The psychology of colour

Colour connects! It has deep psychological resonances and there is a wealth of information behind the psychology of colour in almost every aspect of our lives. A quick internet search brings forward hundreds of links to articles, papers and opinion pieces on the subject. If you further refine the search to include colour in events, the subject is equally well-recognised and there are an abundance of experts to boot.

Everyone has a favourite colour and palette, from clothing to make-up, decoration to furnishings – and with very good reason! Colour effects people in many ways, it effects moods, it can have a bearing upon buying decisions and it can alter the way people behave. It is, in fact, a very powerful tool for communicating subtly and effectively.

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Colour in marketing your event

All marketers should take colour branding into account, when the colours of a company, its logo, its stand, and the stand uniforms being worn, are being designed. All communicate with visitors, whether you intend them to or not. So why not harness the potential of colours in marketing your event and build it into the design of your stand? By controlling how colour is communicating to visitors at a show, you can subtly effect their behaviour. In a busy show, with so many additional distractions, any slight competitive edge can make the difference between a good show and a great one.

Determining what you want visitors to do when they engage with your stand, whether they stay and relax or have a quick interaction and then move on, will help you decide on the colour scheme you should be using. The retail industry has used colours to great advantage, as this sector has long demonstrated an understanding of how colour can influence and motivate consumer behaviour.

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Research on colour branding

Interior designers have used colour to define atmospheres from cool and relaxing, using pale scours with soft lighting to create an oasis of calm, through to bright and vibrant colours to create a more dynamic and action-based environment.

The atmosphere created on any exhibition stand needs to chime with an organisation’s brand values and colour is a key factor. Bearing in mind that research indicates that colour affects 80% of subconscious actions and that decisions take a mere ninety seconds to be made, ambiguity will have a negative effect.

Because the subconscious is such a powerful part of the decision making process, it makes it one of the most important decisions to be made when designing a stand, it also means that corporate or brand identity must be clear and consistent. Differences in corporate colours and mismatches will jar in the visitor’s subconscious and can make them feel uncomfortable for reasons they may not be able to articulate.

In the frenetic world of a busy exhibition, the fewer visual obstacles that are placed in front of visitors when stand personnel are wanting to engage with them, the better!

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