Secrets for a successful trade show and exhibition

The trade show world can be a very confusing one, from start to finish. For new exhibitors it can be a minefield of rules, regulations and dodgy contractors. At Exhibit Global we take all of the guesswork out of exhibiting for our clients, and help them throughout the entire process.

Local knowledge is vital in the region, and even the city, where you are exhibiting. Even though English is a common language within the trade show and exhibition industry, you can’t guarantee that everyone will speak it. What will you do when the French-speaking electrician arrives on your booth to fix the power problem, and you are unable to explain why your Nespresso machine keeps tripping out the entire stand. Our experience team of project managers speak the local language and know each show completely.

Trade show booth layouts:

Corner, peninsula, island, open-on-one side…..are a few of the various names for tarde show booth layouts. Some are self-explainaotry, but do you know what a peninsula booth is? Sure you did, it is one that is on the end of a row with one shared wall….like a peninsula jutting out into the sea!

Trade show booth sizes:

So you have booked a 10 x 10 trade show booth, or maybe a 20 x 20. BEWARE!! In Europe they use metres not feet and inches. So a 10 x 10 booth may actually be a 10m x 10m (roughly 30ft x 30ft, which is nine times bigger than a 10’ x 10’ booth!).

Just to be sure, always get the area of the stand space, which will be in sqft or sqm.

Your stand builder will always need the layout of the booth for a trade show that you have been given by the show organisers. This shows the exact dimensions, floor area and if there are any shared wals or venue structures (such as columns or fire extinguishers).

Trade show booth ideas to attract visitors:

Besides an eye-catching trade show booth design (see our other ideas page), how else can you attract visitors to your trade show booth and how do you make a trade show booth interesting?

Depending on what industry you are in, some great ideas to atrtract visitors would be live displays (e.g. live cookery displays featuring your product at a food fair, or ‘how to displays’ featuring your product); presentations by guest speakers on your stand (e.g. at a military/weapons show where you can’t use the actual product); an eye-catching prop to attract visitors to your booth (we once used the Batpod from Batman, The Dark Knight Rises, to bring visitors onto a booth)


Never underestimate the power of good lighting on a trade show booth. It will highlight your displays, bring your booth to life, make it ‘pop’ and make yourtarde show booth interesting. Always ensure that you have some budget allocated for lighting and rigging in your overall trade show booth costs.

Modular v Custom:

The choice of a modular or custom trade show booth is generally decided by budget, and very seldom by personal preference. If you are part of a larger ‘pavilion’ of booths (e.g. a country pavilion at a travel fair) then you will have no choice but to use whatever they are providing – which is generally modular.

Modular booths are those constructed from a reusable ‘system’ such as Maxima or Octanorm. They use a framework of steel or aluminum extrusions, with infill panels to create the walls. These are often referred to as ‘shell-scheme’ in the UK and Europe, and are the cheapest form of trade show booth that you can use, especially since they are always rentals.

Custom booths are exactly what they sound like – custom designed and fabricated booths, created from a unique design. In Europe they are always purchased by the client, including the floor, unlike the USA where you can often rent the stand, even though it is a custom build. Your European fabricater will manufacture, deliver, install and dismantle your booth. There are no unions in Europe, so when we fabricate a booth for a client it is our own team who install it on site (at the trade show/exhibition). This is usually the same team who actually fabricated the booth elements in the workshop, so they already know it thoroughly before they install it.