October 2016 archive

How to Create an Eye-Catching Display

Display Boards

Display Boards Are Versatile, So They Can Be Used Anywhere

When it comes to creating displays, some of us are more creative than others, let’s be honest. If you have ever been to a craft fayre or an exhibition, there are often beautiful displays that leave us wondering; “how could I make one like that?”. Fortunately, it does not have to be that tricky and in fact, with some time and attention, we can all create majestic exhibition displays which we can be proud of. There is nothing fancy involved, just some simple guidance on how to clean up the content and bring your most important pieces to the centre of attention.

Rather than fiddling around on the day, do all of the design work before-hand, experiment with the positioning of your content and the most important thing to remember are different perspectives. When your display is set up, chances are visitors will not be stood right in front of it like you are, so consider where they will be approaching from and whether your design caters for that. The designs that really do well and stick in the memory are those which really stand out and this is where a great design is crucial.

High Quality Graphics

Regardless of what your content is or where you are exhibiting, chances are you will be using some form of graphics. Whether it is artwork, text or an image, there is one simple rule to keep in mind. Ensure it is a high resolution image! Any professional designer will tell you that their pet peeve is graphics which have essentially been pulled off of the internet and look terrible as soon as they are printed. This is especially important if you are printing your own work and use a low resolution as you will never be able to do it justice.

Nothing in your design is going to come across as cheap and as haphazardly made as images and text which are pixelated. These need to be clean, crisp and even printed properly to help them to stand out. Look for high quality paper and use a proper printer (no, not an inkjet!). If you do not have this kind of image to hand, then I would suggest either finding one, or getting some professionally made. At the end of the day, this will be the core of the display so it needs to set an example.

Positioning of Content is Crucial

There is a lot of theory that runs behind great designs and unsurprisingly professional designers are not just pulling it out of thin air. Any design you see, whether it is an advertisement, glossy magazine or a fellow exhibitor’s display, is supported by a few key theories as to how content can stand out more. One of these which you will want to consider is how to direct the viewer’s eye through your design. We never notice it when we are doing it, but there are small details in designs whose main purpose is to tell us where to look.

The simple explanation behind this is to emphasise the elements which you want to feature prominently. If there is a piece of content which you want to highlight, then make it bigger than the rest. If you want to draw their attention to a piece of text, then change the font and adjust the size slightly. To your viewer’s brain, these are cues which are telling them to look there and then take a look over there. You may only have a few seconds to really engage someone’s attention, so put your best piece at the forefront to entice them to engage with the rest of the display.

Comic Sans Looks Awful, Really.

Text will feature in your display at some point, which means you have the unenviable task of picking out a font. There are thousands and thousands out there to choose from, so there is a lot of potential to find something unique. However, going back to what we discussed at the beginning, consider the perspective of your viewer. If you have opted for a radical font for your three paragraphs of content, who is even going to bother trying to read it? While a font may look exciting, remember that people will actually want to read it. In this scenario, keep the more interesting fonts for titles and headers to grab their attention and then use a slick serif font which is effortless to read for larger pieces of text.

Less is More, More is Less

If you have ever been told to keep it simple, then the precedent is the same here. When you look at great designs, are they packed with information, crammed from corner to corner with text, diagrams and images? Hopefully, the answer is no. While people are willing to read through a huge amount of content when they are interested, there is nothing quite as off-putting as a wall of text. Your eyes have no idea where to look when all you want to do is absorb the majority of the content in just a few glances.

While you may have plenty of space available, using every last thread of it is never going to work. Leave space where necessary and then if you still feel like there should be something there, add small details like ribbon which can brighten up the display without taking the viewer’s attention away from the content which really matters.

There Are More Colours Than What You See on the Rainbow

The final detail to consider is which colours to pick out. This means the colour of your large display boards, the content, fonts and fine details. This one is completely up to you, but it is worthwhile noting that loud and abrasive colours, such as primary reds, blues and yellows are quite wearing on the eyes. There are a ridiculous number of colours out there, so choose something easier on the eye such as pastel colours which are far more enjoyable for viewers to consume.

Ultimately, the best advice for creating a great design is keeping it simple and not over-thinking things. At the end of the day, viewers just want something easy on the eye which is going to strike them. If you already have great content, then place it on the centre stage. Use all of the other aspects to support it and people will be going away talking about how great your exhibition was.

