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How to Build a Trade Show Booth

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💡 In this guide, you will learn how to build a trade show booth.

A trade show booth design says a lot about your brand. So, if you are trying to beat industry leaders at their renowned game, you will have to stand out. After a year plus, business events can finally take a full swing. If you want to tell your target market you are still up and running despite the pandemic, introduce a new product or service, or boost your sales after the recession. The next trade show may be your best bet. The business world has never been this ready!

But then comes a daunting factor; how to build a trade show booth. If you haven’t participated or attended one, you may be lost of ideas. Where should you start? Much preparation goes into a successful trade show, just like any other project. It includes prompt preparation to spend a large chunk of your money for the best booth design. One thing is for sure; only the best shine their way to the top.

This article will enlighten you on trade show booth ideas that will steal the crowd from your competitors. If you are also on a tight budget, we will give you tips on making one on your own.

❗ Make sure to check our article on how to have a successful trade booth.

How to build a trade show booth?

Consider the following factors as you plan to captivate the attendees.

  • Budget

One significant factor to look out for in any project is the expenditure. What is the initial budget? Not only with our businesses, but spending can get out of hand even in our homes. Just when you believe you have everything figured out comes the small details that you missed out on. It may help to have a list of the items you intend to display. Keep in mind that you are travelling with your team, and that incorporates flight and accommodation expenses. 

While you wish you could spend handsomely for a good booth, you have to reserve an ideal spot at the exhibition, and your attendees are undoubtedly not coming to an exhibit with no giveaways. Remember that the booth is an important part of the budget for the trade show. It includes booth builder services, the stand design, shipping the booth to the location, the hardware on display, and the graphics signage. However, this is a rough figure and will vary from one business to another. Consider the services of a booth builder as they are knowledgeable about the features that make a difference with the likely ROI.

❗ Check our trade show guide

  • Objectives

Trade shows provide a great opportunity for firms to meet their customers. The booth design could draw more clients to your side or send the existing ones to your competitor. It may be best to sit with your team and determine how the business will benefit from the expo.

Whether you are looking to attract more sponsors, reach prospective customers, or ensure you retain the current ones, try to meet at least two objectives with the event. After all, booking a space at every show for the different objectives may not sit in with the finance department. Ensure your graphics bring over attendees to your den. And once that happens, ensure you have lions that will not let go until something is achieved. That means it all starts at the office, involve everyone, and get their ideas. Ensure all of you are focused on the same goals by clearly defining them. This way, you can easily establish small trade show booth ideas that match the objectives.

❗ Here is our guide on how to build a trade show booth.

  • Are you considering the services of a booth builder?

If your marketing team is always out for the latest ideas and developments in your industry and the trade booth shows, you may not need a booth builder altogether. But even industry leaders are scooping the best booth builders for themselves as leaving things to chance is never good for any business. How to build a trade show booth may get easy with a professional’s help.

There are various firms ready to lend a helping hand. Settle for the builder that will ensure you meet your budget and needs. They will give you a 3D rendering of the project with a quote. The 3D renderings will entail pictures, dimensions, and details based on the needs and the desired graphics.

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How to get started on small trade show booth ideas with your builder

  • What are your needs?

Once you settle on a booth builder, it’s time to assess all your requirements, like the objectives, budget, and trade show booth ideas. In most cases, you will have to fill a form to guide the builder into your ideal booth and the available options based on the budget. Afterwards, they will make sketches and visuals of what is likely to suit your needs.

  • The concept of the exhibit and 3D renders

While some may give light renderings with simple drawings, others may offer detailed 3D rendering with modern mockups at the start. The former will depend on your feedback to give you a better rendering with details. Based on the available time, getting the 3D rendering sooner gives a picture of the finished project. So that if it’s not given to you, do not hesitate to ask for it. The builders will then provide details of the stand’s materials, construction block and sizes, techniques to be used, and the graphics. Go on to involve your colleagues to know their thoughts. 

  • Project approval

The builder’s project manager will send the terms and conditions and the components of the stand with their costs. You can take it to upper management for validation and approval.

