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If you're looking to get the word out about your product or service, trade shows can be the perfect solution for you.

The only problem? Everyone else knows how awesome they are, too.

With so much competition, how do you make sure your trade show booth design stands out from the crowd? Well, we've rounded up 10 ideas for you to take your booth display to the next level.

1. Scope Out the Competition

aerial shot of trade show filled with people

If possible, do some research to see what your competitors are doing or have done in the past.

What were their freebies? What will their display look like? How large is their booth and where is it located? Then, use this information to your advantage.

If they're closer to the entrance, make sure your display can be seen from across the room. If they're giving away six kinds of swag, give away fewer, more high-quality freebies.

If this is your first trade show (and you have no way of knowing what your competitors are up to), at least use this trade show as a resource for future ideas. What are some trends that most booths are featuring? What do the guests seem to be the most excited about?

Take notes so you can blow it out of the water next year.

2. Make Your Booth Stand Out

Dior wrapped photo booth

Just being at a trade show is no guarantee that you'll be noticed.

In a space as large as the Orange County Convention Center, it can take a lot to make sure people see you.

When coming up with your trade show booth design, use large banners, bold colors, hanging signs, awesome lighting, and wow-worthy tech to attract visitors. If you plan on attending a lot of expos and trade shows, it might be worth investing in some custom displays that you can use every year.

3. Brand Everything

Orlando Magic trade show booth branding

The whole point of attending a trade show is to make sure your name gets out there. So make sure your brand is reflected in your trade show booth design and theme.

If you're a wedding vendor, decorate with soft white drapery and flowers. If you sell camping supplies, evoke the outdoors with a tent and some branches. Perhaps your theme can tie in to your motto or mascot.

Open Air photo booths have a super small footprint (1.5' x 3', to be exact) and come in colors that will match any trade show booth design. And if you want your branding to extend to the photo booth, a custom wrap and/or background will help you stand out from the crowd.

Trade shows aren't isolated events; they're marketing opportunities. So take steps to ensure that your booth visitors remember you after they leave.

4. Don't Overwhelm

Una Card trade show booth

You want your booth to be filled with people, not stuff.

If you're working with the average 10' x 10' booth, keep your design minimal with white backgrounds and lots of open space. Skip the table and opt for space-saving vertical shelving.

Don't make it hard to identify your message, either. Pick the one thing you want them to remember about you and make that the focal point on all your displays.

5. Use FOMO to Your Advantage

Three ladies laughing with lizards on their heads

People always want to be where the party's at. So host the party at your booth!

Maybe that means hiring a DJ for the day or having a fun activity that visitors will line up for (more on that later).

One of our recent clients is a reptile breeder who brought actual, real life reptiles for visitors to use as photo booth props! They were a huge hit and even made for some hilarious candid moments.

As they say in Hollywood, never work with animals; they'll steal the show!

When you're choosing your booth representatives, pick ones who will help create a fun, party atmosphere. (The more extroverted and charismatic, the better.) If you don't have anybody able or willing to do the job, you can hire a trade show models to stand in as brand ambassadors for your company.

6. Introduce Yourself

trade show display in eye catching orange

Don't assume people know who you are or what you do, even if you've been around for a while.

Your branding and displays should be clever and eye-catching, but never stray from your original purpose, which is to let people know you're there.

If you sell a product, demo it and have examples for people to touch and see up-close. If you're a service-based company, focus on clear, concise messaging on your displays and make sure your brand ambassadors are prepared with numbers, statistics, and case studies to back you up.

7. Interactive Activity

open air photo booth

Now that you've attracted a bunch of visitors, you want them to stay a while. A fun, interactive activity is just the ticket.

Something like a photo booth is great for drawing people in, encouraging them to stay, and giving them something to remember you by. Some photo booths even come with video messages, which—in addition to being an attractive feature for your guests—are a great way to collect clips for future marketing videos.

Other interactive ideas can include games, interactive touch screens, or even a contest with an awesome prize at the end of the day.

8. Up Your Swag Game

Forget key chains, koozies, and stress balls. (Seriously, how many branded stress balls do you currently use? I rest my case.)

The best company swag items are useful, exciting, and front-and-center in people's daily lives. Think about small things that you use every day.

Some popular options are:

  • phone chargers,
  • umbrellas,
  • well-designed T-shirts (ones your visitors would actually wear out of the house),
  • insulated water bottles, and
  • food.

Tote bags are popular, too, as they give people a way to carry around all their other freebies. If you decide to go this route, make sure your bag is bigger than everyone else's. Larger bags will become the designated bag for everything else and you'll get more exposure.

Of course, we think the best swag is a photo strip with your logo on it. We always say that photo strips are like dollar bills: people always want more and never want to throw them away!

9. Get Tech-y

mirror photo booth video

Technology makes our lives better in so many different ways, and trade shows are no exception.

Use a service like iBeacon and use proximity marketing to draw people in. A computer, tablet, or Smart phone sends a notification to the Smart phones near your booth and lets them know who you are and why they should stop by. "Hey, come grab a snack and hop in the photo booth!" is sure to be a major draw.

Or you could extend the tech benefits to everyone and set up a cell phone charging station. Snapping pictures at the event is bound to drain a few batteries, so a charging station will be well-visited. Plus, while they wait for their device to charge, you have their undivided attention.

Something that's always impressive? A mirror photo booth. Its interactive touch screen is unlike anything your guests have ever seen, plus they can add text, signatures, or emojis to their photos!

10. Offer a Special Deal

trade show reps posing with mustaches

Last, but not least, have a special offer just for trade show attendees.

An "insider deal" will make people more likely to use you in the future, especially if it has an expiration date. Alternatively, hand out $5 gift certificates (or some other small amount) to encourage people to make a purchase in the future. Because it feels like "free money," they'll feel like they have to spend it. And, more times than not, they'll end up spending more than $5.


Trade show booths can be a great way to get the word out about your business and gain some loyal customers. But you can't succeed with a sad trade show booth design.

Do your research, go big, attract some customers, and—above all—stay true to what makes you unique. Trends come and go, but authenticity is always in style.

Setting up a trade show booth in Orlando? Call us today to ask about pricing and availability. We have 11 types of photo booths available, including the space-saving Open Air booth and the technologically advanced mirror booth. With Photobooth Rocks, it's always a party, so reserve your booth today!

Comment (1)

  1. Tyler Johnson
    February 19, 2020

    I agree that it would be important to make sure that people see your brand so they can associate it with your business. I could see how that would be a good way to help them remember you as being connected to the business as well. I should make sure that if I take my business to a trade show that I get a good display that will have the logo easily visible on it.

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