Why Your Booth Design Is Missing the Mark (and How You Can Fix It)


Trade shows are a feast for the senses. There are countless professionals to rub shoulders and network with, incredible new innovations and projects to learn from, and amazing products to try.

The excitement of even the biggest and best trade show can begin to deflate if your own booth isn’t getting the attention it deserves. It can be especially disheartening to have an empty booth and bored staff when you’ve worked so hard at designing what you thought was a great display. It’s even worse when every booth around you has a circle of curious people vying to get to the front of the queue.

Don’t worry—you’re not alone here. Whether it’s their first or their 30th, plenty of people leave trade shows feeling disappointed, confused, and worrying about their product or company. More often than not, those are unfounded fears; they simply made a few small but impactful mistakes when designing their booth.

We’re here to help you identify, fix, and learn from any mistakes you may have been making while preparing for trade shows.

Mistake: You’ve Kept the Mystery a Bit Too Alive

Plenty of brands have an air of mystique floating around them, and it’s very successful! However, it’s important to remember that a bit of intrigue is different than keeping your potential customers in the dark!

It doesn’t matter how many flashy freebies, charging stations and complimentary beverages you hand out—if the people who visit your booth don’t know what your company actually does, they aren’t going to remember you. How can they?

Plenty of people get so caught up in making their booth exciting, they’ve abandoned their actual product or company.

Solution: Market Before the Show


If you market before the big event, people can arrive at the trade show specifically hoping to find your booth.

Marketing before any big event, from trade shows to festivals, is always a good idea. At the very least, it can teach your industry peers more about your brand. At the most, it can inspire new customers to visit your booth, even if they hadn’t heard of you previously.

Mistake: Your Potential Customers Feel Ignored

It’s pretty well established that nobody likes to feel bombarded by a sales pitch, whether that’s at a big trade show or in a department store. Has this fear of pressuring prospects into a conversation deterred your staff from engaging with potential clients at all?

Often, booth staff will spend the entire show standing behind a table, waiting for prospects to approach them with questions. It’s vital that they are interacting with everybody they see. This doesn’t mean forcing prospects into a conversation but simply encouraging discussion and interaction.

Solution: Invite Clients to Join You

Invite curious clients to come inside your booth, and show interest in their needs. It helps to plan a talk, which can be an incentive for the people you’ve chatted with to return to your booth after they’ve explored the show.


Mistake: You’ve Muddled Your Brand

Your booth can be a wonderland of freebies, media, and Instagrammable displays, but if they aren’t on brand, it doesn’t matter.

First of all, straying from your brand to increase traffic doesn’t do much for your actual conversion rates. If your company makes, for instance, strollers and car seats, and your marketing team is handing out pre-mixed margaritas, you may have happy people visiting your booth, but how many of them are actually going to become clients? Probably not many. In fact, many of them will walk away confused by the entire interaction.

Solution: Be Clear

It’s crucial that attendees understand your brand. This means having a recognizable, cohesive visual booth design, but it’s more important that everything lines up. Every potential client should be able to understand your work and message by visiting your booth.

If your company makes strollers, for example, you could hand out branded baby-friendly sunscreen or toddler snacks meant to bring on the go.

Mistake: Your Booth Staff Doesn’t Care

If your booth personnel is rude, apathetic, or not knowledgeable or passionate about your brand, they can be harming your company more than helping it. Your booth staff is the face of your brand to hundreds of people, many of who will be learning about your company for the first time.

Your staff can make or break the impression that prospects have of you. Unfortunately, trade show booths are often staffed by people who don’t know anything about the product and don’t really care to learn. How do you think this looks to potential customers?

Solution: Good Training Is Crucial!

If you do anything before your next trade show, it should be to find a great staff for the event and train them well. Make sure they understand your branding and message and make sure they feel as passionate about it as you do. In turn, potential clients will feel excited about your products and want to learn more!

Mistake: You Missed the Big Picture

Money is tricky. Spending either too much or too little can be harmful when designing a trade show booth.

Many people think that cutting costs is the most important part of planning their booth for a show. While it’s definitely important to be shrewd with money, remember that certain services are more costly for a reason.

Cut costs where you can, but do your research. If something seems too cheap to be true, it very well might be—and you certainly don’t want anything breaking down during the show.

On the flipside, it can be tempting to throw a ton of money at a flashy display or giveaway that doesn’t really enhance your branding. This can drain your budget without helping increase conversions.

Solution: Focus on Quality

Skip unnecessary things and focus on high-quality purchases, like well-researched branding and a booth. Exponents offers trade show booth rentals of all sizes for businesses across the USA.

With options to chat with our team online, a large variety of rentals, and no hidden costs whatsoever, we are the premier trade show rental booth company to help you prepare for your next trade show or event. Get in touch today!