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10 Steps to Designing Inline Trade Show Booths

Designing an inline trade show booth can be both exciting and challenging. You want it to be affordable and represent your brand. Most of all, you want it to be attractive and functional so that it will draw in attendees.

Here are 10 steps that will help you better design inline trade show booths.

1. Set a Goal

Before you begin designing, determine how you want the booth to function. Do you want to have meetings in the booth, show demos, showcase products, or something else? Knowing the function of the booth will help you figure out what items you need (e.g., tabletop with bar-height chairs, two-sided partition with TV monitors, sofa, etc.). Additionally, knowing the function of the booth will help you better present your messaging. You don’t want your messaging to get lost behind a table or a lot of trade show staff.

2. Choose a Layout

Once you determine what show you will be attending, you will have an option of various booth layouts: perimeter, island, split island, linear or inline, and peninsula. This article focuses on inline booths, meaning it is set in a line alongside other booths in an aisle and has one side open to the aisle. Exhibitors typically want to be as close to the main entrance as possible. These spaces are highly coveted because of their high visibility and traffic flow.

3. Plan Your Space

Once you have secured your booth location and had a booth number assigned, you can start ordering for your show. Renting items such as exhibit booths, furnishing, and flooring is usually the most cost-effective and easiest, especially if you have a small team attending.  Renting items ensures your booth will be set up when you arrive, and usually, shipping and labor costs for the items rented are included in the price. If you already have an exhibit booth from another show or choose to purchase one, you will need to make sure you have time to ship all of your exhibit items together so they have time to arrive and can be delivered to your booth space together. You can also rent furnishings and flooring to complement your owned exhibit booth. View some of our recent inline booths to gather new ideas.

4. Consider A Theme

Choose a theme for your booth. It should align with your company’s brand and messaging, but it can also align with the theme of the event. Choosing a theme will also help you tie in your graphics, giveaways, and other events (meetings/events outside of the event venue) you host.

5. Accentuate with Lighting

You might want to consider adding lighting to highlight elements of your booth to attract attendees. The use of spotlights and backlighting can make your display pop. New exhibit displays incorporate backlighting into their design. Don’t forget, you must order electrical from the venue’s official services provider to ensure all safety regulations are met. 

6. Use Eye-Catching Graphics

Vibrant graphics are a great way to draw traffic into your booth. There are many compact, budget-friendly, and beautiful fabric or hard surface display options that will help your booth stand out from the competition. When customizing your booth, use high-quality, high-resolution images and bold, unfrilly text for your graphics. Remember to not place text on displays below waist level. The messaging will get hidden by furniture and people.

7. Incorporate Technology

Incorporating technology into your trade show booth can create a more engaging and immersive experience for your visitors. Here are some examples of technologies you can add to your booth.

  • Digital Signage - use high-resolution images, videos, and interactive content to highlight your products/solutions.
  • Mobile Apps - create a custom app that attendees can download to watch demos, view marketing literature, schedule meetings with sales executives, take advantage of special offers, etc.
  • Virtual and/or Augmented Reality - demonstrate your products in an innovative way!
  • Interactive Displays - use interactive kiosks and displays to capture your visitors’ data and to highlight your products/solutions.
  • Social Media - promote your presence at an event, engage attendees, and share photos, and other information.

8. Plan Staffing

Discuss the goals of the event with the company staff who are managing the booth. Ensure they have what they need to be successful at the event. When everyone returns to the office, review the trade event. What was successful? What goals were met? What needs to be improved before the next trade show?

9. Promotional Giveaways

The right giveaways will help you not only create brand awareness, but attract attendees to the booth, increase engagement in the booth, build customer loyalty - especially if you offer exclusive gifts or experiences, and generate leads (don’t forget to add your logo and contact information to your giveaways).

10. Test Your Design

Once the booth is complete, set it up in a space large enough to accommodate it or test it at a smaller event. Can you easily navigate it? Are all the pieces functioning? Do you need to add/remove something? Was it properly stored in containers? A test ensures there aren’t any surprises before you reveal it at an event.

Follow these 10 steps to make exhibiting at your next show a success. If you are planning to exhibit at a GES show, click here and learn about our products and services offered on your show.