studio gibbous booth

Graphic Designers & Trade Shows

As a graphic designer, either in the web or print industry, it can sometimes be hard to get people to appreciate what it is you do. Yes, a designer brings order from chaos, creates form & function, and helps visually market goods and services. Essentially as a graphic designer you create something from virtually nothing and nowadays what is being created is intangible.

It’s a hard concept for a lot of people to grasp, but we, the designers, have became a knowledge based industry. This is not only hard for other designers to grasp, but think of how hard it is for a potential client to grasp this. They are going to pay you X amount of dollars for something they may not even be able to hold. In a way we have become more like Lawyers and Architects, where our knowledge is our service.
So the question becomes, how can someone present themselves, and the business, outside of a digital space so the general public and other local businesses take what designer do seriously, when anyone with a pirated copy of Photoshop can claim to be a designer?

Well this past weekend I had the opportunity to participate in the local Home & Leisure Show. Not only was this a good way to show the general public that graphic design is a serious business, but more importantly, it showed local small businesses that web design, print design and visual branding is something that needs to be taken more seriously.
And the general response was really good.

The most important thing was to have a booth that actually stood out from everyone one else showing how effective design can be. And as I always say, keep with the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) philosophy.
Or… Less is more.
Prior to the event, the other most important thing that was done was actually researching the websites of the local businesses that were going to be presenting. This gave the opportunity to put mini portfolios together on my iPad and go to these businesses and show what it is that they “could” have for a website and how effective proper design will be for them.

So next time you’re trying to figure out how to draw in more people or how you can make a better impact locally. Don’t just stay in the digital realm, get right in their face. Being social in the real world can be far more effective. Especially when you show them your are a professional.

The video below is 180 degree shot of the alley I was in for 2011 Home & Leisure Show I attended. As you can see, even in the real world, good visual design has a greater impact.

2 Responses to “Graphic Designers & Trade Shows”

  1. John Leschinski says:

    Ya, I tried the trade show route when I was just starting back in 2001. Got a lot of good leads, and ended up getting some work out of it, but for the most part it’s a lot of window shopping.

  2. Gibbous says:

    Eh John,

    You are correct that there is a lot of window shopping. However to be
    at a trade show is not only to showcase your work to the general public,
    it’s to make connections with other businesses. Since we do not offer a
    “good” or “service” that the public will purchase, the time spent while at a
    trade show must be utilized correctly.

    Designers, in general business to business services, must take this
    chance to go and talk to the other businesses that could benefit from what
    we have to offer. This is a prime opportunity to show that you are a
    professional and can be taken seriously. Also at the same time, it allows
    those of us that have a home based business to be seen more by the office
    based businesses.

Leave a Reply