Everything You Need To Know About Effective Booth Design

example of good booth design

A good exhibition booth design should go beyond catching the attention of passersby at a trade show. It needs to captivate people so they become interested in what you have to offer.

But as you probably already know, it takes strategic planning to design a booth that will call out to people.

Thankfully, you are reading this article. And by the end, you should know everything you need to know about booth design.

Why is a Good Booth Design Important?

One of the best investments you can make when planning an exhibition is getting the best booth design.

Why’s that?

Here’s a quick rundown of why you should pay more attention to the design of your booth.

A Good Booth Gives a Good First Impression

The saying is true: you never get a second chance to make a good first impression!

The first thing attendees at an exhibition see about you and your business is your booth. And if you give them a good memorable first impression, they are likely to come back for more.

In many cases, this can create some kind of connection that will lead to sales.

For this reason, make your booth a top priority when it comes to ideas and presentations.

Focus on attracting leads, and since booth design is an aspect you can deliberately control, it is a great tool for attracting leads.

It Engages Booth Visitors

Trade shows are mainly about displaying your business and drawing people’s attention. This is why you should design your booth so that people who see it will want to walk over to your stand. 

To keep things engaging, here are a few ideas you should focus on:

    • Getting your message across through effective communication
    • Effective use of graphics and colors to complement your booth design
    • Creating a warm and welcoming environment for visitors
    • Create personalized communication, as this will have a good effect on visitors

It Makes Your Brand Standout

Trade shows can be packed full of indistinguishable stands because many brands are trying to do the same thing everyone else is doing.

Don’t take this route.

Instead, be unique, even if it means deviating from the norm.

It will make your brand stick out like a sore thumb (in a good way, though). So, be willing to invest the time, effort, and money into designing the best booth.

This is a good way to increase visibility.

Plus, it is an excellent way to create connections with major decision-makers. Also, it is a more effective way to connect with your target audience. 

A booth design means that visitors will remember your brand over your competitors. The result is usually better sales and more connections. 

For this reason, you should be in control of your booth design so that your business will thrive at the event.

Improves Functionality and Creates Better Impact

A huge part of your trade show success depends on how easy it is to access and use your booth. For this reason, you should consider customizing your booth to suit your brand needs. 

Make appropriate use of your space and create some room to meet and chat with attendees privately. 

It Makes Your Brand More Attractive

A display that is branded from the inside out has a higher chance of calling out to visitors than a bland booth.

If visitors aren’t attracted to your stand, it will be difficult to build trust, regardless of how good your business is. Let your brand stand tall and it will get the crowd's attention.

Size of Booth Design

Sometimes, bigger isn’t necessarily better when it comes to choosing booth size.

To maximize your return on investment, you need to choose the right booth size. And this involves a meticulous balance of certain factors.

Consider your business and what’s more important to you, as this will help you decide whether to:

    • Choose a large and spacious booth with enough room for visitors to have a private chat.
    • Or opt for a less expensive but compact booth that potentially offers maximum ROI at low cost.

Here are the different types of booths to help you figure out what size and shape are best for your business:

Booth Types by Shape

Booths come in three major shapes. These are linear inline, peninsula, and island booths.

1. Linear Inline Booth

linear inline booth

These booths come in a range of different dimensions, but the most common options are constructed to be 10’ x 10’.

Linear booths are designed to fit in a line with other booths in an exhibition area, which explains why they are called so.

The 10’ x 10’ booths provide a one-dimension open space that allows visitors to enter and interact with your team. 

It is not out of place to find this booth type coming in 10’ x 20’ size or even larger sizes of 10’ x 30’. 

Inland display is an ideal booth design if you are exhibiting for the first time and you are working on a slim budget. 

They are smaller and are quite affordable. Plus, they are good for a small and simple trade show.

But the disadvantage is that linear booths are not as visible as the peninsula and island booths. Also, they can only receive traffic from one side.

2. Island Booths

island trade show booth

Just as the name suggests, Island booths are designed to look like islands.

Unlike the linear option that lines with other booths in the same exhibition area, this is a standalone booth and is accessible from all four sides like a real-life island.

Island booths are usually large with a minimum dimension of 20’ x 20’.

This option gives room for more visitors to approach your stand since it can be easily accessed from all directions. That means you get more traffic.

Also, you can rig some of your trade show components from the ceiling, allowing you to free up floor space.

But there’s a catch.

The main drawback with this option is that it is quite expensive. It is probably not the best type of booth to go for if you have a slim budget.

