Boring trade show booths don’t attract visitors and they certainly don’t help sales.
But coming up with new and exciting ideas is costly and time-consuming.
Or is it?
These are our top 10 favorite trade show booth ideas and current trends in exhibition stands that stood out when researching this post:Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement
Hungry for more ideas?
In this extensive guide to trade show booths, we provide ten creative examples in each of the following categories:
Frankly, this post is jam-packed with trade show tips for exhibitors and trade show booth design tips to make your exhibition investment deliver results.
Now, let’s dive right into those examples that will help set you apart from the competition.
Pallets are a favorite option because they can be so diverse, from furniture to event entertainment, they are now making their way into exhibitions as a unique, rustic way of displaying products, signage or artwork.
Why it works:
This ” provides visitors with a more relaxed feeling. There’s an almost organic notion to the pallet walls. They can also be moved to accommodate larger crowds. The minimalist seating area makes it feel more welcoming to encourage guests to stay, yet doesn’t detract from the exhibit itself.
Expert option: place the pallets on castors for greater mobility.
The concept of “outside in” is a treat for attendees after being “cooped-up” all day indoors. This small booth cleverly uses a garden pergola, not an expensive frame as. Other ways to bring the outdoors in is through live walls, garden furniture or games and grass mats or carpet (also shown here.)
Why we love it: Apple Wine ties in the bridal theme (as Pergolas can be a popular backdrop and stage for ceremonies) as well as creating an organic feel among what was likely a lot of non-romantic booths.
Pro tip: Create a selfie backdrop.
This creative idea involves hanging flowers from their stems as a ceiling to your booth. It provides a gorgeous experience for those who enter the booth.
Why it works: it gives attendees a reason to come into your booth as its effect is best witnessed directly underneath it.
Expert idea: offer to take pictures of attendees underneath it and looking up.
Adaptability can be the key objective if you want a lot of elements on a smaller budget. This idea incorporates blocks that can be built out a number of ways (think of all the fun you had with Legos). Each element of this booth is built from modules including the welcome podium, digital screen holder, display entrance and various walls and partitions. Smaller budgets can choose the options right for them and add on at a later time.
Why it works: not only is it a flexible design with an easy build out, but the block design itself lends an air of whimsy and a nod to childhood play.
Make the most out of it: If your brand supports it, add additional notes of whimsy that passers-by can see and be drawn in by.
One of the easiest ways to get people to your booth is to provide a fun photo opportunity. All it takes is a bold image.
What attendees and exhibitors love about it: attendees love the opportunity to share photos with friends. Exhibitors, on the other hand, benefit from this exposure.
Pro tip: make sure your photo op is branded so that your company receives the exposure.
Credit: North America Display
A pop-up tent creates intimacy and plays on curiosity. It’s easy to assemble, branded, and inviting.
Why it works: It’s all about secrecy and wonderment.
Get more mileage from the idea: Whenever possible, use team members outside of the tent to drive interest and curiosity. Just make sure that when people enter your tent, it’s worth it to them. Don’t let them down with big promises that fall flat.
If you have a small budget, there’s nothing wrong with a little DIY. It’s quite trendy. As are quirky photo moment. Combine the two and you can have some really good times.
Why this booth is tops: this booth offers a chance to take yourself a little less seriously. It pays homage to a DIY Snapchat experience.
Pro tip: encourage people to share their pics in your social stream by using a branded hashtag. You’ll have content for days.
A whimsical piece or something that directly reflects your brand in a fun way can make up for a lot of complicated, high-priced extras.
The importance of a small piece: just like in-room decor, one magical piece can make a room. In this booth, the seats say it all. Look for unique pieces you can incorporate for big effect.
How to copy this look: we don’t all have unique, customized stools we can use but there’s likely something small that speaks to your brand that you can incorporate into your design. Bonus points if it’s photo op worthy.
Why cardboard? It travels light. It’s easy to assemble and it’s recyclable. It’s also a lot more durable than most people are aware. While this example shows a high-end application, you can use it for booth elements, logos, your entire booth, or even lounges.
How it saves money: it’s an inexpensive material that can be reused or recycled and lighter to ship.
Bonus tip: tie its green elements into your own corporate efforts and highlight them in your booth.
Appeal to curiosity by enclosing your booth so that attendees have to enter or get closer to see what is going on. Since the trend in booths is open and airy, a tent conveys top-secret activities and drives interest.
Why attendees will be drawn to it: Secrecy can get attendees coming to you. Plus, the tent idea plays upon nostalgic ideas of secret clubs and camping.
Bonus tip: Make sure the secrecy has a payoff. Create fun incentives or ideas that add value to your booth so that word of your booth spreads.
Credit:For a successful trade show, you need attendees to buy from exhibitors. One of the best ways to ensure that happens is to generate traffic and attract visitors to booths.
Before we get into all of the creative booth ideas we’ve uncovered for you in this section, it’s important to note that there are other ways to drive visitors to your booth. If you want more foot traffic, this video has a few suggestions:
These booths drive traffic very well.
Food is a crowd pleaser, particularly for long exhibitions and trade shows. So a mini kitchen is an excellent way to showcase products and let attendees get in on the action. This miniature kitchen has a TV screen to showcase delicious work, ensure that everyone can see the demos, and displays information on the recipe ingredients.
