You have a sweet trade show space. You have an awesome booth design. Your team is prepped and energetic and ready to take the show floor by storm.

The question is, do you even know who you’re trying to reach? Because all the eye candy and preparation in the world can’t make up for the mistake of not knowing your audience before the show begins.

This is where data comes into play.

Without employing data in your design process, you risk missing the mark with your presentation and messaging. You also risk wasting a pile of money planning, building, and staffing your booth.

To help you avoid these outcomes, here are three tips for incorporating data in your trade show booth design process.

1. Gather InformationSteelhead_Blog_Images_9.24_Gatherinfo

At Steelhead, we like to start with the end in mind. What is that feeling you want your prospects to take away from interacting with your brand?

In order to get there, however, you need to have an idea of who your prospects are. This way, you can better tailor their experiences to their needs, wants, and priorities.

Download Now: The Ultimate Guide to Designing a Trade Show Booth

Before you start the design process, the first step is to put together all the information you have on your prospects.

Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Are they likely to be after something specific at the show?
  • Are they just grazing?
  • Who are the decision makers among your prospects?
  • How pressed for time do you think they’ll be at the show?

Answering these and other questions can help guide you as you design your presentation so your prospects’ experiences are optimized to better meet their needs.

2. Study the PastSteelhead_Blog_Images_9.24_BoothLearning

Chances are this isn’t your first trade show, which means your past booth experiences — good and bad — can provide you with a blueprint for effective design.

Think about what worked well with previous booths — and what didn’t.

Consider the following:

  • Was the booth designed in a way that made it easy for staff to interact with prospects?
  • Did the traffic flow without interruption?
  • Which past designs delivered higher engagement numbers than others?

Auditing your past booth design performance can help you get the most bang for your buck in future designs.

3. Plan for the Three Types of AttendeesSteelhead_Blog_Images_9.24_BoothFlow

There are three types of attendees at every trade show, and their journey on the floor varies depending on where they are at.

Successful trade show booths guide attendees through each of these stages in a strategic way that allows them to flow through the exhibit and end up as a high-quality lead — if not a sale.

These stages include:


Lookers are starting to understand that they have a problem, but they can’t quite pinpoint it or don’t have a clue about how to solve it.


Seekers know they have a specific problem and are considering different solutions. They aren’t ready to look at vendors yet — rather, they are just looking at the best possible way to solve their challenge, while also making them look like a hero.


And finally, Explorers have narrowed down the potential solutions to their problems and are about ready to make a purchase or create a partnership with a vendor. As the name suggests, they are exploring the available options and nitty gritty details — from budget to contract length — in the marketplace.

For more tips on data and design, along with a ton of other trade show booth tips, download 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
Steelhead_eBook_Ultimate_Guide_to_Designing_A_Trade_Show_Booth Feb 2019-1 Steelhead_eBook_Ultimate_Guide_to_Designing_A_Trade_Show_Booth Feb 2019-2 Steelhead_eBook_Ultimate_Guide_to_Designing_A_Trade_Show_Booth Feb 2019-3

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