If you are in need of display boards, then here at Rap Industries, we design and manufacture high quality displays for clients from a variety of industries. From folding display boards to more permanent designs, we can create a display stand which brings out the best in your content. For more information, please have a look at our site, call us on 01733 394941 or send an e-mail to sales@rapind.com.


Display Boards

Why Exhibiting Does Not Have to Be a Waste of Money

Trade Shows

A Riposte to Criticism Towards Trade Shows

In recent years, there have been more and more articles springing up, warning against the perils of trade shows and how they are going to destroy your finely balanced budget. They speak of how wonderful inbound marketing can be and the potential it has. Now, there is very little doubt that this kind of marketing approach is beneficial, but the idea that exhibitions should just be thrown to the wayside is a little overblown. It’s true, trade shows can be expensive, but only if you walk into it, cheque book in hand and willing to write one out to anyone who says they can help you to make it a success.

Exhibiting at trade shows is a challenge and there is no doubt about it. Those who fail and ultimately waste money are the inexperienced, newbie exhibitors who believe a fancy backdrop and a few glossy leaflets will equate to mega-money deals. The reality is that experienced attendees who have spent years on the circuit have learned about how to make a return on their fairly significant investment. For the relatively uninitiated, there are pitfalls in the exhibitions industry, however the case is the same for other forms of marketing and it is through skills and expertise that these can be overcome.

Quality Over Quantity When It Comes to Outreach

One of the major criticisms directed towards exhibiting is that your audience is limited. Even if you attend a major trade show where a few thousand people will be in attendance, this is short change in comparison to the millions which are available online. On the surface, this is true, so why then do so many businesses return to trade shows when there is a such a disparity in audience sizes compared to online? Simply put, it is because every attendee has the potential to be relevant. If you are attending the same event, then you can be sure that there will at least be some common ground for you to work from.

Online marketing can be like fishing in an ocean. Sure, there are millions of potential interested individuals out there, but being able to entice them is a significantly harder task. You can spend weeks, months or even years developing strategies to attract those 1% of individuals who actually want to do business with you. Even then when you get them through to your site, the whole deal hinges on the infrastructure you have laid down. If a page is poorly laid out, all they have to do is press that little red cross in the corner and that potential business is gone forever.

Trade shows provide you with the unique opportunity to interact with these clients, something which online marketing is still light years away from achieving. You might be a small business, but a bright idea and your passion showing through could be all that is required to secure a deal which will drive genuine growth in your business. Before you attend, arrange meetings with industry professionals you wish to meet in person. When doing business, a tweet or a short message just are not going to cut it.

Make The Most of the Experience

Exhibiting at trade shows will require you to be pro-active. If your planning consists of spending thousands on a fancy exhibition stand and then just standing next to it waiting for people to approach you, then you would be better off not attending at all. Trade shows consist of much more than just attendees milling around and chatting to stand owners. There are presentations held with leading experts in the field, meetings can be made beforehand to have a one-to-one conversation and frankly, the attendees simply do not have time to stop and chat with each stall holder.

While exhibition stands do their part to help you stand out somewhat, the crucial aspect of converting is going to come down to you and your team. There is no guarantee that everyone you talk to will be interested in your product, but having a conversation of what you do and how you do it can open up potential avenues which you may have never considered before. It is important to remember that trade shows are about much more than just sales.

Be Prepared

The biggest mistake that many businesses make which leads to a negative experience is not putting the necessary preparation in beforehand. Admittedly, it would be unproductive to commit months of your year to a single event. However, committing a large portion of your budget to an event, only to spend a few days working on your strategy is a good way to end up wasting it. At the end of the day, the style of your backdrop is not going to win you much business, so look towards large display boards, which are a much more versatile display which can then be re-used again.

Instead, commit your time and your budget to researching the event. Find out who is attending and shortlist potential businesses and clients who you think you will be able to work with. Waiting for this type of person to walk up to your stand is hardly going to harbour many results, so get yourself in front of them and pitch your ideas.

Like any kind of marketing, these methods take time and practice to perfect. Due to the up-front cost of exhibitions, it can be deterring when the first event does not go quite as planned. However, there is a good reason why exhibitions and trade shows continue to thrive and that is because there is a great deal of potential to be found. When done in moderation while you learn, exhibitions do not have to be a waste of money and can just as easily be done in conjunction with inbound marketing, rather than as a separate entity.