Why it works: this is an interactive experience that engages the senses. You needn’t sell cookware or food to use a booth like this. You could replicate your office chili cook-off or something that represents your company culture or dedication to wellness
Pro tip: Allows guests to get in on the creation and sample the finished product.
Create an “at home” atmosphere to make attendees comfortable so they’ll want to spend more time at your booth. This concept for Dyson’s exhibition stand helps guests really imagine the brand in their home as well as seeing products live in action. But you needn’t sell housewares to create a homey experience. Creating comfortable event spaces such as this give attendees a space to “take their shoes off.”
What we like about it: home is where the heart is. A homey backdrop will make attendees feel comfortable and provide a much-needed spot to relax. They won’t feel like they’re in a sales space.
Bonus idea: serve warm cookies and ask them how their day is. Encourage them to put their feet up and relax.
Two things that always draw a crowd: food and activity. This booth provides both. It’s a fairly simple idea. Attendees pick out their favorite flavors and then cycle to blend them. Voila! They have their own fruit smoothie or signature cocktail and they can walk away with. But it also creates a memorable connection between brand and attendee, not to mention the fun factor.
Stir up some fun: These cycles are an excellent use of minimal space if you can just figure out how to manage the lines that will form.
Branding opportunity: provide branded cups so they leave with something to keep. Encourage photos as they cycle and interview booth visitors and staff to share their signature recipe.
Adding live music to your booth can help to create a fun atmosphere that gets people to stick around. It can also attract a crowd as people can hear it from other areas and they’ll come to see what’s going on.
Great use example: In this booth, string artists transform the space with their instruments and aesthetics to showcase brand and products. The music is not overwhelming.
Pro caution: find out the rules for music with the trade show organizers. You don’t want the band disrupting other activities they have planned. Plus, a band may make it difficult for salespeople to talk during the songs. Music is best used to draw a crowd and then your salespeople must be trained to hold their attention after the performance is over.
At CES 2018 Google had a huge presence showcasing their products and cool tech. The giant gumball machine and helter-skelter capture attendees’ imaginations in a big way. Sure, creating a village like this will be outside of the budget of most organizations. But it certainly had everyone talking about it and eager to have a full tour.
What makes it fantastical: this exhibit aims to be one of the biggest and most talked-about. And with Google’s budget, they achieved it.
Pro tip: this may not be attainable for everyone but being unique is. Think about past exhibits at the show. If you’ve never been, look for pics on social media or ask the event planners what’s been done in the past. Then do something completely different.
If you don’t have enough room or you want to be seen from across the room, consider a multi-story booth. Aerial design attracts people and showcases your branding.
Why it works: building up shows an investment in the trade show (these booths aren’t cheap) but it also accommodates a lot more attendees. It makes your booth a destination.
How to make it better: Avoiding stairs means it will be accessible to more people. Ramps and inclines work well.
Your booth needn’t look like a booth. You can create a Hollywood-esque set design that invites attendees into your world.
Creating a magical experience: attendees expect something different when they see a booth like this. They expect an experience.
Bonus tip: If you build a set, make sure your sales team is ready to play the role too.
A bold cut-out not only speaks to your business and brand but serves as a nice photo opportunity as well.
Why we love it: It’s an inexpensive way to make a big impression. This one is cardboard but it could be made out of anything.
Getting the most from your cut-out: Cut-outs make great photo ops but why stop there? Why not allow attendees to dress the cut-out for added fun?
Credit: Exhibit Studios
Trade show booths can feel sterile and uninviting. This booth ends that misperception.
Go Zen: the booth incorporates an airy, soothing atmosphere by bringing the outdoors in. It uses water elements and textures as interest with a minimal approach.
Put the audience at ease: It provides a contrast alongside much busier (from a design perspective) booths. It’s an oasis for those feeling overstimulated by the noise and crowds.
Added extra: don’t ruin the soothing atmosphere with overly zealous salespeople. Let your guests enjoy the peace and use a sales team that will help them achieve that.
Here’s another double-decker idea but one that reflects the mission of the organization directly. Note how the build-up fits the product.
Look tough, be tough: this exhibit stand communicates the message of strength and security before you even speak to a salesperson.
Pro move: Use your company mission to create a space that reflects it. Let people know what you do without having to read your marketing message.
Don’t be bland. Get inspired by these creative booth ideas.
For video content at your exhibition, these scenography cones are a captivating idea. The cone shape shields attendees from the business of the trade show and your guests are immersed in your message. The design is weirdly futuristic and definitely piques interest.
What we love: there’s an element of fear of missing out behind these space age-looking designs. Plus, guests are completely consumed in whatever you are showing them.
Pro tip: you have their undivided attention so make sure your messaging is helpful and interesting.
Creating a meeting space in your booth is an awesome way to hold your attendees’ attention and give them the opportunity to speak with you in a private setting. Some questions in the buying process aren’t meant for the prying ears at a trade show. Since buying is an emotional decision, you want to do everything possible to give your attendees the tools they need to make a decision at the show.
Good use of space: this meeting room is still open enough people can feel part of the trade show without being in the middle of the trade show floor.
Advanced idea: Allow and encourage attendees to make appointments to speak with your team in the meeting room. If someone attending the show is not the key decision maker, encourage them to schedule a phone call with the person who is in your meeting space. Make sure you have the technology available to do it. Don’t rely on cell phone connections.
This award-winning “best booth” combines multiple tiers, rigging, and red carpet VIP roping to draw a crowd. With its textured walls and container build, it creates a warehouse club vibe on the trade show floor. The booth is built from modified shipping containers which create various levels and private spaces to be uncovered.
