and thoughtful leader by taking some direction from those in the design field. Nixon explains the notion of “design thinking” as a means of solving problems that is borrowed from designers and applied to broader concepts, experiences and services. Not only can you generate new advertising ideas with this line of thinking, but you can also create eye-catching and concise printed brochures, promotional flyers and advertising signage as well! Follow these tips to get into the mindset of a professional designer:

  1. Focus on People: Your audience should be the focus of every marketing campaign or promotional tool. Effectively targeting your customers begins with a people-centric mode of thinking that answers the question, “What problem am I solving for my audience?” and keeps the answer to this hypothetical inquiry at the center of all marketing strategies.
  2. Consider the Worm’s Eye Point of View: Instead of guessing who your clients are and what they want, get out and put yourself in their shoes. By immersing yourself in your audience’s culture, including where they live and what they think, you can better identify what would catch their attention with your printed banner designs and marketing tools.Book_2_istock
  3. Learn from Failure: Just like each new design for a professional designer, not every marketing venture will turn out to be successful. Share what has worked and what hasn’t within your business and learn from these experiences.
  4. Create a Story: Telling a story adds a unique and personal touch to any design or promotional tool. Instead of focusing on the products your company sells and the services your brand provides, tell a story that promotes values that can be relatable to a vast number of people. This will pull in your viewers on a printed banner or handout and make your business memorable long after the trade show or event is over.
  5. Consider the Underlying Question: It’s not just about conjuring up questions that your clients might ask, but rather inquiring if you are in fact answering the correct question with your artwork or marketing plan.Group Of Multi-Ethnic People's Arms Outstretched In A White Back
  6. Request Internal Feedback: Don’t just rely on yourself or the rest of your marketing department to create effective designs or promotions. Request internal feedback throughout all areas of your company in order to create a well-rounded strategy that encompasses different facets of your brand or business.
  7. Experiment and Think Outside the Box: It might take numerous tries to get your marketing initiatives right. Just like a designer’s rough draft, creating prototypes and experimenting with different versions of one project can result in an overall more effective finished product. Not every idea may work but learning from these experiments will undoubtedly be useful down the road for future projects.

Whether you are looking for a retractable banner stand or small retail table top display, TRT Banners can make your design vision a reality. Contact us today!

Encouraging Revisits with an Evolving Trade Show Booth

blank_space_istockDrawing an initial crowd to your trade show booth may be difficult, but enticing visitors to stop repeatedly at your exhibit can prove to be even more of a challenge. Repeat visitors enable your company to establish a trust between your brand and a potential customer which can oftentimes result in a sale or quality lead. Encouraging convention attendees to stop at your booth multiple times throughout the two or three day event requires an engaging and creative showcase. To continually pique the interest of your audience, your company will need to think outside of the box and create a unique exhibit space that makes attendees curious day after day in a crowded expo environment. Below are a few examples of booths that successfully encouraged revisits from attendees and therefore resulted in an exceptional trade show experience for each brand.

Interactive Graffiti Wall

Dolphin Geophysical AS offers vessels that conduct marine seismic surveys and with the company’s establishment just four years ago, the brand had a lot to prove at the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE). The company chose to focus on its tagline, “Intelligent, Fast and Friendly.” A pre-show marketing campaign focused on inviting clients to visit the booth and share their thoughts on the motto. Each day of the three day show showcased one of the three tagline words. Visitors were asked to identify what came to mind in an impromptu game of word association.

What Dolphin did with this information was the creative aspect of this marketing strategy. The words that clients gave before and during the show were put into an envelope. Four graffiti artists took the words out of the envelope and would then draw or illustrate the word on a clear acrylic wall. The board was lit in different colors each day to add to the visual effect of the graffiti wall. By incorporating the audience’s feedback into a visual work of art, the company was able to attract repeat visitors who were curious to see if their ideas made the board. In fact, 90% of the booth’s traffic consisted of repeat traffic. As added incentive, the board was then divided up after the expo and sent to the attendees whose ideas helped shape the design.

Photo Collage

Luxottica Retail North America faced the difficult task of standing out at Vision Expo West, a convention devoted to the $35 billion eyewear market. The company, based in Mason, OH, decided to focus on Ray-Ban brand’s Never Hide campaign, which stressed the individuality of iconic eyewear. To help engage the audience and transform attendees into booth ambassadors, Luxottica created a marketing campaign around Instagram. The pre-show strategy included sending emails and postcards to individuals registered for the expo and inviting them to share photos on Instagram. To receive a free tote bag, the individual could share any image he or she took during the convention on Instagram and incorporate the hashtag “VEWRayBan.”polaroids_istock

The company utilized Instaprint Mosaic, which is an application that allowed the brand to take shots from Instagram with the special hashtag and analyze the color, hue and shape of the photo. The photo was then printed by one of the staffers of the booth and strategically placed into a 10.5’ x 5.5’ white board show mosaic. The nearly 3,200 photos that were used comprised a large mosaic that depicted a mother, two children and a dog. The mosaic was also digitally recreated on three LED screens. By enabling visitors to be a part of a large and unique work of art, curious attendees made repeat visits in order to view the finished piece and locate where one’s own picture was inserted.

