Trade Show Booth Ideas & Design Trends For Your Exhibit Displays

No one likes to admit it, but the world of business design follows trends just like in fashion. Trade show booth ideas don’t change quite so quickly, but there are still slow and unmistakable drifts in design over the years. It’s a subtle thing, but exhibit displays put together using creative trade show booth ideas and the latest design and color schemes will stand out over the competition.Impressions Expo – Long Beach 2023, an example of trade show booth ideas

Now, for some of you, your trade show booth design ideas are going to be largely dictated by your larger corporate and product design strategies, and that’s fine too – branding is ultimately more important than trade show color choices. However, if you’re in the position to be creative, we’ve got some suggestions for where to take your booth designs in the next few months.

Keeping Your Trade Show Booth Ideas Up-To-Date As Summer Arrives


Frankly, we’ve got two words for you: Think 80s. Late 80s. They’ve been creeping back up on us for years now, driven by a strange nostalgia among the millennials for 80s cheese and, of course, growing numbers of aging Gen-Xers looking to revisit their childhood.

Pastels and neons are very much coming back into play in exhibit display designs. However, at this stage, keep it tasteful. For example, earth tones with light pastels would work, or neon accents to accompany darker design schemesWe’re not saying to make your display into a Trapper Keeper circa 1989, at least not unless you can really pull it off.

Similarly, X-Files-style colored lighting seems to be making its way back as well. If you’re looking for a way to set your display apart, consider adding colored lights to the overhead array.

Be careful with this, however – studies have shown that prolonged exposure to colors really can affect people’s moods. We recommend against strong red lighting for this reason, as it encourages hostility. However, cooler colors – blue, green, or purple – can work quite well and make your booth an inviting refuge from the hot and busy show floor.

Open, Asymmetric, and Surprising Layouts

After years and years of trade shows being crammed into mostly regular booths, in grids, mostly laid out according to wiring needs, people are wanting exhibit displays that do more. As we’ve noted in various blogs on recent events, trade show booth ideas are including more and more creative usage of interior space, including overhead elements – this seems to be a growing trend.waveline_media-resized-600

We can’t tell you what to do here so much as what not to do: avoid the expected. Virtually anything you can do to make your trade show booth design innovative, creative, and surprising will pay off right now. People want spaces that they can explore and expo displays that feel like they’re bursting out of the confines of normal 3-dimensionality.

People should have plenty of room to walk around and interact with your trade show stands, but aside from that, anything you can do that’s not tables-and-chairs is going to be a step in the right direction.

More DIY And\Or Interactive Displays

Perhaps it’s a little disappointing, since most of us go to trade shows to network, but a growing number of visitors these days just want to be left alone to explore things on their own. “No Hassle” zones continue to be implemented, and tend to have very positive results. After all, there are few things you can do in an expo display that are easier than just sticking some materials in a room and then leaving it alone.Old interior room

Look to incorporate quiet space where it’s clear that a visitor can quietly peruse your materials or experiment with a demo, without a salesperson leaning over them. A lot of the time, visitors like this are mostly taking a breather from the floor, but they’ll be appreciative of your booth design all the same.

When designing interactive displays for them, such as on iPads, look to give them something to “take home” – let them email it from your booth, or give them a branded usb flash drive or card with your digital presentation. Let them create hypothetical setup of your product for their homes, or integrate pictures of themselves into a final digital creation.

Yet Fewer Booth Babes

We’ve covered this one extensively in the past, so we won’t harp on it for long. However, people have definitely been noting that at events like E3, there are markedly fewer women (or men) hanging around the trade show stands who seem to exist solely as eye candy. At the least, many companies were now putting more clothes on them and calling them “brand ambassadors” instead.

Even in fields aimed at less-mature audiences, blatant sexuality is currently being discouraged. That’s not to say sex should be avoided entirely – this isn’t a new puritanism – but rather it should be handled in ways that are more subtle, coy, or fun rather than as blatant exploitation.

Personally, I think it may just be that people are so desensitized to the flesh on display at some of these shows that having booth reps wearing clothes borders on being novel.

More Chances For Direct Audience Involvement

Whether it’s via social media, live at events, or even laymen being invited to present their own creations, trade shows are currently about trying to involve as many people as possible. Don’t look at them solely as a soapbox. You can do a lot of outreach by allowing others to tell their stories along with yours.

In a word of faceless corporations, that sort of personal connection helps make your organization real, and not just another expo display representing a corporate board somewhere. It also shows that you understand customers are taking a larger role in business now, and are working to find ways to fit them into your own plans.

Keep Updating Your Trade Show Booth Ideas

Now is not the time to become complacent, or to keep recycling the same sets of display stands and trade show furniture every few months. Bold designs that leap out at visitors and make them want to interact are the ones which are finding success right now.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve changed your booth designs, now’s a great time to look into it! Give us a call today if there’s anything we can do to help you design the exhibit displays that you’ve always wanted.

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