Interesting options: The various areas can offer different entertainment, theme, and catering options for attendees. The “red carpet” service around the perimeter is functional for maintaining lines and adds a sense of exclusivity drawing more guests to it.
Additional ideas: adding spotlights from the upper-level rigging or snapping pics and sharing them to social media can help build buzz.
Provide attendees with some downtime at your event and some space to enjoy it. This “booth” is actually a park-like setting that guests can enjoy a treat and some quiet or spend time getting to know another attendee in a casual atmosphere.
Benefits of snacktime: not only do people love free food but giving them this break and space to enjoy it, ties your branding into a positive experience. It also makes a nice photo opportunity.
Pro tip: add a space or item that people will want to capture and share. Make sure you brand it. For instance, if you add a koi pond, place your branding on the bottom of the pool so it shows up in pictures.
Credit: Events by Emma
This exhibit speaks to being straight off the farm. It quickly communicates the message and allows attendees to sample the freshness with a cooler containing products, pushing them further down the sale funnel.
Brilliance behind the booth: the booth speaks for itself and carries through the message of the Expo as well. It also shows off an ideal “farm-fresh food.” Think of the ideal your company embodies and use that in your booth.
Bonus opportunity: If you use a bold item (like they use the cow here) brand it with at least your hashtag. It will undoubtedly end up in many pictures.
Make people assume things about your brand by creating an ideal setting.
This is another example of bringing the outdoors in but in an expansive, highly-visible way. Its vertical use of greenery ensures it will get noticed from a distance.
Standing out by going green: replacing a traditional wall with a green one is healthier, more open, more visually appealing, and gives you a natural way to talk about your environmental practices at your company. Added bonus: it improves the air.
Fun idea: on the last day, give the plants away to attendees. If you used succulents like this wall, transport and care are easy.
Green efforts have become a trend over the past few years and for good reason. Exhibit booths are some of the most wasteful installations. Some companies use them once and out they go. Thus the idea behind rentals. Other businesses are doing what SCIB is doing by using fully sustainable and reusable stand materials.
Why we love it: it’s visually appealing and reusable.
Keep in mind: shipping adds considerable expense to installations so what many businesses are turning to is lightweight, portable materials like cardboard and recycled materials. Good for the planet and less expensive.
Who says you have to order the components of your booth from a booth manufacturer? You may have some fun pieces around your office. Decorate with function and fashion using things you already own.
Why it means big savings: today’s offices have a lot of non-traditional items that make great conversation starters. Using what you have can bring new life to what’s sitting in your stockroom.
Bonus idea: use/demonstrate your product in a new way like a seesaw made out of surfboards. Keep in mind that if your product hasn’t been tested for the new use, you’ll want to make it clear it’s for decoration only.
Creative, intriguing lighting is inviting and can transform your booth into a showcase. Lighting can enhance (or detract) from your marketing message. This booth uses modern, nearly transformative lighting.
What strikes attendees about this: The lighting seems like it could almost transport you to another world. It piques curiosity.
Draw the crowd in: choreograph your lighting and sound in a brief show at the top of each hour.
Backdrops and walls needn’t be square and boring. You can incorporate a theme into the shape of your booth walls, as this exhibit did, or you can use whimsical shapes to stand out from the rest.
What we like: The leaf shapes of this booth immediately let the attendee know this company has something to do with fresh food. The crates of fruit emphasize that idea before a salesperson is involved.
Keep in mind: if you’re talking about food and displaying it, people are going to expect to eat it.
Small booth spaces can still mean big returns. Here are 10 ideas to inspire you.
This fairly simple idea uses graphics to give immediate incentives to and packs in plenty of storage space and a tasting station. The prize entry idea gets people to the booth and entering a giveaway by trying the product. Also, the stand design resembles a bar layout with fridge and display behind and the tasting area up front. They even fit in a flat-screen TV.
What it does well: it incentivizes product testing and introducing products to attendees while offering them the opportunity to win a prize.
Additional idea: if you’re serving samples of your product, give people a way to visibly rate them so others can see the crowdsourced favorite.
Comfortable and familiar atmospheres evoke trust and draw people in, which is why chairs, seating, and lounge areas work well as an exhibition idea. This showcase turns the entire stand into a chic, rustic bedroom and will have attendees wishing for their own comfy place.
Booth as a business card: This is the perfect example of how you can showcase your services and talents. This interior designer lets her booth speak for her work at Toronto’s Interior Design Show 2017.
Pro tip: Change the booth decor slightly every day to showcase your versatility.
This booth showcases natural drinks and places fruit as one of the first things you see aside from their name and product. The attendee quickly assumes the drinks are made from these fresh fruits. It’s a natural assumption (and a bad pun).
Kudos for this: never make your guest wonder what you do. You don’t want to tie up your salespeople explaining the very basics of what you do and who you are as a company. Instead, do what this booth did. They make it obvious what their product is and one benefit. That helps draw in a crowd that would be interested in you.
Branding idea: offer samples in branded cups so attendees can serve as walking advertisements for you.
If you don’t have a lot of room in your booth, a minimalist approach with branded flooring is a unique solution.
One thing to consider: with phones and other devices people are often looking at their phones, which casts their faces downwards, not upwards, where most of the banners are. Branded flooring means they can still see your branding.
