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5 Ways to Draw Attention via Custom Trade Show Booth Design

custom trade show booth design

Preparing your business for an upcoming trade show? It’s crucial to stand out in a space where everyone is trying to sell something.

To attract prospective clients, your trade booth needs to wow them – and when you have so much at stake, you don’t want to take the risk of wasting your time and budget on trade show booths that are not going to draw people in.

For a truly successful display, you will need to design a custom trade show booth that is so enticing, even people who would never consider buying your product can’t help but stop by. This means that a last-minute effort consisting of a sign and a simple product demonstration isn’t going to cut it.

Think about the following five ways to attract attention with your custom trade show booth. Pretty soon, you won’t be able to keep up with the demand!


Design For Client Values

These days, how a client resonates with the values associated with your product is just as important as the product itself. 81% of customers surveyed make purchases according to their values, meaning that they will buy something according to their own moral standards and look for a product that will give them their money’s worth.

Your trade show booth should emphasize the client values for the clients you wish to attract. Once you identify your target consumer, research what they find important. Are they more concerned with ethical purchases? Or do they think more about a product which is the best use of their money?

Use what you’ve found to create a booth design based on the most popular values of your prospective clients. The following are just a few of the values which you could target.



For some clients, the relationship they have with a company is equally valuable or even more so than the product itself. This is especially true for products that can be easily substituted for one another.

When designing your trade booth, make sure to include elements that require multiple staff members to engage with customers. For example, your design could include an information table with brochures and email sign-ups, an interactive display that requires staff members’ participation, and a staff member standing at the front of the booth handing out informational brochures or samples.

People like to feel like their presence matters. Making a connection with everyone who stops by your company’s display is the first step toward positive future client relationships.



Many of the companies and individuals who visit trade shows are looking for a new approach. Maybe they want to refresh their business model because they’ve had a slow quarter. Maybe they’re in the market for a lucrative new partnership. Or, they could even be there just to get ideas for their company’s next move.

Attract these customers by making your booth a model of the future. Incorporate numerous infographics throughout that explain how your product is the next big thing. Include digital elements like 10-foot tall screen displays and interactive tools such as iPads or tablets.



Thought by many to be a passing trend, the sustainability movement has ended up becoming one of the most popular consumer values in recent years. Almost 70% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products.

This means that companies with sustainability initiatives have a competitive advantage – and they’ll likely show it off. But even if your product isn’t as eco-friendly as a competitor’s, you can still leverage the same benefits with your trade show booth design.

Make sustainability a priority in your booth design by creating displays out of earth-friendly materials, recycling products like electronics and signs from other company projects, or going paper-free. All of these are easy enough to do and even easier to advertise.


Think About Location

When promoting your company at a trade show, it’s easy to get lost among everyone else there. After all, shows have row after row of booths.

Some spots on the floor have natural advantages. If you’re near the entrance of the showroom, you’re going to be the first and last company people see. Other high-traffic areas like near the food options and restrooms will make you more visible. Corners also prove to be an advantageous position.

But even if you don’t have one of the prime exhibit spaces in the showroom, your booth can still stand out. You just have to design for what is around you. Even more importantly, you have to design for the actual space you have.

Your location on the floor is just as important as the location tables, objects, and even staff members within your booth. So when you think about location, remember that it means both the space you’re working with and the surrounding space.


Remember That Everything Is Relative

Keep in mind that everything is relative. If you’re located next to a competitor, engaging customers will become more difficult.

So before you start designing your booth, take a look at the businesses near you, and try to predict what they will offer. When you have a clear idea of who you are relative to the other companies near you, you can design a more effective booth.

For example, let’s say that you offer catering services for businesses but you’re surrounded by tech companies. You’re likely automatically going to generate more attention because you’re different from the companies around you.

Decide how you want to handle it based on how you want your brand to appear to customers. Do you want to play up these differences? Use design to create food-tasting areas, bright signs, and creative menus.

If you want to be associated with the modern feel of a tech mogul, consider mimicking the style and color scheme that you think the booths around you will adopt.


