How To Make Sure Your Trade Show Booth Stands Out

Trade shows are back! And while national trade shows haven’t returned to pre-pandemic numbers, nearly 9 out of 10 companies plan to return to pre-COVID exhibiting levels by the end of 2023, according to Exhibitor Magazine. And that means plenty of opportunity to grow your brand through lead-generating marketing strategies.

Every trade show has essential key performance indicators (KPIs), such as booth traffic and qualified leads for the sales team. But the most important element is the one that will bring attendees to your booth every time—trade show display design.

5 Tips for Trade Show Displays

When it comes to trade show booths, there’s the good, the bad, and the forgettable. If there are about 400 trade show booths, the average attendee will visit 25-31. You want your booth to attract attention and make a memorable impact on every person who stops by your space.

The best way to avoid ending up in the forgettable category is by making your trade show booth stand out. Here are five tips for creating an eye-catching and engaging trade show display.

1. Trade Show Banners and Graphics

Trade show graphics are the single-most important tool for helping vendors communicate their brand identity and value and showcase their products and services. When designed and placed correctly, trade show banners and graphics can draw attendees to a booth, generating leads, and increase word-of-mouth throughout the event or expo. Many of these are portable and can be reused when stored correctly. Banners, SEG frames, floor graphics, and pop up displays are popular trade show graphics.


There are several options for trade show banners. Some are better suited based on your booth location and layout.

  • Retractable banners: These are popular because they are easy to set up and take down. They are also versatile and can be used in a variety of settings.
  • Hanging banners: These are great for drawing attention from a distance and can be seen across the trade show floor. They are also a good option if you have limited floor space.
  • Tabletop banners: These are smaller banners that can be placed on a table or counter. They are ideal for smaller displays or for highlighting a specific product or service.
  • Fabric banners: Lightweight and durable, making them easy to transport and set up. They are also a good option for creating a more high-end look.

Pop Up Displays

Pop up displays usually depend on your specific needs and the space available for your trade show booth. The custom-designed graphic panels or “skins” are attached to a lightweight aluminum frame that “pop ups” and locks into place. These are efficient, economical, and effective. Pop up displays are portable, versatile and easy to assemble. They can be large enough to act as a backdrop for your trade show booth or as a slim side panel.

SEG Frames

SEG graphics are seamless graphic displays that can elevate your trade show booth with their modern and sleek look. Your branding is printed on fabric with a silicone strip sewn to the edge and then attached to the SEG frame via a recessed groove. Some even include a light element that helps them pop. SEG frames can be wall-mounted, suspended, or free-standing.

Floor Graphics

Let’s face it, most people have their heads down looking at their phones. Take advantage of this trend with cool floor graphics. Depending on your product, you can create a floor that looks like grass, a putting green, hardwood, or even a racetrack. Or you can design a geometrical pattern that uses your color palette or incorporates your logo.

Floor decals are also a great way to step attendees throughout your booth, especially if you have interactive elements you want them to experience in a specific order.

2. Trade Show Brand Messaging

Once you’ve decided on your trade show banners, backdrops, and other display elements, the next step is nailing down your design. After all, you may not be able to control the location of your trade show booth, but you can make sure that your brand messaging is visible to nearby attendees. Apply these easy-to-follow guidelines when designing your conference materials.

  • Choose one clear, cohesive theme, especially if you have multiple design elements like banners, SEG graphics, or pop-up displays. 
  • Colors evoke emotions, so choose colors in your color palette that help create an atmosphere that compliments your brand. 
  • Keep any text brief, but also ensure that the font is large enough for nearby attendees to read and that all message graphics are waist-high (about 3-4 ft from the ground).
  • Graphics should be high-resolution and formatted properly, especially for large format printing. 

3. Trade Show Booth Layout

Trade shows have thousands of attendees. So the last thing you want is for your visitors to feel crowded at your trade show booth. They are less likely to engage with your brand, much less have a positive experience. When designing your trade show booth layout, you want to leave empty space so attendees feel welcome. There are four main types of trade show booth layouts. The one you choose may depend on the amount of space you’re given and your location.

  • Standard/Inline – Inline trade show booths are the most common type of trade show booths. They are typically 10’x10’ and share a back wall with or border other booths. This type of layout can limit your trade show displays like SEG frames or pop up displays.
  • Perimeter Wall –  Also typically a 10’x10’ layout, these booths are located against the wall. You may share sides with other booths, but perimeter layouts have fewer height restrictions, allowing for large format banners and backdrops.
  • Peninsula – One of the largest and most expensive options, peninsula booths can be as wide as 20’x20’ and share only a back wall. With three sides exposed, there is much more flexibility when creating empty space and incorporating pop up displays or other dimensional design elements.
  • Island – As the name suggests, an island trade show booth does not share space with other booths. They can be as large as 20’x20’, do not have as many height restrictions, and have aisles on all sides, allowing attendees to navigate your booth easily. These also tend to “wow” the crowd with their space and signage options.

4. Interactive Trade Show Elements

Besides one-of-a-kind trade show banners and an inviting layout, interactive elements are a great idea for trade show booths. Remember, there are hundreds of booths vying for people’s attention. Create an experience that engages attendees in a memorable way, but be sure to keep it on brand.

For example, a stain-removing demonstration wouldn’t be as impactful if your products are kitchen appliances. Try incorporating the following interactive ideas in your trade show booth design.

  • Host product demonstrations.
  • Include sensory elements for personal interaction.
  • Use virtual reality or augmented reality technology for a fully immersive experience.
  • Consider using tablets for surveys, quizzes, or trivia.
  • Create a selfie-friendly backdrop or spot within your tradeshow booth and ask people to tag your product on social media.

5. Trade Show Booth Giveaways 

Did you know 85% of people given a promotional product will remember the person who gave it to them? This is serious ROI potential! A reported 57% of consumers have kept swag for more than five years. So you want to choose an item that will resonate with your attendees, especially since nearly every other trade show booth will have some type of promotional product.

Below are some of the most popular branded promotional products:

  • Wearables like jackets, coats, t-shirts and hats
  • Writing instruments like pens, markers, pencils and styluses
  • Tech items like USB sticks and power banks
  • Drinkware like cups, mugs, water bottles and travel mugs.

Let Color Reflections Create The Best Trade Show Displays for You

Stand out from the crowd with a trade show booth by Color Reflections. We offer a wide variety of custom signage and custom fabrication for trade show booth displays:

Our team will work with you to utilize your layout space and create attention-grabbing event graphics and promotional products. We provide comprehensive large format printing services and will install your trade show graphics. Work with us to make your next trade show display memorable for all the right reasons.