Trade Shows

The Ultimate Guide to Display Boards

Display Boards

The Everlasting Popularity of Display Boards

Display boards have been an essential tool for businesses, schools and charities alike for decades. The simple design has been tweaked and adapted over the years, but at the core is a platform for content. Display boards are used to celebrate achievements, exhibit the fruits of people’s labour and teach students in a manner that textbooks never could. Modern display board designs have moved away from the wall based ancestor and instead, many are now mobile, being employed when and wherever they are needed.

They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, are manufactured with a range of different materials and suppliers are constantly coming up with different ways to enhance the content. With so much to think about, we understand it can become a little bit overwhelming. Here at Rap Industries, we have been manufacturing display boards for over 40 years and have pioneered a variety of design changes which you can see featured on our display boards today. With that in mind, we are going to take you through what to look for when looking for display boards.

Display Stand Fundamentals

Searching for display boards will begin at face value. I’m sure you will already have an idea in mind of what kind of display you are looking for, so it is simply a case of using that idea to narrow the search down. First and foremost, assess how much content you have and how much space you are going to need. Display boards are available as little compact kits or as huge displays, so you want to find a foundation which has just the right amount of space for your content.

Next up is to pick which kind of design you need and that will require you to take your environment into consideration. Folding display boards can be used pretty much anywhere within moderation, however remember that these do not include stabilising feet, so they’re hardly going to be suitable if they are being bumped and bashed all day. The alternative is the panel & pole display boards. Equipped with what are usually metal poles and some form of stabilising feet, these are designed with the prospect of people milling around them in mind. Finally, if you need a companion to have on hand when you require a compact display, then table top display boards are much more manageable and are easy to take anywhere!

The Nitty Gritty Details

Here is where you need to consider your environment and research the supplier to find out if they are going to be able benefit your situation. At the heart of the display boards, there is a central core which the remainder is built around. This core will contribute significantly to the overall weight of the system, so if you are planning on travelling to different events and your display system is incredibly heavy, then this is a recipe for a bad back and a frustrating journey. Here at Rap Industries, our display boards introduce an innovative core which ensures it is extremely lightweight but also stable and secure whilst in use.

Once you have found the design which is perfect for your content, the next decision is to pick out whether you want pinnable or Velcro friendly panels. The pinnable design is traditionally how display boards were produced, with content being able to be applied using pins. The downside of this is that frequent use causes the panel to degrade and your content will have pin holes placed through them. This is where Velcro friendly fabric steps in. Using Velcro dots or Velcro strip, the content can be added quickly and easily without any damage to it or the panel itself.

How Can They Be Customised?

So that is the more technical aspects taken care of, now for the more exciting part. Display boards can be customised is many more ways nowadays than they could in the past. Colour, accessories and some more niche products can be included to help your content to stand out and make the display overall more pleasant. For example, the fabric is often available in a myriad of different colours, so you don’t have to be stuck with those dull colours which your school used to pick out.

In terms of accessories, these are often available as additional extras, so only pick these out if you are going to be able to find value from them on a regular basis. One such example are the display spotlights. These are ideal if you are exhibiting in a dimly lit room or you simply need to draw attention to particular pieces of your content. Alternatively, one of the services that we run here at Rap Industries is the printed posters. Many of our clients utilise these to create high resolution replicas of their content, or to create a brand new design which can make the display significantly more eye-catching.

The Finishing Touches

These elements are pretty much everything you will need to know! As a final note, the price of the display boards should be considered before committing. While a low price might be great for your budget, there is the risk that the display boards are cheaply made and therefore will not last for many events, so be wary before you buy. For additional validation, check the guarantee which is included with the display boards. A longer guarantee suggests better materials have been used and you are more likely to see a return on your investment in the long term.

If you like what you read, then have a look at our display boards as you begin your search. We have been designing and manufacturing a variety of ranges of display boards for over 40 years and we produce each with the requirements of our clients in mind. This means we use high quality materials to create a display which is designed to last. For more information, you can have a look at our site, give us a call on 01733 394941 or send an e-mail to sales@rapind.com.