Invite Independence

The last thing you want to do after spending countless hours and resources on designing your booth is to dissuade people from entering.

But if you set up a table and chairs at the very front of your booth, that’s likely what you’ll do. This may seem counterintuitive at first – don’t you want customers to see you and come talk to you?

The truth is, many customers, especially those working in B2B industries, have made up their minds before they ever approach a salesperson. If you try to sell them to your company right out of the gate, they will lose interest fast.

But if you show that you’re available to answer questions while letting them discover products and services for themselves, they just might change their minds.

People want to feel as if their own research, education, and influence ultimately determine what purchase decisions they make. Design your booth to do this by providing ample information on your company with custom displays and infographics.


Make the Transition Seamless

If possible, go to the space of your trade show before you start designing your booth. Then, you can get an idea of what the space looks like. What color is the carpet? What about the lighting fixtures that are present? What feel do you get from the room?

As unnecessary as this all may seem, you can actually get a competitive edge by making your booth seem like it fits into the space. If the space has industrial lighting and dark carpet, consider how your design would look within that context.

If done well, no one will notice. After all, who looks at the carpet when they’re at a trade show? But think about if the design is poorly done.

Without the right visual appeal, your trade show booth will stick out like a sore thumb. As eye-catching and different as you want your designs to be, they should still be complementary to the event space. As the famous quote by Shane Meendering goes: “Bad design shouts at you. Good design is the silent seller.”


Create an Experience

Customers aren’t just at trade shows to find products – they’re there to enjoy themselves! Why not give them a mix of both with your trade show booth?


Go Interactive

The last thing you want anyone to do is to look your trade booth up and down and just continue walking. Make this impossible for potential clients by including interactive elements that are so enticing that they just have to stop.

The most common way of doing this is to let people who visit your booth use your product. For something like a video game, equipment tool, or new game, this is fairly easy. For companies who are promoting business services and products, determining which interactive elements to use may not be as obvious.

Remember, though, that interactive technology can use pretty much anything.

You could offer a virtual tour or walk-through of your company’s process. You could make a game that teaches visitors about what your company does. You could even create an augmented reality scavenger hunt that involves potential clients looking around your trade show booth for items and answers to the questions that appear on a screen in front of them.


Create a Consumer Journey Map

A consumer journey map is a way for your business to understand how customers interact with your brand and modify that experience accordingly. 

Take some time to consider how a potential client is going to move through your booth. If you have the resources, you can even practice with a focus group or a few willing employees.

Watch how people move through your booth. Do they stay at some spots for longer than others? Are there areas of your booth where people would tend to conglomerate?

One key element of custom trade show booth design is to create a customer experience that is seamless for everyone. Your booth should have multiple touchpoints that attract customers to stop and spend a bit of time there.

For example, an interactive product experience is a great way to draw consumers in, but it shouldn’t be the only intriguing part of your trade show booth. Where are they going to go after they try the product?

This is where you utilize custom trade show booth design. After visitors try the interactive experience, your design should guide them naturally to the next touchpoint. This could be a wall or table that leads someone to a staff member who will give them more information or a noticeable sign that indicates an exclusive offer for people who have tried the product – all they have to do is sign up for email services.


Use Social Media

The majority of customers use social media to stay connected with a company or learn more about what the company does. And once potential customers do follow a businesses’ social media, 91% will visit the company’s website and 89% of those people will buy from the company’s brand.

Therefore, it should be a high priority for you to get your company’s social media out there. And you can use your trade show booth design to accomplish this.

Create a photo booth station for people to pose with your company’s product. Promise freebies to people who tag your company’s booth at the trade show. Offer entrance into a competition for free products if show booth visitors follow you on Instagram and sign up for your email list.


Be Unique With Shapes and Materials

Add a wow factor to your trade show booth by utilizing unexpected shapes and materials to the space. Best of all, this will make the design process even more fun.


Giant Objects

Are you selling a product that may not get customers’ attention from afar? Maybe it’s a new type of beer. From across the room, people may not see what you’re selling – and they’re not likely to go out of their way to care.

