Less Is More Booth Design

March 21, 2019

Adam Deming

Adam Deming is the Exhibit Design Manager at the Skyline ExhibitsInternational Design Center in St. Paul, Minn. An Industrial Designer by degree, he has been with Skyline since 2007.

Gone are the days when attendees expected to be confronted with stacks of products literature. Whether you have a limited design budget or if you’re just trying to set your booth apart in a crowded exhibit hall, minimalist designs can offer a fresh, inviting and modern alternative to busier layouts. 

Here are some helpful design tips to make sure your booth doesn’t cause attendee overload:

  1. Declutter your graphics. Think about the overly busy billboards you sometimes see along a highway – you often can’t tell who the advertiser is, let alone what value proposition is being communicated. Does your signage suffer from a similar problem? Leave plenty of negative space in your signage so the viewer can focus on what is important – unused white space is your friend, not your enemy.
  2. If your booth space is small, you need to be especially selective in your choice of furnishings. The old “rule of thirds” often applies in these situations, whereby you limit the design elements to three areas, such as an information table, a product area and your sales area.
  3. Keep lighting simple and try not to combine both warm and cool lights. Contrast is key: If you have key products on display, position your brighter lights above them to help them stand out as a feature in the booth.
  4. Consider lighter color selections for your booth. Light colors tend to make spaces appear larger. Select colors from your brand to accentuate your brand presence but keep it simple to avoid competing visual elements.
  5. Consider incorporating hanging structures in your booth design. Suspended graphics open up the floor plan to draw attendees into your booth. With this, also consider graphically or structural ways to tie your overhead elements into the ground level so the attendee can connect both elements and stay focused on you, not your competitor at every level of your booth space.
  6. Use a simple interactive element to increase engagement and add levity to your booth. Active or playful booth games can not only attract foot traffic to your booth but also can be used as symbols of your company’s innovative approach to product selection and service solutions.
  7. While your booth staff should always be accessible when needed, be sure to build room into your exhibit for customers to explore products or services on their own, without being hassled by a sales rep.

Minimalist trade show design doesn’t mean anything is missing from your booth. Instead, it means there’s an ideal amount of what attendees really need.


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