trade show banners

Why create your own trade show banners and graphics?

Chances are, you invest in trade show marketing because it seems like the most cost-effective way to reach a lot of potential new customers. After all, there are hundreds or thousands of them gathered in the same place at the same time! If you’re smart with your marketing strategy, you can connect with a bunch of new prospects who are actively looking for what you do.

However, there are two problems with doing trade shows:

  • The cost to exhibit is growing
  • It’s getting harder to get the attention of your target audience

Producing your own trade show graphics can actually help with both of these problems.

Save money by creating your own trade show graphics

You’ve probably noticed that you’re spending more every year to do the same trade shows. That’s especially true when your products, services, and market are constantly changing and evolving. That means you need to keep paying for new trade show banners and signs every time you have new offerings or want to change your messaging.

That expense really cuts into your trade show ROI.

Here’s some good news: you can design and print your own trade show banners, signs, and other trade show graphics and save money. There will be an up-print cost to purchase a large format printer, but if you do a lot of events, it won’t take long to see a return on that investment.

And there’s another equally important reason for having the ability to create your own signs and graphics: you can customize them to the specific audience attending each event.

Grab more attention with customized displays for each audience

Each event you do probably has a somewhat different audience or focus. Why use the same signs and graphics for every event? If you’re currently doing that, you’re missing out on a chance to hone in on what each show’s unique audience is interested in seeing.

Here’s what you can do when you have the ability to create your own trade show banners, signs, and graphics:

  • Promote different products or services depending on the trade show or event
  • Test different offers or promotions
  • Test different messaging
  • You can even change your displays DURING the event to capture more attention
  • No waiting… you can produce anything you want on-demand

You don’t even need to be an expert graphic artist to create your own graphics. Using one of Canon’s large format printers plus included PosterArtist Lite software, it’s surprisingly easy to create professional looking trade show banners, signs, posters and more.

Here’s how it works.

How to design & print trade show banners and signs with Canon’s PosterArtist Lite software

Using Canon’s PosterArtist Lite software, included with Canon’s imagePROGRAF large format printers, it’s easy to make your ideas come to life. Even if you’re not an artist!

PosterArtist Lite provides ready-to-use templates, royalty-free photos and clip art and simple editing features that let you quickly create your own high quality custom graphics.

The software walks you through 4 basic steps to create your design:

STEP 1: Select a template

PosterArtist includes lots of beautifully designed templates organized by category. When looking for something you like, remember that you can change colors, images, text and even fonts to make the design work for you.

Simply double-click to open the template in the design area.

STEP 2: Set paper options

Before you work on the content, select your paper size from a list or set a custom size. You’ll also choose the orientation (portrait for vertical, or landscape for horizontal) that matches your template design.

Next, select your imagePROGRAF printer as the output device, and a paper source (cut sheet or a paper roll).

Finally, select the specific type of media you plan to print on.

Now you’re ready to work on your content!

STEP 3: Edit your content

Now it’s time to make the template into a custom creation by changing content elements.

The PosterArtist software shows a list of design options to choose from, such as background colors and textures, high quality photos, clip art and icons.

For example, if you like the design but want a different color in the background, just click on the background and replace it with something you like better. You can even import your own images, such as your logo or product photos.

Do the same to add, remove, replace or modify images, shapes, colors and text. Every time you make a change, you can see exactly how your piece will look.

When you’re happy with the results, you’re ready to print.

STEP 4: Print

This is the really gratifying part… you no longer need to wait for an outsourced print provider to produce your finished banner, poster or sign. You’ll have it ready to use in minutes!

You can choose from 3 levels of output quality, so you get exactly what you need for this particular sign or graphic. There are also optional color matching settings you can adjust based on the type of piece you’re printing.

Simply specify the number of copies, check your design one last time with print preview, and start printing.

That’s it! It really is that easy.

Choose the right printer for trade show signs and graphics

When making a decision to produce your own signs and graphics for shows and events, you want the transition to be easy and uncomplicated.

So you might run into a roadblock as soon as you try to figure out which printer to buy. The truth is, there are great large format printers out there that can do exactly what you want, but none of the manufacturers make it very easy to pick the right model for your needs.

Here’s an example. Do you plan on using your banners outdoors or in bright sunlight? Canon has outdoor durable inks that are also UV safe for 6 months. If you didn’t know that feature was available (or which large format printers use the UV safe inks), you could easily choose the wrong one. Then your printed displays might not perform as well as you’d like.

This is where Superior Office Systems can help. We are happy to talk over your needs, and recommend the best options for your marketing goals and your budget. We also stand behind what we sell with hassle-free and proactive service.

If you’re in the NYC metro area, give us a call!

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