Panoramic Artwork Illusion

Thomas & Betts Corporation, a designer and manufacturer of electrical components, created a one-of-a-kind way to unveil a new product line at a crowded show. The company wanted to showcase its new Elastimold Recloser at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Power and Energy Society’s Transmission and Distribution Conference and Expo. With the tagline “The Best Underground Is Now Overhead” in mind, the company summoned designer Tracy Lee Stum to create a life-like panoramic painting of the motto. The large artwork illusion was created beforehand and slowly revealed as the show progressed. To misdirect visitors, two of Stum’s assistants sketched a large piece of artwork while the completed piece lay underneath. This drew visitors to stop and watch the artists in action. The final work of art, as well as the company’s Elastimold product line, was unveiled to a select group at an after-hours event.paint_istock

The following day, trade show attendees revisited the booth to see the finished product. The work of art also provided a unique photo opportunity for visitors. The life-like panoramic cutaway appeared to reveal what was underneath the convention floor. Carefully posed in front of the large painted backdrop, it appeared to show people balancing on narrow rocks in the illusion of the cutaway expo floor. The visitors were then given branded business cards with a URL to visit so see and retrieve their photos. Not only did the artwork illusion serve to entice repeat visitors and effectively reveal the company’s new product line, but it also provided a lasting photo memento in front of a one-of-a-kind backdrop.

To view images of these booths, as well as read more about how the aforementioned companies created enticing exhibits, check out Exhibitor Online’s article entitled “Evolving Exhibits.” To capture the attention of your convention audience and help draw a crowd to your booth, fill your space with custom printed banner stands, booth backdrops, table covers and more from TRT Banners. Contact us today!

Hot Summer Trade Shows 2015

Get ready for trendy trade shows this summer! Whether you are looking to attend or exhibit at a convention in the next couple of months, check out the following list:

  1. United Fresh Produce Association ShowFruit_istock
  • When: June 8-10, 2015
  • Where: McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, IL
  • What:
    • Partners with International Floriculture Expo for a fresh food and floral event
    • Over 1,000 exhibitors
    • Sessions include “Consumer Trends and Their Impact on the Produce Industry,” “Disruptive Technology & the Farm of the Future,” and “Strategic Planning for Family Businesses”
    • Exhibitors include California Giant Berry Farms, Costco, Express Label, Gotham Greens, Kroger, Nature Fresh Farms, Target Corporation, etc.
  1. Waste Expo
  • When: June 1-4, 2015
  • Where: Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV
  • What
    • Event for solid waste, recycling and organics
    • Sessions include “The Future of Organics Management—Evolution and Growth,” “Financial Drivers Which Are Changing the Waste and Recycling Industry,” “Driver and Mechanic Labor Shortage: Tools, Tips, and Techniques for Successful Recruitment & Retention,” “Plastic Recycling Trends and Markets,” etc.
    • WasteExpo Investor Summit gathers corporate executives and investors in the waste and recycling industry
  1. InfoComm
  • When: June 13-19, 2015
  • Where: Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL
  • What:
    • Professional AV event
    • Over 980 exhibitors
    • Hands-on courses include “Network Traffic Analysis,” “Large-Scale Projection Mapping Workshop,” “How to Build an App,” “Digital Signal Processing for Speech Workshop,” etc.
    • Exhibitors include American Express Open, BTX Technologies Inc., Digital Audio Labs, Focus Technology USA, Microsoft, etc.
  1. Summer Fancy Food ShowClub Beef steak with pepper sauce and Grilled vegetables on cutt
  • When: June 28-30, 2015
  • Where: The Jacob K. Javits Center in New York, NY
  • What:
    • Event for food manufacturers, buyers and thought leaders
    • 2,500 exhibitors
    • Educational programs include “The Basics: The Business of Specialty Food,” “Price It Right: Using Costs to Create Real-World Price Sheets,” “Non-GMO: Go or No Go? A Roundtable Discussion,” etc.
  1. Licensing International Expo
  • When: June 9-11, 2015
  • Where: Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV
  • What:
    • Meeting place for the global licensing industry
    • New show features include The Digital Media Licensing Summit and the Nitro Circus Live Performance Feature
    • Featured exhibitors include American Cancer Society, DHX Brands, Feld Entertainment, Red Nose, Tipsy Artist, Tycoon 360, etc.
  1. E3 Expo
  • When: June 16-18, 2015
  • Where: Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA
  • What:
    • Trade show for computer and video games and related products
    • Exhibitors include Blizzard Entertainment, Crayola Color Alive, Game Informer, Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Perfect World Entertainment, etc.
  1. Association of Woodworking and Furnishing Suppliers
  • When: July 22-25, 2015
  • Where: Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV
  • What:
    • Trade show event for the woodworking industry
    • Seminars include “Increasing Sales—It’s Simpler Than You Think,” “Playing with Pierced Carving,” “Face Frame vs. Frameless Construction,” “Developing a Written Workplace Safety Program,” etc.
    • Plastics Program provides a special focus on plastic fabricating technology and supplies
  1. Semicon WestAssembling a circuit board
  • When: July 14-16, 2015
  • Where: Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA
  • What:
    • Event for microelectronic industry
    • Over 650 international exhibitors
    • Programs include “Semiconductor Technology,” “TechXPOTS,” “Sustainable Manufacturing Forum,” and Partner Program
  1. Comic Con
  • When: July 9-12, 2015
  • Where: San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA
  • What:
    • Convention for comics and popular arts
    • Special features include anime, art show, autographs, children’s film festival, films, games, masquerade and portfolio review
    • Exhibit hall includes Artists’ Alley, fan tables and a small press area
  1. Outdoor Retail Summer Market
  • When: August 5-8, 2015
  • Where: Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, UT
  • What:
    • Outdoor sports show for outdoor sports apparel retailers, reps and manufacturers
    • Seminars include “FL!P: Creative Strategies for Turning Challenge into Opportunity, and Change into Competitive Advantage,” “Sell the Experience: Marketing to Millennials with Engaging Content,” “Marketing Beyond the Core: Stir the Soul, Without Selling Yours,” etc.
    • Features include an Open Air Demo