Make it even better: include a hashtag or URL.
building on that concept of flooring…
Flooring can also be a part of your exhibit like in this example where .
Why it’s a good idea: Not only does it draw people in but it can make your booth appear larger than it is.
Pro tip: don’t use a big table or you’ll break up the continuity.
Sometimes a bold graphic is all you need to get noticed.
When to use this approach: This works well when you have a recognized brand. A bold image allows your brand to speak without the clutter.
Bonus points: It’s a common trend but one that we’re going to use again...photo op. You can also help your image by creating a custom filter or frame on Snapchat or Facebook.
This display is larger than a 10x10 but you could create a version of it on a smaller scale. It uses 2D and 3D elements to draw attention to the back wall. This booth uses cardboard for easy build out and tear down.
Good use of textural interest: many small booth exhibits look alike--a skirted table in front of a screen. This booth uses texture to focus attention on its product.
Pro tip: Be aware of exhibit height limits.
Speaking of building up the back wall….
A small stand can still take advantage of flexible back wall solutions and create a different look and feel at each show. These pegboards are a great option for smaller spaces. Set it up to give a creative display of your products and your brand.
Double job duty: The trick is to create something visually appealing so that your product is both decor and on display.
Another idea: Use a collage of pictures of customers using your product.
This exhibit allows companies to create their own world on a smaller scale. The modular design gives the feeling of being in a futuristic room.
Why it works: The design capitalizes on the appeal of boxing yourself off.
Added extra: use mood lighting to create a more memorable experience.
Printing saves money while texture adds interest. Color printing has become much less expensive in recent years, allowing exhibitors to do a lot of creative things with backdrops.
What we love: the endless possibilities with a printed backdrop along with the flexibility to switch it out with different shows for a completely new look and theme.
Get the most out of your backdrop: your backdrop should complement your branding, not compete with it.
It’s not just girls who want to have fun. All attendees do. These booth examples provide lots of it.
Simplifying your focus at an exhibition is a good idea and this booth concept made reality helps to highlight the security products that are on display by the vendor. This simple but effective demonstration shows that the powerful security camera can capture details at speed as well as having great zooming capabilities.
Added bonus: The design of the booth itself to learn more and the green strip lights draw your eye to where you should be focusing your attention.
It’s statistically likely that attendees at consumer shows will either have kids with them back at their room or at home. Those who do not may still enjoy the break that comes from childlike activities. Toys are meant to be played with so it seems only fitting that a booth designed to sell toys would exhibit them in open play situations.
Workable design elements: The open space in the center allows for plenty of foot traffic while the front-and-center manned booth helps passing guests get questions answered and be able to interact without committing to the booth itself.
Use it in your booth: even if you’re not a toy manufacturer, an element of play can drive traffic. Create a game or scavenger contest.
This Heineken booth provides a lower bar and an upper balcony to enjoy your beverage.
Why it works: It keeps attendees at the booth longer and allows them to spend some time above the crowd.
Pro tip: create artisanal cocktails or mocktails to further differentiate your booth from the competition. Serve each one in a souvenir cup.
has the cool, crisp lines of a laptop computer paired with the intriguing lighting of a spaceship. Its monstrous size means attendees can’t overlook it.
Play up the uniqueness factor: This looks nothing like a traditional exhibition booth. It more closely resembles something from a sci-fi movie. Different means more traffic.
Pro idea: with a booth like this, look to be on the outskirts of the exhibition hall. Traffic will come to you.
This example was pulled from a museum but its stunning use of words and lights to create images is something that will resonate with guests.
Way to make it your own: using multimedia that works in two ways (this one ) can help you make a big impression and pull in the crowd.
Alternate idea: some electronic, digital signs create a similar effect.
Mazda is known for cars that are fun to drive. They used that reputation in their driving simulator as well.
What we like: the virtual driving experience drove a remarkable increase in leads.
Do it yourself: you might not have the production capabilities to create a driving experience but you can still drive leads with an exhibit demo that is fun to do/unlock with a badge scan.
Guests can work up a thirst on the exhibit floor. Few enjoy leaving to go get a beverage. It’s hard to find their way back again. This hurts the guest experience and the vendors.
Why this works: nobody has to leave the exhibit area and you are seen as a company that intuits customer needs.
Be even more memorable: mobile drink server outfits can reflect your brand, the show theme, or a comical tribute.
Sound-responsive and interactive lighting can create choreographed lighting displays or lights that seem to interact with your audience.
Create memories: this display involves multiple senses for a more memorable experience, not to mention a beautiful one.
Maximize its impact: share your display on video so even those who couldn’t make the event can enjoy it. Don’t underestimate the power of beauty when it comes to social shares.
Credit: TED and Limbic Media
Another way to incorporate fun, a built-in slide.
Note for success: it’s important to know your audience before unveiling a slide. While most people enjoy fun, the physical fun of this sort may not be appropriate for well-dressed and older audiences. Check with the event planner to understand how most people dress and the demographic at the event.
How do you bring the fun of a water slide to a trade show event? You certainly can’t bring that slide indoors. But with creative lighting and design, you can mimic the experience, minus the water.
How it was used: Splashtacular Entertainment used Skyline Exhibits to create watery reflections within its cylinder booth that reminded the attendee of the fun of being inside the tube.
Pro tip: if you can’t bring your business to the trade show, consider creating an effective design element or use virtual reality to transport your attendees to your office/business location.
