Designing Effective Trade Show Booth Banners

Trade show statistics reflect that, on average, visitors will spend about eight hours exploring exhibits. More than 80% of those visitors have purchasing authority. To draw their attention to your own trade show booth, an effective booth banner design is key. 

Here’s how to design an outstanding banner stand that will help distinguish you from competitors:

hanging booth banners for trade shows

Aim High

Contact information needs to be visible to all who pass by. Since a banner stand rests on the floor, contact information, such as a phone number or website, should be listed at the top of the banner. This makes it visible above the heads of all who walk by.

Contact information is not the same as your tagline. A tagline is the primary statement of the banner and will feature the dominant font. For contact information, choose a smaller font to not confuse it with the tagline's message. Logic may cause you to think that the tagline should be at the bottom, but a trade show booth needs to have a banner’s message highly visible to crowds of people on the move.


Create a short, catchy phrase that piques curiosity about your product or service. Remember, a booth banner is just like starting up a conversation. You need to hook them with something clever, to begin with. 

A banner is an invitation to discover what lies within the exhibit. You would rather not have a crowd congregating under a banner because it takes quite some time to read. Keep it short, keep it simple, and keep it clever. 

Otherwise that crowd is not only blocking entry into your trade show booth; they are also blocking the view of passersby. To be more specific:

  • Design your banner to contain 10 words or less

  • Configure your text to be no more than two lines

  • Use bold text

 You should also avoid including any secondary information on your booth banner that may change in the future. This can lead to the spread of false information and can mislead people. For example, if you include prices, you need to make sure those prices remain consistent. If there is a location change coming in the future, you might want to leave off a physical address for the time being.

The Role of Color

Although you want a bold font for your tagline, you do not necessarily want a bold background color for your banner. By simply focusing on a bright color without thinking of suitable contrasts in the palette, you may end up creating a banner that looks unprofessional and designed in poor taste. Think of some of the most successful marketing schemes and the color combinations that signify their brand:

  • Facebook: white text on royal blue background

  • Puma: black text on white background

  • John Deere: yellow logo on green background

Example of Coordinated Booth Banner Designs

Use Consistent Colors and Branding

 Each brand is associated not only with the product but also with the color of its logo. John Deere also selected a color associated with its industry, green being a color connected to agriculture. 

When designing your own banner, consider your industry, product, service, and message. Carefully select colors that will be consistent with your business theme. It may very well be that you find a soft aqua background with a bold royal blue text to be much more effective than a bright red background with black lettering.

Placid blues with contrasting white text may be a suitable option if you want a more refreshed look while darker colors reminiscent of leather and mahogany offer a much richer and almost luxurious appeal. 

No matter what color combinations you choose, you need to ensure that you are making high-quality design choices that stand out for all the right reasons.


It won’t matter how perfect your color combination is or how succinct and intriguing your tagline if no one can read the text. Font matters. If you sell something like Victorian-inspired art, you may be tempted to choose a font with flourishes. Don’t do it. 

When trade show visitors  and a potential customer scan banners for the next booth that looks promising, they may pass you over completely if they can’t read your banner within mere seconds. Select a font that is clean, crisp, and easy to read.

Example of Effective Trade Show Banner Designs


The same rule of thumb for text applies to a banner’s images. Don’t clutter things up. Use images with clear resolution. Rather than use multiple images that require more lengthy attention to the banner choose a single image or graphic selected for its maximum impact statement. You want to grab their attention, not tell them your entire story − that happens within the exhibit booth.

Avoid using pixelated images as well. This means you can't just jump online and perform a search engine search to find an image you can use on your booth banner. The image needs to be professional and of a high-quality, so you have a better return-on-investment compared to the base price you pay.

Booth Banner Size & Shape

Bigger is not necessarily better. On the other hand, too small means impaired visibility. You don’t want your exhibit space overcrowded and overpowered by a banner display, but you also want people to be able to see you from a distance. 

Your banner is a beacon and getting the size and shape right is where professionals in trade show supplies can help. They have the skill to know the right dimensions for the space you will be operating in. They can help you explore the many options of shape that can help to add dimension and versatility to your trade show booth.

Spring back-style banners can offer your display a much more dynamic feel while a double-sided banner is good for achieving more brand exposure in a smaller space. Fabric banners are also a versatile choice and can be customized according to your brand. It also helps create a more attractive visual effect for your trade show booth display.

Consider Your Audience

When designing your trade show banner, never forget who your intended target audience is. The tone and style of your display booth banner changes according to the target audience. For example, to reach a younger audience base, you may want to consider using bold graphics and more attitude to grab their attention. On the other hand, if you are trying to build trust, you want to leave the attitude behind.

Booth Banner Use

How you will be using your booth banner should also be considered when you think about its design. How often will you be using the booth banner and where are you most likely to use it? 

Choose high-quality materials that are durable and can withstand regular wear and tear. It should also be suitable for both indoors and outdoors. A banner faded by the sun and then used outdoors will be memorable, but for all the wrong reasons.

The booth banner should pop and look fresh and new to your audience every time. A multi-purpose banner is also favorable and is one that you can use at trade shows and then display in  your showroom every other day.

If you plan on hanging your banner outside for any amount of time, you may want to consider purchasing a vinyl banner because they are more suitable for long-term outdoor use. They are much more durable, and the colors are less likely to fade in the sun or wash out in the elements. 

A tension fabric banner is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use and the banner stand is easy to assemble, modern looking, and quite compact, so it is easy to transport and store. 

Coordinate Marketing Material

Finally, you want to make sure the design of your display booth banner falls in line with the rest of your promotional materials. You want to achieve a cohesive look overall for your brand when it comes to all the marketing material you use. If you have brochures printed, find a way to display the same message and imagery across the board so as not to confuse or overwhelm a potential client.

A Winning Invitation

winning design for a banner is an impact statement to trade show guests that your exhibit is interesting, professional, and contains something of value.

Our experienced trade show design experts can help you create the perfect banner display that will attract the attention of your target audience and draw them in - give us a chance to help!