For all of your trade show display, banner stand and signage needs, be sure to check out TRT Banners today!

Fabric Flags: Easy Outdoor Advertising

For a vibrant and eye-catching promotional tool for your restaurant, university or retail store, versatile and durable fabric banners and flags can grab the attention of your target audience rain or shine. Custom flags and banners are a great addition to any effective indoor or outdoor marketing campaign. Free-standing fabric flags and hanging custom flags can easily promote your brand or event without becoming compromised by outside weather conditions like rain, wind or direct sunlight. Below are a few of the most popular fabric banner options:

Teardrop Banners550x550-84-Inch-Teardrop

The unique curved shape of this swooper flag enables you to capture attention for your marketing message directly in front of your store or at a special event. The personalized flag is ideal as an “open” flag to gather a crowd to your restaurant or retail store. You can even use this curved banner as an event flag to broadcast a community festival or corporate get-together.


  • Eye-catching curved design
  • Resilient polyester fabric
  • Select base, stake and/or water bag
  • Available in 3 sizes
  • Can be used indoors or outdoors
  • Impressive dye sublimation printing
  • Weatherproof and fade-resistant
  • Waterproof solvent inks utilized

Feather BannersSmall-Feather-Banner-1-{600x600}-TRT

Feather banners are a go-to for many marketers because they are eye-catching, portable and highly effective. The rich dye sublimated fabric banner includes a pole pocket to make it easy to attach the banner to the vertical support pole. Ideal for fairs, sidewalk sales or outdoor expos, a feather banner can promote your message at any indoor or outdoor venue without costing you a fortune.


  • Sturdy free-standing flag
  • Polyester fabric banner
  • Choose base, stake and/or water bag
  • Available in 3 sizes
  • Use indoors or outdoors
  • Full-color dye sublimation printing
  • Weatherproof; won’t fade over time
  • Solvent inks for waterproof print

Custom Flags

Custom flags are one of the most versatile outdoor banner options available. Whether you are looking for a business flag, yard flag or school flag, a custom fabric banner is available in a wide variety of sizes to perfectly suit your venue and budget. Add aluminum grommets to hang your fabric flag with rope or hooks, or simply request a pole pocket to accommodate a flagpole. Since a hanging flag is devoid of bulky hardware, you can simply roll or fold your fabric flag when not in use to make storing or traveling with your display flag a breeze!


  • Customizable; you decide on size
  • Versatile; display indoors or outdoors
  • Can be hung with rope, hooks or flagpole
  • Add grommets or pole pocket(s)
  • Vibrant dye sublimation printing process
  • Weatherproof and water-resistant
  • Solvent inks used for long-lasting print
  • Lightweight and portable

Feather banners, teardrop displays and custom flags are so versatile, they can be used for any of the following events this summer:

  • Festivals/ state fairs
  • Farmers’ markets
  • Retail sidewalk sales
  • Real estate open houses
  • Grand openings
  • Craft fairs
  • Golf tournaments
  • Bike races
  • Charity walks/fundraisers
  • Weddings

For impressive fabric flags for your business or function, peruse TRT Banners’ display products online by visiting or calling us at 1-877-223-6540 for more information!