48 Trade Show Booth Success Tips for the Post-Pandemic World, 2021

Helen Davies
Helen Davies
- 14 min read

We can all agree that 2020 has not been the best year for organizing public events and trade shows. The good news is that it’s only a matter of time before your business returns to the good old days. One thing is clear, however: it won’t be the same as it was before the outbreak for a while. Adjusting plans and bravely facing the post-pandemic challenges are the only ways forward for now. Either way, the show will go on!

Embellish your trade show displays and stands with engaging signage. Showcase your business with these 48 trade show booth success tips to make the most of your event.

We’ve got you covered during this uncertain period! Get a move on and check out this article for helpful tips on how to have a successful trade show booth with a special emphasis on COVID-19 safety measures.

First Things to Consider: Trade Show Booth Preparation Tips

Congratulations on registering! Now it’s time to step up to the challenge and show the world how to have a successful trade show booth. To make sure you’ve got all that you need, let’s start at the beginning with these expo booth tips.

Tips on How to Plan Your Expo Booth

Tip 1. Do your research

Take a good look at related shows, including your own shows from previous years and others that are in the same industry. Get a good idea of what everyone else is doing. Then you can begin customizing.

Tip 2. Figure out a winning strategy

Hold brainstorming meetings with your crew to plan your tactics and determine specific goals. Figure out the motto and mission statement of your campaign.

Trade show booth messaging idea as a success tip

Tip 3. Meet the requirements to reduce the spread of infectious disease

Establish strict health guidelines for the on-site check point of visitors at the venue. These measures include:

  1. Have several employees stand on constant guard to check the temperature of the attendees. Make sure your workers wear full protective gear.
  2. Provide automatic disinfectant dispensers and 
  3. Prepare plastic gloves for  your visitors to put on after disinfection.
  4. Establish temporary medical centers.
  5. Put bold business signage in prominent places to remind of safety measures.
  6. Encourage physical distancing in crowded areas to reduce the risk of transmission.


Tip 4. Calculate your budget/test ROI

It’s worth investing in your fair. Don’t be the company that shows up with an empty, basic booth. You’ve seen those at trade shows and they never have anyone around them. Statistics point to at least $5,000 as a good spending budget.

Measure your return on investment (ROI) to make the biggest impact. Assess marketing tactics; exclude your biases and irregularities to avoid data distortion. It’s easy to think, “Oh, we all love this at the company so let’s go with it.” However, you’ll need to separate yourselves and look at things from an outside perspective. Know your audience, market trends and stay a step ahead.

Tip 5. Build a team

You’re not going to get all the work done on your own! Get teammates on board who are aligned with experiential projects and marketing to help with your various missions. Create a team that you know will have your back throughout the expo.

Hire merchandisers, a PR team, designers and installation specialists. They will all be able to provide their own tips, even if you feel like a pro by now.

Staff at trade show with branded uniforms

Tip 6. Find a partner/sponsor

Look for a partner and/or a sponsor. It will make things a lot easier if you can partner up with brands or businesses that are also interested in exposure. Find common ground and set goals that are mutually beneficial to avoid any conflict.

Tip 7. Find a perfect location

Don’t overlook this expo booth tip. You don’t want to get stuck in one of those dark corners that doesn’t get much traffic. Here’s what to keep in mind:

  1. How the venue design can be retrofitted for your audience.
  2.   The facilities available.
  3.   The capacity of the event site.
  4.   Where the entries and exits are.
  5. Where your booth is in relation to the main show events.


Choosing a strategic location is a necessary step towards establishing your booth presence.

Innopark branded displays for trade show booth success

Tip 8. Schedule time to meet with booth visitors

If someone is serious about your business, give them a way to schedule a personal meeting. It saves you both time, helps you figure out who is serious and gives them an opportunity to get your undivided attention in the middle of the chaos.

Tip 9. Attract your tech-focused audience with free Wi-Fi

This especially works for younger target audiences who like to stay connected. Wi-Fi is a luxury at trade shows and provided coverage is often spotty. Set up your own with a big announcement that it’s available at your booth. You’ll get a big, consistent draw!

Tip 10. Book live music

Hire a good DJ – someone who can read the crowd – to play background music for your guests. This always beats just playing random songs from a playlist.

Showcasing Annenberg trade show etiquette

Tip 11. Consider a Caterer

Think about hiring a good caterer. While not inexpensive, you will be guaranteed attention if you’ve got tasty hors d’oeuvres available.

Check out our ‘Checklist for Trade Show Preparations, D-Day and Post-Event Activities’. 

Tips for How to Design Your Trade Show Booth

Wondering about how to make your trade show booth stand out, or how to design your booth display? Keep reading!

Trade show booth design tips implementing these eye-catching elements

Having engaging signage is crucial. It’s even more important when you’ve got a location off the main path or one that isn’t particularly visible. Quality custom signage makes a powerful statement about who you are and what you represent. Here are the best ideas of event signs that Front Signs offers to help your trade show or expo be an overwhelming success.

