Exhibit Booth Design Ideas

Make your booth display stand out from competitors.
Make your booth display stand out from competitors. (Image: tie display image by morsted from Fotolia.com)

Businesses or potential customers viewing exhibit booths are often overwhelmed with crowds and exhibitors vying for their attention. Because of this sensory overload, booth owners must have a display that is clean and quickly grabs the attention of onlookers. Fred E. Hahn and Tom Davis, authors of the book “Do-It-Yourself Advertising and Promotion,” explain that booth sizes are generally 10 feet wide and 10 feet deep, though they suggest checking all rules, guidelines and dimensions before designing a display. These dimensions provide a booth exhibitor ample room to showcase a solid display.

Photo Backdrop

Though some exhibit booths display little more than a white backdrop, such booths are not eye-catching. Get the measurements of the back wall and create a photo banner in those dimensions. Though a large photo of the company logo expresses the company’s identity to onlookers, it does little to entice them into the display. Instead, use a photo that transports the customer to the ideal setting in where the product would be used. For example, a diaper company at a baby expo should use a large backdrop of a clean, sun-lit nursery whereas a power tool company would use a photo of an old-world wooden workspace.

Aerial Objects

In addition to decorating tables, decorate the ceiling as well. Use thin, translucent string like fish wire and hang objects from the ceiling of the booth. If no such ceiling exists, make one using a garden trestle. Hang objects like brochures, small toy-like items for sale or integrate objects into the display theme. For instance, a garden display could hang plastic hummingbirds and create the illusion that they are hovering above flowers sitting on the table.

Interactive Booth

Marry elements of design and interaction as part of the display. Illustrate how the product works in a setting that mirrors its natural environment. Though such an idea seems basic, too many exhibitors sit their product on a white tablecloth and leave the imagination to the customer. Instead, for all sampled items, use as many props as possible that reflect the nature of the product. Let customers try out kitchen appliances by perching them on a wooden cutting board next to a display of olive jars. Have customers select which lotions to sample by setting them in a mirror bathroom cabinet above a glass basin. Set wedding cake samples inside a bakery display case with model wedding cakes perched on top of it.


Avoid white fabric. Instead, opt for a colorful tablecloth and add curtains to the booth if possible. Choose colors that match the selected photo backdrop. Author of the book "How to Get the Most Out of Trade Shows," Steve Miller explains that subdued, cooler colors are professional, but may not captivate the attention of passersby. He warns that warm colors, like red and yellow, should be used with caution because of their strong appearance.

If the backdrop is simple and monochromatic, use a patterned tablecloth to offset the simplicity of the rest of the booth display. For wedding or interior design exhibit booths, use the table to highlight your attention to detail: upgrade the fabric to organza, silk or an equally luxurious cloth.

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