Also, it can be a bit challenging to create a private meeting space for chats with visitors or your team.

3. Peninsula Booths

peninsula trade show booth

Compared to linear booths, peninsula options allow better visibility because they can be accessed from three open sides. They have only one backdrop, meaning more people can gain entrance to the booth.

These types of booths come in a 20’x 20’ dimension but are also available in smaller dimensions.

The good thing about peninsula displays is that they strike a good balance between the linear and island options.

They are more expensive than the smaller inline booths but a lot cheaper than island booths.

However, if you choose these booths, you won't be able to extend the height of the unit as is possible with island displays.

Bottom Line

Now that you know all three booth designs, including their pros and cons, it is up to you to decide what’s best for your business.

Remember that while it is good to desire the most expensive booth, it is also wise to always consider your budget and potential ROI before investing.

Renting Trade Show Booths

rental trade show booths

Renting trade show booths can be a good thing for certain businesses. Here are some benefits that come with renting booths.

    • You are not stuck with obsolete booth designs. Keep in mind that an exhibition gives you the chance to show industry peers and visitors how innovative your brand can be. Showing up with dated-looking displays can hurt your business.
    • Rental booths afford you the flexibility to customize them to suit your brand. Turnkey booths from reputable expo companies offer lots of customizations.
    • Storage and transportation costs, as well as other maintenance costs, are handled by the rental company.

All these notwithstanding, rental booths have a few downsides too.

For starters, the cost of renting a booth can start to add up very quickly if you attend shows regularly.

Also, renting booths may not be your best bet if you attend multiple shows regularly.

To give you a fair idea of the cost of renting booths, let’s look at two popular exhibitions: the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the Specialty Management Market Association (SEMA).

Rental Booth Costs: CES vs. SEMA

rental booth designs

A 10’ x 10’ rental booth at CES can cost anywhere from $12,000 to $19,000 while a 10’ x 20’ display goes for around $16,000 to $23,000.

For larger sizes, you will have to shell out between $30,000 and $50,000 for a 20’ x 20’ booth while 30’ x 30’ options are available for rent at around $40,000 to $60,000.

On the other hand, a 20’ x 20’ booth at SEMA goes for around $8,000 or more.  

Non-members attending the SEMA exhibition can expect to pay about $36.95 per net square foot for space.

Regardless of how all the advantages, renting a booth is not cheap. And this is why it is super important to maximize your RIO if you are considering renting one.

Elements of a Good Booth Design

elements of a good booth design

Color Scheme

As simple as they may seem, colors can make or break your display designs. Using the right color can boost your traffic and increase the number of visitors to your booth.

The right combination of colors can give your stand a touch of beauty and uniqueness, making your display more alive and vibrant.

Keep in mind that people are moved by different colors, and this can make color psychology a bit complicated.

People associate a few different meanings or vibes with certain colors. For this reason, you want to choose the right color combination that will send the right message across.

For example, green, blue, and white appear cool and professional but they are not “catchy” and may not get people's attention so much. 

Other colors like yellow, orange and red are classified as warmer colors. These colors are very engaging.

But you want to use them moderately because overusing them can be overwhelming and create the opposite effect you want.


Having the right lighting for your booth is equally essential. Used correctly, lighting can set the mood for your booth at trade shows.

Although there is no single light that is perfect for all situations, using the right one will help you reach your booth design goals, especially if they are customized. 

There are various lighting you may want to choose to create a specific atmosphere in your stand. Regardless of which option you go with, it is a good idea to flatter your visitors with your choice of lighting.

But most importantly, you want to use lighting that will give your staff an active and cheerful appearance.

Make sure the light reaches all the corners of your booth (that many exhibitors tend to ignore). If possible, and if it complements your overall booth design, consider adding colored lights. This can add some beautiful splash of color to your space.


Decorations, including banners, represent your brand; get it wrong and it rubs off on your company. On the other hand, if you get it right, it reflects professionalism.

For this reason, there should be consistency between the materials you use for decorations. Fonts, colors, and messages must blend well and pass across the same information for best results.

Also, remember to carefully consider the size of your decorations and banners. They will have more impact if they are larger.

But they must match the size and quality of your other display items, or else they will lose their effect.

Avoid a crowded appearance by keeping your decorations simple but attractive and inviting.


An excellent booth design is an essential part of a successful exhibition. It has the potential to increase your network, boost sales, and maximize your ROI.

However, don’t ignore your budget when looking out for booth rentals and suitable designs.