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5 Trade show booth design elements to enhance your custom exhibit

Did you know that 67% of all trade show attendees are potential prospects or customers for the exhibiting companies? This means you’ll have plenty of opportunity to capture new leads at your next trade show. But first, you’ll need to prepare an eye-catching exhibit designed to strategically showcase your brand and entice your prospects.

Here’s the bad news: an 8-hour day can result in weary and fatigued attendees. Exhibits, brands, and messaging can start to run together in their minds, and you may have to work even harder to set yourself apart from the competition.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to do so. One of the most effective methods of standing out at an exhibition is to incorporate innovative trade show booth design elements that draw the eye and attract visitors to your booth.

In this blog, you’ll learn which creative elements you should incorporate into your display and discover how you can create the most effective lead-capturing designs.

1. Graphics

Graphics are one of your most crucial sales and marketing tools, as they’re often the first design element your prospects see. This means graphics are your first shot at communicating your message and enticing attendees to stop by your booth and learn more about your offer.

Here are a few tips for creating effective trade show graphics:

Keep your copy concise

Avoid the temptation to fill every inch of your graphic real estate with information about your company, products, or services. Just as empty space is important for balancing the design of your booth, so is whitespace for balancing your graphic designs.

The purpose of graphics is to draw the eye and attract attention to your display—not to serve as a full-blown product brochure. You’ll want to showcase your company name and logo front and center, incorporate company branding, and utilize bullet points to list a few unique selling points. But don’t go overboard. Keep it simple and leave it up to your staff, pamphlets, and brochures to fill in the details for interested prospects.

Simplify your designs

Just as you should keep your copy concise, you should keep your designs concise as well. Your graphics can’t successfully advertise your company and products if they meander into the abstract. From 20 feet away, your prospects should be able to see exactly who you are and what you do.

Stick to two or three colors and no more than three different fonts. Muted colors can be dull, so ensure your colors are bright enough to attract attention. Choose fonts that are clear and easy to read, whether your prospects are up close or farther away. Arial fonts and sans serif fonts are typically a good choice.

If you choose to work with a custom trade show exhibit design company, they’ll help you take into consideration other important factors related to your graphics’ composition, such as balance, rhythm, and proportion.

See pros and cons of custom trade show displays vs rental displays here.

Nutrex graphics at 2018 IPPE trade show in Atlanta, Georgia.

We incorporated these bright and clean graphics into a display for specialty ingredient and additive supplier Nutrex, who made an appearance at the 2018 International Production & Processing Expo in Atlanta, Georgia.

Get multiple sets of eyes on your graphics before you move to print

Spelling or grammatical errors (no matter how small) can damage your credibility, so make sure you have plenty of people look over your designs before you move on to the print stage.

Also keep in mind that the quality of your imagery is every bit as important as the graphics and content itself. Ensure your print house has a solid reputation of superior print jobs. Once your graphics are printed, make sure quality and color is consistent throughout and all panels align perfectly.

Include your web address and social media handles on some designs

Consider including your company’s web address and social media handles on some of your graphics as well. Most trade show attendees will have their phones in their hands or easily accessible as they peruse the booths that pique their interest. If they’re swayed by your offer, they might just snap of photo of your banner so they’ll remember to check you out on social media later—or they may go ahead and follow you on the spot!

Hire a custom trade show exhibit design company

If this is your first time attending a trade show as an exhibitor—or even if it’s your fiftieth—you may want to consider working with a trade show exhibit design company. Not only can a custom design firm help you make tough decisions like the ones listed above, but they’ll guide you through the entire design process, from the initial concept to the manufactured display.

A trade show exhibit company like Atlanta-based BTWN Exhibits will create your booth from scratch, and even stay with your during the show to make sure everything goes according to plan.

Interested in learning more? Explore the trade show booth design services offered by BTWN Exhibits or learn how to find and choose the best trade show exhibit company for you.

2. Lighting

Exhibit lighting serves many important functions in your trade show booth design, from attracting attention to your display to highlighting key products or crucial messaging.

You can also use various types of lighting to:

How strategic lighting appeals to trade show attendees

One of the key benefits of trade show booth lighting is that you can use it to draw attention to the most important aspects of your exhibit. In the book “The Experience of Nature: A Psychological Perspective” by renowned University of Michigan psychology professors Rachel and Stephen Kaplan, the Kaplans write the following:

“It is also important that a change in texture or brightness in the visual array is associated with something important going on in the scene. In other words, something that draws one’s attention within the scene should turn out to be an important object or boundary… If what draws one’s attention and what is worth looking at turn out to be different properties, then the scene lacks coherence.”

In other words, it’s vital that you incorporate lighting into your trade show booth strategically. The strategic use of spotlights, hanging lights, and accent lighting will help you create a visually striking and coherent scene that makes sense to your booth visitors. Lighting should be used how trade show attendees expect it to be used—to highlight the most important aspects of your exhibit.

Important elements may include:

Strategic lighting in our custom trade show display for Hyundai L&C.

For Hyundai L&C’s appearance at Domotex 2019, we utilized strategic lighting in a number of ways. LED lights served as the backdrop for multiple panels of gorgeous flooring products, and a brightly-lit demo table invited prospects to see and feel the luxurious surfaces up close.

Additionally, a sleek wooden showcase lined with overhead LED lights displayed seven new products in the company’s premium flooring collection.

Visit our “Custom Trade Show Display Showcase” to see more work from BTWN Exhibits.

3. Flooring

While standard event flooring can be bland or even clash with your brand colors and aesthetic, custom trade show flooring offers several key advantages:

Popular types of trade show booth flooring

Here are just a few types of flooring options to consider and discuss with your custom trade show exhibit designers:

Carpeted trade show booth flooring designed by BTWN Exhibits at NBAA 2017.

The plush carpeted flooring we installed for aviation company Airbus’ appearance at the 2017 Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Las Vegas, Nevada added a luxurious touch that compelled business executives to stop by and explore the booth.

4. Storage

One trade show booth design element you definitely shouldn’t overlook is built-in storage space. While storage may not be the most exciting design aspect, it’s a must-have feature from a practical standpoint.

That’s because storage spaces are useful for a number of reasons:

A few in-booth storage options to consider include lockable counters, strategically placed workstations, shelving, podiums, and towers.

Strategic storage within a trade show booth counter designed by BTWN Exhibits.

For energy technology company Navien’s appearance at MCE 2014, a heating and cooling expo in Milan, Italy, we designed this stylish and functional reception counter that doubled as a storage unit for promotional items such as pamphlets and free bags.

5. Technology and in-booth media

Gone are the days when simple pop-up banners and basic portable displays cut it at a trade show exhibition. In today’s trade show climate, exhibitors are using in-booth media and innovative technology to truly stand apart from the competition.

You can use visual or auditory multimedia and technology to:

Supplementing your booth design with multimedia

Not sure what types of in-booth media to incorporate into your display? No problem!

Here are a few ideas to get your brainstorming session started:

Kia Motors' interactive video wall for their display designed by BTWN Exhibits.

When Kia Motors decided to showcase their latest models and concept cars at CES 2016, a prestigious tech conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, we knew we had to create something truly innovative.

So we designed a double hanging structure and large video walls to create an immersive, theatrical experience. While exploring the space, visitors could also stop at interactive kiosks to learn more about Kia’s cars and technology.

Ready to take your exhibit to the next level? See more of our work, discover the services we offer, or contact us today.

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Reach out, we’d love to help get your first exhibit underway.