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Booth Design for Short Attention Spans

With countless exhibitors competing for their attention, conference and expo attendees tend to make quick, visual decisions on who deserves their focus. Effective booth design thus means quickly grabbing their curiosity, and then shifting that attention to the products or services most relevant to their needs.

To that end, the following booth design and onsite tips are among the tried and true steps used by effective exhibitors:


If you’ve been exhibiting for any length of time, some attendees will likely already be aware of your company. To make sure they don’t pass you by, put your newest offerings front and center. Front-of-booth podiums, islands, and other booth fixtures are often ideal placement locations for new products or service literature.


Whereas the familiar faces in attendance may be interested in your new products and services, your bestsellers still define your company in the eyes of first-time attendees. Make sure your backwall display and your signage clearly and instantly communicate these defining elements of your business.


If you have an inline display utilizing modular design, your booth sidewalls are often the first things seen by attendees as they approach from either direction. Make use of this by decorating these panels in such a way that they elicit curiosity from afar, yet require attendees to come in closer to see the full appeal and functionality of your products or services.


Even the best designed booths and graphics can fade into the background when your audience is suffering from viewer fatigue. Adding an element of motion or interactivity can help your exhibit stand out from all the other exhibitors’ more static displays. If you’re selling hard goods, a product demo can be helpful. If you’re selling a more intangible service, then activities such as educational workshops or booth elements such as touch-screens can help bring attendees see and understand your value proposition.


In this era of HD video, voice search, virtual reality and artificial intelligence, it can be tempting to think that the only way to attract eyes is through high tech. But analog games and old school technology can sometimes make for clever, eye-catching booth gimmicks. They can also be handy in uncommon situations such as recent power outage at a major U.S. tech show – during which, the biggest attendee draws were flashlights and the daylight from outside-facing windows!

Competing for attendee attention is a never-ending process. But if you remember the basic principles of effect booth design, you can have an eye-catching presence in any exhibit environment. To see some inspiring exhibit designs, check out our design portfolio!

Exhibiting With Technology White Paper

This study is a deep dive into the current and expected future use of technology and digital content by trade show exhibitors. The goal of this report is to provide a snapshot of current technology and digital content usages, and most of all, provide exhibitors with insights as to the greatest benefits and pitfalls tech can bring to their trade show program.
There were 570 exhibitors who took the detailed survey we provided, sharing their perceptions and comments on a variety of tech-related subjects. Skyline Exhibits thanks the survey respondents for their time, honest opinions, and advice that allowed us to create this white paper.


About the Author

Sofia Troutman was the Manager of Digital Marketing & Product Innovation for Skyline Exhibits in St. Paul, MInnesota.

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