Three Trade Show Booth Ideas Guaranteed to Stand Out

The bar is high when it comes to creating buzz-worthy expo and trade show booths and exhibits. And now, with people flocking to shows in greater numbers, expectations are inching even higher.

So, how can you stand out? Skip the branded swag and mark your organization’s return to the show floor with a must-see visual experience. The Ink Factory artist team rounded up three of our favorite trade show booth ideas, all designed to draw in attendees and deliver on common show goals.


Our illustrations were used for a Trade Show Booth Design


Trade Show Booth idea #1

Booth illustrations

What it delivers: More time spent at your booth

Illustrations are a powerful visual addition to booths and exhibits. Drawing your message or story grabs interest and creates a reason to linger.

uLab Systems, an innovator in the orthodontics industry, partnered with Ink Factory to create a fully illustrated branded booth experience at the 2022 American Association of Orthodontists Annual Conference. We visualized the benefits of uLab’s products and services, injecting the brand’s personality into the work.


Illustrated marketing materials tied in to a trade show booth design


The illustrations can easily be repurposed for future sales and marketing needs, strengthening the return on this creative investment. Building on this hand-drawn aesthetic, Ink Factory also captured live visual notes during uLab keynote sessions.


Conference attendees pose with visual notes created by Ink Factory showcasing their input at Netsuite

Visual notes were a main highlight of Pearson's ISTE trade show booth


Trade Show Booth idea #2

Event engagement boards

What it delivers: Visual interest and social sharing

An engagement board helps attendees interact with your booth’s theme or purpose in a thoughtful way.

To execute, Ink Factory designs and installs a whiteboard or wall at your booth featuring one or a series of questions you’d like attendees to answer. An artist team of visual note-takers (aka, graphic recorders) manages the board, inviting attendees to share their answers. The artists then illustrate the responses.

At NetSuite’s annual Nonprofit Technology Conference, the company utilized engagement boards to capture people’s thoughts on how tech enables their missions. Attendees were excited to see their voices visualized, snapping selfies and sharing on social.

Ink Factory client Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, took a similar approach with its booth at the ISTE show. They posed a question about careers of the future on one wall of the booth and gathered attendee responses on notecards. Ink Factory artists then drew a selection of the responses on another wall.

“People kept coming back to visit throughout the conference to see how the mural was turning out and what was being added,” said Lauren Lopez with Pearson’s North American marketing team. “I think it was one of the most photographed things in the entire exhibit hall.”


The Illuminated Tradeshow booth for Maestro Health at HR Tech


Trade Show Booth idea #3

LED booth and visual notes

What it delivers: More meaningful attendee engagement

Ink Factory artists love using unexpected materials to stand out on show floors. A booth created with backlit LED panels is one way to accomplish this. The walls provide an ideal surface for drawing visual notes and the glowing effect is show-stopping.

For the HR Technology Conference & Expo, we collaborated with Maestro Health to create an entire booth using backlit LED panels. Artists then captured visual notes of live interactions with attendees.


A panel discussion live on stage while an artist creates digital visual notes on screen


To further the visual experience, Ink Factory captured digital visual notes during Maestro’s speaker sessions, making the company and its message visible to all 9,000 attendees. Maestro invited attendees to visit its booth to download copies of the visual notes after each session, providing more opportunities to engage with the audience.

Ready to stand out on the show floor this year? We’d love to brainstorm visual experiences for your booth or exhibit. Schedule a free consult with an Ink Factory artist. We can’t wait to create something awesome together.


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