The Art of Trade Shows and Conferences


Creating the overall look for a conference or trade show requires both creative and logistical know-how. Working on projects such as these can be both challenging and a lot of fun. Here at Page Design, we have several clients that put together large annual events. And we start helping them plan a year or more in advance.

Why such a long lead time? If it is an event that draws participants from long distances, travel plans and scheduling issues need to be addressed as soon as possible to guarantee the best attendance. When you take into account the sheer number of items that need to be created and ordered, you will see why you need to plan as early as possible.

Keeping a repeating event fresh and dynamic is one of the most challenging things for a presenter. Organizations approach repeating events in two ways; 1) they have a logo or brand that is specific to that event, and use it every year with only minor updating; or 2) each year the conference has its own look and feel, which keeps repeat attendees interested and motivated to attend. In this instance there is usually a theme. Themes can be based on the geographical location of the event or a topic of current interest. Either way, the graphics created must be extremely flexible and adaptable across multiple formats and uses.

Choosing a design firm that can create the right look for an event is important. But just as important is picking a firm that knows the logistical challenges that come with putting on a large event – such as how the items will be arriving to the event or what typical lead times are. This might not seem like a big deal, but when you are talking about shipping costs in addition to production costs for material, there is a lot of money involved. This might mean that you are having items printed at the event location rather than where the organization is located. Or, you might select lightweight coil binding rather than bulky binders for shipping considerations. Small decisions like this, made at the beginning of a project, can have a big impact on the financial success of an event.

Choosing a firm that can be flexible to your schedule is also important. Details are often changing on a day to day basis. Event presenters may be adding sponsors right to the very end, which means that the designer also needs to be able to make edits up to the end. Other last minute switches can include changes to room assignments, times, and presenters, all of which often appear on more than one piece. So, not only does the designer need to be flexible, the vendors producing the materials need to coordinated and flexible as well.

Page Design has built relationships with a variety of vendors that can be called upon for display graphics, signage, variable data name badges, event microsite
development, online registration, email blasts, program
printing and binding, presentation slides and templates and promotional giveaway items.
With so much else on our clients’ minds during an event, it is invaluable to them to have a single source for all of this help.

Below are samples for two of our most recent conference materials created by Melisa Weil (our Conference Queen!) – 2015 California STEM Summit and the California Association of Heath Plans’ annual conference, “Transforming the Health Care Landscape”. Click on any of the images for a larger view. 

If you have a trade show or conference coming up we’d love to talk to you about it, just give us a call.


Visit California
Outlook Forum 2017

California Association of Health Plans
2016 Annual Conference



California STEM Learning Network’s
STEM Summit 2015


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