This is the best part – the design. It’s like building a new home exactly the way you want it.

So, why would you need to hire a designer for your trade show booth? Here’s a few good reasons:

  1. Better together

I can’t tell you how many hideous-excuses-for-booths I’ve seen (and worked) in my lifetime. No disrespect to your skills, but, ideally you should consult a professional.
Maybe you’re creative. I’m sure you could do a pretty good job with a DIY booth. But, is that the image you’re going for? Or, maybe you just have some kid who runs your Facebook account, and works a computer better than you can ever hope to. I’m sure they feel confident enough to pull off this project having painted so many signs for their sorority!

I repeat: this is NOT an art project  this is your livelihood.

And, it’s your first impression to the world, so make it a good one.

  1. Rules on rules

There are so many rules and little idiosyncrasies to trade shows. It would be nice – if not imperative – to use a pro in order to have a smooth trade show experience. From height restrictions to fine print on the contract ...  every trade show is different.

Making mistakes may be a part of life, but if you don’t have to, why waste your time and hard-earned money? Figure out as much as possible before leaping into the trade show abyss.

  1. Exposure: pros and cons

Having a booth at a trade show is very exposing, which is awesome for marketing your business. However, if what you’re exposing is all your flaws, it can also be a very bad thing.

Without an outside/professional opinion, you could be creating an exposé on your slightly chaotic life and not even realize it. If your personal life bleeds into this event, then it's put on display for everyone to see. Don’t be an exposed nerve.

Enough of the fear mongering, though. Sitting down with a designer is just a no-brainer. So you’re on a budget? Budget in a design sit-down.

Your priorities should be getting organized and using your time/money more efficiently. Pat yourself on the back after the event for making such great decisions. You will see a return on this investment.

  1. “Stuff” doesn’t sell

So you’ve got all these great posters and displays and cardboard cutouts from product pushers who you buy from? Oh great!

Stop it. Who are you trying to market – your company, or there’s? Whose name is all over that stuff? Don’t just “fill space,” BE the space! You need something for you and yours.

A designer will be able to build out your space, as well as personalize it. Whether you’re creating some transferable signage for a booth rental situation (see future article,) or opting for a permanent booth situation, you will benefit from bringing it all together with a professional’s touch.

  1. Personality, baby

Even if you’re working a corporate event, you need to stress the importance to your higher-ups about booth design. A 3-D experience is a little different in than your everyday paper/web marketing.

Some people can be great designers for, say, online marketing, but have the saddest, most barren booth. Other booth renters may cram in a million things, leaving a cluttered, chaotic feeling. This makes your booth very disorienting. Customers will be turned off if they have to try to figure out what it is you DO.

  1. Design is in the details

There’s depth to a booth. There’s different eye-lines, from across the show floor, to what catches the peripheral vision of someone walking by. A good designer will even touch on the up-close-and-personal details – the overall vibe of your new living space.

Please don’t let your Facebook tech print out your booth signs in Papyrus font for all to see, and call it good – call a professional instead.

You’re going to want someone who is a “space designer,” and a “visual storyteller” by trade, because they will tell the story of your brand. A brand’s story is physically experienced, with all the senses. To know a brand story is to get a feeling from that brand’s logo, advertising, product, packaging and the space where business is held. Think Apple, Nike, lululemon. Take inspiration from all successful brands, no matter their size.

  1. Getting organized

Take a look back at our article about keeping it simple, like “Back to Basics,”

and gather your list of do’s and don’ts you when you were “Attending the Show.”

Then, schedule an appointment with a designer and start mulling over the questions and ideas you come up with.

Another of our articles you may want to take a look at for some basic trade show tips is

Learn about Trade Shows 101.”


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