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Graphics - Motion vs. Static

Posted by Chuck Michel on Sep 1, 2016 10:41:43 AM
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It used to be that when you walked the floor you would occasionally see LCD/LED monitors as an accent to the many static graphics used for messaging within a booth property. Well, like any technology, things change quickly and I think it’s safe to say that in today’s tradeshow environment it has become almost the opposite. IMG_3467sm.jpgLCD/LED High Def technology for imaging is taking over the tradeshow footprint by storm. Now I am not saying that static graphics should be kicked to the curb, at least not yet. However, it would appear that in today’s tradeshow environment when one wants to visually communicate a message, static printed graphics are becoming less and less the predominant means of delivery.

Today’s technology now presents the exhibitor with another option when wanting to deliver their story to the tradeshow attendee; large flat screen LCD monitors that are extremely light weight and can be purchased at very affordable prices. As you walk the show floor these days, static graphics is by no means the only game in town.

When choosing your method of delivery, you now have a whole new approach that allows you to deliver your message with engaging energy and movement, resulting in real stopping power! I like to tell my clients, it’s the ultimate BUG-LIGHT!

With lightweight LCD/LED flat screens now available in sizes that exceed 60”, converting areas within the booth that were typically used to show 40” x 60” backlight or reflective graphics can now be fitted for flat LCD screens with minimal adjustments required to the structure. What once was an area that had the same static message over a three-day period, you can now take advantage of that same space and deliver content that can change within seconds, minutes, and hours… This medium is a fantastic alternative to conventional print.

monitor-wall.jpgUnlike static graphics, with LCD/LED flat-screen there’s no limit as to what you can communicate during any given time frame.

Now, as with any communications medium, whether it is static or fluid, there are some important factors that need to be addressed in order for the delivery to be effective. Knowing your audience is paramount. No matter what your means of communicating is, whether static or video, you must be able to speak to them and the industry. You must convince them that you know their industry, understand their needs… their pain points.

What is your overarching message? Whatever it is make sure you are concise, it is delivered quickly. Don’t make them wait! For example, does your product or services speak to one of the following?

  • Unique to the industry
  • Features & Benefits
  • Price point
  • Innovative technology

What type of environment will the message be delivered in? Showfloor2.jpgThe floor is a hectic place, with the attendee being bombarded to the point of sensory overload.

Studies have shown that you have between 4-8 seconds to engage someone with a visual, that’s not a lot of time! Exhibit veterans know that on the show floor they have a very short window to engage someone’s attention. Therefore the delivery of your content must be quick, effective and most importantly … in a non-linear format - no beginning, no middle and no end. This is critical when developing your content because you really don’t know when someone is going to visit your booth, engage in the visual and or how long they will stay to look at the visual. Hence, your message needs to tell them key points in a matter of seconds. If someone walks up to your video screen at the ‘end’ of a traditional scripted piece, not only have you not engaged them, chances are they’re not sure what it is you’re trying to say and they don’t have time to stick around to catch the beginning. No different than catching the tale end of a show and having to ask ”What did I miss?”

Also important to keep in mind; rely on visuals to tell your message, not audio. Relying on audio as a key compliment to the visuals will typically result in disappointment. The tradeshow floor acoustics are unpredictable depending on venue, and you never know when your neighbor to either side is going to be ‘noisy’

Here is how I see the two mediums currently shaking out:

Flat screen:


  • Constantly changing message.
  • Engaging with powerful stopping power.
  • Much more can be said over a a short time frame


  • Development of effective fluid content can be time intensive
  • Often more expensive overall to produce vs. static        



  • Quick and easy to develop content
  • Numerous substrates available (many that are eco friendly) to print on that are easily adaptable to any booth environment.
  • Can print to very impressive grand formats. With today’s print technology, static murals can easily cover a surface that is 100’ -200’ wide.


  • Same message throughout the duration of the show.
  • Unless the image is very dramatic it is not engaging for any real length of time- no staying power.


At the end of the day, whether static or motion, it is important to remember that the visual messaging in your booth will always be a great way to introduce your company's overall marketing campaign, highlight distinct brands while maintaining a cohesive theme, telling a story or explaining a process!



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