8 creative ideas for custom trade show displays 

Find out how to elevate your trade show presence and create an unforgettable brand experience.

Aerial view of custom trade show displays

Trade show season is an important fixture in every brand’s calendar. They offer businesses a prime opportunity to showcase their products and services and make a lasting impression on potential customers.

Nothing beats IRL networking. Face-to-face contact is crucial for lead acquisition, helping businesses close sales quicker. CEIR says that it takes an average of 4.5 sales calls to close a sale without an exhibition lead and only 3.5 sales calls to close a lead from an exhibition. 

But in a highly competitive market, unique and captivating custom trade show displays are essential for standing out from the crowd. From creative design concepts and innovative technology integrations to immersive brand experiences, the possibilities for custom trade show displays are endless. 

Here’s a roundup of 8 of our favourite ideas for elevating your trade show presence and leaving a lasting impression.

1. An insta-worthy booth

A trade show booth with wow factor

In a sea of sameness, you want to make sure your booth pops. Custom trade show displays that go big on detail and design is a surefire way to be memorable to passersby. Installations like a floral or living wall, a monochrome colour scheme (based on your brand) or holographic branding are all eye-catching options. 

2. LED lighting

Lighting is everything. Brighten up your display with colours from your brand palette. Whether it’s spotlights, ladder-style lighting or a wall of text, these luminary custom trade show displays will literally make your booth shine. 

3. Scent marketing 

A scent diffuser being used as part of a trade show tactic for attracting visitors

Brands put a lot of effort into their visual marketing but often neglect how their booth smells. Scent marketing involves strategically using fragrance at specific customer touchpoints to subtly influence their behaviour and decision-making. One study found that 100 consumers who shopped with a simple scent in the air (such as citrus) spent an average of 20% more. Time to get out the essential oils and diffuser and ramp up your scent marketing.

4. Photo opportunities 

People love capturing moments with their team. A photo booth with a host of props is always a firm favourite. Polaroid photos are another great option as they’re tangible, and attendees can take them home. (It’s even better if you use branded photo paper.) If you want to keep costs down, you could have a funky photo wall where people take their own photos. Be sure to include your brand logo, message, social media handles, and hashtag for optimum visibility.

5. VR experience area

A VR experience being used at a trade show

Leverage virtual reality technology by creating an immersive activation for attendees. Simulations are a powerful way to showcase your products and services, providing hands-on experiences where people can really get under the skin of your brand. Whether it’s a virtual tour of your real estate development, a simulated test drive of a new vehicle, or a walk-through of your manufacturing process, simulations highlight the value and capabilities of your brand in a truly unforgettable way. After an attendee has engaged with your VR experience, it’s the perfect time to bring out the Business Cards.

6. Postcard wall

No custom trade show displays are complete without a Postcard wall. Arrange postcards in a grid or mosaic pattern to create an eye-catching focal point. Choosing vibrant images, bold designs, or intriguing brand messages will help attract attendees to your booth. Postcards can also include key brand takeaways, success stories, product or service info, and contact details. Encourage people to take one home with them, as postcard marketing can help your business thrive long after the trade show is over.

7. Hydration station

Branded MOO Water bottles being used as gifted merchandise at a trade show

Keep attendees hydrated by giving out free water. If you’re really looking to go further, you could give out branded custom Water Bottles. High-quality drinkware is something guests will actually use long after the trade show is over, keeping your brand top of mind.   

8. Live art installation 

Collaborate with a local artist to create a live art installation that unfolds in real-time during the trade show. Set up an easel or canvas within your booth and invite the artist to paint, draw, or create artwork inspired by your brand, products, or industry. It’s a sure way to arouse intrigue and spark interest in your brand. If you wanted to add to the experience, you could offer the finished artwork as a giveaway to generate buzz around your booth.

For all your custom trade show display needs, MOO can make it happen. 

From merch to print collateral and professional design services to efficient delivery times, MOO is your go-to trade show partner. Discover our range of products today, or fill in our short form below and we’ll be in touch. 

Keep in touch

Get design inspiration, business tips and special offers straight to your inbox with our MOOsletter, out every two weeks.

Sign me up!