Color in Your Exhibit: What is it Saying?
When you consider your exhibit color scheme, it may seem like a no-brainer to pick accents that reflect the Pantone color in your corporate logo, or that coordinate with your event theme. But think again. What does that color say to your audience, and – more importantly – how does it make them feel?
The psychology of color is a fascinating subject, which has been loosely studied for decades. Different colors evoke different emotions and reactions, both consciously and subconsciously. Chromotherapy is actually the study of how different colors affect the mind and body. Past experiences, cultural norms and aesthetic preferences can have a significant effect on the uniquely personal way a person can react to a given color. And that reaction can have an impact on how an attendee perceives your event.
Research has been done to classify colors into groups, so that it is possible to select colors that may appeal to a wide range of your attendees. Of course, you must have considerable knowledge of your attendees to truly understand their demographics and select an appropriate palette… but that’s a subject for another article.
If your exhibit’s goal is to further your brand messaging, then it is great idea to use a color scheme which supports your branding. However, if you are trying to impress a group of VIPs with a dedicated space or planning an employee recognition wall, you may choose a completely different color – purple to convey wealth or yellow for optimism, for example. Most brand color specifications include complementary and supporting colors for use with the primary shades. Following these brand guidelines will allow you to create a suitable color atmosphere for your exhibit while harmonizing with the overall brand promise.
No matter what color you choose, understand that there are very often specific connotations that go along with each color family. Green means “go” in most of the Western world, but it is a particularly unlucky color in China. Where white signifies hope and cleanliness in some places, it is used in mourning garb in others. It’s not a coincidence that blue is used in more corporate logos than any other color; it is one of the most universally appreciated colors and scientifically shown to have calming effects on people. If you’re heading into a major international show or having a large contingent of international guests at your exhibit, be sure to review some of the connotations of colors in different parts of the world.
Where to Use Color in Your Exhibit
Once you’ve settled on a key color scheme, how can you incorporate that color throughout your exhibit? Color can be incorporated and used in design to make any event a visual standout – your exhibit designer can work with you to identify graphics that synergize with the structure. Color can be carried through in many other ways, though. The environment can be enhanced through lighting design, wardrobe, flooring selection, floral decorations, giveaways, signage and linens. You can even create an on-palette signature drink and food choices. And, don’t forget about event-related assets – for example be sure to appropriately use the color scheme on your event landing page to set the tone during registration.
No matter what color palette you choose, be sure that you are creating an engaging atmosphere for your guests by putting a little bit of thought into how color is used throughout the experience.
Article by Wendi Jacobs, Marketing Manager, Acer Exhibits & Events