Marketing Genome is now Foster Display Group. Learn more

Industry Insights

Custom Trade Show Booth Fabrication, Worth Every Penny?

Custom Trade Show Booth Fabrication, Worth Every Penny?

Short Answer: Yes, but it doesn’t have to break your budget.

Every brand is unique. Every company has an identity of its own. Yet time after time we find an overwhelming monotony across trade show floors. There are many ways to break out of that cookie cutter mold, but the most effective, by far, is using custom trade show booth fabrication in your trade show booth or offsite events.

Now don’t freak out here, you’re probably thinking “Custom? Doesn’t that mean expensive?” The short answer is no. It truly does not have to break the bank.

Don’t get us wrong, you CAN spend an exorbitant amount of budget on custom work, and we welcome you to! But, you really don’t have to win the Powerball to go custom when you have the right game plan. What we suggest to our clients are ways to implement custom design and fabrication that won’t have you emptying your business’ 401k plan. Just one or two unique elements can be enough to change the dynamic of your design dramatically.

It’s The Little Things

Even a relatively basic trade show booth can really shine with a few minor custom exhibit pieces. Something like swapping a standard swinging door to a rolling barn door gives an inviting and fresh look at a relatively low cost. Even a wall can become the most interesting aspect of your booth. Throwing a custom veneer or faux material onto a span of wall space will instantly add value to your overall design. A little custom booth lighting can also go a long way in making your booth more inviting while also showcasing your product. Want to put a cherry on top? Try integrating a green screen photo opportunity you can make visitors feel instantly connected to your brand. We have had booths with a tiny footprint outshine the big boys with these tiny little tweaks. Below are a few examples:


We originally integrated this single barn door for Orb Toys. It created such a welcoming feel that it was mirrored throughout the entire booth the following year.


This custom build for Digital Trends booth is a prime example of the impact a few veneer and faux paneling additions can make to a booth’s overall vibe.


A single L.E.D. lightbox wall, like this one for Park Mobile can draw the eye fast enough to deter attendees from entering one booth and go directly to another.

We love photo booths but they need to be done right. This interactive photo booth with custom props went a long way for Netflix. We were able to amplify the awareness with social media sharing options.


Obviously, event marketing is all about selling your brand, and when you’re at a trade show that’s what everyone else is doing too. So the number one custom element to consider is a hanging sign that lets everyone know you’re there. People are always looking up to find aisle numbers, restroom signs, or just to stare into space; so this is valuable real estate to showcase your brand. Don’t let the word “sign” fool you, we aren’t talking about just a plain banner. You can get a sign in almost any shape and size, even a 3D model of your logo. If you feel that the airspace in the exhibit hall is already a little crowded, you can add even more flair through lighting or having it rotate.

This sign we recently did for ORB at New York Toy Fair literally could not be missed, and sold the brand from across the Javits Center in New York.


Custom Displays

Coming back to the ground, custom booth fabrication can go in many unique directions. One of a kind furnishings will draw eyes to your booth. Custom displays, stands, showcases, and podiums increase product visibility as well as brand awareness exponentially. A distinct reception counter that is able to tell your brand’s story through design will draw attendees in. Even something as small as a custom shelf can have a huge impact on the look of your booth. The more custom pieces you add can dramatically increase your brand’s visibility, but the important takeaway here is that you only need one to start making a difference.

This Dark Horse Comics booth at New York Comic Con is a prime example of how custom displays can drastically improve sales and overall event ROI:

Sharing Space

All of the above goes for offsite events like pop-up shops and sponsorship activations as well. When you’re using a space that has an aesthetic of its own, you need to find ways to make it on brand for you. Custom signage is a great way to get the ball rolling here. The most common option we see used is posters and vinyl graphics on the walls. These are wonderful tools for increasing brand awareness, but there are even more unique routes you can take. Custom neon signs, backlit fabric graphics, and LED light boards have been showstoppers at a number of events we have helped produce.

Even if you’re under an escalator in Brooklyn you can create a truly custom experience as we recently did for the New York premiere of NBC Universal’s film GLASS.

Getting It Done

So at this point there are some ideas and examples on what custom exhibit fabrication can add to your booth. Whether it be a custom hanging sign, a unique offsite event, small design tweaks, or a ground up fully custom design and build; execution is key. First you need to find a custom trade show booth fabricator. You may need a booth designer. We like to offer both services with a fabrication shop in San Diego, California and a management as well as a design office in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Within a couple weeks, your vision can be designed and built into a truly one of a kind experience.

Similar Articles