Your trade show booth design is the marketing element that performs the first, most important job of attracting the attention of show visitors.

Your trade show booth design is part of your image, your brand. It’s like your website.

Like the headline of a print ad, or an outer envelope of a direct mail piece, it uses text or text in combination with a visual element to hook the viewer and draw him closer to your booth space. It’s an essential part of your trade show marketing plan.

The purpose of your backdrop is to telegraph the name of your company and a brief sales description of your product or service to the casual, uninterested vieweróYour Potential Prospectówalking down the aisle along your booth space.

To meet this goal, this text and visual elements must be placed high enough on your backdrop so they can be seen clearly from 30 feet, and above the heads of the people standing in your trade show booth design.

The key to specifying the design of your trade show booth design to your digital marketing agency or marketing consultant is to keep it simple. If you are working in a standard 10×10 booth space, the only visual element that should be featured on your backdrop are your company logo, a sales tagline describing your product or service, and some visual imagery, such as a photo of your product.

Your company logo and sales tagline should be set in the top third of your trade show display design. So they can be seen over the head of someone who is standing in your booth.

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When working in the standard 10×10 booth space, don’t place any other sales copy, like bulleted product benefits or features, on your backdrop, since any copy placed below the top third of your backdrop will be blocked from view by the people standing in the booth.

Instead, put these sales copy points on one or two smaller easels mounted signs to be displayed close to the aisle at the front of your booth. however, if you are working on a trade show exhibit design for a 10×20 or larger booth space, the extra booth space gives you flexibility in your design options that allow you to place bulleted sales copy directly on your backdrop panels.

Backdrop sales tagline copy

Give some careful thought to the sales tag line you use on your backdrop. Your sales tagline should concisely answer any two of the following questions, in 12 words or fewer:

  • What is your product or service?
  • Who is it for?
  • What does it do for them?

The backdrop sales tagline is a brief, simple statement that mostly describes what your company sells. If you can, try to incorporate a few benefit words into your tagline. If you can include your products main benefit, that’s even better, but not necessary.

Here are a few sample booth backdrop sales taglines:

  • One stop environmental mapping services for engineering professionals
  • Intelligent Vision systems for robotic assembly operations
  • Helping SaaS companies grow through performance marketing

The only purpose of the sales tag line on your backdrop is to cut through the noise and confusion of the show by sparking your prospects attention as he or she walks down the aisle. The main selling job of your trade show booth design is handled by the other booth elementsóthe smaller signs at the front of your booth, and your sales video.


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Small booth aisle signs

To communicate your products most important benefits and features to show visitors who approached your trade show booth design at close range, place one or two easels mounted sign by the aisle at the front of your trade show booth design. These signs give show visitors clear, telegraphic sales information on your product and, since they are mounted on free-standing easels, can be put anywhere, and angled in any direction, to catch the eye of his many show visitors as possible who walked by your booth.

tradeshow booth
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Compared to other show deliverables, booth aisle signs are quick and inexpensive to produce. This is a big advantage because it allows you to change the bulleted sales copy on these signs to target your company’s product breach audience at each new trade show your company at ends.

These signs can also be produced at any sign shop, which means you can even rework them during a show if necessary, to produce new signs that represent new, more effective sales benefit points as you discover them, by listening to prospects at the show.

Sign options

Depending on your booth size and layout, you can use two signs, each measuring 16 in wide by 20 in high, or a single, higher sign, measuring 22 in wide by 30 in high.

Sales copy for aisle signs

Set about 3 to 6 bulleted copy points to each sign. Copy for this bullet text can be adapted from the bulleted copy you use in your brochures and other printed material. Determine the best features and benefits to using in this copy by performing the sales copywriting exercise covered in the laundry list writing exercise post. If your company’s product or service as an interesting visual presentation, you can also include it on your aisle sign in the form of a large, arresting photo or graphic.

Sales benefits

Here are some examples of sales benefits that would work well on aisle signs:

  • Reduce product defects before they reach QA
  • Highest resolution imaging in fastest image processing in its class
  • Increase leads for all of your marketing programs

Product features

Here are some examples of product features, written as aisle sales bullet points:

  • Full color, 12-megapixel imaging display
  • Ruggedized, mil-spec, control unit for perimeter security

If you already have bullet point sales copy from your sales brochure and other printed marketing collateral, your digital marketing agency or marketing consultant can readily adapt this copy for use on these aisle signs.

Signed copy layout

If you are using two smaller signs, you can make one sign the benefits sign, with four to six of the products top bullet sales benefits, and the other sign the features, sign, with four to six bullets listing your product stop features.

If you’re using a single, larger sign, you can combine benefits and features on the same sign, starting with 3 to 6 benefits at the top of the sign, and 3 to 6 features below.

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As a CMO, youíll often be involved in selecting, organizing, and executing your companyís trade show marketing activities, with an emphasis on execution.

