Simple Exhibition Booth Ideas For Trade shows: Even With A Small Budget

14 Simple Trade Show Booth Ideas That Attract Visitors

A common misconception amongst new traders is that they need a large space or mega building to do an exhibition show.

Most times, this kind of heavy exhibition might not suit the kind of product you want to sell. Besides, you might not sell that much because you have set your eyes on something way past your budget.

Exhibition booths are like mini shops where people can do a trade show. For instance, a photographer from Belgium goes to a festival in Spain. You will agree with me that it’s literally impossible for him to take his studio to Spain. However, this festival poses a good means to earn good money and also receive some exposure.

When it comes to exhibiting at an event, one of the hardest things to do is ensure your booth stands out against the rest.

With so many other businesses, brands and competitors attending the same events as you, you need to ensure you’re doing everything you can to stand out.

This is where you have to think of booth ideas where couples and families can sit to take pictures for memories. This is the same for a chef that operates in Venice. He must attend a fair in Toronto but must think about some affordable exhibition booth ideas to pitch and sell to eager customers.

Whether it’s hosting a unique competition or investing in some incredible free samples, you want people to stop and look at your stand as they walk by.

The longer they stay, the more chance you have of turning them into a paying customer. There are simple and cheaper booth idea alternatives for an auction, a show or a yard sale. I’ll discuss some ideas with you whilst keeping the small budget in mind.

With that in mind, here are some exhibition booth ideas to make you stand out at your next event: 

14 Simple Trade Show Booth Ideas That Attract Visitors

1. Avoid Purchasing So Many Things

One of the first mistakes that people new to exhibition shows make is that they want everything. Don’t think that stocking up their booth will attract more customers. The truth is that the less stocked your booth is, the more organized and attractive it looks and the more customers are likely to troop in.

A piled-up, disorganized booth will give customers the impression of a confused business person whose products would probably be clumsy.

Let me give you a realistic example. If you were given two options  – a nice meal of grilled fish and chicken in a really neat home and the same food in a very dirty home, and a friend tells you he saw a cockroach in one of the meals during the two visits, which meal will you immediately suspect?

The meal at the dirty home, right?

It’s the same thing in business. If your business environment isn’t conducive, customers will ignore your product or service. Everybody loves a neat and clean environment. Always remember the number one rule in marketing – packaging is everything.

You might have heard the saying that you could literally sell faeces to an eager customer in a fancy, well-packaged wrapper. This isn’t meant to make you feel irritated or portray marketers as deceptive, inhumane people who take advantage of customers.

Instead, it is to let you know how powerful packaging can be in every production process.

2. Write A List Of What You Need

14 Simple Trade Show Booth Ideas That Attract Visitors
14 Simple Trade Show Booth Ideas That Attract Visitors

Next, you need to write down your scale of preference. A scale of preference is like a list of your needs arranged according to their importance. This is very important especially if you are running on a tight budget and you don’t want to purchase some items you wouldn’t need at the end of the day.

This could be very demoralizing therefore I will advise that you take your time to write a list and edit this list to narrow it down to only very important things.

Read: Reasons for business failure with examples

3. Get The Important things first

Once you have successfully written and narrowed down your list. It is time to purchase the items from this list. According to your list, number one should be your most important item and number 10 should be the least.

Any other item that didn’t make this list shouldn’t be given any form of priority. Focus on the accessories or building equipment needed to construct your exhibition booth.

Start with pieces of furniture like chairs and tables. Do not allow yourself to be too excited that you forget your budget and your list. Always carry your list to the market and never ever go above your budget except you need to buy better quality.

4. Hire A Professional Builder

Depending on your desired booth architecture, you would have to employ a professional builder. There are do-it-yourself kinds of booths, and there are also booths that require that professional touch.

Although the DIY booth is a cheaper option, you can not compare it to a booth that was built by a professional. So this decision depends greatly on your budget. Ask around and get to know the price to build a temporary or even a permanent booth. This will help you to know if you can afford to hire a professional builder or just stick to a DIY booth.

Do not commit your entire resources to one stage of your project else you would be left with a nice booth with nothing to fill up the booth. Some DIY options are very cheap but still attractive and workable. The main point is to attract customers to your booth.

5. Study The Environment

Before you move on to begin organizing your booth, you need to know what kind of environment you will be trading in. Environments differ and there are population imbalances in some environments such as having more old people than young people and sometimes it’s the other way around.

To get the appropriate target, you need to know your environment to attract the right customers to your booth. If it’s an older community, you might want to use a vintage setting to remind them of the ’80s when they were much younger.

Research has proven that older people respond better to vintage settings in the market. This is why most adverts for vintage cars are in black and white. Nevertheless, some younger people also respond positively to vintage settings & you might want to add a little vintage to your booth setting.

6. Show Live Demonstrations

face masks foe exhibition
14 Simple Trade Show Booth Ideas That Attract Visitors

If you have products that can be used in a live demonstration, hosting regular demos at your stand could be a great way to encourage people to visit at a particular time.

Whether you’re giving a makeup tutorial or you’re showing how to cook using your ingredients, you want people to be able to see a real-life example of how your products work.

Not only that, but they will also see that they’re high-quality and are worth investing in. If you want people to visit your stand for your demos, you need to ensure you’re advertising your demonstrations on social media both before and during the event. 

7. Make Provisions For A Bad Weather

While setting up your booth, don’t forget to make provisions for bad weather, especially in the summer. While a good forecast could determine if there would be bad weather beforehand, the weather is still one of the most unpredictable natural phenomena.

