Exhibit booth design is a testament to the creativity of your company and team. As exhibitors ourselves, we have experience adapting to all that comes with trade shows: the parameters of different venue sizes, audiences, and last-minute ordering, just to name a few
Creating an exhibit booth design doesn’t happen overnight. The parameters of your show will determine idea generation. These preliminary questions will help get you started:
1. How large (or small) is the show?
Your budget is determined by many different factors, and show size should be one of them. The larger the show, the more you have to compete with other exhibitors. Think about how your booth will fit into the overall landscape. Do you want to attract each and every person on the floor? Will you only speak to target customers? Do you need to have a game, or will a 6-foot tabletop display suffice?
2. How much space for your booth do you have?
When it’s available, you should check the venue map to see where you’re located and how much space you’ll have. You need to plan your exhibit booth design and materials accordingly. You wouldn’t want to plan an elaborate setup only to find a pole in the middle of your space!
Some shows will be proper expos with 10×10 booths, while others will just be tabletops. Don’t forget to check the regulations on how high your booth can go; you need to know exactly how much space you have to fill.
(If you are exhibiting internationally, your event space may even be more complicated. Check out our webinar on how to get started with international exhibiting for more on that.)
3. Who’s your target audience for your exhibit booth design?
You need to appeal to the buyer personas who you’re targeting. Have language on your booth and your collateral that appeals to their pain points. You need your design to entice them to see your booth, and your content should keep them there and interested.
Once you know the answers to these questions, you need to narrow down the type of booth you’ll be designing. There are many different types of booth designs. Your exhibit booth design should reflect the space that you have and the message you’d like to convey.
Three of the most popular designs are:
Pop Up Banners
Typically used to highlight a particular brand message or product capabilities, pop-up banners are images printed on fabric. They’re lightweight and easy to set up and most of them come with carrying cases for easy storage and travel.
They can come in a variety of sizes, such as square or circular, and different fabric weights. Some pop-up banners can be as small as two-feet wide, so they’re ideal for fitting into smaller spaces or for additional signage in a large booth.
They’re also relatively simple to customize. For example, some exhibitors prefer lining the structure with LED lights to illuminate the pop-up banner.
The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to customizing your banner design and stand.
When you have a larger booth, such as 10×10, the next step is an 8ft booth backdrop. Typically portable and more affordable, they’re often leveraged by companies with smaller budgets and/or first-time exhibitors.
Like pop up banners, they’re easy to transport. However, 8-ft structures are often more durable. This makes them great for multiple exhibit runs and international shows.
Custom Exhibit Booth Design
For companies with a larger budget, a custom exhibit booth design may be the way to go!
Custom designs stand out more because they are fitted to your space and brand. Custom designs make you shine by incorporating elements of your brand into the physical design. If your goal is to have long conversations with target prospects, you can build a living room in the expo hall. If your goal is to show off your technology, you can turn your exhibit into a giant screen.
However, custom designs often add up. Not only do you need to hire a design firm, but oftentimes your custom booth will require union-labor assembly at major expo halls.
When it comes to designing a booth like this, the possibilities are nearly endless! Booths can have nearly anything, from integrated screen displays to branded mobiles.
Once you’ve chosen your foundation, it’s time to plan your design! Here are some ideas to get you started:
You thought about what your target audience should be in the preliminary questions, so it’s important to include that in your final exhibit booth design. If you have a product that can be demoed, include a demo station. Allowing potential prospects to interact with your product is a great way to open the door to discussion about what pain points you can solve for them.
Games are a pretty popular way to keep people entertained and interested in your company! At Mimeo, we bring our Plinko board. Having potential prospects play interactive games at your booth often entices others to watch or join. Additionally, a large game like a Plinko board is another opportunity for you to display your product or message.
While water bottles and phone rings are popular, whatever you give to your potential prospect should be something memorable to them if you want to stand out. Giving something away that’s unique to the exhibiting location is one way to do so.
For example, when Mimeo exhibited at APMP Bid Con in New Orleans, we handed out boxes of beignet mix and were the hit of the show!
We have Instagram–inspired museums, why not an Instagram/photo-inspired feature for your booth? Inviting prospects to share images of themselves with wacky props or hats is a great way to drum up interest in your company and keep people at your booth. Don’t forget to create a catchy hashtag for them to share underneath their photos!
Some more ideas are below:
- Set up a food station
- A multi-day campaign with t-shirts
- Snapchat Filter
- Different SWAG items every day
- Feature new technology, like a VR demo
You have your ideas in mind, now it’s time to put them into action. Use this checklist for planning a successful trade show, including exhibit booth design, to make sure you don’t forget anything!
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