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11 Trade Show Booth Ideas To Beef-Up Boring Modular Exhibits

11 Trade Show Booth Ideas To Beef-Up Boring Modular Exhibits

Plain and simple. We put together 11 common trade show booth ideas that in unison or on their own can dramatically beef up standard modular exhibits.

1. Ditch the Photo Booth. Incorporate VR or AR.

We’ll step off with one quick point. Green screen photos booths are outdated! If exhibitors are not thinking of ways to integrate today’s tech like Virtual RealityAugmented Reality or other tech advances, then the competition will soon surpass.

2. Swap Out Standard Paneling for Better Materials

Most modular exhibits may be designed to accept standard PVC (Sintra), Gatorfoam or Foamcore panels but unbeknownst to many exhibitors, common modular exhibit framing is also designed to accept SEG (silicon edge graphics).

The advantage? Eliminating breaks and seams in graphics while simultaneously opening up options like back lit walls and reducing shipping weight and drayage bills. “Does that person have a huge gap I their teeth?” Nope it’s just a seam in the panel!

3. The More Lighting the Better

Here is an experiment; Try Googling “trade show booth ideas” and look at “images”. It is easily noticed that booths with the most lighting – more specifically, colored lighting stand out the most. This is no different on the trade show floor. Inserting lighting wherever possible is an essential trade show booth idea that will beef up any modular exhibit. Consider placement in these key areas to start:

• Over all hero graphics.
• Behind TV’s.
• Inside fabric panels.
• Within or behind 3d letters.

• Even consider using basic string lights for a warmer vibe. (Great for outdoor themed trade shows).

4. Using Glass, Plexiglass or Acrylic Panels

Want to make the allotted space more private yet still inviting? Try using transparent Plexi or acrylic panels. Dive deeper by use vinyl branding overlaid over the panel. To go for the gusto, try adding in back lighting too!

5. Supplement With Props

Even if it makes no sense we can’t get over how attendees stop dead in their tracks when they see props. This trade show booth idea has been around for decades for one reason only. It works. Try experimenting with these types of props to spruce up an otherwise boring modular exhibit:

• Life-sized statues of mascots, key players or a company icon.
• Robots of any kind.
• 3D Printers for handing out Swag.
• Miniature models of facilities, mock-ups, products or processes.
• Original designs and patents to add nostalgia.

Looking for a Deeper Dive Into Creating the Perfect Exhibit?

Check out our resources section for tons more trade show guides and tips!

6. Custom Greeting Counters

Convention greeting counters come all shapes and sizes. Some modular, some ultra custom. Adhering to budget requirements is usually a restriction but often times jumping for the next tier of greeting counters can make the difference between a walker by and a stop-in. This is after all the face of the exhibit booth and first impressions are undoubtedly a necessity.

Consider trade show greeting counter ideas such as EdgeLit acrylic tops in place of wood or 3d logos instead of a simple slide in graphic panel. Remember, It’s called modular for a reason and it doesn’t need to mean boring.

7. Better Display Cases

If we’re talking product companies (not service industry) than trade show product displays are the window into the company. As you’ve most likely already discovered basic display cases let alone custom ones are not cheap. Unbeknownst to many exhibitors, rental options do exist. Inquire with the trade show management company in question and see if they offer some of the following cases.

  • Interactive and hands-on display cases.
  • Turntable tops.
  • Themed display cases (wood, cardboard, rope, etc.).
  • Custom lit cases.
  • Wall integrated cases.

8. Rotating Banners & Inflatable Banners

Even during event Install and dismantle I personally can’t wait until our clients hanging banners are up. The overload of exhibit materials, freight and booth staff makes it a challenge to find our exhibitors without that beacon in the sky. Imagine how difficult it is for attendees whom never stepped foot on the show floor prior to opening!

Point being; if a booth is basic make the banner stand-out. They come in all shapes, sizes, styles and materials but the best way to beef up an existing current modular banner… make it spin. Banner motors are surprisingly affordable and should be in stock at a decent trade show manager’s warehouse.


9. Use “Real World” Materials

Interested in going the themed trade show exhibit route? Using “real world” materials is a must. Experiment with the following ideas to get that custom exhibit feel without a complete trade show booth overhaul.

  • Live walls and adding in faux fauna.
  • Using crates as displays (saves on drayage too!).
  • Cover walls with faux facades/veneers like wood or stone.
  • Use smoke and mist machines to generate curiosity.


10. Brand Meeting Spaces

Although sitting at a trade show is heaven, meetings are sometimes not. If a dedicated meeting space is a requirement then make it enjoyable. Try adding in some of these elements to jazz up meeting spaces.

  • Add graphics to tables and chairs.
  • Hang company pictures.
  • Use branded tablecloths.


11. Go Beyond Solid Carpet

Praise the ground that they walk on. Make fans and prospects feel like they are part of something special by swapping in trade show flooring other than the basic solid carpet. Below are some ideas:

  • Faux wood vinyl flooring.
  • Branded carpet.
  • Sectional foam paneled flooring.
  • Faux grass/AstroTurf.


Want to expand your current modular trade show booth with some of the tactics mentioned above? Submit your contact information below and one of our design experts will be in touch lickety-split!

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