How to design a display banner for a trade fair/travel event

Tour Operator shares their tips on how to create and design a display banner for trade fair/events.

Most of us do not have the budget to hire a graphic designer to design a display banner for a trade fair or travel/tourism event. So we asked tour operator Sean Rice of Follow the Camino for his advice on how to design a display banner.

Never put a year on the display banner unless you are promoting a specific event, that is a major learning from 2020!

Follow the Camino banner graphics for trade events. Notice no year which makes these re-usable.

Most of these pull-up advertising banners tend to be used at events/trade shows, where they are often partially obscured by tables, chairs, staff members etc.

Make sure that the top section displays your logo prominently, so that it is visible across the room.Then have a concise and easily understood tagline that relates specifically to the audience you want to reach. In our case, we planned to attend School Summits, so one tagline was about School Trips. Another separate audience was Travel Agents who we wanted to meet at trade shows/conferences. In that case the tagline invited them to Create Walking Holidays with us (and sell to their clients).

The main section of the poster is a visually appealing, inspirational and strong image – that really showcases the essence of your products. In our case, our core offers are all about Walking in Beautiful Nature with Friends & Family. All the images we used showcased this completely. I don’t think we deliberately picked all pictures that had the view of peoples backs, but I think it shows activity, a path, destination in the distance – people can imagine themselves walking just behind the people on the posters.

The bottom third of the posters aimed to reinforce why people should choose our company for their Walking Tours instead of another company. We referenced 4 key characteristics that we pride ourselves on and that our Sales Team talk about to reassure potential clients – we have Happy Customers, we are the Camino Experts, we put your Mind at Ease, we provide 24/7 Support.At the bottom of the poster, we stress our Core Company Values – We are a Responsible Tour Operator, or We deliver High Customer Satisfaction.

Make sure to choose very high-resolution images, so they scale well on paper. We chose to repurpose existing poster stands that we had in storage.

Some printers will say that they cant fit new posters into old stands and try to sell you a new stand. They went against our ethos, so we found a printer who would retrofit them for us. We paid approximately €500 for the 4 posters.

I designed this banner display for Arival Orlando 2019. I hired a designer at Vistaprint to create and print this. The retractable banner cost me around $210 with design. I was able to transport it easily on my flight from Vermont to Orlando.

What advice do you have about designing banner graphics for trade fairs? Let us know in the comments.

How to design display banners for trade fairs
Shane’s first stab at designing a display for the Arival event in Orlando 2019. I wish I had read this advice before creating them.

About Follow the Camino

Follow the Camino has been leading the way since 2007 and was the first-ever Tour Operator to operate the Camino de Santiago or Way of Saint James. Today we are the leading walking Tour Operator, often copied but never matched in our expertise. 

We have organised tours for thousands of pilgrims and travellers on the Camino de Santiago, coming from all over the world. They walk and cycle along the many routes at a pace that suits them after being supported through the planning process by our expert team.

Each of our unique routes has different lengths and difficulty levels. All our routes can also be customized to your fitness levels and needs (e.g. with an extra day of walking or rest). You travel a reasonable and manageable amount of kilometres each day. Each night you stay in carefully selected authentic accommodation. Savour unique traditional food and wine that simply cannot be recreated elsewhere. Soak up the culture and energy of the areas you visit in a truly authentic way.

Email [email protected] for details.


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Shane Whaley is the Producer and Host of the Tourpreneur Podcast. He is also the curator in chief for the Tourpreneur Daily Brief. Shane has worked in the travel industry for almost twenty years.