Designing a trade show booth is a surprisingly intricate task. For such a compact space, there are A LOT of elements that go into an effective exhibit.

Here’s what to consider when you need to create a trade show booth that brings in qualified leads and generates a winning ROI:


Design Features

A well-designed booth is the most important tool you have to draw in visitors during a trade show. The following features are essential to catching the attention of potential new customers:


The images you use both inside and outside your booth help you tell a story to showgoers, without even speaking to them.

Choose graphics that align with your brand personality, including color, content, and mood. Make sure they’re high-resolution images, and large enough to be seen and comprehended from a distance.

You only have a few seconds to encourage a trade show visitor to give your booth a closer look. Select graphics that give trade show attendees an idea of what you do or what solutions you offer, at a glance.


Signs with your brand name, and often a short statement about your company, should be placed in highly visible areas in and around your exhibit.

Hanging signs are excellent tools for attracting crowds from afar, but you’ll also need smaller eye-level signs for people passing close to your booth.


The lighting you choose for your booth serves two purposes: first, to catch attention, and secondly, to provide the desired ambiance in your exhibit.

Use lighting to illuminate signs and graphics on the exterior of your exhibit. Inside, be thoughtful with lighting. Would calm, golden lighting provide the right atmosphere? Do you require very bright lighting so that booth visitors can easily see and read displays within your booth? Or do you need dim lighting to enhance visibility of on-screen displays?

Lighting is an easy and often inexpensive way to make your booth more attractive AND more functional.


You may not notice the value of quality flooring until you’re all set up at the exhibit hall. Quality flooring adds a polished look to your exhibit, and can also be a bold design statement using colors and textures.

Additionally, good flooring with lots of padding will help keep your guests comfortable, so they can stay longer and learn more about your products and services.


Exhibit Functionality

Functional features are the meat and potatoes of your booth:


Depending on your product, you’ll need display cases, shelving, installations, and possibly plumbing or cooling accommodations in order to show off your wares.

Your booth will need enough space for guests to view, understand, and interact with your products without feeling cramped or overcrowded. Do your best to keep your display area uncluttered and easy to view.


For more complex services or those “you need to see it to believe it” products, a demonstration area is key. Make sure you have adequate space for a socially-distanced audience to safely learn about your offerings.


A private meeting space is helpful if your business involves sensitive or confidential subject matter, or when you just need a quiet area to visit with prospects.

Being able to sit down one-on-one is an incredible sales tool; one that you’ll miss out on if you lack a meeting area within your exhibit.


Touch screens and LCD displays can help you communicate big concepts in easy-to-understand video and/or interactive formats.

To make it work, you’ll need the technology AND effective placement. For example, if the information and technological tools in your booth need to be viewed in a certain order to make sense, utilize partitions and other guides that can help direct guests to the right place at the right time.


COVID-19 Limitations and Specifications

Be aware of these common post-pandemic guidelines:


In order to spread booths out safely without reducing vendor numbers, many shows have lowered their maximum booth size. One great solution is to use a versatile design that can scale up or down depending on the show’s specifications.


Using plastic shields and other protective barriers can give you a chance to get personal with your visitors, while being safely separated. Consider adding shields and windows where booth staff might interact with guests, particularly those stopping to chat along the aisles.


Help your exhibit visitors stay safely distanced by using stickers and signs that explain safety measures and tell them exactly where to go within your booth. Visual cues make everyone more aware of how to engage in our post-pandemic environment.

Fitting it all together? That’s the fun part! If you could use some guidance at any stage of the booth design process, your friends at Exhibit Options are here to help. Drop us a line, anytime.

Tags: Booth Design