The Attention Span of a Goldfish
The Attention Span of a Goldfish


The Statistic Brain Research Institute reveals that the average human’s attention span was 8.25 seconds in 2015. This is down 3.75 seconds from 2000. (By way of a comparison, do you know the average attention span of a goldfish?) What does this mean for your business when planning your trade show exhibit for your next event? The answer is easy:  you need to capture your audience’s attention and you need to do it quickly!  How?  With dynamic and targeted graphics!

Create Graphics that Resonate Quickly

The easiest way to resonate with your targeted audience is to personalize your graphics with their interests, needs, and wants in mind. Do you remember the last time that you attended a trade show as a visitor? Which images grabbed your eye? Which displays did you merely glance at before walking past the booth?

A Photo is Worth a Thousand Words

One of the biggest mistakes exhibitors make is the “buy me” message that leaps from every flat surface. Whether it is the backdrop, the banner stand, or the surface-mounted vinyl, a sales message accompanies each image. This is a slip-up. Everyone knows that exhibitors are there to sell their products or services. You do not have to spell it out. Instead, present impactful photos that will connect with your audience at the gut level.

Make Distance Your Ally

Industry insiders know that there are three separate distance appeal points that you need to hit with your graphics. At 15 feet, an image must be sufficient to grab the consumer’s attention. When the visitor is about two to five feet away, your counter graphics tell the tale of your product’s advantages. Still rich in graphics, text is minimal but present. Now, it is up to you and your staff to draw in the visitor to what we refer to as a data zone, or third distance. Images are still present, but they are the backdrop to a text-heavy presentation. At this time, you are engaging the consumer via brochures, handouts, and similar products.

When choosing graphics for your exhibit, remember the average human’s attention span is about 8.25 seconds, so follow these three rules:

  1. Create Graphics that Resonate Quickly
  2. A Photos is Worth a Thousand Words
  3. Make Distance Your Ally

And by the way, the average goldfish has an attention span of about nine seconds.

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