Excite potential customers by creating life-size versions of the objects you’re selling and put them in your trade show booth. To make the customer experience even better, incorporate these giant objects into the customer journey.

Let’s go back to the beer example. If you were simply displaying the product on tables, people may ignore it or not even see it in the first place. However, if you were to hang massive displays of each type of beer you offer on the walls of your booth, it would be a lot more difficult for customers to walk by without stopping in first.

You could make these interactive by asking visitors to take a sip of each beer, then sign the giant version of the beer bottle that they liked the most. Not only would you be generating engagement, but you would also be learning about consumer preferences simultaneously.

And this is just one example of what you can do with giant objects. Maybe bigger is better.


Unexpected Materials

Use your company’s brand to have fun with the materials that go into your custom trade booth design. If you’re a palette company, why not use the wood that goes into your palettes as displays for your company materials?

And you don’t need to use materials that people would automatically associate with your company, either. In fact, using material that surprises your booth visitors will give you the talking point you need to start developing a relationship with them.

Of course, you don’t want to start using random materials which bear no relevance to your company whatsoever. The most thoughtful way to go about selecting materials involves choosing ones that don’t obviously relate to your company’s products or services but do end up having an interesting connection that can be explained by a staff member – a trade show consultant can help you devise the most unique and engaging strategies for an approach like this one.


Unusual Shapes

For years, the classic trade booth look was a collapsible table with a table cloth covering its dark grey surface. Now, trade booth tables can be any shape you want – from a replica of your company logo to an L-shape designed to guide the customer through your trade booth. Some displays forego tables altogether. 

Playing around with the shapes involved in your trade booth will allow you to create a more unique experience for customers. This could include anything from the tables and chairs to the signs hanging on your walls. 

Even the shape of the business cards you hand out to potential clients could help you to generate more business. No one will forget a business card that deviates from the traditional three-point-five by two inches. And when they’re looking to find a new supplier or purchase that new tech equipment, your business card could very well be the first thing that pops into their minds.


Choose Graphics Wisely

The graphics your booth displays will tie your product and your brand together. A perfect graphic will appear seamless within the booth’s final appearance, but quite a few factors go into designing graphics. Below are a few key elements of graphics that are necessary for you and your booth design team to think about during the creative process.


Unified Font

When it comes to design, less is more – and this is especially true with fonts. Fonts are the communicative tool for your brand to explain key concepts to customers, not the time to show off design skills. 

In the custom booth design process, work with your team to decide on a font that can be read easily and fits the theme of your brand. For instance, companies that want to position themselves as innovative thought leaders typically go with modern sans-serif fonts.


Matching Images

To complement your font choice, use images that all carry the same theme, too. Ideally, the images should all have been shot on the same day or under similar circumstances: the same lighting techniques, proportions, and style of the photos should work together.


Organized Spacing

On any graphic, the space can be divided into two components. The first is positive space, which comprises every element designed for the audience to focus on. The rest of the space, like the background, is negative space.

Most of the time, designers will focus only on the positive space. The negative space is just as important, though, because it has an effect on how readers will take in visual information. 

It’s important to organize both the positive and negative space to be intentional. Mix around elements when designing any custom graphics before you settle on a final design. That way, how the negative space affects the viewer will become more apparent.


Strategic Improvements

In the creative world, what gains popularity today is often an old idea being reused and slightly improved. Design is cyclical: your trade booth can take inspiration from a style that is 20 years old, make minor adjustments, and suddenly have the most cutting-edge appeal in the room.

Take a look at other booth designs before you begin your design process, and you may even be surprised at all of the creative plans that have entered your brainstorming session.


The Best Trade Show Booths Are a Design Away!

After reading these tips, we hope that your mind is full of concepts and potential plans for your custom trade show booth. It’s not just about your product anymore – it’s about creativity and a unique presentation.

By combining a consideration for the customer with your creative talent, you will end up with trade show booths like no other – whatever you can imagine can be created.

Connect with our experts today so that you can get started as soon as possible on a custom design that will maximize your trade show experience. New connections, investments, and customers are just a 20′ by 20′ booth away!

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