Creating a Big Impact with a Small Trade Show Exhibit: 5 Ideas

June 1st, 2017

Trade show booth displays come in many different sizes, from tabletop displays to enormous booths the size of small apartments. However, if you were to ask most exhibitors to tell you which size is the best for getting results on the trade show floor, they would probably tell you that larger is better. After all, it might be easy to ignore a 10×10 display impossible to miss the 20×40 display in the center of the room. This idea that bigger is better can lead to discouragement if you only have money for a small trade show booth display, or if the trade show you are attending only has room for little exhibits. The good news, however, is that it is possible to create a successful trade show booth display without much space. The key is to think creatively and design effectively. Here are a few ideas.










Create outstanding graphics for your trade show booth display.

When you are trying to get the attention of passersby, your graphics will often be the first element that makes people stop and think about your exhibit. Creating outstanding images and punchy messages can, therefore, create a way to get people to notice a small space they would otherwise have ignored.

In general, successful graphics have these qualities in common:


Your graphics should convey a clear message in the few seconds that attendees are going to spend looking at your trade show booth display.


Because they need to be absorbed quickly, your graphics need to deliver a concise message. This message should communicate the crux of your company’s benefits in a way that encourages your target audience to stop in.


Rather than creating long written chunks of text, you should focus on creating visual elements in your graphics that communicate your core messages. Not only are these visuals more appealing, but they are more quickly understood and acted upon.


Make sure your graphics are unique enough to catch the attention of passersby.


Placing graphics above shoulder height and making them visible even from a distance can help to draw in attendees who would otherwise be looking elsewhere for a place to stop and visit.

Prioritize the use of your trade show booth display space.

Because the space in a small trade show booth display is limited, you will need to prioritize the use of that space. Otherwise, you may end up trying to communicate multiple messages or accomplish multiple goals within a space that is only really intended for one or two focused activities. The result can be a cluttered or unfocused trade show exhibit that detracts from the professional impression you want people to have of your business. To that end, you will need to decide which elements of your business are most important and work with your exhibit company to create a trade show booth design that emphasizes those elements. For example, if you want to promote a new product, your display will need to be designed for product promotion. However, if you are more concerned with building brand awareness, your trade show booth design might need to focus on communicating the primary values your company holds.

Emphasize creative in-booth activities for your trade show booth display.

Some small trade show booth displays have enjoyed out sized success by providing creative activities for visitors to do inside the booth. These activities, if chosen and implemented correctly, can create a buzz of interest around your booth, which can bring in more visitors than you would have earned simply by attracting passersby with your design alone. The key to a successful in-booth activity is to choose something that is both brand-appropriate and of interest to your target audience. For example, some companies choose to host giveaways of high-value items like iPads. Others use food, candy, or creative games to keep people entertained while teaching them about the business. These activities are also likely to be most successful when your trade show booth design supports the activity as a whole. For example, one booth turned the walls of their trade show booth display into a whiteboard for drawing, while another turned their booth into a video recording studio. Talk to your exhibit company about how your vision for engaging activities might be supported with a creative and relevant trade show booth design.











Choose the right exhibit company to receive creative, space-saving design support.

Perhaps the best thing you can do when faced with a small trade show booth display, is to select an exhibit company with the creativity to implement a punchy, but space-saving, design. For example, does your exhibit company have ideas for implementing interactive elements without crowding your booth? Do they know how to utilize space above your display for creative graphics? Can they implement graphics that will be eye-catching, even when placed on a smaller trade show booth display? With the right exhibit company, you should be able to communicate your vision and goals for your trade show display and receive ideas about how to meet those goals, even with a small display. The design services provided by your company can make all the difference between having a mediocre trade show display and having one that helps you to meet your trade show goals. It is possible to have a big impact with a small trade show booth display. By giving people a reason to notice and visit the booth, you can make its size irrelevant. Some companies have actually exceeded their trade show goals with the use of a small but carefully designed trade show display. With a little creativity and planning, you can put yourself in a position to enjoy a successful trade show yourself. By creating outstanding graphics, prioritizing the use of your trade show display space, emphasizing creative in-booth activities, and choosing the right exhibit company, you can enjoy a more noticeable and successful trade show booth display, regardless of its size.