How Do You Design an Effective Trade Show Booth?

August 29, 2013

custom island exhibit

Let’s say you are planning to exhibit at a trade show and you need a new trade show booth. What do you do? You might research the internet for cool exhibit designs. But the best approach is to focus on what you need first from a marketing perspective and then research and design accordingly.

Planning is always key! Before you start figuring out how your booth should look, determine why you are going to the show. Is it to develop leads, to promote brand awareness, to match your competitors’ displays, or to introduce a new product? Whatever the reason, develop an overall mission for the show.

Next determine your target audience for that particular show. Understand who they are, why they are attending that show and how you can reach them. 

Finally, determine the specific goals that you want to accomplish. Is it to obtain 25 "A" leads, sell two products, or give away 100 keychains? Whatever you decide, set a measurable objective.

So now that you have documented a marketing plan, you can put together a booth design that fits your most important criteria.

The Components of Exhibit Design

With your marketing objectives in place, it’s time to meet with an exhibit designer to determine how the display can best be designed, according to the following components.

The Size: What size floor space and location do you really need?

The Look: Where and what is the focal point of the booth: new products, demonstrations, presentations? In keeping with your brand, determine what materials, styles, and shapes you want to use and what products or images will be most important to convey.

The Message: What messaging is critical to your target audience? What are your booth graphics going to say?

The Layout: What type of space layout do you want?  The exhibit layout should be based on the type of interaction will you have with attendees. Do you need a private conference space? A big screen for a video or presentation? A place to display your products? All of the above?

The Experience: In today’s environment, it is all about experiential marketing – the art of creating an experience that results in an emotional connection to a person, brand, product, or idea. Make sure that your booth provides all the things that you need to meet your objectives, while allowing for a memorable experience for your target market.

Why Do People Attend?

As you are designing your exhibit, keep in mind the top reasons that people attend a trade show.

  • See new products and get more information.
  • Keep current on industry trends and attend educational sessions.

  • Visit a lot of companies at one time to compare.

  • Meet with existing and potential suppliers.
  • Check out a specific product, company or competitor.
  • Network with vendors and colleagues.

So remember: make a plan and then start your research on booth design. That way, your exhibit will be designed to suit your specific marketing goals.




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