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10 Top Tips For Trade Show Exhibit Design

10 Top Tips For Tradeshow Exhibit Design Design your trade show exhibit well, and you’ll build your brand, attract new leads, and help generate sales.  Miss the mark, and you’ll have an oversized lump that gets ignored and overlooked.

To help you get the trade show exhibit you need, here are the 10 best ideas on exhibit design that I’ve seen — and experienced — since the days when Ronald Reagan was still president:

  1. Ensure your exhibit clearly says who you are, what you do, and why someone should buy from you.
  2. Be true to your brand and create greater recognition and memorability by integrating your exhibit design with your other marketing mediums, such as web, brochures, email, print ads, and direct mail.
  3. Create visual impact with a booth that has bright, bold colors (as brand appropriate), big images that matter to your audiences, and easy to read text that says the right messages.
  4. Design your trade show booth space so it best fits your specific marketing objectives — spaces for brand-building graphics, lead stations, demo areas, meetings, etc.  While many exhibitors find they get more leads with an open and inviting space, others find they need more mass for impact or walls for meeting areas.  Just focus on your top objectives, because you don’t have room for all of them!
  5. Choose an exhibit that balances your need for marketing impact with your desire to save money on shipping, drayage, I&D and storage costs.
  6. Put fewer words on your exhibit graphics, but make each word bigger.  A single, clearly stated benefits statement is better than long list of bulleted points that gets ignored.
  7. Plan your exhibit design around your trade show schedule for the next year, two, or three, to minimize your expenses for various booth sizes, marketing messages, and show locations.
  8. Give yourself enough time to get new exhibits designed, and include the time it takes to get agreement within your management team on marketing direction.
  9. Focus on displaying your most popular and new products, rather than trying to cram all your products into a limited booth space.
  10. Decide whatever technology you will use in your exhibit, so you can design it into the exhibit from the start.

Effective trade show exhibit design shapes your intangible marketing messages into a solid presence that increases company visibility, attracts prospects, and hosts your customers.   I hope these ten tips will give you usable ideas to enhance your trade show exhibit.

What insight have you to share about exhibit design?  We’d love to hear your tips in the comment box below.

This article is one of a series on Top 10 Tips for various key trade show topics:
>Top 10 Tips For Trade Show Promotions

>Top 10 Tips For Trade Show Booth Staffing

>Top 10 Tips For Trade Show Lead Management

What's Working In Exhibiting White PaperFind even more of the best ideas and tips for designing your trade show exhibit by reading the What’s Working In Exhibiting white paper. Click here to request your free copy. 

About the Author

Mike Thimmesch is the Principal at Thimmesch Marketing. For over 25 years, he has created and implemented innovative marketing, lead generation, and exhibiting strategies that profitably grow company sales and brand awareness. Mike rose to Director level at Skyline Exhibits, where he helped generate over a half million leads, resulting in over $1 billion in sales. He published 11 industry white papers and eight exhibiting books, presented over 100 trade show webinars, and wrote over 200 exhibit marketing blog posts.

2 responses to “10 Top Tips For Trade Show Exhibit Design

  1. Your first tip is so important! Making sure that your exhibit clearly says who you are and what you do seems like most important factor in the design. I know that if I visit a trade show, it can be hard to tell what some companies do at a glance. It makes sense that you would want potential customers to know what they are looking at.

  2. Great point! And have you ever driven down the road and strained to read the company name on a vehicle? I have! and then given up identifying them because the print was too difficult to read, too much print, not simple enough to see who they are at a glance! Same with at a trade show, as attendees walk by-they need to see in an instant (or in 3 seconds as they walk by) Who you are. What you do. and Why they need YOU.

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