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Standing Out in the Crowd: Designing Custom Trade Show Exhibits

Trade shows are a great way for businesses to showcase their products and services to a wider audience. As per a blog post showcasing trade show statistics on Display Wizard, the year 2022 marked the comeback of trade shows around the world after the Covid-19 pandemic. A significant number (64%) of exhibitors expressed their intention to increase their participation in trade shows in the year 2023.

However, with so many companies vying for attention, it’s essential to design a custom trade show exhibit that wows and captures the attention of attendees.

In this article, we will discuss some tips for creating an unforgettable trade show experience.

Understand Your Audience

Understanding your target audience is crucial when designing a custom trade show exhibit that wows attendees. Begin by researching the demographics of the trade show attendees, including their age, gender, industry, and location. Consider their interests, needs, and pain points, and how your products or services can help solve their problems or meet their needs.

One way to gather information about your audience is to conduct a survey or poll before the trade show. You can ask questions about their preferences, opinions, and expectations to help you tailor your exhibit to their interests. Another way to understand your audience is to observe their behavior at the trade show, noting what booths they stop at, what questions they ask, and what products or services they are most interested in.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

Incorporating technology into your trade show exhibit is a great way to attract attendees and make your booth more interactive. Consider using virtual reality or augmented reality to showcase your products or services, allowing attendees to experience them in a more immersive way. To further explore the possibilities of incorporating technology into your trade show exhibit, it may be helpful to conduct some online research.

Exploring the internet can also help you find companies that specialize in designing and building custom trade show exhibits. ClassicExhibits is one company that is involved in designing and building custom trade show exhibits. They have been in business since 1993 and are based in Portland, Oregon. They also provide exhibit rentals and accessories such as flooring, lighting, and graphics.

It’s worth noting that there are many companies in the trade show exhibit industry that offer similar services to ClassicExhibits. When researching and considering options for your own trade show exhibit, it’s important to compare and evaluate multiple companies to find the best fit for your specific needs and budget.

Create a Memorable Theme

Once you have identified your target audience, create a memorable theme that ties into your brand’s message and resonates with them. Your theme should be unique and relevant to your products or services. You can use colors, imagery, and messaging that are consistent with your brand to create a cohesive look and feel.

Consider incorporating a narrative or story that connects with your audience, using storytelling techniques to capture their attention and create an emotional connection. For example, if you are showcasing a product that helps people save time, you could create a theme around the idea of “Time Travelers,” with imagery and messaging that highlights the benefits of your product.

Design a Comfortable Space

Trade shows can be overwhelming for attendees, with lots of noise, crowds, and activity. Creating a comfortable space within your exhibit can be a welcome respite for attendees. Consider incorporating lounge areas with comfortable seating, charging stations for mobile devices, or refreshments to make your booth more inviting.

Another way to create a comfortable space is to use lighting and sound to create a calming environment. Use soft lighting and soothing music to create a relaxing atmosphere that allows attendees to focus on your products or services.

Trade Show Labs has pointed out that the energy usage of the audio-visual equipment and lighting employed at trade shows can be substantial, resulting in elevated energy costs and amplified carbon emissions. Hence, it’s crucial to incorporate eco-friendly lighting options like LEDs.

Create an Interactive Experience

Creating an interactive experience is a great way to engage with attendees and leave a lasting impression. Consider creating a game or contest that ties into your brand’s message or hosting a demonstration that showcases your products or services in action. You can also use gamification techniques to encourage attendees to participate in your exhibit, such as offering rewards or incentives for completing certain tasks.

Another way to create an interactive experience is to provide hands-on demonstrations or workshops that allow attendees to experience your products or services first-hand. This can be particularly effective for products that are difficult to explain or demonstrate through traditional means.

Incorporate Eye-Catching Graphics

Using eye-catching graphics is a great way to attract attendees to your exhibit. Consider using bold colors, large graphics, and unique fonts to make your message stand out from the rest. Make sure your graphics tie into your theme and brand message, creating a cohesive look and feel.

In an article published in the Exhibitor Magazine, it is stated that exhibit graphics play a crucial role in the first impression that attendees form of your booth. Given that passing attendees on the show floor typically allot only three to five seconds to your exhibit, it is essential that the graphics in your 10-by-10 exhibit space clearly convey your identity, what you are selling, and how your company’s product or service can benefit them.

One way to incorporate eye-catching graphics is to use large banners or backdrops that showcase your products or services. You can also use signage or posters to highlight key features or benefits of your brand.


In conclusion, designing a custom trade show exhibit that stands out from the crowd requires careful consideration of your target audience, the use of technology, and the creation of a comfortable and interactive space. By incorporating eye-catching graphics and creating a memorable theme, businesses can attract attendees and leave a lasting impression.

It is essential to explore eco-friendly options, such as LED lighting, to minimize environmental impact. By following these tips, businesses can create an unforgettable trade show experience that engages attendees and helps them achieve their marketing goals.

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