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When the trade show industry comes back to life after its Covid-19 slumber, many exhibitors will have felt the pains of the economic hardship and loss of sales.  Many of these same exhibitors will be eager to hit the trade show floor and to get in front of their customers and prospects again.  However, they may have a scaled back trade show booth footprint.  For this reason, we’ve assembled some scalable exhibit design ideas that can work for exhibitors whether they’re in a 20×30 trade show booth space, a 20×20 trade show booth, or even in a 10×20 booth space:

Exhibit Design 101: Lights

Lighting is a highly scalable element of exhibit design.  When exhibitors are in a larger booth space, they are afforded more opportunities to play with the lighting- bold colors, LED light patterns, unique shapes for the lighting, and more.  Life is good for the exhibitor who has the option to do so many different variations.

Absolute Exhibits trade show exhibit client

Yet even in a smaller booth space, exhibitors can incorporate playful lighting in their exhibit design. This can come in many formats- backlit lighting on reception counters, maybe a playful light source overhead, and even in props that might also be included in their exhibit design. Lighting is one of those highly scalable elements that exhibitors can enjoy no matter their footprint on the show floor.

CES trade show booth

A House Divided: Brand Combinations in Your Exhibit Design

When you’ve got a large budget, you can break out your multiple brands into many different trade show booth spaces.  One big holding company can be responsible for the marketing and branding of 3, 4, maybe even 7 brands.  This is something exciting that designers can play with for exhibit design.  The individual brands each having a unique feel and a unique focus in separate large spaces gives them room for creativity to flourish.

Kodak-trade-show-exhibit

Polaroid custom exhibit

However, when your budget has been cut, your exhibit design need not suffer.  You can still combine your multiple brands into one booth space by creatively dividing them in your exhibit design.  You can still present the hero and the unsung hero together in one mutually beneficial space.

divided trade show exhibit

Signage and Exhibit Design

Signage is one of the most important ways in which people find you on the trade show floor.  For this reason, those larger exhibitors who can afford it often opt for more elaborate signage, more elaborate designs, and even bolder ways to feature their logo or tag line.

trade show display design ideas

However, signage is not something that is sacrificed by scaling down to a smaller booth space.  Exhibitors who scale down can still get more mileage out of their signage with traditional signs as a part of their exhibit design or even backlit reception counters featuring their logo and more.  There are many ways to present your brand in the best possible light.

brand communications trade show booth

Living Walls and Exhibit Design

When exhibitors occupy a larger booth space, they can incorporate larger living walls into their exhibit design in playful ways.  This can be as a part of an exhibit wall, it can be a focal point that is accenting other unique elements, and more.  They have the luxury of using more real estate to create a feeling inside their trade show booth space that is facilitated by a living wall.

trade show booth design

The good news is that exhibitors don’t have to lose their living wall if they scale down to a smaller booth space.  They can take that same exhibit design concept and frame it with their logo in the center and create a focal point on a back wall with these framed living wall elements.  It’s the same great exhibit design concept but scaled down for a smaller exhibit.  You capture the same essence of your original exhibit design in a smaller space.

trade show exhibit design ideas

Exhibit Design Ideas with 3D Logos

CNC cut 3D logos are fun additions to any exhibit design.  If you’ve got a larger budget, you can make it backlit and glow on the trade show floor.  It can be part of a larger more intense trade show display piece.  There are so many options from size and scale to the technology used to highlight it.

trade show display green alternatives

Or it can be scaled down to a 3D logo that’s part of a more modest exhibit design.  Imagine how your 3D logo can pop against colorful and vibrant graphics to stand out like it should.  3D logos are a highly scalable part of your design that can flow seamlessly through your transitions in booth space. It’s one of the easier exhibit design elements that won’t need to be reimagined and reengineered.

MJ Biz Con trade show exhibit

Product Display Changes in Exhibit Design

As you move between booth sizes, the way you display your products and their source can change.  In a larger exhibit design, you could integrate virtual reality into your trade show booth and show your prospects and customers the farm on which you grow your products, taking them through the fields and the process of making your products.  You can get highly interactive with your exhibit design and take customers on a journey.

trade show display design

In a smaller footprint, you could just as easily communicate that with a video on an LED monitor or in your graphics and design. The customer’s journey doesn’t have to stop because you lack the space or budget for a virtual reality experience. There are many ways to tell a brand story- you can scale it up or down as necessary.

trade show exhibit design

Technology and Exhibit Design

Technology is one of those interesting elements of exhibit design where when you’ve got a larger trade show exhibit, it can be featured on custom touch screens, virtual reality, or even integrated light shows inside your booth space.  The possibilities are seemingly endless when you’ve got a larger booth space and the budget to accompany it.

Paradox trade show exhibit

However, when you’ve got a smaller sized space, you can still capture that same spirit with the pared down essentials- great graphics telling your technology product’s story, maybe even an iPad for prospects to use to see it unfold before their eyes.  Technology is easily scalable in this context.

international exhibit house trade show exhibit

As you see, you don’t have to be nervous about your exhibit design options if you scale your exhibiting footprint down.  You have many options- even more than were mentioned here.  For more great ideas, ask your exhibit house partner.  Their decades of experience in the industry can point you in the right direction.

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