Designing the area inside your booth can be tricky. Too much open space makes a booth feel barren, and too much “stuff” creates clutter and distractions. How can you strike the right balance, and include all the features you need? 

Here are four trade show booth design tips and best practices to help you create an effective trade show display and maximize your exhibit space.


booth design tip 1: Plan it out

As a trade show exhibitor, the size of your booth is the first thing you’ll want to nail down. To help decide how much square footage you’ll need, consider the following trade show booth ideas:

  • Will you have multiple product display areas?
    Product displays will require cases, tables, or walls. Factor in these elements, along with enough space for groups of visitors to access and view your products comfortably.

  • Do you require a private meeting room?
    Meeting rooms are an excellent way to take your sales conversations to the next level. If your trade show objective is to network with complementary businesses, or just to sell, meeting rooms allow you to get more personal with people, create a more impactful experience, and have more effective conversations by moving things away from the chaos of the trade show floor. If your conversations with leads may involve sensitive disclosures, your guests will also appreciate some privacy in a privately enclosed meeting room
  • Will you need a seating area?
    Most booths will need some form of space for conversation. Even 10x10 inline booths can fit a couple of barstools! Assess whether you’ll need a lounge space for casual networking or comfortable seating with tables or countertops to facilitate meetings and note-taking.

  • Are you planning on performing product or service demos?
    Evaluate the space requirements needed to store your demo materials and by-products, accommodate staff performing the demonstration, and of course, space for your audience

  • Will you be serving snacks or beverages?
    The coffee should be hot, and the water should be cold! You may need surface space for ovens, floor space for coolers/refrigerators, and storage/disposal for plates, cups, utensils, and more.

  • What is your expectation for foot traffic?
    Will you be crowded with demo-viewers or will you have a steady stream of attendees coursing through your exhibit? Leave space in your trade show booth design for comfortable navigation and enjoyment of any interactive features.

  • How many staff members will be present?
    Your level of staff presence will determine some important spatial requirements, such as seating/standing accommodations, number and location of manned displays, and storage for personal items.


booth design tip 2: Get organized

Organization is the key to maintaining a sleek booth, no matter how many displays, staffers, and attendees are packed in your exhibit. Here’s what you’ll need to consider: 

  1. Floor space/layout: Your booth should have a clear path that guides attendees from beginning to end, providing ample chances to engage with interactive displays and staff members. Create the path using smart booth design features like walls (with graphics or touchscreens), product displays, audio/video areas, and seating spaces.

    An efficient layout prevents visitors from “clumping” in one area or missing important highlights of your exhibit. An organized path also improves the guest experience by reducing confusion—nobody likes to feel lost. 

  2. Staff position: After planning your booth layout, place staff thoughtfully to ensure that entrances are manned as well as any features that generate questions or comments from visitors.

    The role of your trade show exhibition staff is to encourage visitors to take a look AND scoop up any qualified leads, so ensure that your employees are placed strategically with those goals in mind.


Try these successful trade show booth hacks:

  • Use Negative Space: Sometimes, less is more! Rather than telling your audience how sleek and seamless your product is, show them by presenting an uncluttered, spacious exhibit.

    One awesome way to use negative space is to think in 3D. Floating displays and hanging booth graphics give the appearance of more floor space.

  • Harness the power of light: Awesome lighting packs a visual punch with minimal space requirements. LED lights, in particular, bring color versatility and reduced energy needs, along with lower heat output.

    LED video walls, interactive light panels, projected graphics, and more, will help add visual interest to your booth without the clutter.

  • Make it multifunctional: Consider modular stands as a multifunctional feature.

    For example, along with displaying your product, you can install screens on the back/sides of the stand and add cabinets below for storage.

  • Include a storeroom: A sizeable space to store staffers’ belongings, excess materials, special equipment, and tools can be a helpful clutter-cutter. Include a hidden area where anything unsightly can be tucked away.

Could you use some expertise in creating a clutter-free trade show booth design? Let us take a swing at it! Reach out to the trade show gurus at Exhibit Options for more trade show booth ideas today.

Tags: Booth Design