Lessons From Interior Design That Help Create Great Trade Show Displays


Good interior design is excellent at evoking a mood or reaction from anyone who steps into the chosen room. In the same way, you want to see a response from everyone who enters your trade show display. That reaction will vary depending on the product you offer and your industry, but important design concepts that help interior designers can aid you as well. Your booths may not be identical to a room in a home, but thinking of them as such, at least for part of the creation process, may not be a bad idea.Lesson 1: Don’t Be Afraid Of Color In Your Trade Show DisplayMany companies worry that using bright or bold color schemes in their portable displays risks making them look unprofessional, or presents the wrong image. In fact, bright colors are an excellent way to draw attention to the parts of your trade show display that will be most relevant. If you’re promoting a new product in the midst of other, older models, use the bright color to emphasize what’s new. Your visitors will automatically look there first, spotlighting your new item. Similarly, don’t be afraid to use color even if you don’t have anything that should be highlighted particularly; just avoid splashing it all over your booth. If you use it on every wall, your unit will look more like a circus tent than an exhibit, and that will have a negative impact. When used wisely – as a highlight, rather than a feature – color is an excellent way to accent your units and make them stand out in a crowd.Lesson 2: Don’t Be Afraid Of Themed Portable DisplaysSome of the best designs have featured themes followed to their absolute extremes, pursued so far that they are almost tacky. While that style is certainly an acquired taste, you can sample it a bit in your own creations. Your booth shouldn’t be afraid to cater to your niche market, even if that means descending slightly into the tacky. If you’re promoting your manga line at an anime convention, don’t be afraid to use large cutouts of your characters to bring them to life! Bigger isn’t always better for booths, but when you’re going for a theme, you should use it with confidence. Lesson 3: Function And Form Can CoexistYou don’t need to choose between an attractive booth and one that functions well and stows easily. Many of the most beautifully designed rooms are in fact quite low maintenance, easy to care for, and worry free for their owners. The key is to keep your goal in mind during the design process, and always be thinking of ways that you can enhance your function while never sacrificing form. Like interior design, this aspect of designing trade show displays can be frustrating and take time to get right. If you’re working with an exhibit company, it should be easier because the company will have experience that goes beyond yours.  Exhibits aren’t identical to rooms in your home, but by taking away lessons commonly used in designing living space, you can improve your company’s presence at your next convention. A better use of color, fearless use of theme, and careful attention to form will all help your trade show displays be successful.



Chris Harmen writes for Skyline, a leader in creative Houston trade show displays design. Skyline has won many awards recognizing the outstanding designs of their portable displays in Houston.