The Best Handful of Tips 97 – Effective Displays and Exhibits

The Best Handful of Tips 97 –

Effective Displays and Exhibits: 

An effective display and an exhibit should arouse interest, stimulate thought and cause action. Most fail to do this. Too many displays are cluttered and contain conflicting messages.

Displays and exhibits must get their messages across quickly. Displays should contain simple messages. The fewer words the better. They should always arouse interest and cause action.

The best five tips for staging an effective  display or an exhibit

  1. State your aim clearly

What message do you want to get across?

Write it down in one sentence.

What actions do you want your viewers to take?

Write this down in one sentence.  Now you are ready to start planning your next display or exhibit. Most displays have too many messages and clutter up their exhibit causing confusion.

  1. Arouse interest

It is essential to stop people to see what the display is about. Use gimmicks to get attention. If you don’t stop them –  you are wasting time and money.

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Active displays are better than photos and blocks of text.  People doing things, live animals (especially young animals) and working machines and models all create interest where people stop to see what is going on.  

  1. Keep the message simple

Use basic English and keep words to a minimum.

Use appropriate visuals to tell the story.

Large clear lettering allows people to read the message from a distance. Use strong basic colours to get attention and these are best for clarity.

  1. Involve your viewers

Encourage  people to compete in events or take part in competitions and raffles. Give worthwhile prizes and handouts.

Aim to make appointments with interested people for follow-up calls if you are selling a product or a service. Make sure you keep any appoints you make. Don’t make promises – make good.

  1. Make the area attractive and colourful

Keep the exhibit fresh, clean and tidy. Be different  to other displays. If you are using  living plants or animals, keep changing them.

Attendants should be obvious, neat and well groomed with a uniform to distinguish them.

Attendants  must be well trained and knowledgeable about the services and the business and any products sold.  Roster them for regular breaks so they are always fresh,  enthusiastic and helpful.

Of all the things you wear your smile is the most important.

-Geoffrey  Moss (Once was the NZ Department of Agriculture’s Superintendent of  Shows)   

“To get attention your display must be different.”

SOURCE: For more on this topic see:  “Persuasive Ways” first published by Moss Associates Ltd, New Zealand and in Chinese by Shanghai People’s Publishing House and as “Secrets of Persuasion” by Cengage Learning Asia. (Available as an e-book from Also available as “Getting Your Ideas Across” from Kogan Page, U.K and a  Hungarian translation published by Bagolyvar Konyvkiado, Budapest.

Secrets of Persuasion Cover







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