A Complete Guide to Custom Trade Show Booths

Going to trade shows is all about expanding your industry presence as much as possible.

Whether you’re looking for potential partners or new clients, you have to bring your A-game. Everyone there is competing for the same things as you, which means a custom booth can make all the difference.

Custom trade show booths are easier to spot in large crowds. They grab attention better than the rest, often delivering a top-notch experience from start to finish.

Wondering how to upgrade your boring booth to something that will make people stop and pay attention?

Here is the complete guide to making the ultimate booth for your next trade show.

The Best Custom Trade Show Booths Start with a Story

Before you get into all the details, you have to understand what you’re trying to create.

Custom trade show booths are just as much for a business as they are for its consumers.

You have to have a clear set of objectives going into the design. You also have to realize these goals with the customer experience in mind.

Together, these two elements tell a story.

Your booth story should go hand in hand with your brand. Make it easy for attendees to understand who you are and what you do.

Then, go the extra mile and add something special. The unexpected touch will bring your booth’s story to life.

Such a result happens with the use of:

1. Themed Display Elements

EX19-3x6m-Trade-Show-Booth-312Once you have your ideas in place, turn your booth into your storyboard.

Play with different design options that will express what you’re trying to say.



For example, if you’re a home goods brand, create a booth to be a reflection of a specific room in the house. If you’re part of a food niche, have your booth represent the region from which your food is from.

The trick is to think outside the box.

Custom trade show booths are more than just a tent and a table. This is your space to create anything you want.

Bring props, create an interesting backdrop, play music – whatever you think represents you well and gets attention, do it.

Check your tradeshow guidelines if you’re trying to do something particularly special.

2. Hands-On Interaction

Beyond the visual design, add something to your booth that gets people actively involved with your brand. A hands-on element will make you more memorable.

Such interactions work for a multitude of industries:

  • Coffee roasters can show attendees how they roast and test beans
  • Interior designers can have fabric samples for people to touch and feel
  • Automotive engineers can bring parts and components to give their design concepts a tangible reinforcement

Whatever your line of work is, you have a product to show for it. Bring it to your trade show and put it in the hands of consumers.

Even if your product is a service, there is something you can do to make it hands-on.

Psychologists can go through simple mental exercises. Digitally-based services can host games or contests related to their products.

The possibilities are endless, you just have to be willing to push your creative limits.

3. Staff Participation

Speaking of being willing to do something, don’t forget to motivate your staff.

Employees are a crucial component of all custom trade show booths.

They aren’t there just to smile and give a basic pitch. They are there to cater the experience to every person that comes around.

Go back to your theme and think about the role your staff plays in it.

Maybe you can have them demonstrate how to use your products.

Maybe you can make the demonstration even more effective with costumes and characters. Costumes aren’t just for video games. They can be a representation of your ideal buyer or a futuristic approach to your new technology product.

Dressing up is a charming way to make an impression last.

With so many booths to compete with at trade shows, this is worth more than you might think.

4. Promotional Items

No matter how much time a person spends interacting with your booth, they will move on at some point.

Give them one last token they can take with them.

Promotional items keep you fresh in someone’s mind as they walk around the room and spend more days at the event. It can be the tool that makes them remember all the fun they had at your booth, which can turn into future interactions.

There are many different kinds of promotional tools you can use. Some include:

  • pens
  • lanyards
  • buttons and stickers
  • keychains
  • cups
  • flyers and brochures

Whichever items you choose to have at your booth, keep two things in mind.

First, make sure every promotional item is custom-made. It should represent your company with branded colors and your logo.

Second, order enough to last you the entire span of the trade show. Try to mix up your items as well and get a few different things.

Consider getting some special promotional items as well.

These could be apparel like t-shirts or hats, or maybe even a couple units of your product. Reserve these items for particularly strong interactions, or use them as prizes for something.

5. Pre-Show Messaging


The last component of making a strong custom trade show booth is having an audience.

Your booth will do well at driving people to you, thanks to all the unique elements mentioned above. To have the strongest presence possible, you need to market yourself, too.


Start talking about the trade show before you even show up for the event.

Send out an email campaign to your leads. Post your excitement on social media. More importantly, have a social team ready to engage online during the event.

The more you send out branded messaging centered around the trade show, the more likely you are to be heard by your audience. This pays off in trade shows of thousands of booths as well as smaller events with just a couple hundred.