Tip 12. Consider protective shields to create a safe atmosphere

Install sneeze guards at your booth and reinforce the protection of your visitors and employees. Get your custom guards and enhance the security of your site. You can personalize them with your logo to make them even more attractive and memorable.

Tip 13. Use bandstand graphics to highlight your elegant choice

Get within people’s eyesight with bold graphics and marketing messages. Direct attention to your stall. Make an impact with customizable graphics and make a splash in the sea of exhibitors.

Intuition Gen trade show booth design concept with bold graphics

Want to have custom graphics with vivid style and colors? Contact us!

Tip 14. Incorporate pop-up displays to stress your bold identity

Here’s a trade show display tip for those looking for convenience. Easy to install, these displays will give you a professional presence. Consider this especially if you’re working with a smaller team.

Trade show pop up display design idea from Canquip for professional presence

Tip 15. Include creative vinyl banners to get visitor attention

Easily capture customer attention with this trade show banner design tip. Combine your logo/branding message with a custom design and get large format printing on vinyl banners to pique curiosity.

Cool Details trade show vinyl banner sample with custom design and print

Tip 16. Use tabletops to advertise your brand

Raise awareness with tabletop roller signs. These portable, attractive items are set up in a matter of seconds. Use them anywhere!

Creativo Drive trade show stand design concept for brand promotion

Tip 17. Integrate dynamic signage to wow your guests

Looking for something really special? Check out dynamic signs that can be customized to anything you like with immersive, exciting graphics.

Trade show booth design tip showcasing Cartall fashion display

Tip 18. Embrace bulk posters to truly pop

Inexpensive but still completely engaging, bulk posters give you the ability to advertise in quantity. Get them designed however you like and put them wherever you can. Always a great addition to any booth campaign.

Talkshack trade show booth custom designed posters for success

Tip 19. Utilize portable foam boards to direct customer flow

Spread the word with the help of lightweight foam boards. The boards are extremely easy to set-up and are highly effective due to being portable, printable with any design and fairly durable.

Trade show booth design tip showcasing 2020 Annual Technology Conference board example

Tip 20. Hang oversized flags to create a prominent spotlight

Hang the flags high enough to make sure you get as much brand exposure as possible. They’re extremely adjustable and made to be attached to just about anything.

Trade show booth design idea from a travel company

Tip 21. Utilize immersive wall decals to make a big impact

Get tailor wall decals in any shape and size you’d like and reuse them for future business needs. This option is another one that is less used but commands a lot of attention. Especially good for luxury brands.

Trade show branded wall prints as one of trade show booth design best practices

Tip 22.  Impose hanging signs to play a showstopper role

Stand out with this unique option. Use hanging 3D signs for business to create a welcoming atmosphere and advertise your location to people coming from any direction.

Trade show display tip shown on GRBN Tech hanging display example

Not sure about what’s the best signage for your trade show stand? Contact us!

Trade show booth design tips to enhance your presentation

When it comes to trade show booth design best practices, try the following 5 trade show tips for exhibitors. They combine design with a strategy for a winning method to make a big positive impression.

Tip 23. Make it interactive

Give guests things to do. Prize wheels, games, Q&As… anything that creates an association with you in your visitors’ minds. 

Tip 24. Shine bright

Don’t undervalue the role of lighting. The lighting in the convention center is already going to be washed out and unflattering. Use uplights, soft lighting, or dramatic lighting to create a different atmosphere in your area.

GAT Cutting trade show booth design concept with soft lighting

Tip 25. Concentrate on contrast

Keep your booth color contrast up with our trademark designs. Be readable and easy on the eyes. Avoid using colors that are blurred or faded.

Davidoff branded stand design concept for having a successful trade show booth presentation

Tip 26. Appeal to your guests’ ‘lizard brain’

This trade show booth design tip focuses on speaking to people’s ‘lizard’ or ‘reptile’ brain. In other words, appeal to people’s basic instincts.

Take a note from basic sales techniques. Attract attention, generate interest, get them to make decisions and to take action. Address their pain points and show how your business can solve their problems.

Tip 27. Blow them away

It’s always a win when you can positively surprise your potential clients. Catch them off guard, get their walls down (in a good way), and leave them open to hearing about what your business can do for them.

Trade show display tip shown on Coco display board example

Trade show design installation tips to reach your final destination

Once you’ve got your concept down, it’s time to get it set up. Read on for installation trade show tips for new exhibitors.

Tip 28. Make it flexible

Get a big edge with a prominent exhibition area that has easy access to loading areas and complete the installation process without breaking your back.

Atter Technologies trade show booth design concept

Tip 29. Prepare beforehand

Complete the set-up process two or three days before doors open to the public. Don’t let your booth installation and setup be last-minute. Otherwise, you’ll miss important details for sure.

