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Top 12 Tips for Creating an Eye-Catching Trade Show Display

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Top 12 Tips for Creating an Eye-Catching Trade Show Display

Participating in trade shows is still one of the best ways to get the word out about your product or service. To get the most out of your experience, it’s important for your trade show displays to easily and efficiently grab the attention of passersby. The images, text, and overall design must be organized in a manner that catches the eye without coming off as overwhelming or distracting. Always remember that your booth is what initially draws guests in—it doesn’t matter if you have an interesting presentation to deliver if no one stops to hear it.

To ensure your trade show display is as eye-catching as possible, keep these essential tips in mind:

  • Use Complementary Colors: Don’t make the mistake of assuming your trade show displays need to boast loud, gaudy colors to attract guests. You’re better off with a clean design featuring only two or three major colors. Choose hues which represent your brand. For an optimal effect, use a color wheel to identify complementary colors.
  • Advertise Your Main Benefits: Bombarding visitors with text is a great way to overwhelm people, but not a great way to design a booth that catches the eye. Keep the main text portions limited. If possible, find a brief way to summarize the main benefit you can offer your customers—a concise sentence or question that tells guests why they should visit your booth will help you capture their attention.
  • Use Quality Materials: At trade shows, people tend to make snap judgments about a booth the moment they see one. Doing so allows them to determine whether it’s worth their time to stop by and learn more. A major factor impacting guests’ judgment is the quality of materials used. It’s worth your money to invest in durable, high-quality materials when constructing your trade show displays.
  • Use Subtle Lighting: Too much light, and your booth will look harsh and uninviting. Too little, and you’ll be easy to miss. Use subtle lighting that highlights the major features of your booth. If you’re marketing several different products, arrange them a relatively equal distance from one another and arrange moderately bright lights to bring them to vivid life.
  • Wear Branded Clothing: Every visual element of your trade show booth should reflect your brand. That includes the clothing worn by the people operating the booth. Wearing branded uniforms will add an extra degree of visual appeal and professionalism to your tradeshow displays. The potential increase in business you’ll get is worth the cost of designing and ordering uniforms.
  • Avoid Patterns: When choosing your backgrounds, stick to solid colors or gradients. Avoid the impulse to include complicated patterns. These serve only to distract passersby. It’s also very difficult for your products and materials to stand out when displayed against a pattern.
  • Iron Your Tablecloths: If you choose to cover your table with a fabric tablecloth, bring an iron along to smooth out any wrinkles that develop. People are attracted to trade show booths with smooth, clean surfaces. Even a few minor wrinkles can have a major negative impact on the aesthetic appeal of your display. That said, tablecloths are not ideal for every display. Consider the nature of the industry you’re operating in before deciding to use them. A tablecloth may fit in at an arts and crafts fair, but will look out of place at a tech show.
  • Use Quality Prints: When displaying text or images, make sure they are high-quality. Pixelated, dull, or blurry images aren’t eye-catching. People who attend trade shows are looking for professional vendors who offer professional services. You want all your imagery to convey these values.
  • Incorporate Video: If it’s in your budget, set up one or more tablets or monitors displaying videos of your product or service. Avoid using audio, as this could be distracting to neighboring booths. If you have more than one, position your video screens towards the ends of the display, so you can capture the attention of people walking by in both directions.
  • Research Design Trends: It doesn’t hurt to do some reading on popular design trends in your industry. On the one hand, you don’t want to simply mimic a competitor’s designs. On the other hand, you do want to create trade show displays that look relevant and familiar to the people in attendance.
  • Stay Positive: Any text you include should have a positive message. Even if you’re offering a solution to a problem your customers have, make sure your language focuses primarily on the solution and less on the problem. Negative language turns people off, while positive language grabs their attention.
  • Keep Images Simple: Just as you want to avoid using busy patterns in your tradeshow displays, you also want to avoid displaying images that are too complicated or messy. When people browse trade shows, they don’t have time to carefully examine every booth. They need to be able to quickly assess a display. Basic images and iconography are more effective.

Obviously, the visual characteristics of your display are only part of the equation. Once you have the attention of guests, you need to communicate the value of your service or product to them in a clear, friendly, and persuasive manner. However, if you’re unable to get their attention in the first place, that element won’t matter. Take your time when designing your trade show booth. By putting in the effort, you’ll be more likely to attract valuable customers.


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