At any trade show or exhibition, attention is the ultimate prize. Therefore, your booth or exhibit should be both: 1) eye-catching to grab people’s attention, and 2) engaging or interactive to keep their attention. Trade show exhibits come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and styles, but the best ones accomplish both of these essential goals, making your business the star of the show.
An Introduction to Custom Trade Show Exhibits
Custom trade show exhibits take things to the next level. Not only do they attract and keep your audience’s attention, but they align specifically with your business’ brand identity. Considering that trade show revenue in the US reached 13.2 billion in 2017, an expertly designed exhibit can drive incredible results for a business. Additionally, 81% of trade show attendees have buying authority. This means that 4 out of 5 attendees walking through the show are potential customers for your business. With the right design and approach, you can yield incredible returns.
Custom trade show exhibits need to be both functional and true to your brand’s personality in order to drive results and bring your brand and products to life. To design a custom trade show booth that makes an impact, you should consider two key questions: 1) What is the functionality needed? And 2) What is the message you want to get across? With clear answers to these questions as a starting point, one can create an experiential environment to support your goals, whatever they may be.
You should also clearly define and prioritize your goals for the trade show or exhibition. Trade shows can help companies meet a wide range of goals, including but not limited to:
- Boosting sales and identifying lead opportunities.
- Taking advantage of face-to-face marketing opportunities and making a bigger impact on potential customers.
- Growing your network and building lasting relationships.
- Generating brand exposure and awareness.
- Researching your industry and competition.
- Showcasing new products and services.
- Gathering information or feedback from potential customers.
When it comes to designing a custom trade show exhibit – Exhibits NW can do nearly anything to help present and strengthen your brand and messaging. Exhibits NW’s comprehensive trade show program includes exhibit storage, maintenance, show services support, graphic design and production. We also offer rental solutions for trade show exhibits for those looking for shorter solutions or a smaller initial investment.
10 of Our All-Time Favorite Custom Trade Show Exhibits
Below are some standout custom trade show exhibits we have completed. These designs standout for us due to their creativity, functionality and most importantly the positive impact they made for our customers!
1. Bold Branding with Functionality at the Core (Verity Solutions)
This award-winning trade show exhibit for Verity Solutions was custom designed with functionality at the forefront. The company’s primary need for trade shows was separate, semi-private meeting spaces, and this need laid the groundwork for the design. The partially enclosed meeting spaces help give off an illusion of exclusivity and professionalism that aligns with the company’s identity. Clearly, the company’s brand is also front and center in the design. This was a completely custom build, with every detail designed from the ground up with the company brand in mind. There’s no way to pass by this booth without taking note of the company name and logo. The exhibit aims to pique the interest of passersby, then inform them about the company once they stop and take a look at the panels framing the welcome area.
“We received tons of compliments from our own staff and the conference attendees. We appreciate your customer focus and attention to detail.” — Verity Solutions
2. An Experience for the Senses (Odyssey Enterprises)
This large exhibit, custom designed for a seafood company, has a lot going on. It’s restaurant-like atmosphere and mouth-watering food graphics engage the senses and invite people in to learn more. From on-site refrigeration to custom raised flooring, multiple meeting areas, products spotlights, and accent lighting… This booth also incorporates a wide-range of advanced functionalities to meet all the company’s exhibiting needs. While the booth highlights the company branding loud and clear, essential functionalities are not lost in the noise.
3. A Fresh, Organic Display (Sole Financial)
This trade show exhibit for Sole Financial is more simple than others on this list, yet still highly effective. True to the company’s brand identity, the design is warm and inviting. The green colors and natural elements evoke the feeling of stepping into a jungle or a garden. These unique design elements help set the booth apart from other more sterile designs. Meanwhile, the brand name and logo are clearly visible from all sides with halo or crown-like signage that can be seen from afar.
4. Curated for Variety (Dare Foods / La Panzanella)
The exhibit pictured above was custom made for a food manufacturing company. This setup is unique because it displays many different products and brands — each with their own space and feeling — in a cohesive way. In order to accomplish this, the exhibit is dual-sided and takes on the look and feel of a high-end, curated food store with different sections. The exhibit also uses bright, eye-catching imagery to stimulate the senses and attract attention.
5. A Display to Capture and Adapt (Macgregor)
The great thing about the exhibit featured above is its focus on flexibility and adaptability. As you can see in the photos, there are two versions of the same exhibit: one is 20×20 and one is 20×30. Rather than purchase and design one custom exhibit from the ground up, this company decided to go the custom rental route. That way, they could attend multiple shows and adapt to different spaces quickly and easily, while maintaining consistent branding and messaging. While the framework is a rental and is therefore a more standard layout, the branding is fully customized.
With custom trade show exhibit rentals, clients can choose from a collection of existing structures and functionalities, then purchase graphics and other branding materials that can be reused or repurposed down the line. Trade show rentals are gaining popularity because they are more cost effective than a completely customized setup. They also allow you to have a new layout and experience for each show, to keep things new and interesting for your audience.
