4imprint, LLC

3 min read

Trade shows are not inexpensive. The average cost to reserve a booth is $100-$150 per square foot and those dollars can add up quickly.

Woman viewing booth designs on a laptop computer.


Small trade show booths are a more affordable option, but they present their own challenges. But by making the best of your small space, you can still generate the qualified leads and connections you want.


Stick to a theme

A coordinated booth is more pleasing to the eye, but, more importantly, a single concept theme makes it easier for attendees to remember your brand. A carefully chosen theme will communicate a single message that connects each component of your booth, making it easier for attendees to remember you.


Ensure that all of your graphics and displays tie in with your brand and consider theming your displays around a current trend in your industry. For example, a textile manufacturer may want to theme its booth around a potential industry shift toward sustainably sourced materials. Be sure to select trade show promotional products that also fit with your booth’s theme. In the case above, organic cotton T-shirts or baseball caps would be a good choice.


Use show-stopping graphics

When exhibiting in a small space, high-quality images that pop are even more important. Pixelated designs, poor color matching or subpar materials can give your booth an amateur look. Quality graphics will help draw more interested prospects and effectively deliver your brand’s message.


To help brighten your small space, consider using light colors. For large pieces, like table runners and tent walls, light colors will create a more airy, open feel.


Get creative with sensory details

Engaging attendees’ senses is a unique way to draw attention to your booth, no matter its size. Using nontraditional elements like lighting, music, aromatherapy or video can cut through the noise of the trade show floor, draw your audience’s attention and encourage them to investigate your booth further.


Consider how you want your lighting and audio to connect with your booth’s theme. Bright, industrial fixtures might work well for some brands, but a warm, cozy ambiance might work better for others. Likewise, loud, energetic music may complement one company’s brand, but quiet, ambient sounds might be more appropriate for another’s.


Don’t be shy experimenting with other options, such as colored lights, scented candles or essential oils, textured rugs, throw blankets or pillows, interactive games or touchscreen videos, and fun light-up trade show promotional products, like a multicolor flashing LED tube bracelet or saber sword.


Trade show booth with sensory elements like lighting, signage and textured rugs.


Go vertical

Vertical space is often under-utilized and can be a game-changer for vendors with limited booth space. Using a standout visual element that literally rises above the competition can pique interest and draw people to your area. Considering incorporating a small event tent or sail sign into your display. Taller items like house plants, product display shelving or hanging banners at or above eye level will draw attendee attention upwards, creating a visually open experience.


Capture your audience’s attention, even with a small trade show booth

Don’t stress over having a small trade show booth. By sticking to a theme, using high-quality imagery and utilizing your space effectively, your small space will pack a big punch.


Key Takeaways

  • Coordinate your displays with a unifying theme.
  • Invest in high-quality graphics.
  • Use sensory elements like lighting, music and scented products.
  • Utilize vertical space to draw your audience’s eye upwards.