Trade show booth design tip shown on Yerevan Mobile branded booth example

Tips to Help You Prepare Ahead of Time

Tip 30. Start early

Just like anything else, preparation is key. Get started early and you won’t find yourself stressing with too much to do and not enough time to do it.

Tip 31. Pre-show rendezvous

Get your team together and have a pre-show meeting. Make sure everyone knows their role, the goals, and most of all, is ready to have a good time. Trade shows can be a lot of fun, especially when you’ve got a good team at your back.

Tip 32. Put your best customers to work for you

If you’ve got people who already love your brand, get them involved and do the work for you! Hook them up with free tickets to the expo (or some free swag) and use them to your advantage to get potential new customers excited.

Trade show participants during the exhibition

Tip 33. Learn from the best

Chances are, whatever you do has already been done before. Find out who the best booths have been in previous years and learn from them. See what made them successful and try to apply some of their tactics to your own approach.

Time to Shine: Tips to Make the Best of Your Trade Show Booth Event

You’ve planned, strategized and worked for weeks or even months. It’s time to reap the rewards. You’ve earned them!

Tip 34. Go out there and connect

Now is not the time to sit in the back of the booth and watch as people pass by. Be friendly. Start interactions. Show interest in others and get the conversation going. Get people curious and get them in your funnel!

Tip 35. Get social

Nowadays, social media is everything. Make sure you’ve got a hashtag and something people want to post pics of with your brand in clear view. Backdrops usually work well for this.

You can also create excitement by having some of your coworkers in plain clothes coming up to the booth and snapping pics on their phones to make it look busy. That’s always a good kickstarter. 

Event for Kids trade show chalkboard

Tip 36. Be an oasis

Everybody knows how exhausting a business trade show can be. Engaging in business conversations and hearing pitches all day takes a heavy toll on both exhibitors and attendees.

One of the best trade show booth etiquette tips is to be an oasis for anyone who comes by. Set up some comfortable chairs or sofas. Make your booth appealing and a place where people actually want to spend time.

Trade show booth success tip on S-Oil branded display example

Tip 37. Have fun with games

There are all sorts of games you can integrate to add a bit of fun to your presentation. Prize wheels are a surefire classic. We’ve also seen visitors get excited with ring toss and cornhole type games.

Tip 38. Give your guests little gifts

Order interesting promotional products as giveaway items. You can’t go wrong with branded, useful items like bottle openers and pens.

Tip 39. Offer transportation

This one is another that isn’t inexpensive but it sure is memorable and immensely appreciated. Offer visitors transportation from the expo center to a main hub or hotel.

Tip 40. Be hospitable

Make your attendees smile with fresh cookies or sweets. Have a coffee or tea station to make them feel welcome. Hospitality is one of the most essential trade show tips for new exhibitors to build relationships.

Tip 41. Start an internal contest

Get your staff invested by creating a contest with a nice prize. See who can sign up the most leads, who can get the most people over to the booth and more. Make it fun!

Electronicwind staff participating in contest at the trade show booth

Tip 42. Teach something valuable

Give new information to your customers. If you’ve got a brand following, they will be anticipating the latest news about your business. Get your staff up to date on the newest features and make sure they’re prepared to share with visitors.

Tip 43. Encourage people to keep a social distance

Physical distancing is another way to lower the risk of people getting infected. It’s recommended to keep 1.5m or 5ft apart from each other whenever possible. 

Tip 44.  Ask all the trade show participants to wear masks

Once public events start back up after the coronavirus cancellations, wearing masks will be required for some time. It’s for the sake of health and safety so make sure to bite the bullet in the meantime. Provide face masks for your guests so they don’t have any reason not to approach you. 

Tip 45.  Ensure the booth is disinfected

You’ll need to disinfect your site at least twice a day. Make sure the chemical agents you use are not hazardous to your guests.

Bonus: Tips for After the Exhibition to End on a Good Note

You did it! All your hard work has paid off!

It’s been a long journey and you’re almost finished. But there are still a few things you can do to make the most out of your trade show experience.

Tip 46. Always follow up

This is huge. All those leads you got should be added to your marketing funnel. Nobody should be left without being contacted after the show. They gave you their info for a reason; don’t waste the opportunity!

Tip 47. Host a post-show roundup

Get your team together and talk about what went right and what needs work. Go over as much data as you can. Analyze and investigate so you can find what works and amplify it for the next show!

Tip 48. Check social networks

See how your media channels are doing. Did you gain followers? Are people talking about you? Did they use your hashtags or tag your brand in pics? If so, give them a like and a shout-out!

Social media icons popping from a phone screen

Looking for the best trade show booth design?

  • Work with us to create an outstanding trade show booth concept and then sit back as we make it a reality!
  • Collaborate with us on your signage and booth ideas and take advantage of our top-quality customer service, available 24/7.
  • Contact us today! We’ll help you create the ultimate expo presentation, helping you with our expert staff every step of the way.
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