How to up your trade show game for maximum visibility and impact

Location. Location. Location. You’ve heard it’s the prime rule of real estate, but when it comes to trade shows, premium spots can be costly. The good news is, if you’re strategic in your planning and the way you make use of your space, you can up your trade show game and draw an enthusiastic and engaged crowd wherever you’re located.

And the even better news? According to, 64% of trade show attendees are not yet customers of the exhibits they visit, so your efforts have the potential to pay off in new business!

Illustrated Designs, Inc. designed, built, and programmed a 3-D display home to demonstrate the Smart Load Center’s ability to seamlessly integrate and manage the flow of solar energy and grid-based electricity throughout a home, even in the event of a power outage.

Theme and design

An eye-catching theme brought to life with smart design and engaging displays is essential to successful trade show presence. Without an interesting and attention-grabbing theme, people will walk past even the most optimally located booth. Here are a few ways to make sure your theme stands out and attracts the traffic you’re looking for at trade shows:

• Start with a theme that’s authentic to your brand identity and captures your audience’s imagination.

•Be clear and consistent. Your theme should tell a story, and all the elements should tie together to support that story line.

• Be purposeful in the way you arrange product displays. Go beyond the traditional “straight lines and shelves” approach and get creative—the goal is to design your displays in a way that guides the customer’s eye through your booth, moving where you want them to, and stopping where you want them to. Don’t be afraid of using white space—done well, white space helps the areas you want to highlight stand out with greater definition.

Get Social

Interactive Photo Op Event Decor

Designed and built to be self standing, everyone can take their picture in the PECO Energy Saver Super Hero.

A little social media savvy goes a long way in promoting visibility for your booth. Here are a few ways to leverage the power of social media for trade show success:

• Build up the hype! Use social media to let people know you’ll be at the show, and where to find you once they get there.

• Start tweeting and using your hashtags in advance of the show. Have a couple that are relevant to your brand and to your theme. If the event itself has a standard hashtag, be sure to use that as well.

• Tweet and post from the show itself, reiterating those hashtags and showing off your Instagram-worthy booth.

• Encourage visitors to your booth to take pictures, use your hashtags, and post from the event.

Turn Passers-By Into Participants

A recent study by CEIR reports that 81% of trade show attendees have buying authority.

PECO Interactive Event Decor

Feel how much more energy it takes to run a standard light bulb vs. a high efficiency bulb.(Bonus: This display does not need electricity to run, the generator inside is run by human power).

Want to steer all of that buying potential in your direction? Create an experience attendees can participate in. The more complete the experience, and the more interactive the display, the greater the impact. Here are a few ways to turn passers-by into participants at your trade show booth:

• Incorporate 3-D displays that bring your theme to life.
• Create hands-on displays that give customers the chance to do or make something.
• Use demonstrations to show potential customers how your product or service works, and how it could work in their lives.
• Provide Instagram and photo ops with cut outs and social media frames that feature your hashtags—they’re fun for your visitors, and great publicity for you!

Trade shows give businesses an unparalleled opportunity to connect with customers face to face—and a customer who has a personal connection to your brand is much more likely to be a loyal one. With the right planning, theme, and use of space, you can make the most of your trade show opportunities to elevate your brand and grow your client base.

Illustrated Designs, Inc. has been creating displays for memorable trade shows and corporate events for 30+ years. From concept to installation, their innovative design team develops comprehensive experiences including design, print, fabrication, and installation of signs, banners, decor, and 3-D displays.


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