Don’t just be present, involve your attendees.
at your booth can be a light-hearted way of encouraging interaction and participation and this idea is perfect for those who want to stay on message as well.
Added benefits: The miniature golf course can have its own signage or branding. You can also use the game to win prizes, which incentivize people to interact with your booth.
Bonus idea: Make prizes relevant to you and your brand in some way so that it’s more memorable and ties together nicely.
Encourage attendee with installations that make them stop, think and interact. You could incorporate giveaway codes or hidden prizes or merely make a fun activity to keep them entertained.
Why it stands out: the active component entices people to participate and think about your installation. Creating an active experience makes your booth one they’ll talk about.
Pro tip: add a leaderboard for healthy competition. Provide a prize for the overall winner of the day to create follow up opportunities with attendees and keep them coming back to check on where they stand.
This modular design shows a booth that accomplishes a lot, including functional areas set aside for group learning or instruction.
The benefit of this design: it provides comfortable learning space as well as more intimate one-on-one areas for multiple uses.
Make the most of flexible design: Large crowds can use the classroom instructional design but if you find your audience is not filling up the space, move them to a more comfortable booth area. Base your use of the space on the conversation as well. General talks work well in the larger public area, while more sensitive conversations and questions, or people further along the buying cycle may enjoy the one-on-one.
Credit: Design Foundry
Photo ops have been a popular theme in this trade show booths guide. We’d be remiss if we didn’t include branded cut-outs and backdrop photo opportunities.
Why they’re loved: people have a nostalgic view of family vacations and cut-out photos.
Don’t miss: the branding opportunity that these provide. Make sure you’re branding is somewhere on the backdrop.
Credit: Sydney Prop Specialists
We saw previously how this type of modular design can remove attendees from the hustle and bustle of a trade show. Now add in customized lighting and you’ve .
The experience: it may remind some people of that zany 80s show Mork & Mindy starring Robin Williams but it’s incredibly effective at creating a den atmosphere that is at once stimulating in its modernity and yet strangely soothing (like Mork’s egg home).
Try this: face the entrance in a direction people least expect. They’ll be super curious how you get in and will circle your booth until they find it.
Rent or design a vending machine that spills out everything from product samples to trade show horoscopes.
Why we love them: Vending machines can be used for social media engagement or survey collection, answer a question, get a prize. Plus, there’s something about the anticipation of what you’ll get that is almost as great as the prize.
Be sure to: film a few of the prizes, especially if you have some funny ones in there or offer people a chance to “make a deal” based on what they received from the machine and what’s behind curtain number one.
Reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, giant iphones or ipads are so much more enjoyable to use for demos than the regular handheld size. Best of all you can rent them. They’re user-friendly and easy to see.
What it does: Giant iphones and ipads have the same interest-grabbing effect that ipads and devices had when people first started using them at conferences. They made surveys and registrations fun to fill out. These clown-sized devices have that same novelty.
Consider: pairing these items with other oversized things in your booth like giant chairs or cups.
Remember the piano mat in the movie Big? It’s been replicated many times at trade shows and for good reason. People can’t help but play with it.
Why interactive flooring: it takes a dull idea, something we walk on and creates an opportunity to interact. Plus, with more and more people staring down at phones, an interactive floor can still get their attention while they text.
Use: as many senses as possible with lighting, sound, vibration, etc.
This spin-off on James Corden’s popular videos at the Cadillac booth at NAIAS 2018 was a lot of fun and quite the crowd pleaser. This idea put participants in front of a green screen and created a video of them in the car singing.
What we wonder: if Pink Cadillac was among the song choices.
Make it your own: if technology is not in your favor, and a green screen and professional video are more than you can handle, you can create a campy version by placing a car seat in front of a backdrop or positioning two chairs side by side and hanging fuzzy dice from the rigging.
Make them the star of the show with . Attendees get behind the wheel and are featured in their own movie poster and trailer with the help of the Ford movie experts.
One slight drawback: You’ll need Ford’s budget to pull it off. The estimate from the NAIAS Technology Report is that it cost the car company 0 per person to pull it off.
A more frugal idea: use a backdrop screen and a smartphone.
These trade show booth examples pay a lot of attention to the elements of design.
Incorporate the weird and wacky into your booth and get attendees talking. Illusions such as this make it very memorable causing a double take by most attendees walking by.
Why it works: it grabs attention by causing the guest to wonder what’s going on. That natural curiosity provides the perfect opportunity to get to know someone.
Additional traffic-getter: Add a prize wheel to draw a crowd.
Depending on the size of your booth and the show, it’s important to understand how the attendee will approach. Going with a design that appeals from every angle is a good, solid strategy that will help you use the same booth in multiple shows. This practice creates interest from the outset.
Get this look: This booth for Ivanhoe Cambridge has a variety of external media to attract guests, like touch screens for more information. These large external screens showcase and stream video plus transparent windows help others to see inside and get a feel for the atmosphere.
Remember: if you’re creating a fear of missing out, you need to give them a good experience once they enter.
There are few things that evoke the dreamy quality and natural beauty of the jellyfish but these displays encapsulate it beautifully.
These jellyfish-inspired pavilions are ideal for: showcasing products when you still want them partially shrouded in mystery.
Use this idea: for a dreamlike experience or unveil. Play up its luminescent quality with lighting.
This is similar to the Lego-like design featured earlier but it is not intended to look like snap-together pieces. This exhibition booth can be disassembled and reassembled differently to meet the demands and specifications of the exhibit.