  • Building the booth

After signing off on the proposal, the builders can start working on the stand. Your manager should let you know about every development. This way, you can be on top of any delays with shipping. Based on the project’s details, the process may take several weeks, and in some cases, you may get an invitation to check out everything. With that, you are ready for the expo with the confidence you need. If you opt for show services, their manager will help you put up the booth and ensure all is running as expected. The project manager will also be there for support until the exhibition comes to an end.

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DIY Trade Show

If you wish to minimize your spending on an exhibition, you are not alone. Businesses, big and small, have gone through that path. The DIY trade show booth ideas below may be helpful on how to build a trade show booth.

❗ Check our list of trade show best practices

  1. Theme

While you may have a lot of imaging in mind, it may bring confusion to the attendees. All sorts of images and colors may dismantle the main idea. Sticking to the main theme is one of the small trade show booth ideas. The theme may be based on your brand’s colors or the products you intend to showcase. 

  1. Booth displays do not have to be boxes!

The space is crucial in the design of your booth, but you can get a little creative! The layout should be open and inviting to attendees. Having extra space for your visitors to chat before they leave may be a good option. A lounge may work fine. You could also consider having an entrance and exit separately. In the background, get some LED screens to showcase videos about your company. With charging stations on the side, attendees may be willing to stay around for longer.

  1. The ambience

Let’s face it; printed backdrops tend to be boring. Additionally, it’s the 21st century, and we no longer do plastic chairs and tables! Craft the backdrops out of other materials such as stone, wood, or even polished metal. A textured space makes a difference. However, ensure you don’t use more than two textures as that will interfere with the flow. A few plants may evoke a warm feeling.

Wood and paneling effectively separate your space from the rest but it needs good imagination. Paneling is quite a cost-effective option by using crates and paper. Just ensure the arrangement is that of a pro with a neat touch to it. A woody rustic look is also quite appealing.

❗ Don’t miss our trade show giveaway ideas.

  1. Lighting

Is your space limited? Not to worry, as the correct lighting may be the trick for a larger appearance. Ensure the lights draw attention to the essential elements of the booth. Consider eco-friendly LED bulbs as they conserve energy and, therefore, last longer. If your space incorporates a sitting area, the lighting may emphasize it and stir interest with the onlookers. If contemplating colored lights, ensure your reading materials can be seen without a struggle. Additionally, it should stick to the brand and theme of the event.

  1. Go monochromatic!

We are humans, and a uniform color is one of the trade show booth ideas that will turn our heads any time. You could go green, blue, white, or even yellow. However, ensure the color speaks your message loud and clear, with the tone, brand, and organization in mind. You should bring the feeling of using your products right to the space.

  1. Take advantage of the space above.

While the floors are packed with different exhibits, nothing finds its way to the space above the booths. If you have something for that space, you won’t have to struggle to attract attendees. It could be your product or a banner; the options are limitless.

❗ Don’t miss our complete trade show checklist.

  1. Get a good statement.

A well-designed booth will always attract attendees, but did you know that the right choice of the statement piece may be an attention grabber? It can have some plant decorations on the side. Once they are looking, get ready for an award-winning sales pitch to keep them there.

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  1. Get the walls to talk about you.

Other small trade show booth ideas include displaying your products on the walls in a decorative manner. Worried about the size? Anything can fit in there with a little bit of artistry. Instead of spending hours cramming a pitch, let the products tell the story!

  1. Incorporate a photo opportunity

If you can guarantee some nice Instagram and Facebook photos at the end of the day, you may as well get attendees flocking at your stand. After taking pictures with your product and brand, they may return the same gratitude by listening to you. Additionally, you could tell them to tag you in the posts.

  1. Defy standards with a unique shape

If not a square, most booths are rectangles. Who said you couldn’t be unique? The shape doesn’t even have to fit any description, do it and see! You might even have attendees asking about the stand; who knows?

  1. Snacks!

We are all suckers for delectable treats. One of the trade show booth ideas is including food. You do not have to be in the food and beverage industry, get some bites, and we will all want a taste! Besides the treats, you can neatly display your products and services.  

❗ Check our guide on how to sell at a trade show and our tips on selling at a trade show.  


Having discussed how to build a trade show booth by yourself and what happens when you consider the services of a booth builder, the ball is in your hands. Determine what works for you best within your budget. Consider assets that you can re-use in another expo. With that, success to your exhibition, hope you achieve your desired goal!

Learn more about trade show booth design:

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