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Eight Design Tips for Your Next Tradeshow Display

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We all know a good tradeshow display when we see one. It's usually the booth with a lot of visitors, generating leads left and right.

Your company's success at a tradeshow depends on more than just the quality of the booth design, of course, but rising industry competition and attendees' steadily declining attention spans have made design more important than ever.

If your business hopes to make a significant first impression, the design of your tradeshow booth must be cohesive, appealing, and exceptional. The companies that are truly pushing the boundaries of exhibit design are developing huge amounts of awareness, and therefore leads, during each event.

It's easy to get lost in a sea of exhibitors, so consider the following eight tips when designing your next tradeshow display.

1. Make it interactive


Attendees spend most of their time at tradeshows observing and learning, so giving your visitors the chance to interact at your booth can be a great way to spark engagement. People love getting their hands on tradeshow technology, playing games, and winning prizes.

Tradeshow booths that are interactive are more likely to generate leads and create buzz surrounding your brand. Creating a place for visitors to spend time in your booth gives your staff more time to approach them on a personal level. Try incorporating touchscreen technology, hosting giveaways, or featuring product demonstrations to increase participation at your booth.

2. Use cohesive branding

From banners and overhead signs to standing podiums and the shirts that members of your staff are wearing, every surface of your tradeshow booth should cohesively display your branding.

Especially if you are presenting a new marketing campaign at the event, you'll want to be easily recognized by others in the industry. Establishing an attractive color scheme with complementary graphics can help break up solid shades and give your booth more dimension.

3. Think vertically

Banners and hanging displays can be a great way to take your logo to new heights. A hanging display will help bring your booth design up a notch, allowing attendees to see your branding from across the floor.

If your company has a larger booth space to work with, double-decker truss displays can also provide you with some high ground against the competition. Expanding your booth toward the ceiling is a great way to create an immersive space for your visitors.

4. Work within your budget

If you design too far outside your budget for your tradeshow booth, it may affect your perception of the value of the event for the growth of your business.

It is easy for tradeshow budgets to get out of hand quickly; often, costs go unseen until crunch time. So, develop a specific, realistic budget months ahead of time. Also, working with an exhibit professional when designing your display can help you get the most out of your investment.

5. Keep in mind transportation and shipping

Even if you have spent months designing the perfect tradeshow display, figuring out how to transport and ship your booth may end up being a headache.

Before you invest in a huge, impressive display, you should take into account size, durability, and drayage costs. Relying on a display expert can help you get a better understanding of what these extra services involve.

Portable tradeshow displays, like those provided by my company, are a great design option for businesses looking to create impressive display booths without the hassle of heavy equipment.

If you choose to rent a tradeshow display kit, be sure to ask what it does and doesn't include—to be sure all your bases are covered on the day of the event.

6. Print high-quality graphics

High-quality graphics have become an industry standard. Huge advancements have been made in photography and printing, so you need to keep up with your competitors at the next tradeshow.

Working with a design professional to develop, format, and print your graphics properly will help you avoid disaster when the event date approaches. Create and use graphics and photos that will both complement your company branding and appeal to attendees passing by your display.

Make sure the image resolution, banner size, and material of your printed graphics are all of high-enough quality—while you still have enough time to correct any potential errors.

7. Display just enough information

We all know that the main purpose of a tradeshow booth is to display information about your company, product, or service. Yet, overloading your display space with too much information may overwhelm visitors at initial glance and prevent them from visiting your booth. You need to use tradeshow booth space wisely.

A great way of providing a balanced amount of information is to allow your visitors to control their own flow of knowledge using company literature, touchscreens, or TV displays. Properly training your booth staff to provide essential information without being overbearing is also a valuable practice.

8. Create space for your staff to interact

Just as you should create space for your visitors to interact with you brand, you should also create comfortable space for your booth staff. Your staff members will be acting as your brand ambassadors, so making sure they are at ease and on their A-game should be a top priority.

Standing podiums are a great way to create counter space and give your booth staff a "home base" for supplies and business materials. If you have a larger booth, consider a truss display that includes a separate conference area for closing deals and developing business relationships.

How members of your staff interact and move around your booth space is hugely important to your success at an event, so be sure they are properly trained in how to present themselves and interact with potential clients.


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Mike Weimar is the president of Iconic Displays, a provider of portable tradeshow displays, booths, and exhibits. He has over 25 years' experience in high-technology marketing and product development.

LinkedIn: Mike Weimar

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  • by Sharon Sudman Thu Jan 19, 2017 via web

    I would add, don't wait until the last minute, get your entire booth done ahead of shipping time. And take the time to fully set it up somewhere in your building and think it through. Make sure you have everything you need packed. Literature, writing instruments, notepads, electronics, cough drops, granola bars... think ahead. You'll be spending a lot of hours there!

  • by Merlin Sat Jan 21, 2017 via web

    Yeah its obvious that booth with more visitors generate more leads. Hence, it is essential to design trade show display in a way that attracts the visitors. Nice article... thanks for sharing.

    Merlin from Bizbilla

  • by Candy Adams, "The Booth Mom" Thu Jan 26, 2017 via web

    Merlin, I have to disagree that creating booth traffic for its own sake is inherently good and that all traffic is a "lead".

    Unless your only exhibiting objective is branding and awareness, I'll take fewer visitors and QUALITY leads over lots of unqualified traffic any day! Your exhibit staff doesn't have unlimited time to talk with people who only want to be entertained with games that don't tie to your key message or gifted with swag or prizes, so focusing on getting your target audience to your exhibit for further qualification (and post-show follow-up) should be your goal.

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