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Out-of-the-Box Themes In Your Trade Show Booth

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Out-of-the-Box Themes In Your Trade Show Booth

Trade shows are the perfect opportunity to introduce new and innovative products to your audience, or increase awareness of your existing products or services. However, every trade show manager faces the challenge of grabbing the attention of attendees while competitors are all working to do the exact same thing. Creating a memorable exhibit environment that provides an acceptable trade show ROI is no easy feat, but can be achieved with a well-executed plan.

Importance of A Themed Trade Show Booth

Your trade show booth design plays a significant role in building overall brand image. While it is crucial to have an exhibit that presents your company’s offerings in the perfect light, it also needs to be designed to catch the attention and imagination of your target audience. This is where a themed trade show environment can help.

Statistics from Meetings and Conventions magazine show that almost one-third of all planners select a specific theme for key events and conferences, while approximately one-half agree that a theme greatly improves the look and success of an event.

A one-of-a-kind, themed trade show environment can make the experience fun and memorable for prospects and customers, as well as key stakeholders and booth staff.

Unique Theme Ideas

As you develop the detailed plan for a trade show with maximum impact, it is important that everything from exhibit design and messaging, to in-booth giveaways and social media strategy supports the theme.  Here are a few innovative ideas to inspire your next trade show exhibit.

Love of the Great Outdoors

Colorful graphics and artfully placed items can help you build an outdoor retreat with ease. With organic and eco-friendly materials such as cardboard, creative flooring and repurposed paper goods, your booth can emulate that of the great outdoors.

Take theming a step further by setting up an eye-catching and unique environment.  A “destination” such as a mini campground or beach right on the trade show floor can create a buzz at the show that helps to drive traffic and memorability. Incorporate outdoorsy flooring options, plants and some wooden branches with a tent for a camping-related theme.  Similarly, a small umbrella, beach chair and a sand enclosure in a corner can be utilized to give your exhibit a beachy feel.

Tales and Their Characters

People love to see their favorite TV, movie or storybook characters come to life!

You can simply base the booth experience on an old popular tale and its timeless characters to easily attract diehard fans. Hire a promoter to dress up as the character or place popular items from the movie/book around the exhibit to entice attendees to interact.


Linking your brand to a country or city using recognizable landmarks or attractions will intrigue attendees, especially if you base your exhibit theme off of the host city.  Attendees will love to see a mini version of the place they are visiting at the show, especially if their schedule doesn’t allow for much time to sight-see.  By offering attendees interesting tidbits of information or a behind-the-scenes look at the locality, you can create a connection they won’t soon forget!

Know The Story You Want to Tell

Brainstorming is the first step towards designing your trade show booth. To explore themes that might speak to your audience, gather representatives from your sales/product teams and your exhibit house to generate ideas.  Then look for feedback from key stakeholders as you finalize the decision.  Paying attention to the interests of your social media followers might also help you decide what would resonate on the trade show floor. Here’s how to create a custom theme for your next trade show:

Write Your Story

Mind mapping helps to create a story or theme appropriate for your business and the target audience. In this brainstorm session, write your company name in the center of the white board. Encourage team members to share possible themes, especially trending ones, mapping those ideas around your company name. Keep pushing each other until you come to a concept that ties to your business and audience that everyone can support with enthusiasm.  Write the dialogue surrounding the mind map, which will become the project brief for the show.

Strategize and Design

Once your story has been decided and outlined, start working to bring your ideas to life with these two elements: designing your exhibit, graphic messaging and experience by creating a marketing strategy in line with your theme.

Final Trial

Once everything is finalized on paper, make sure you start the exhibit build well in advance of the show. Work with your exhibit design company to put together a final timeline to ensure all of the moving parts will be ready on show day.

Be sure your booth isn’t overcrowded or messy, and your products aren’t being overshadowed by your story or theme. If you find this is the case, a few props may need to be removed or shifted around.  Also, ensure that your staff and key stakeholders are familiar with everything in your booth, including any interactive engagement that they might demonstrate to an attendee. This is the best way to prevent last-minute issues and ensure that your booth is a success!

Do you want an out-of-the-box, themed display for your next event? Contact Exhibitus today. We’ll help you identify a compelling concept for your company, and then provide expert guidance to ensure your story comes to life on the trade show floor.