Design Your Custom Booth

A custom booth is a great way to promote your brand and products. It will give people a chance to know what you’re all about and be great for business.

Do you have a calendar full of trade shows to attend?

Show up ready to succeed with a custom booth.

Contact us today to see how we can help you create the ultimate trade show experience.

5 Tips for Designing a Beautiful Tradeshow Display

successful trade show requires careful planning and thought. You want to make important professional connections while you attract new customers.

There’s lots of competition. You need your booth to stand out from the crowd.

You want your display to be eye-catching and different. But you also want your message to be clear and easily understood.

Deciding on a creative booth design and trade show graphics can be a bit overwhelming. But we have some ideas.

Here are 5 tips for designing a beautiful trade show display.

Make an Impact

booth design

When you are thinking of graphics for your display, remember all the visitors who will be walking by your booth. As they take a look at your booth, you want your display to make an impact.



There will be lots of competition for their attention, so capturing their interest is crucial. Your display needs to offer a quick picture of your unique brand, and it needs to be highly visible at a distance as well.

If you can’t capture visitors’ attention, they are on to the next booth. So you must make a quick, lasting impression.

Think about a billboard on the freeway. The intention is to make an impact in a quick moment.

You should approach your trade show design in the same way. If you have too many words or images or if it’s not easily seen, the message is lost.

Keep It Simple

You may be tempted to try to show everything about your business in your design, but you shouldn’t do this. Less is more in this situation.

If your design is too busy, your message won’t stand out. Instead of cramming too much information in your display, think about the most specific message you wish to relay to your audience.

In a moment, you want to be recognized and capture the visitors’ attention. Filling every inch with graphics is confusing to the eye and will make your booth look cluttered and less effective.

Some people think that using all capital letters in their trade show graphics will attract an audience. But using a mix of capital and lower case letters is best.

It looks more natural, and it’s easier to read at a distance. Make sure your design reflects a consistent theme among your banners, posters, and other materials.

This reflects professionalism. If you have sent out emails or mailers ahead, those graphics should be consistent as well.

Brand awareness and familiarity help you stand out from the rest.

Include White Space

Don’t forget to include plenty of white space in your trade show graphics. What’s not on your display is almost as important as what’s on it.

A good display should include plenty of white space. This gives your display an uncluttered look allowing your audience to read your information and comprehend your intended message.

Your design should have around 40% of empty space. You have only a moment to capture your visitor’s attention.

Don’t waste that chance by cluttering your display. Respect the empty space.

successful display isn’t one with overloaded bells and whistles. Instead, it’s the one with a clean design that captures people’s attention.

Know Your Audience


Make sure you have researched the area where the trade show is held. You want to know the demographics of the attendees and how you can market to this particular audience.

You want your brand to speak directly to this audience and help draw traffic to your display. It’s also necessary to humanize your display.

Having a social media marketing strategy is a necessity. This is a great way to advertise your booth and engage with people who will be attending the event.

If attendees are from out of the area, you can engage them with helpful information about the area or even great places to have dinner or drinks.

You want your display to be approachable and not intimidating to your visitors. Have options like pamphlets, flyers, or video to appeal to different personalities.

Some people will want to engage with you, so make sure there is friendly staff available and ready to answer questions and discuss your product.

People love free things, and they love to win something. Contests and promotions can help attract people to your display as well.

But if you are doing this, require visitors to give their information and email address.This is a great way to get contact information while engaging your visitors.

Booth Location and Architecture

Location matters, of course. Some venues offer prime display locations for an extra charge.

These usually sell out pretty fast, and some have prime spots grandfathered in, so you have to plan ahead. And this can be an important negotiating point for your contract.

If your plan is to attend the trade show for years to come, a prime location could be offered in return. In addition to location, you must consider your architecture.

If possible, your imagery should complement the existing architecture of the venue. This creates a harmonious effect.

After all, the goal is to leave your audience with a positive and memorable impression of your business. Your graphics and text should be appropriately scaled, and your message should be simple and impactful.

Trade Show Graphics: Hire the Best

Thinking about trade show graphics can be overwhelming especially when you are busy running your business. There’s a lot to consider.

You want your trade show display to appear well thought out and structured. And you want to leave a lasting impression on your visitors.

You need a team who understands design and can help you create a display that will wow your audience. It’s an investment that could result in a great return for your business.

If you are new to the idea of a trade show display or if you are interested in a new design for your display, we can help. Contact us today.