Maximize flexibility: At each show, you can create unique layouts to tailor to your attendees and target demographic. It has enough flair to be noticed and with the 3D walls and protruding shapes, it’s an attention-getting design. Best of all, it’s .
Additional use: with the flexibility of this block build you can even use it back at the office.
Creating immersion like this is a cool way to integrate your brand and avoid having it diluted by others. The exclusivity created by this box makes curious minds want to peer inside and walk through.
Be recognizable: Daikin does this by using their main brand colors and product concepts as part of the design. This limited pallet stands out more than a multi-colored booth.
Capture attention: When inside, attendees can wear headphones and experience different elements in the powerfully lit interior.
Using lighting to your advantage to create cool effects is a clever idea and this Total stand at the 2017 Astana Expo highlights this well. With a view on sustainable living, their statement involved the earth and sustainability and they used their available technology to project ideas and proposals to attendees.
Why it works: Creating a darkened environment with blue lighting makes attendees concentrate and engage more with content in a cinematic experience. Perfect if you are trying to get important messages across.
Know: you needn’t use blue but every color evokes an emotion. Make sure you work with a designer or understand how your color choice may affect mood and perception when it’s one of the focal points.
Take inspiration for your brand from nature. This exhibition booth inspired by a falcon’s nest creates a cozy environment for visitors. The different elements and textures incorporated in the design make it unique; while steps that lead to an open discussion and networking area create more interest than a mere table. But, there is also a private meeting area to have more in-depth discussions too.
Other things we like: the nature elements, like the greenery wall, are juxtaposed against modern LED brand signs and digital screens for added interest. It’s the perfect combination of nature and technology.
Use: textures in your booth to grab attention and spark imagination.
Credit: TAMM Abu Dhabi Government Services, Y-Solutions, Viola Communications
An excellent way to draw attendees in along a journey and create a visual is to use something with a visual flow. This curved design at the San Francisco accompanying the ACADIA conference does just that.
The theory behind the layout: With plenty of space to play with the different elements of this curved display, it can showcase new ideas and feed one into another. The semi-circle can be used for grouping ideas, concepts, time periods, or other items. The different areas naturally lend themselves to different atmospheres while remaining part of a cohesive installation. The unique shape moves people along.
Especially effective: in taking the viewer on a journey or progression as there’s a natural flow to the exhibit.
This 150 sqm booth approaches things differently by enclosing the outer edges and creating a mini atrium with different seating heights in the middle. By using digital screens that are facing inwards, the brand can display different elements depending on the seating arrangement. From the outside, there are branding, signage, and brochure display options for passers-by.
Good design pieces: All stages of the sales funnel are covered comfortably from basic discovery to more in-depth conversations.
One of the best things you can do for your salespeople is to ensure they don’t waste time with those who aren’t a good fit for your product or service. If you sell a high-end product or service, creating a lacey showroom design that speaks to luxury and refinement, will ensure customers self-select before coming in.
How this benefits you: some vendors believe it’s good practice to speak to everyone at a trade show but with limited hours and hands on deck it’s most effective to speak with only the people in your ideal demographic. Creating a space that appeals to them will help attract your ideal client.
How to use this design idea: create a space that is attractive to your ideal audience.
Credit: The Lobby RC Pavilion. Design by: Paolo Cesaretti.
Make the most of your booth interactions and business opportunities with these ideas:
This design offers high, well-branded walls that create individual, yet open areas without sacrificing privacy, as well as private presentation and meeting areas within the stand.
What sales stage it works with: It provides a good design more in-depth discussion past the awareness stage.
How it would work best: a booth like this works well when salespeople contact possibilities before the event to schedule sales consultations and follow-ups with those who have already shown interest. It’s ideal for signing deals as well.
Here the focus is on just what it needs to be, the product. Sell more by placing it front and center so it’s not competing with anything.
Sales cycle level: creates good brand awareness and interest. The design may also provide the emotional push needed to sign a contract as well.
When to use it: this design is best used with a sexy product that turns heads.
This booth allows light in but provides a filter from noise and distractions. It also creates a fear of missing out among people walking past. They can see outlines of people inside but cannot see clearly what is going on in there.
Why this design works: It provides privacy but also the velvet rope idea, creating a VIP area that people are drawn to explore. They want to come in.
Best used with: intriguing lighting.
So inviting you can’t help but want to come in. Check out this pavilion made entirely of Italian tile by e+i studio of New York. The flow is inviting and reminiscent of a sweeping staircase providing drama and interest. It also had a hidden information desk area behind the grand elevation.
What’s memorable about this: the design showcases the rich use of materials, while still leaving an area for business.
Important to note: your access to luxe materials may not be as easily obtained as this tile vendor but by creating a focal point, you can use high-end, dramatic materials for effect.
Sales are emotional. Creating a space that helps people envision the kind of life they’d like to lead can be a big winner. Check out this fun camping idea.
Why it works: Kurgo sells harnesses for dogs and while many of its owners will never do much more than walk Fido around the park, this Airstream trailer paints a picture of life on the open road with man’s/woman’s best friend, a very beguiling daydream.
How you can use it: think about your demographic. What do they want? What type of lifestyle do they fantasize about? Create an image of that and place your product or service at the center.
Backlit exhibition stands provide a natural looking light to displays. No glare or shadow to disturb your message. They appear to be lit from within.
