How To Successfully Design A Trade Show Exhibit


How To Successfully Design A Trade Show Exhibit

Filling a trade show exhibit space is both an art form and a science. Items have to fit properly, face the right direction, include targeted messages and alluring promotional graphics as well as accommodate not just products and demonstrations, but also booth staff and show visitors. Furnishing an exhibit is not like newlyweds trying to furnish a house on a pittance and buying pieces of furniture here or there over time and hoping it will all gel into something that you are not too embarrassed to invite your friends into. Your trade show display space needs to have gestalt; the whole should be greater than the sum of the parts. An exhibit is a well-executed marketing piece designed to grab attention quickly and hold it long enough for booth personnel to engage prospects with the environment you have created.

The one thing you as an exhibitor and the newlyweds do have in common, however, is that you should have a good handle on what amount of money is available for you to spend.  What is your budget? Know which portion of that budget is for the display itself as there are a lot of other costs involved in exhibiting (i.e. transportation, travel, staff training, installation & dismantle labor, promotion, talent etc.). It may seem counterintuitive, but it is a good idea to let your exhibit company know how much it is you have allotted for exhibit and display creation. This will help guide them in designing the best exhibit for what you can afford. For example, you may want a 60” audio visual display; but, you may need to go with the 32” and some surrounding backwall graphics to catch attention instead. There is no need to eat up your valuable exhibit timeline sketching, designing and working with suppliers regarding ideas that are out of your budgeted price range. A good exhibit house will be able to work with you and give you an honest assessment of what you can and can’t achieve structurally and aesthetically while still respecting your budget.

Always choose value over price. Get the best quality exhibit within your price point – it will be worth it in the long run. If at all possible, often choosing modular exhibits is beneficial as they allow for re-configuring at future shows and at shows that may have a different booth size or shape. This keeps expenses down as well when it is time to revamp messages and do special promotions as you can choose to re-create only select graphics, or just add or change some and not all of the exhibit’s elements.


There are many resources available for choosing graphics, fonts, and other visual elements. If you do not have a graphic designer on staff work, secure one or ask to work with one provided by your display manufacturer but understand this will mean additional costs (usually well worth it as graphics people speak their own language!). A creative exhibit designer can achieve your objectives within your fiduciary guidelines if you are candid and flexible with the path to success.

Got your numbers all worked out and want to start exploring what an exhibit would look like for the trade show space you have chosen? Give Mark Bric Display a call today at 800-742-6275 and tell our customer service department you are interested in a free, 3D, full-color rendering. After understanding your needs and objectives they will set you up with one of our trade show exhibit designers and get your no obligation quote started.

 If exhibit installation & dismantle has you concerned, or you’d just rather someone else install & dismantle your display so your booth staff has more customer interaction time while they are in town, ask us about our I&D services and we can quote for that too.

 Check our Trade Show Season Smarts series next week for advice on trade show staffing & training.

  For more design ideas visit: or


 –By Stacy Poole, Marketing Professional for Mark Bric Display Corp.


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