How to Design a Custom Trade Show Display That Stands Out From the Crowd

A booth with a compelling design can make all the difference in attracting and engaging attendees. To do this, it’s important to consider the dimensions of your space and the limits of your budget.

Ideally, trade show graphics will tell the story of your brand and products. They should also be visually appealing, especially in the 3-5 seconds it takes an attendee to glance at your display.


The color of your trade show graphics greatly impacts how booth visitors interpret the messaging within your graphics. Complementary colors – or those directly across from each other on the color wheel – work well together but stay moderate. Too much color can make it hard for attendees to focus on the important details that convey your company’s value proposition.

With just 4-6 seconds to grab your audience’s attention, your booth’s graphics must be eye-catching. But it’s also critical that the messaging is clear and consistent with your brand.

If you’re using backlit displays, choose images that are high contrast against the dark background. This will help ensure that your message can be seen from all angles and a distance. You can also use simple fonts that are easy to read.


Textures in your display booth decor can add visual interest and draw customers in. Textured materials such as routed wood and PVC, poured plastics, and layered objects help create a sense of depth in your exhibit space and can also highlight logos or simple signage.

Ensure all your displays and signs feature your company’s logo so potential customers can easily identify what you do. Including your logo on any promotional materials or giveaways you hand out is also a good idea.

Offering a seating area in your booth can increase traffic. People attending trade shows often tire from standing all day long, so they’ll appreciate having a place to sit and relax. If you can, try to host a social event in your booth, such as live music by a band. This will encourage more customers to visit and allow you to follow up with them after the show.


When designing your trade show booth, it’s important to focus on the message you want to convey. Your brand logo is a key part of your messaging, but it shouldn’t be the only visual design component on display. Incorporate other graphics that send a consistent yet distinct message about your company or industry expertise.

For example, a company that sells meal kits can showcase fresh ingredients and well-composed dishes on its booth graphics. You can also incorporate a unique shape to attract attention, like a tall, wide popup tent or large backdrop banner.

When using graphics, ensure your text is large enough to be readable from afar. The large text draws the eye of customers and leads them into your booth. It’s also important to remember how your graphics will look with the lighting in your booth space. Poor lighting can cause your images, branding, and messaging to fade into the background.


The ideal trade show display dimension will vary depending on your booth’s location and where visitors expect first to notice it. Graphics that will be viewed close-up should highlight unique products and company accomplishments and avoid complex designs and long-form text. Those seen from a distance should focus on benefit statements, delivering clear, impactful messages about your business.

The right size exhibit also depends on how many people will be staffing your stand and who will be handling the setup. The more streamlined your exhibit, the easier it will be for one or two employees to set up and break down.

During the initial design stages with your exhibit partner, it is important to prioritize the assets that will have the biggest impact on meeting your event goals. Be prepared to discuss how you plan to convert leads and generate sales from your exhibition participation with your designer.


Using materials that aren’t typical for your industry can be a great way to grab the attention of attendees. Whether it’s a hanging sign in the shape of a rocket or a tower made from unique materials, these features can draw attendees into your booth.

Adding branded freebies to your exhibit is a great way to drive traffic to your booth. Having your company logo on apparel, drinkware, writing utensils and other products will help keep your brand top-of-mind after the show.

With so many exhibitors competing for attendee’s attention, it can be easy for a booth to blend into the background. Choosing a location that’s close to the main walkways of the floor and away from any walls or columns is a good way to ensure your display gets noticed.


Adding lighting to your trade show display helps your exhibit stand out from the crowd and creates a more atmospheric space. Backlighting in your custom trade show display booth is a great way to draw attention to certain elements and create pathways throughout the exhibit. This can be done through the velcro-receptive fabric, which is available in many colors and creates interesting effects when illuminated by the lights in the booth.

You can also use lighting in other parts of your exhibit, including backlit CNC cut logos, toe-kick lighting under your counters, and backlit reception signs. LED lighting is the most popular option, as it takes up less wattage and produces less heat.

Trade shows are a great opportunity to reach potential business partners and nurture new connections. Starting the outreach process early lays the groundwork for networking and will help you gain more attendees for your booth at the convention.