The benefit: the l-shaped backlit stand provides privacy for the group you’re speaking with and information for those on the other side helping with all aspects of sales from beginning to signing.
Works best with: dramatic images.
Copyright: Expand International AB.
This idea creates motivation for attendees to provide you with more user-generated content via a social leaderboard. The board can track most shares/interactions/mentions.
Benefit of this: User-generated content is much more valuable than crafted marketing messages these days. By motivating your audience to share content about you, you’re increasing word-of-mouth referrals and brand awareness.
Increase success: by awarding daily prizes for the most posts or the most correct answers or some other measurable category. Offering several prizes instead of one at the end incentivizes people to get involved throughout the event.
If you have a “long sell” product or service, you can’t expect people to make a decision in 30 seconds so you want a booth that makes them comfortable. How about a kitchen, conference room, lounge and private meetings rooms, all within 150 sq. meters?
Benefit of a design like this: It’s like a mobile version of your office but more fun and visually appealing.
Affordable solutions for big design: you can rent this space or host a drinks hour at your booth.
Purchases are emotionally driven so connecting with the audience on an emotional level is a good way to secure more sales. Nostalgia is a powerful sway and that’s what’s so impressive about this design.
The design: harkens back to a time of enjoyable road travel with its older gas pumps. It’s very inviting.
Use this idea: think of the type of nostalgic period that may work for your product and appeal to your ideal demographic.
The problem with many booths is that they’re bland. Even when they use evocative imagery and bright colors, they fail to elicit an emotional response. The exhibitors at Twitch wanted something dark and brooding yet enticing enough to draw people in.
Remember: using tone and setting can help you connect on a deeper level than branding can.
How to use it in your booth: think about lighting, materials, and imagery when considering the type of emotion you want to evoke.
These designs and add-ons can make your trade show a more worthwhile experience.
The concept for this booth is massive and houses several different areas to accommodate traffic and different demographics for a large brand. Some rooms are in a meeting style while others have a children’s play area and relaxation chairs. The design itself is quite neutral and has a sky overhang.
What we like: The tunnel effect is interesting and the segmentation allows for brands that cater to different traffic types at once without falling short in any particular area.
How best to use it: if the booth is segmented, you can offer a personalized experience in each area. Make sure each guest feels like you’re speaking directly to them based on their demographic.
Focusing on décor and high rises, this booth uses the branded arches as both a and a way of attracting attention on the exhibition floor. With specialized meeting areas, guests can have one-on-one discussions away from the crowded floor. The foliage makes it more inviting and less sterile.
Great idea: height and branded arches increase visibility significantly. The booth also feels contained without feeling claustrophobic.
Additional opportunity: special lighting on an arch can create a spectacular backdrop.
Some exhibitors don’t think about flooring but they’re missing an opportunity to create a cohesive design. In this booth, even the carpet plays in. The vivid blue of the carpet reflects that of the ocean and ties in with vivid images to attract guests.
The highlight: there’s a lot of open floor space in this design. It’s smart to capitalize on it.
How to use the concept: if you have a lot of open floor space, think about your flooring. There are carpet colors, printed wood laminate, and even interactive flooring that can help you make the most of this space.
There’s a lot of money in a trade show booth. Relegating it to a storeroom after the event is not a good return on your investment. Instead, opt for a design like this that has a second life in its corporate showroom after the event.
Reuse: Repurposing your booth to be used in a corporate showroom, office, break room, lobby, etc. means a lot more people can enjoy it and you get more value out of your investment.
Additional idea: modular designs lend themselves to this sort of reuse, a pedestal can be used here, and iPad station somewhere else entirely.
This booth is eye-catching and emotion-evoking. It incorporates feeling and a branded entrance in an “M” design. While the branding is the company’s, you can be assured that many people with a first or last name of starting with M stood underneath of it for a photo opp.
What works: different elements and views from every angle.
If you use a unique, branded element: like this M entrance, keep an eye out for it in social media streams. Share and comment on those who post pictures.
The beauty of this stand is the versatility of design and touch screen technology. It makes a statement that your brand is modern and tech-savvy. It’s also appealing to look at and easy on the eyes. No need to squint at this large, colorful display.
When to use a full LED wall: if your messaging is complex, you have video, or want the flexibility to run different content over the duration of the show.
Don’t: treat this like an expensive brochure. Use its touchscreen capabilities to demonstrate and vary your information throughout the length of the trade show.
When is an exhibit booth not a booth? In this case. This example looks like an ultra cool lounge. In a sea of same, be different.
A benefit of this design: its minimalist approach can provide a sea of tranquility in the business of an expo floor.
How you can use this idea: comfort is key here. Since it doesn’t look like a booth, you need to give people a reason to visit and stay. It also works best for well-branded companies and customer advocates since the branding, while there, does not explain what you do.
This idea needn’t be your whole booth but it is a nice addition that adds interest and an element of gamification.
It serves multiple purposes: people love to see their name on a “wall of fame,” public recognition of others drives competitive personalities to work to get their name on the list too, and it serves as word of mouth marketing for you. Win, win, win.
Pro tip: User-generated content should never go unacknowledged. Listen for it and comment to those who thought enough of you to mention you. Also, reuse their content in your own streams.
You can do amazing things with lighting fabric combinations. You create privacy and install a velvet rope where people see enough of what others are doing to want to be a part of it while the minimal barrier to entry also stirs interest.
Why this works: lighting and fabric can separate space, add visual interest, evoke emotion, and a lot more.