6. A High-Tech “Museum” (ConMet)
This next trade show exhibit on our list is all about highlighting and displaying the company’s innovative wheel end products. The products are meant to be appreciated like valuable works of art, hence the museum-like display cases. Because 92% of trade show attendees say they are looking for new products, this is a great approach. While the products clearly take center stage, the company branding cannot be missed — its cleverly woven in throughout the exhibit and crowns the entire area from up above.
7. A Pear to Remember (USA Pears)
The exhibit above for USA Pears leaves no room for doubt about what the company is all about; the setup is an absolute celebration of the pear. A fully custom wooden pergola helps set the stage and provides the feeling of stepping up to an artisanal market or farmer’s fruit stand. The large, inflatable pear up above, unlike just a logo, is clearly recognizable and understood from afar. The use of imagery is like a magnet drawing people in. As a whole, the booth provides an experience by transporting the audience to another world.
8. A Product Display that Flows (Niagara Water)
This client requested a custom trade show exhibit that captured their striking brand identity while allowing their product to be the main attraction. The result is a beautiful space that combines their branding with the clean, flowing feel of water, all while showcasing their bottled water. The exhibit also gets their key brand messaging (“Less plastic, more savings”) across to passersby, rather than just a logo or company name, which helps pique curiosity.
9. A Display of Beauty (Pacifica)
This custom trade show booth showcases a variety of products in a uniform fashion. The look and feel of the exhibit, which mirrors a more traditional retail space, makes the visitor feel as though they’ve stepped into a trendy boutique for a fun shopping experience. The use of large archways help to define the space and make it stand out, while still keeping it open, visible and inviting from all angles. The artistic decals on the panels help to make the space feel feminine and in-line with the brand identity. Functionality-wise, this booth is both lightweight and easy-to-ship. Overall, it makes a dramatic visual statement about the company on a more modest budget.
10. Leading with Innovation and Privacy (Insitu)
This custom exhibit exudes coziness and comfort, not only inviting people to enter the space, but to stop and stay a while. The client required an exhibit environment that allowed them to have confidential meetings with their existing clients, while still attracting attention from people passing by and potential new clients. Enclosed walls covered with bold, informational graphics help to meet both of these needs. Also, because this client’s industry is ever-evolving, their identity and trade show presence had to be flexible. This made custom rentals an ideal option, giving them the opportunity to create very unique, yet cost-effective trade show displays which they could refresh each year.
Benefits of Custom Trade Show Exhibits
Studies show what we already know: first impressions matter in life. As you can see from the above examples, custom trade show exhibits go above and beyond to make a stellar first impression, drawing people in from all angles. In addition, custom trade show exhibits can help set you apart from others in the room, maximize the functionality of your setup, create a cohesive brand identity, increase engagement from visitors and leave them with an experience they will remember.
Although custom trade show exhibits certainly take more creativity, time and resources than other options initially, they result in a much better return on investment. Going custom will help you achieve your company goals seamlessly, all while celebrating your brand identity.
While custom rentals are a great option if you need more flexibility, nothing can beat an exhibit that is 100 percent customized and specific to your company’s exact personality and needs.
Custom Trade Show Exhibit Design
The process for designing a custom trade show exhibit depends on the client and their goals. At Exhibits NW, we are more than happy to help our clients with their branding and messaging before drilling into specific design elements for their exhibit. Alternatively, some clients already have a detailed brief and idea in mind, which helps us dive right into the design phase! Though custom trade show exhibits likely take longer than buying a packaged display, the design elements and the custom messaging are more than worth the wait.
With custom exhibit designs you can be sure to catch the eye of people passing by and avoid being just another exhibit at the show. At Exhibits NW, we place a great amount of importance on the visual, eye-catching elements, and this has defined us for the last 25 years. In a Display Wizard exhibitor survey, around half of respondents listed an eye-catching display as the best method for attracting visitors and “one-third of exhibitors say adding better graphics helped achieve better results.” That’s why our favorite custom trade show booths outlined above all heavily feature graphics and enticing visuals.
Custom Trade Show Exhibits for Your Business
At Exhibits NW, we don’t just know trade shows . . . we live for them! Over the past 25 years, we have been trusted by thousands of organizations to use our hands-on experience in creating successful trade show floor plans, marketing strategies, and exhibit design. We also stay connected with the latest industry innovations to keep things interesting and impactful.
Exhibits NW is proud to be represented in Exhibitor Online’s People’s Choice Awards for three of our custom trade show exhibits: Greystar Worldwide LLC, Sole Financial and Verity Solutions Group Inc.
In addition, we operate with a consultative approach because we know that you need a complete solution, not just an exhibit. Every client has different goals, different budgets, and different experiences. It is our job to listen, to strategize, to advise, and then to create a solution tailored for your company. We promise to guide you through the process so you achieve “trade show peace of mind.”
To get started, visit our website or call our team at 855-910-9384 (Seattle) or 866-476-6541 (Portland). We absolutely love what we do and look forward to partnering with you in your trade show endeavors!