A successful trade show booth relies on two major elements: design and content. It’s the design aspect that many exhibitors have the most trouble with, especially when they’re new to exhibiting. And yet, good design is essential because an eye-catching booth is what attracts foot traffic and gets people to visit and engage with your content. Coming up with design ideas isn’t always easy, so we’ve put together this list of ways to find inspiration for exhibit design, to help you get started.
Where to Find Design Inspiration for Your Trade Show Exhibit
Pinterest doesn’t have a major reputation as a professionally oriented social media platform. But when it comes to visual imagery and design inspiration, it comes in well ahead of Facebook and even Instagram. Page after page after page of images, plus the ability to search by keyword, means this is a great place to find inspiration for booth design.
Get exhibit design inspiration here.
Like Pinterest, Flickr is an image-oriented site. But whereas Pinterest is an image-sharing site, Flickr is an image hosting site. This may seem like a subtle distinction, but it does make a difference in the types of images you can expect to find. So it’s worthwhile checking out both locations for trade show booth design ideas.
Flickr has slightly more advanced search features too. You can search images by color, date, and other parameters. This means you can add extra specificity to your searches if you have particular color stories in mind or if you’re interested in current design trends.
Yet another searchable image-oriented site, but this one is different again! Bēhance is where creatives and designers go to show off their work. It’s an amazing resource for all kinds of design inspiration and has an entire category devoted to exhibition design.
4. ProExhibits Design Search
On the ProExhibits website we’ve put together helpful resources for design inspiration, including:
- Case studies that showcase our own custom exhibit designs
- An exhibit search tool – ProExhibits Exhibit Design Search features over two thousand different trade show booth designs and booth components. As well as pre-fabricated booths and portable displays, there’s a huge range of components, including signage, banners and tension fabric displays, lightboxes, stands and kiosks, and more. Plus, there are rental options and eco-friendly sustainable booth options too.
5. Existing Company Displays
If your company has any existing trade show booths, permanent displays, or portable or popup displays, they can serve as excellent inspiration for a new exhibit design. Taking your inspiration from existing company displays and booths is particularly effective if it’s important to stay consistent with your company or brand image. This strategy can help you pick out the fonts, images, and other design elements that will ensure your exhibit booth fits in with your business’s brand image.
Your company can serve as design inspiration in another way, too, by thinking in terms of designs that align with its values. For instance, if sustainability is an important part of company culture, then use this as part of the inspiration for your booth design by choosing a trade show booth or portable display made with sustainable materials.
Your company story might also play a role in your trade show booth design. Has your company recently reached a new milestone, won an award, or done something noteworthy?
6. Your Audience
A deep dive into your target audience can serve up useful design inspiration ideas. Look for common themes among the different audience segments that comprise your target market. What are they interested in? Do they have commonalities in terms of hobbies, interests, and preferences? If you find any trends in your user data, they could be the jumping-off point for a new design idea.
7. Your Competitors
When you’re stuck for ideas or you’re not really sure what elements you need to include in your trade show booth, it doesn’t hurt to take a look at what your competitors are doing. Of course, this doesn’t mean you’ll copy any other company’s booth design exactly. But it’s a good way to see what elements are important to include in an exhibit and to give you a jumping-off point to expand on your own ideas. And in some cases, looking at competing booths might give you some ideas of what not to do!
8. Recent Shows
Along the same lines, it’s helpful to look at shows in your industry. This can give you a broad feel for how other companies are incorporating current design trends. And, again, you don’t have to use current trends as inspiration for your own exhibit design if you don’t want to. But it’s worth checking out what kinds of exhibits are a big hit at the shows you’re planning to attend.
This is an especially useful strategy if you’re working with a small budget and a small booth footprint. Looking at design ideas for small booths can help you figure out how to use the space you have most effectively and how to create an appealing booth without blowing your budget.
Design Inspiration Is All Around You
Design ideas can be hard to come by, especially when you’re new to the process. When you’re stuck for ideas, you have lots of options for finding inspiration for exhibit design, both online and offline. There’s no shortage of design ideas out there, as long as you know where to look!