How a Trade Show Exhibit Can Define Your Brand

Creating the right trade show exhibit can be a daunting experience. In a sea of 20x20 (or 30x30, or 50x50) booths, it is vital to make sure that your exhibit both stands out in the crowd and accurately represents your brand. When executed properly, a trade show exhibit can be a powerful tool in brand identity and positioning.

Think about the main components of your booth as well as smaller details. Every detail is an opportunity to communicate your message to potential customers through your trade show exhibit. As Sparks SVP Ben Nazario explains, "'s the small details that make the big experience."

Trade Show Exhibit Visuals

According to, 80% of the information that our brains receive comes through the eyes. In terms of trade show exhibit design, the visual identity of your booth is vital. From tablecloth colors to logo placement, every visual element of your design should be consistent with your brand. Is your identity high-end and minimalistic, or is it friendly and accessible?

Such questions should drive the look and feel you project at a show. And, of course, make sure that there are no grammatical errors or typos in your materials and décor. “You don’t notice these things when they are done right, but boy you notice it when they’re done wrong. And then you are buried,” says Nazario.

Staffing Your Trade Show Exhibit

The people working your booth are on the front lines, and thus they are hugely important in driving business. They are the ones that have direct contact with potential clients, who will naturally see the booth staff as a reflection of the brand. Depending on your goals, you may outfit your staff in matching, brand-specific clothing or request that they dress in formal business attire; you may want personnel to speak casually or address attendees with industry-specific jargon; staff may consist of company employees or hired help.

Charles Beshears, president of National Trade Show Displays, suggests teaching staff about "the types of questions they should be asking so that they get the most qualified leads." No matter who is manning your booth, make sure all personnel are informed about the story behind your company and your reasons for attending the show.

Booth Giveaways In Your Trade Show Exhibit

Trade show attendees love their swag, but when choosing a giveaway, make sure to capitalize on the opportunity to send potential customers home with something reflective of your brand. Your company logo should be visible, of course, but the item itself is just as important. Make sure that your giveaway is something that is relevant to your brand and useful to the consumer.

Whatever you choose to give away, always be true to your identity. For example, your neighboring booth may be giving away high-end business electronics, but if your brand is kid-friendly, it makes much more sense for you to give away toys with your company logo.

Overall Experience

Lastly, every element of the experience you create should be consistent, positive and inviting. "You have to be on top of your game because you're in a room filled with your direct competitors and if you don't impress your customers, there's hundreds of other companies they can immediately turn to," says Beshears.

Don't make your booth an afterthought. Just like a product's ad campaign, packaging or slogan, the trade show experience should be an integrated part of the overall marketing plan.

Posted by Kristy Elisano | Request as a Speaker

Caffeine dependent Jersey girl. Inspired by creative risk takers and underdogs. Chief Marketing Officer, Doodle owner and lover of all things chocolate.