At your next trade show, how are you going to stand out in a sea of doppelgangers? The answer is to have the most compelling, eye-catching, engaging booth possible.

At Steelhead, designer Alex Lancuba ensures the custom details of every booth design come together to create the most attractive, comprehensive, and functional booth you can imagine. But it's not just about making booths that look and work great.

The right details reflect and help you achieve your marketing goals and attract the type of attendees you want to interact with. To find out what goes into the process of designing your booth’s critical details, we sat down with Alex to pick his brain. 

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The Ultimate Guide to Designing a Trade Show Booth

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Q: How long have you been working with Steelhead?

Alex: I’ve been at Steelhead for three and a half years.

Q: What is your favorite project that you’ve completed with them? Why?

Alex: My favorite project happens to be the most recent, the beMatrix® booth for the upcoming Exhibitor 2019. It’s my favorite because it had a very comprehensive design brief and it gave us the ability to stretch our creative capacity by using and showcasing their latest innovative product lines within the structure of the design. Part of the design included the heavy use of seamlessly integrated LED tiles. As challenging as it was to present the entire design with animated renders, especially in a condensed time frame, it was extremely rewarding to see the final result.

Q: What are the principles that you use to guide your approach to designing the details for a trade show booth, regardless of the specific tactics you’re using?

Alex: Typically, when approaching the design details of a booth, I try to consider three simple principles for each detail that’s integrated.

  1. Does it make sense aesthetically? Does it blend into the design language and theme consistently throughout the design?
  2. Do all the details relate to and represent the brand in a modern and refreshing manner?
  3. Does the detail add a necessary and cost-effective value to the space?

Q: How does your approach change when you’re designing a large island booth as opposed to something smaller?

Alex: My approach doesn’t necessarily vary between small booths and big booths when it comes to the details. No matter what the size of the space, I always want to make sure the detail elements feel cohesive and do the most amount of justice to the brand being represented. That being said, in a small booth, every detail’s value is significantly greater because it’s easier to determine whether or not it is cohesive or not.

Q: Let’s talk a bit about trends. What are a few of the hottest trends in detailing right now?

Alex: LED video walls, signs, and feature areas are becoming more popular because they offer a big visual drawcard. In the show hall, there are tons of booths fighting for an attendee’s attention. It’s only natural that the one with the most illumination and movement will catch your eye first.

Another trend is the use of SEG fabric to mimic textured surfaces, like brick, stone, or wood paneling. The end result looks almost as good as the real thing, and SEG fabric is far more affordable and easier to handle and install.

Q: Are there any times when you should avoid these trends in your booth?

Alex: It depends on the scope of the design. LED hanging signs are more common in larger booths but smaller booths, such as 20x20’s, can still incorporate scaled-down LED signs. I can’t think of any scenario where SEG texture replication should be avoided or limited.

Q: Are there any tried-and-true approaches that you recommend to people regardless of the rate of change in the industry? Why?

Alex: Despite the ongoing changes in the industry, booth rental, as opposed to booth purchase, will always be a constant advantage. A rental offers so many economic advantages, and you still get a custom, cutting-edge design.

Find out how custom details and dedicated design teams combine to create spectacular trade show booths. Check out our free resource: The Ultimate Guide To Designing A Trade Show Booth.

Download Your Free Resource

The Ultimate Guide to Designing a Trade Show Booth

Download Now
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