5 Signs Your Trade Show Booth Design Is Outdated

Out-of-focus image of trade show

No one wants to be outdated. Remember middle school? Unfortunately, the business world isn’t much different, so don’t let your outdated trade show booth design make your company the biggest geek at the expo. Because, just like in middle school, being outdated can mean fewer dates. Only, in the business world, those dates aren’t with the popular kids – they’re with paying clients and customers.

So, how can you avoid the shabby reputation and shrinking revenue that can accompany an outdated display? As it is with solving most problems, the first step is awareness. Check out these top five signs that your trade show booth might be a little on the not-so-cool side, and you’ll be well on your way to being the most popular kid at the convention.


Sign #1 – Your tech is Jurassic (as in beyond ancient).

Bottom line: If your booth incorporates tech that’s more than about three years old, update it. Nothing says “rusty old company” like outdated tech. The pace of technological advancement is dizzying, for sure. But giving your booth a tech-savvy appeal isn’t as dizzyingly difficult as you might think. Do a bit of research, then pick one or two of the newest elements: think data collection methods, 3D visuals and the like. Keep it simple, but make it cool.


Sign #2 – Your booth photos include images of people wearing scrunchies (or overalls).

Or, really, just anything that makes them resemble the pics in your kids’ textbooks. Just like outdated technology, outdated imagery and visual elements that incorporate ’90s colors (that is, forest green and lavender) will give visitors the wrong impression of your company. Presenting them with the latest design trends – or maybe even your own new design – will show visitors that your company is relevant and in the know.


Sign #3 – You’re planning to launch something new (as in “new wine, old wineskins”).

What that old verse is trying to say is: “Don’t showcase your new stuff in an outdated context, because it will not work” (extreme paraphrase). In most cases, if you’re planning to launch something new, it’s a good idea to center your booth design around that thing. Don’t let your innovation disappear among the rust and dust. Show it off with an awesome, new design.


Sign #4 – People are bumping into one another (and not because there are so many of them).

Building relationships that result in revenue is the point of trade shows, right? But bad booth space design creates a chaotic, uninviting environment with a lot of bumping around and confusion – not exactly the best context for meaningful conversations. A booth space that is inviting and comfortable, and that encourages flow, will allow you to connect in meaningful ways with visitors; in other words, it encourages conversations. And conversations are the building blocks of solid business relationships.


Sign #5 – You are way too recognizable (and not because of coolness).

If trade show attendees recognize you right away because they’ve encountered your booth (the exact same booth) for the past seven years, that’s a problem. This familiarity says to visitors, “Nothing new to see here. Go ahead and move along.” You could show up ready to launch the latest industry innovation, but if your booth design hasn’t improved and evolved, people will assume your company hasn’t either. So why would they bother stopping by?

Though it might be time to do some updating, don’t worry. There’s no need to be stressed about it. With a little creativity and genuine commitment, you can create the best booth at the show. If you have any revamping tips or tricks of your own, let us know in the comments section. Happy showing!


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