Magnetic Trade Show Booth Design

Five Fundamentals for Effective Trade Show Booth Design

Industry and consumer trade shows are unique opportunities for marketing. The opportunity to connect with distributors, potential partners, and end-users can be worth months of your own sales efforts.

Anything you invest on an effective trade show booth design that reels in the right visitors will be worth it in the end. These fundamentals will help you strut your stuff at your next industry trade show.

1. Show off your brand.

As with a website, an exhibit needs to be distinctive, appealing, and functional. Trade show booth design reflects a three dimensional extension of a company's brand. A thorough, straight forward understanding of your business strategy and related brand positioning is the necessary foundation from which your distinct, relevant brand identity can be communicated.

What does your brand or product feel like to your customers? Are you selling freedom and adventure or tradition and elegance; revolutionizing innovation or time-tested quality. Your exhibit needs to not only feel professional, but tell visitors what your company will provide them.

2. Grab a hold of your audience.

The primary task of a custom trade show exhibit is to reel visitors in. You can grab their attention with eye-catching pictures and video, an interesting mock-up or schematic, or a catchy slogan.

If your brand is recognizable, make it prominent, but don't count on just a logo to get people excited. One or two focal points will be plenty. Don't clutter your booth with technical specs up front. Wait until you get prospects curious for more information.

3. Lead visitors through your exhibit.

Just like any other customer interface, your trade show exhibit should have an intuitive flow. Don't rely too much on face to face interaction to help visitors through. It only takes a few seconds for someone to decide whether it's worth the time to stop and learn more.

Your product needs to be prominently featured. Visitors should be able to easily find answers to their questions, especially the question, "Why should I give you any of my precious time?"

4. Plant a seed.

Giveaways are a great way to keep your brand on your customers' minds even after they leave your booth. Always have something for them to take home. Effective handouts could be brochures, samples of your product, branded nick-nacks, or mobile apps.

5. Define your goals.

The point of a custom trade show exhibit isn't to give away a lot of pins. Success is measured in transactions you make. These might be product orders, information requests, email list sign-ups, or a collection of business cards.

Make it clear to your audience what you want them to do at your booth. People like to part on good terms, so make a win-win offer and they'll accept it.

Important to keep in mind...

If you lack the time or the trade show know-how to create a top-notch custom trade show exhibit, get a pro to build it for you. Even if you think you can do a great exhibit on your own, a trade show booth design expert can help you integrate the latest technologies and be a second qualified eye.

Most importantly, many companies will even set up and take down your exhibit for you. An investment in a trade show booth that will make your brand pop will be worth it at the end of the day.

This article was written by trade show marketing and management expert Matthew Goyette for Insight Exhibits ( 

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