Trade Show Marketing: Making a Success of Your Trade Show Opportunities.
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Maximum readability

Clear visibility an impact are the key goals for booth aisle signs. Make sure the copy of these signs is readable from a distance of 8 feetóthe average, centerline distance from where most show visitors walking down the center aisle of the show will see your trade show booth design.

To accomplish this, the text used on the sign should be set at about 90 points. Sans serif typefaces such as Helvetica or Franklin Gothic, provide the best readability for all signage applications.

Sign design and production

Signs can be black type on a plain white, background or in reverse white type on a dark color background. For signage applications, your digital marketing agency or marketing consultant will have these signs output buy a sign production shop or an ink-jet printer and mounted on 1/4 inch or thicker foam core mounting board.

Sign placement

Arrange your mounted signs so they can be seen by the most people walking by your booth at the show.

The most common placement of these signs is about 6 inches away from the front edge of your booth, facing out from your booth. If you’re using two signs, and space in your 10×10 booth is tight, then, facing the front of your booth, you can place the right sign about 35 degrees clockwise, and the left sign about 35 degrees counterclockwise.

To get the best visibility for signs in your booth, experiment with sign placement during the show. For example, if the flow the show attendees seem to be moving more than one direction than the other, angle your signs to face the flow of the foot traffic.

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Easel mounting options

You can select from a variety of standing easels or mounted signs in your booth. Boothís are supplied with a 2×6 folding table, so you can use the table mount easel to mount one of your booth signs on the table, to save floor space in your booth.

Sign options for larger booth spaces

If you’re using a 10×20í or larger booth space, this larger space gives show visitors a clear view of your entire backdrop and allows them to see sales copy printed lower down on the backdrop. Because of this, you can incorporate bulleted text sales copy directly on the lower portion of your booth backdrop, either as part of the original backdrop design or on separate, detachable signs, mounted on Velcro on your backdrop.

So that sales copy can be changed with each show or for shows in new markets. Even for a larger booth space, small, free-standing, text bullet signs give your company sales message and added boost.

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Trade show sales video on a flat panel display

A continuously running sales video, shown on a 42-inch flat panel display in your booth, is a powerful trade show marketing tool. This one or two-minute video presentation, incorporating a professionally narrated audio voice over to give a sales perfect sales presentation on your company’s product or service, draws visitors to your trade show booth design and shows them there while they listen to watch.

There isn’t a more effective tool for driving qualified prospects to your booth and holding their attention. The booth video gives your sales reps the perfect opportunity to engage show visitors who are watching it, and frequently prompt show visitors to approach your sales reps on their own, after seeing and hearing a small portion of the video presentation.

Trade show video production

trade show video production
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A video is, in reality, an audio medium. People don’t really watch TV, so much as listen to it. The most important part of your booth sales video is its voice-over narration, which should be adapted from your company standard sales presentation, and should use all the key sales benefits and product features your sales reps use in their own sales presentations.

Since the audio portion of the video carries most of the load on presenting and selling your product, the video portion of this product needn’t be elaborate video production. Often, all that is needed as some video clips of your product in use, mixed with some PowerPoint-style text slides synchronized over the audio to reinforce your company’s key benefits.

Animation, visual effects and other eye candy always adds a wow factor, but don’t let these hold up your project, or get in the way of delivering your sales message. Any visual imagery, no matter how spectacular, we’ll never be as effective as the content presented in your projects spoken audio.

Keep it simple and put most of your effort into making sure that the voiceover track clearly presents and sells your product.

Your digital marketing agency or marketing consultant should be able to adapt your company sales presentation into a suitable trade show video.


Trade show video should be mastered on DVD to run as a continuous loop. Make 4 copies of your DVDóone for your booth and three copies are backups, in case of glitch develops on any are DVDs during the show. You may not think you need any backups, but DVDs will sometimes break down after many hours of continuous playback in your booth. This can happen at the worst moment possible, so be prepared. An alternative is if they have a T1 line or high-speed internet hookup is to run your video from your servers.

Video production cost

A one to two-minute trade show booth video cost start from $3,500 to produce, depending on how much original video needs to be shot for your project, and how much time is spent producing and tweaking the special effects used on it. When you consider the fact that there is no more effective marketing tool for drawing traffic to your booth and holding it there, a sales video more than justifies its production costs.

And once produced, your sales video has an additional use beyond your trade show. For example, with slight formatting changes, it can be placed on your company’s website to give your site visitors a quick view of your product key sales benefits and features, and it can also be used by your company sales reps as they selling aid when they make field sales presentations.


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Wrap-Up for trade show booth design

Your goal at a trade show is to attract and capture sales leads. Your trade show booth design is a critical factor in driving traffic to your booth.

Follow these key points in this post will be sure to generate booth traffic and capture sales leads.

Give us your best tip for a better trade show booth design.

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