Friend or foe in a millisecond
Web users form first impressions of Internet pages in as little as 50 milliseconds, or one twentieth of a second, a survey by the Carleton University of Ontario, Canada, has shown. That´s very fast. And very interesting. Especially if you consider that those first impressions are the basis for value judgements on the total website, its products and the supplier – and that most users will then search for a confirmation of their first impression, even if it means ignoring evidence to the contrary (people love being right). It´s called the Halo effect.
I don´t know about you, but I cannot form a fact- and knowledge-based judgement in one twentieth of a second. But I do admit that casting a glance at a website is usually enough to decide whether I like it or not. If the homepage is slow in loading or I´m forced to watch some film or click out some pop-up I never asked for, I get irritated. As I do by camouflaged, illegible texts and annoying colour use. It´s a smart website if it still interests me after all that. On the other hand, yes, I have been known to ignore negative information just to keep my perfect first impression of a company or salesperson intact.
Do you see the connection between web pages and your trade fair presentation? I hope so. Because there definitely is one. Let me put it this way. I would just hate to have invested thousands of Euros on an exhibition only to spend day after day during the fair labouring and toiling to convince visitors, when all they´re doing is looking for a confirmation of some unfavourable first impression I accidentally created.
Check this. What first impression do we give at trade fairs? And what impression should we be giving? Never mind the details, just focus on the grand scheme. Your use of colours, stand design, stand formation, accessibility, decoration. Can your target group see at a glance who you are and what your distinctive value is? And last but not least, what does your stand personnel radiate? Maintain and strengthen the positive aspects and eliminate the negative. The first impression you give your visitors will determine whether they become friend or foe.