Three Exhibit Booth Ideas You Can Steal to Stand Out on a Crowded Show Floor

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Katherine Zimoulis
Katherine Zimoulis

VP, Content Marketing

Take inspiration from these trade show booth success stories

A trade show exhibit exists to highlight your brand, tell your story, showcase products and services, and provide a space for meaningful interaction with customers and prospects.

Is that too much to ask from the small footprint of one exhibit booth?

Sure, checking off all these goals in a single space can feel overwhelming, but sometimes all you need is a little inspiration! To get your creative juices flowing, we’ve compiled three recent exhibit success stories where challenges became opportunities. Each example is unique, yet ripe with possibility — with ideas ready for the picking. 

Use these ideas as a launching pad to stimulate discussion and ideation when planning your next trade show appearance.

Clean & simple design

Just like in your home, organization is key to creating a welcoming experience for visitors. Nothing can turn attendees away from your booth faster than a cluttered, dysfunctional space. 

And when you are a global manufacturer of home organization products, this approach is even more important. 

That’s the thinking behind the award-winning neatfreak! booth design for the International Home + Housewares show. The brand ditched product-packed areas in favor of a clean, simplified space that symbolized the brand promise and strengthened its presence at the show. 

A double-decker structure, the 30’ x 60’ retail-inspired space was washed in the brand’s signature hue and decked out with large-scale proprietary hangers (designed and constructed by neatfreak!) dangling from above. The lightweight SmartPanel™ framework offered an airy, adaptable foundation while reusable fabric panels highlighted neatfreak!-designed imagery. Through it all, clean lines and simple design helped to showcase the brand in a powerful way. 

Crowd-sourced creative

How can a 90-year industry veteran make a splash with a new brand message? 

For this example, we turn to… ourselves! 

Yes, that’s right. Even the leading brand experience company faces challenges on a crowded show floor. 

At IAEE Expo! Expo!, we wanted to embody a new brand story in front of an audience that’s known us for quite some time. The goal was to create an immersive experience that left attendees inspired and motivated with revived trust in Freeman and new insight about our capabilities. 

Taking cues from the art world, we created a bright and engaging booth concept incorporating light-generated visuals while also representing our strategic, creative, and digital prowess through two interactive, digitally based activations that focused on the visitor experience. 

  • On a central screen wall, guests watched their personal “constellations” come to life with unique information provided through digital questionnaires.
  • Nearby, pre-programmed animations generated artful light patterns (and the Freeman logo) across the matrix. Using motion-capture technology, visitor movements transformed into 3D choreographies providing a user-generated light show.

The 20’ x 30’ space came to life thanks to unique input from booth visitors (with the help of 26,304 LED lights). 

Scale down

What happens when you have a large-scale custom booth that, for whatever reason, just won’t work for an upcoming trade show? 

That’s exactly the situation the team at LAV, a Turkish-based glassware brand, found themselves in leading up to the International Home + Housewares show, where the brand would have about one-third the footprint their Europe-based booth would allow. 

A new build, designed and fabricated in the U.S., was in order. 

The new build needed to emulate the original, maximize the smaller footprint, showcase future objectives, as well as pay homage to the brand’s powerful expertise dating back to 1948, and beautifully showcase and introduce LAV products to a U.S. audience. 

All of these goals needed to be accomplished in a compact 20’ x 50’ space! 

A focus on functionality was paramount to achieving a wow factor in the smaller space. Designed with the same modern architectural design as the original, the new booth was built with the SmartFabric™ system of lightweight structures and custom overlays to deliver an eye-catching exhibit, complete with flexible options for graphics, messaging, and product display.

Crisp, clean fabric-covered structures created an architectural backdrop to display multiple lines of glassware on lighted shelving units and custom display tables. The mirrored bar with overhead atrium served as a networking and refreshment area. The custom track-lighting system on the faux ceiling illuminated a trendy, upbeat vibe.

Want more strategic tips for your next exhibit booth? Download our insights paper!


What you need to know to stay ahead of the ever-changing experiential marketing curve.

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