Designer tip: decide what you’re going for: design, feeling, or privacy. Your goal behind the use of material and lighting will affect the colors and shapes you use.
This isn’t so much about a particular booth design as it is a smart booth design. Some booth manufacturers now have the capabilities of incorporating built-in booth analytics. No more relying on the exhibition planner to provide you with traffic estimates or using scanners to measure. Sensors can measure important analytics for you as part of your booth.
They can measure: footfall, hotspots, visitor dwell time, first time versus returning visitors, and team performance.
Analytics tip: data is great but in order for it to be of value, you need to use it. Before investing in this tech, ensure you have a good strategy in place to use your newfound knowledge. If it’s a multi-day event, don’t wait until the end of the trade show to review it. Look at it after the first day and make necessary adjustments to improve results for the remainder of the show.
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For those of us with very little room, it can all come down to a tabletop display or similar space equivalent. Here are some suggestions for how to make the most of it:
This example shows how adding succulents combats a sterile-looking environment. They’re also no-maintenance ways to bring the outdoors in.
Why it works: succulents are very trendy right now in design circles. Live plants are an inviting way to break up/segment areas in your booth as well.
Creative idea: hide something unexpected in your “garden” and offer a prize to those who find it.
This is obviously larger than a tabletop display but the idea can be downsized. Use a 3D object to encapsulate what your company does. With this display, the attendee sees an egg and immediately realizes (at least) the broad scope of the business.
Best thing about the idea: trade show attendees walk past a lot of booths. You have to find a way to differentiate yourself from other displays. Using an object to give a broad idea of what you do will help people decide more quickly if they’re interested in you. That means your sales team will spend less time with tire kickers or people asking what you do.
You can use it: with any type of 3D object but the bigger the better. Why? Photo op, of course.
Credit: Exhibit Studios
We’ve all seen hand-drawn videos illustrating what companies do. You can create the same effect in your booth by cartooning your products or display. You don’t need a big area. Just some artistic talent or a company with some.
Uniqueness factor: it adds some whimsy to your booth and is visually appealing to visitors.
Get this look: have an art or design department at your company? Then there’s a good chance you have in-house talent that could create a comic focal point for your booth.
Envision things in a new way with creative stands and displays like this example with hanging donuts.
Create memories: when you do something at your booth that an attendee hasn’t seen before, it will make an impression and they’ll remember the display. Do something really different and they’ll share it with others.
How to make this idea work for you: Look for ways you can surprise attendees in your display. You can use an unusual display, like in this example, or hide something unexpected.
Credit: Biscuits and Berries
Nobody said your tabletop display had to be flat. Using an undulating, or curved, design adds visual interest and draws viewers in.
Why curved design: when exhibit space is minimal, it shrinks the area in which you can use to stand out. At this level, a lot of tables begin to look the same. An undulating graphic will help you get noticed.
Best practice: there are a variety of shapes out there. This undulating shape works really well with products and services involving water because it mimics the wave design. Look for a shape that complements what you’re selling.
Earlier, we showed backlit designs on a larger scale but they also have tabletop options. Check out this backlit sign with display area.
Nice touch: the marketing message and product needn’t compete for top billing in this sign. You see both together. Ideal for a small space.
Additional idea: if you don’t have products to display, you could use this layout to showcase image-quote testimonials mounted on foam core.
Credit: Classic Exhibits
These modular light-up designs allow exhibitors to bring the focus where they want it. These are bar height LED columns.
Ideal for: adding pizzazz to areas like tables and stands. Light focuses the visitors’ attention.
Pro tip: if you light up an area, think of that as a spotlight, something to direct your visitors. Don’t light up a table just to dump brochures on it.
Credit: Bar Chefs
Using a textured table wood sculpture with lighting like this one may bring people to your booth just to check out the art. Bonus that it is also functional.
Why it attracts the eye: this installation uses several elements for a striking finish; light, texture, and shape.
Insight: Exhibit stands can be pricey. You may be able to work with an artist/someone on Etsy to create something unique to your company for about the same price as an exhibit stand or table.
Credit: Gabriel Vicente
At first glance, this appears to be just another table. But they’ve added an artistic flair and conversation piece on the side.
Why this works: it breaks up the space and adds something of interest. It also sparks curiosity. What is that zipper doing there? What does it mean and what is it hiding?
Make it your own: maybe a zipper doesn’t say anything about your brand, but you can find some object that does. Incorporate it on your table in an unexpected way such as a graffiti image or trompe l'oeil.
We talked about how lighting and color can affect emotion and interest but textures can play a big role too. In this marriage of corporate messaging and design, you see the company message “Built for Durability” on a riveted texture that also communicates strength.
Bonus on this design: the words match the visual and cement the idea in attendees’ minds.
Make it yours: think about what adjectives describe your business and its offerings. What materials reflect that same idea. For instance, if the word is luxury, silk may be a good option or using satin may work. If the word is green, burlap may be a good choice or bamboo. Play with textures until you find one that fits your business.
Credit: Apple Rock Displays
So, there you have it, 100 ideas covering trade show tips for exhibitors and trade show booth design tips to ensure your investment delivers results.
Trade show booths and stands are becoming more creative and if you’re an event marketer you need to get inspired to give the best return on investment. Through lighting, textures, flow, and unexpected pieces you can create a booth that speaks to your corporate messaging and culture. Now you just have to figure out how to ship it.
Now onto you: