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The psychology of booth design: influencing attendee Behavior

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Trade shows are an excellent opportunity for businesses to showcase their products and services to potential customers. When planning to exhibit at a trade show, one of the crucial decisions businesses need to make is the type of booth they want to use. There are several types of trade show booths, each with its unique features and benefits. In this blog, we will explore the different types of trade show booths to help you make an informed decision for your next trade show event. 


Tabletop Booths

Tabletop booths are compact, portable, and ideal for businesses that don’t require a large exhibit space. “Depending on your trade show schedule, you may be limited to a 6-foot table. In this case, you would want to really maximize your presence there,” says Glen Roe, a Marketing Consultant at E3 XPS. Tabletop booths are easy to transport and set up, making them an excellent choice for businesses that attend smaller trade shows or events. They typically consist of a table and a branded fabric cover, but it can also include banner stands, signage, and other display items. Glen suggests incorporating levels on your tabletop to bring your products closer to your customers’ eye level. The curved display in this Invita example provides something for eyes to land on even from far away and can evoke curiosity from passing attendees

Trade Show Exhibit Options: What's Right For You
Trade Show Exhibit Options: What's Right For You

Pop-Up or Portable Booths 

Pop-up booths are lightweight and easy to set up, making them a popular choice for businesses that attend multiple trade shows throughout the year. They are typically made of aluminum frames and fabric panels, which can be customized with graphics and branding. “Some companies might think that they are limited in options because they want to stay portable, but that’s not the case. We can still do a backlit portable display or mount monitors to add interest. It doesn’t have to be unimaginative just because you want to stay portable,” Glen explains. Pop-up booths or portable booths come in various sizes and shapes, and some models even feature built-in shelving and lighting. They are affordable and perfect for businesses on a tight budget. Describing the photographed example here, Glen says, “The podium table is also the carrying case for the entire display. So you can add interest to the display, make the elements functional, and still make your dismantling process a breeze.” 

Inline Booths 

Inline booths are typically visible from just one side—the front. “With an inline, you can really start to incorporate unique elements that highlight your brand. In this WireCo example, the logo is a 3D cutout,” says Glen. While there are many ways to execute an inline display, modular installments are the most ideal. These booths consist of pre-built modules that can be assembled in various configurations. They offer a great deal of flexibility and can be customized to fit the specific needs of your business. Modular booths are typically made of aluminum frames and fabric panels or solid materials like wood or acrylic.  Companies can also include multimedia components like TVs and interactive displays. Glen says, “This is when you can really stand out on the trade show floor!” In this WireCo example, the two sections of the display can be separated for a 10×10 space. The table can also be connected and separated as space permits. Modular booths are an excellent choice for businesses that want to create a custom exhibit while still enjoying the convenience of a pre-built system. Additionally, if a company wants to opt for a rented structure, E3 offers many options. 

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Island Booths 

Island booths are the most expansive type of trade show booth, occupying a large area on the exhibit floor. According to Glen, islands are the best booth space for maximizing your brand presence on the show floor. They are typically designed with four open sides and are visible from all angles, making them an excellent choice for businesses that want to create a significant impact. As they offer the most space on the trade show floor, they are also an ideal choice for large corporations and businesses with extensive product lines to display. Island booths allow you to create multiple memorable experiences for the attendees within a single booth space. Using things like immersive technology, interactive elements, product demonstrations, and conference spaces can really make your space functional and engaging. “Island booths give companies the chance to deeply engage with audiences by creating unique experiences with their space,” says Glen. As seen in this Eurofins example, small sitting areas are sectioned off, complete with charging tables for added convenience. At E3, we specialize in custom modular systems that allow us to really make an architectural impact with an island booth. 

Double-Deck Booths 

In some instances, island booths can include multiple levels and private meeting areas. When space allows, multilevel structures can be extremely beneficial for companies. In this Firemon example, the upper level can be used as a quiet area to discuss matters with clients. Glen says, “Double-deck islands virtually double your floor space and give you more opportunities to ‘wow’ your guests. You can create a unique environment underneath a deck too. I’ve seen companies create bars and lounges on the lower levels while the upper space is a more functional business area.”

Firemon 20x20 island exhibit at RSA Conference

In conclusion, there are several types of trade show booths to choose from, each with its unique benefits and features. When deciding which booth to use,
 there are a lot of factors to consider. From the size of the impact you want to have on the floor, the budget available for a display, and the engagement element of your space, E3 can help you put a plan together that meets all your goals.
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