May 16, 2024 The Print Authority

Trade Show Signage Ideas and Best Practices

Flyers? Check. Business cards? Check. Pens? Check. Preparing for a trade show means producing and assembling the suite of materials that you’ll bring with you and will help you connect with others at the show. 

One of the most important items you’ll bring to any trade show booth is your signage. Your expo signage can include banners, signage for your booth, freestanding signs, and more. Keep reading for inspiring trade show signage ideas and tips to make your next trade show a smashing success. 

The Value of Impactful Signage and Trade Show Booth Design

We all know that first impressions matter. But did you know that 55 percent of first impressions are made of what you can see? A successful trade show booth will have a trade show banner that stands out and attracts visitors.

Since your signage is visible from far away, it’s often the first thing that people see as they approach your booth. It therefore contributes to much of their first impressions of you and your business. By printing effective signage, you set up your trade show booth, and your company, for success.

Best Trade Show Banner Ideas

Your signage gets attention while furthering your overall message. Here are some design strategies that will encourage potential customers to stop by your booth. 

Eye-Catching Designs

Given the importance of making a good first impression, creating a booth design that grabs attention is an important element of any booth stand. You can make your company visible in a few ways, including the following booth ideas: 

  • Built-in light fixtures that illuminate your booth
  • Contrasting colors that draw attention to key features such as brand logos
  • Signage in multiple shapes and sizes to provide engaging visual contrast
  • Digital screens that display relevant information or a video presentation of your product

By increasing visual interest in your booth, you provide the spark that encourages passers-by to stop and learn more. 

Interactive Elements

Trade show booths can be more than a single folding table in front of a banner. By including interactive elements in your booths, you encourage people to spend time there and learn more about what you offer. 

As you’re designing your trade show signage, consider incorporating any of the following to make your booth interactive

  • Lotteries and raffles, such as spin-the-wheel
  • A photo-op wall
  • A wall for people to write on or put sticky notes on

Print custom signage that makes these ideas into engaging areas of your booth. When people stop to take a look, write a note, or take a picture, they interact with your brand and learn more about your product through portable displays.

Brand Storytelling

At any trade show, you hope to connect with others. Your signage and booth banner design tell your brand’s story in a way that increases interest and inspires connection. 

Consider the emotions you want to create in your booth’s visitors, and design signage that builds them. Remember that every element in your booth, including furniture, light fixtures, and even flooring, builds your brand experience for your visitors. 

Run your booth signage ideas past your company’s marketing department to ensure that your signage and booth as a whole contribute to your ideal brand experience. 

Versatile Signage

Trade show attendees can stop at your booth or they can walk right by. By using multiple pieces of versatile signage, you attract attention and increase engagement with your company. 

Signage can range from as small as table tents and balloons to as large as freestanding banners, along with everything in between. Including items in a range of sizes, materials, and designs will increase visual interest and make your booth dynamic. 


Freestanding signage is one of the foundational aspects of your booth. It often builds the booth’s background, so creating freestanding signage that sends the right message is one of the most important steps you can take. 

You can pick from a wide selection of shapes, sizes, and materials. Some options include: 

  • Retractable banners
  • Pop-up displays
  • Standing flags

These items set the tone for your booth, setting the literal and metaphorical background for attendees’ interactions with your brand. 

Booth Signage

Your booth signage includes a wide assortment of materials. When printing signage for your booth, you can choose from items such as the following: 

  • Tabletop signage that provides details about featured products
  • A-frame signs that attract attention from people walking by
  • Foam boards that grab attention with striking imagery

When designing your custom trade signage, think about what you want to highlight at your booth space. Are you focusing on a special promotion? Increasing your brand visibility? Reaching new markets? You can then design your booth signage accordingly. 


Designing great trade show decals is an effective way to spread your branding far and wide. You can apply decals to your own booth, including on the walls, tables, and windows, and you can also distribute smaller decals of your brand logo to clients. They’re easy to apply to laptops, walls, and other hard surfaces.

When designing decals to distribute, keep them simple. A good idea is to include your company’s logo or name, which will draw attention without becoming too wordy. Recipients can stick your decals all over town, which does your marketing for you. These promotional items are a hit at trade shows.


Banners are easy to see and attract customers’ attention. Professional printing companies can print sturdy vinyl banners, as well as custom tablecloths, table runners, and stretch table covers that display your name in a large format. Once you’ve decided on the design for the rest of your booth, you can pick a banner style that matches it. 

Banners are also easy to transport to and from trade shows. Simply roll them up, and they’re ready to go. 

Print Marketing Collateral 

Your trade show booth consists of more than large-scale signage, of course. You should also be prepared with high-quality print collateral to distribute to people who visit your booth and want to learn more. Make a memorable first impression at your booth location with well-designed print collateral.

Some marketing items to have on hand include: 

Distributing print collateral increases trust in your business and helps recipients remember you after the expo is over.  By providing engaging and informative materials that sell your business to the people who visit your booth, you increase leads and make the time, money, and effort you invested in the trade show worth it. 

Best Practices for Trade Show Signage

As you’re designing the signage for upcoming trade shows, here’s what to keep in mind. 

Clear Messaging

This goes without saying, but make your message clear in your design ideas. Place your main messages at eye level so they’re easy to read. Include as little text as you can while still making your point, and put your most important messaging in a large enough font that it can be read from far away. 

Location Strategy

Your location influences how you can make your booth as effective as possible. Analyze the layout of the trade show floor and the positioning of your competitors’ booths. Placing your signage strategically to stand out from competitors can give you a competitive edge and attract more attention from attendees. 

If you’re allowed to place additional signage elsewhere in the expo building, place signage at entrances and directional signage at heavily trafficked locations to guide visitors to your booth. 

Consistent Branding

No matter the material, including consistent branding increases brand recognition and differentiates you from your competitors. On your signage, include your business’s name and logo, as well as your brand’s colors and fonts. 

Consistent branding ensures that your message is clear and coherent across all communication channels, and whenever attendees encounter your signage, they should receive a consistent message that reinforces your company’s values, products, and services.

Logistical Considerations

When preparing your trade show materials, remember to keep some basic logistics in mind, including the following: 

    • Size. Some trade shows have restrictions on maximum booth size. Make sure your signage is a reasonable size in comparison with other design aspects, such as furniture and lighting fixtures. 
    • Ease of transportation. If you’ll be creating or producing significant materials for a trade show, it can be a smart idea to partner with a local printing company who can produce your materials and deliver them to the show for you. This eliminates bulky and costly shipping.
  • Assembly and installation. Consider how many employees will be working at the trade show, and include design elements that are simple for booth staff to set up. 

Get Premium Signage with The Print Authority

When you’re preparing for your next trade show, let The Print Authority take care of all your trade show printing needs! We print all the items that make trade shows a success, including signage, marketing collateral, and more. 

We’d love to talk through trade show signage ideas with you and set you up for success at your next trade show. Contact us to get started!