As more and more startups crowd the industry scene, standing out at trade shows gets harder and harder.
Fortunately, for all the noise and the new-fangled bells and whistles of modern trade show booths, there are plenty of traditional design values you can fall back on. These design best practices can help you embrace the latest, greatest marketing ideas while ensuring they have a solid foundation to stand out from.
So, to help your next exhibit make your brand look great, here are some trade show booth design ideas to take to heart:
Separate 2D and 3D Design Elements
For your booth to truly function, you are going to have to think in multiple dimensions at once. The 2D graphical elements of your booth tell a story and communicate your most important brand values. The 3D design of your space should also complement these brand values, but your exhibit should be able to take on a life of its own.
Think of it this way: your 2D graphics can live on in other promotional materials, but the 3D design of your booth should make it a unique beast that shows off what your brand is capable of in a tangible, physical way.
With 2D Elements, Use Clear, Concise Messaging
Less is more. A pithy, clear message says more than several lines of text. The shorter message is also more likely to actually be read and remembered.
With this in mind, vigorously test all options you are considering for text printed around your booth. Hire focus groups if you have the resources, and if you don’t, poll friends and relatives to see which message grabs their attention and communicates to them most clearly. You may spend more effort crafting a six word tagline than a lengthier blurb, but the results will be worth it.
Prioritize One Take-Home Message
A lot of trade show booths fail to resonate because they lack focus. Avoid this problem by honing in on one messaging goal from your booth, and pursue it with zeal. This message can be a general brand value, or it can be related to a specific product or promotion. Make this message the most prominent part of your 2D graphics, and have everything else build off of it and reinforce it.
Balance Your Use of Space and Style
Around 40% of your design elements — both 2D and 3D — should be empty space. Why? Because good composition props up the main elements, while bad composition clutters up messaging.
With this in mind, limit the use of graphics like photos and logos, and restrict your booth’s palette to a maximum of three bold colors. As for 3D space, make sure that attendees have plenty of room to navigate your booth so they do not feel crowded.
Make Your Space Feel Like Home
Your booth is not just a promotional tool; it also gives people a place to spend their time while navigating the crowded convention hall. Give them an excuse to spend more time by offering a place to sit and charge their phone. Use elements like natural wood or soft décor rugs to make them feel more at home. The more cozy your booth guests can get, the more they may remember your booth over others.
Don’t Forget the Importance of Lighting!
People overlook light far too often when designing a booth. Great lighting can change the feeling of your booth in dramatic ways, and it can also help highlight some of your exhibit’s most important focal points.
Use both directional and fill lighting to make your booth easy to navigate as well as visually appealing. Do not be afraid to use LED accent strips to add visual flair to parts of your booth. Keep these elements balanced, but remember that you cannot rely on the convention space’s overhead fluorescents alone if you want your booth to look good.
Get More Trade Show Booth Design Ideas From a Custom Trade Show Booth Company
No matter how crowded your trade show will be, there is always a way to stand out and make your brand feel unique. You can even get a custom trade show booth company to create an exhibit where every 2D and 3D element is especially designed to complement your brand.
You can take a look at our own trade show booth design ideas by visiting our gallery of past events, and you can also contact us today to get started designing a booth just for you!