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Exhibition Booth Design Ideas

Updated on July 9, 2015
Chris Telden profile image

Chris Telden's B.A. degree in sociology focused on effective quantitative and qualitative methods of cultural analysis.

When you're running a booth at a trade show or convention - whether it's a sports show, auto show, business trade show, science fiction convention or a flea market - the same principles of effective trade show booth design apply. I've had years of experience displaying at craft fairs and going to national librarian conventions, hobbyist trade shows, career fairs, and other types of exhibition-based fairs and events. They all have one thing in common: the exhibitors want to attract visitors to their booths. Follow these tips to make sure your display exhibit gets the maximum number of visitors stopping by to see what products or information you're offering.

Running a Successful Booth: Trade Show Ideas for Display

The three main problems facing all display booth operators are

  1. how to attract visitors
  2. how to regulate traffic flow
  3. how to present a professional and impressive front to your customers

An effective display can accomplish all three.

Armed with the right hardware, display booth design and signs and suitable giveaways and freebies, you'll notice an increase in your exhibit traffic.

Exhibit Booth Design Ideas

1) The maxim "location is everything" applies to convention booths. Location equals traffic. Get your exhibit space registered as early as possible to get an excellent spot in a prime location.

2) Make sure your exhibit booth:

  • Is well lit. Nothing frustrates visitors more than dimly lit exhibits that make it hard to read signs and promotional materials.
  • Has an attractive design theme consistent with your product. You have one moment to attract the fleeting glance of each passing potential customer. If in that split second the visitor glimpses a theme that fails to represent your product, he or she won't stop. So don't show a muted display at a science fiction and fantasy convention. And never, ever use exhibit signs decorated with florals and doilies at an electronics media trade show, right?
  • Uses bright, noticeable colors on the signs and tables. Neutral pastels and drab colors will cause your exhibit to fade in instead of standing out. In lieu of bright colors, shiny metallic surfaces and interesting textures can suffice. High-contrast colors like black and white are fine. Think festive. Think banners and ribbons.

3) Size it right. Order large display booths for large conventions, adequate to deal with the enormous crowds at major shows. Too much visitor traffic congestion may encourage casual traffic, but it discourages truly interested visitors from stopping or lingering. I can't count the times I'd have loved to spend more time in a booth but left because the booth didn't have enough space for me to maneuver comfortably.

4) Unless your trade show booth involves interactive exhibits, design your exhibit show display to be linear. A linear design lets attendees move along the booth and on their merry way, with your merchandise, business card and freebies in hand.

Convention Booth Tips

  • Be friendly to all your visitors. Not all attendees look like customers, but they may end up as a client or customer one day. Keep the mood welcoming and festive.
  • Have fun at the convention, but keep business in mind and stay professional.
  • Spend time browsing and exploring other display booths in the trade show for ideas for next year.


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