Display Boards


Why Exhibiting is a Valuable Experience for ANYONE

Trade Shows

Exhibiting Is Not Confined to Major Trade Shows

When we talk about trade shows, the obvious image which pops to mind are the corporate trade shows hosted in sprawling halls and crammed with companies both big and small. These types of events have generated a bit of a bad reputation in recent years for being a waste of money. Admittedly, this is the case for some. However, exhibiting is not just about throwing your budget at a stylish exhibition stand just to feel good and pat yourself on the back for a day. Exhibitions come in all shapes and sizes and some of the most valuable do not require an ego-boosting and overly expensive display stand.

Think Small:

For smaller businesses in particular, with stricter budgets and more tangible goals in sight, it is important to note that there are such things as exhibitions which are not your stereotypical trade show. Look locally for craft fayres, gatherings of local businesses and networking opportunities. While trade shows are prone to becoming a ‘who has got the biggest and best stand competition’, smaller events are geared towards making sales and creating partnerships which will last beyond the evening meal. In a smaller setting, you have more time to interact and ultimately, everyone has the same goal; they want their business to grow.

Larger events can become a bit of a frenzy without careful planning, which is another area where businesses are prone to leaking potential revenue. If you are just starting out with this whole networking and building relationships business, then starting small is always the way to go if you want to learn and actually make it a success. Plenty of new exhibitors make the mistake of reading a few guides, looking at a few photos and then deciding they’re ready to throw themselves in at the deep end. Is it any wonder then that some exhibitors walk away from these events disgruntled and complaining that they wasted their time?

Build on Success:

If trade shows and exhibitions are your ideal location, then you need to learn how to find value in the little things first. Fayres and conferences might not bring in that multi-million-pound deal, but they provide the opportunity to hone your sales patter and get genuine feedback from people who are not just going to palm you away. Perhaps the biggest benefit is that you do not need to invest thousands for a high-spec exhibition stand which you end up using once or twice a year. Display boards and banner stands are just as effective in smaller situations and at a fraction of the cost.

Often with large exhibitions, while they may be relevant to your industry, that does not guarantee that everyone will hold something in common. It is true that thousands of people may be in attendance, but if only a small percentage (and there is no way to get an exact number) who attend are interested in your products and services, then the opportunity to see a return on your investment is severely diminished. Smaller events are often much more focused and assuming you pick out the right one, that percentage of interest parties is likely to be significantly higher. While you may not find that big fish you were hoping for, there is far more potential to make smaller and more frequent gains. Combine this with a cheaper investment and this kind of exhibition experience is more likely to be worth your time and money.

Time is Equally as Valuable as your Budget:

As any small business owner can appreciate, while the budget is always a factor in decisions such as these, time is often more valuable. Large exhibition stands can take weeks or even months of preparation and that can consume valuable hours, days and weeks of your time preparing for an event which you may not even see a return on. As much as fayres and local events still require preparation, they allow you to maximise your efforts in other areas while still committing enough time and effort towards the event.

Afterwards, if your approach has been a success, then it can be picked up and implemented with a new event in the upcoming months. A few adaptations with what you have learned here and there and before you know it, exhibitions are not quite as time consuming as you had originally thought. As an added benefit, you will not even need a new display. Banner stands and display boards are designed to last and their compact design means they can be neatly tucked away in a storage cupboard until they are needed again.

Be Smart and Exhibitions Can Be an Extremely Worthwhile Venture

If you were to attend a large exhibition and ask what their key to success would be, chances are their response would be something along the lines of ‘try and try again’. Much of the disillusionment associated with exhibitions stems from new attendees with only a hint of what they are supposed to be doing seeing all their effort return very little in the ways of results. Top exhibitors have been doing this for years and will continue to do so for many more to come as they have been able to understand what is required to make the experience a success. Rather than throwing all of your eggs into one basket; start out small and learn how to schedule events such as these. The returns may not provide a huge boost for your income, but they can open up new opportunities and avenues for your business to grow.


At Rap Industries, we have been working with clients both big and small for over 40 years, so we have gathered invaluable experience in how clients make their exhibition a success. If you are looking at a more cost-effective display stand for your exhibit, then have a look at the Large Display Boards or visit our site for a wider collection. Alternatively, you can get in touch by calling 01733 394941 or send an e-mail to sales@rapind.com.


Trade Shows