You must be ready for anything and any weather. If you are making use of an open booth, make provisions for rain covers and windbreakers. You don’t want your customers running helter-skelter during a storm or rain.

If you’re making use of a closed booth, try to also make room for ventilation and lighting in case you have to close the main entrance due to rain or bad weather.

This should conform with your budget and you should check that you are not overspending.

However, this is one thing that cannot be pushed aside. I once attended an exhibition show in Lagos, Nigeria. The trade show was going smoothly until a sudden storm started. I immediately found a cover from the rain and watched in pity as the trade show organizers frantically struggled to hold down their canopy and keep their products from getting wet.

Customers who had been interested in their product raced to other booths with covers. It must have been a disaster for them because I found the manager behind the booth in tears. She was around my age and she looked torn apart. I wanted to help so I bought one of her cookie boxes even though it was ruined by the rain, it was the little I could do but I learnt a valuable lesson that day.

Read: Importance of building and maintaining customer relationships

8. Get A Professional Marketer

concepts of marketing
14 Simple Trade Show Booth Ideas That Attract Visitors

Have you ever met a professional marketer who is so convincing? I have witnessed firsthand the power of a good marketer. So there I was, I had just alighted a bus and was on my way home. I had just 3,000 Naira in my wallet, the equivalent of $8.

A young man who was neatly dressed walked up to me with a big bag and claimed to sell male shoes. I know this sort of marketing and immediately told him I wasn’t interested. However, this guy wouldn’t give up and pitched in such a convincing manner I didn’t know when I pulled out my wallet and took two pairs.

If you hire a good marketer to help draw the attention of passersby to your booth, you might just be in for the best sales in your small business history. This strategy is also used by major brands in the market, especially at the annual Lagos State trade fair.

The marketer could stay outside the booth and draw the attention of passersby by either talking to them like my friend did or just displaying a sample of your product.

9. Organize Your Booth and its environment

It is important that you try as much as you can to beautify and organize your booth. Don’t let your booth be scanty and at the same time, do not congest your booth environment.

Yes, a booth has little space but with the right organization, you could have enough space for customers to at least move their legs.

10. Arrange Your Products And Make Them Visible To Customers

Where I come from, we don’t trust things that are brought out from a hidden place in a market or shop. It is more trustworthy when it’s a restaurant and foods are openly displayed.

I will assume it’s the same mentality worldwide because people usually respond well to things they can see. This is why customers trust chefs that cook customers foods in their presence. Making your products visible to customers not only attracts customers but also gives an impression of professionalism.

11. Work On Your Pitch

Simple Exhibition Booth Ideas For Trade shows: Even With A Small Budget
14 Simple Trade Show Booth Ideas That Attract Visitors

If you have successfully attracted those eager customers, it’s time to pitch them your product or service. Once you have their attention, that is a plus but it doesn’t guarantee a sale.

In order to succeed in selling to customers after attracting them to your booth, you will need to work on your pitch. This greatly depends on the kind of service you are rendering or the product you sell. It’s more like the job of my friend who I bought two good shoes from with the last money in my wallet.

You need to centre your pitch on these key points:

  • What’s your product?
  • What does it offer?
  • What makes it stand out?

My shoe seller’s pitch to me – “this is an opportunity to get quality shoes at a cheaper rate”.

Then I asked him how I would contact him if I need a refund.

He looked at me, smiled and said “I sold thirteen shoes a week ago and twelve more today, do you think if I sold fake things I would still be here” that statement alone was enough to throw me off guard and I paid for the two shoes.

I still wear them today. My point is, your marketing skills have to be top-notch to turn eager customers into paying customers.

12. Incorporate Social Media

One of the best booth ideas to get people to stop and engage with your stand is to incorporate social media one way or another.

Not only will social media help encourage people to visit your stand, but it will also help when it comes to your brand visibility.

You could create an Instagramable display that people want to photograph or you encourage people to post on social media in order to enter a competition.

The more people you have talking about you online, the better. These tips and tricks are useful when it comes to using social media at an event.

13. Ensure You Have An Impressive Design

One of the best ways to make your booth stand out at an exhibition is to have an impressive design.

This may mean purchasing the biggest space possible or creating something incredible with the smallest space in the room. Whichever one, you need to ensure your event design is making people stop and engage.

For more information when it comes to event displays, you can visit the event display

14. Use Event Technology 

14 Simple Trade Show Booth Ideas That Attract Visitors

Finally, if you want to make an impression with your exhibition booth, you might want to consider using event technology.

Whether this means using an LED screen to attract attention or using virtual reality to get people involved.

Event technology is a great way to bring in the crowds. Bizzabo gave some guidelines about event technology


Exhibition shows are responsible for generating a whopping revenue of 12.81 billion dollars every year. However, setting up an exhibition booth can be quite expensive if you don’t have a definite plan when you are setting it up.

So booth ideas will help you to set up an exhibition booth for trade shows and also attract visitors, just be sure to also take care of your trade show booth staffing, so that you have enough people taking care of possible customers. 

Finally, have you had an incredible exhibition booth in the past? What did you do to ensure people stopped as they walk past?

Let me know your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below. 

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Post Author: Chibuike Nwogbo

Nwogbo Chibuike is a student of Electronics and Computer engineering at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. He started writing at the age of 10 by learning new things and writing about what he has learnt. Specifically, he likes the feeling of creating another world through writing. He is also a dedicated Christian.

2 Replies to “14 Simple Trade Show Booth Ideas That Attract Visitors”

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