Should You Create a New Trade Show Booth Design Every Year?

Should You Create a New Trade Show Booth Design Every Year?
by Adam Fabianski / December 20, 2021

Having a new trade show booth design is one way to attract a customer’s attention, but does your company need a completely new trade show booth design every year to compete with other brands? How often do other companies design their trade show booths? How much does a new trade show booth cost? Can you design a reusable trade show booth that looks different every year?

These questions point to several factors that influence trade show booth design, cost, and lifespan. Whether it’s basic trade show graphics or a high-tech booth designed to steal the show, getting more mileage out of your booth can be a big plus. But how?

Defining your needs, goals and budget is a great place to start. Understanding how trade show booths are designed, built and transported comes next. In this article, we’ll dive into all the details, so you can plan a cost-effective trade show booth design that always attracts attendees with the promise of something new and exciting.


Can Trade Show Booths Be Reused?

Smaller brands typically redesign trade show booths in an effort to simply stand out. With larger brands, there is often status involved in featuring an elaborate redesign every year. Does that mean your brand always needs a new design to stay competitive?  

Not at all. In fact, there are several ways to design a reusable trade show booth that can visually update yearly, or for different events. How? The best show design companies can develop a base infrastructure to your specifications, and outfit it with printed trade show graphics and other elements that can be swapped out or replaced.

Trade show graphics can be printed onto panels or directly onto surfaces. A booth configuration with updatable surface finishes is another way to give your booth a whole new look without investing in a complete redesign.

There are a few practical considerations in reusing a trade show booth. Storage, shipping, ease of assembly, weight, complexity, and maintenance should all be taken into account. Reusable booths are also typically made from stronger materials, which can directly impact the overall cost of the project.


The Case for New Trade Show Booth Design

Trade show booths can be designed for very different purposes. For some, the goal is to attract the attention of new customers. For others, the goal of exhibition design is to provide existing customers a space to meet in-person with your sales team. In solving for these needs, a trade show booth design can consist of three types of spaces meant for:

  • Meeting Areas
  • Product Displays
  • Product Demonstrations


Companies need to anticipate how trade show visitors are going to be using these spaces each year and plan accordingly. 

For example, a booth for a large brand with a big following may need multiple meeting areas, but less space to display or demonstrate their products, which are already familiar to show attendees. 

A new company may need to dedicate most of their booth space to displaying and demonstrating products, rather than to dedicated meeting areas.

If you’re considering a new booth design this year, think about where your company falls on this spectrum, and where it might need improvements. 

Are visitors looking to meet with your team finding themselves stuck in long lines? Are your products being poorly displayed at trade shows? Does the layout and visual aesthetic of your booth contribute to these, or other issues?


How Much Does a Trade Show Booth Cost?

Trade show booth pricing is typically discussed in terms of cost per square foot, referring to a booth’s footprint on the trade show floor. The most common starting size for trade shows in the U.S. is a 10ʹ x 10ʹ booth. Larger trade show booths often increase in 10ʹ increments to 10ʹ x 20ʹ or 20ʹ x 20ʹ.

How much does a 10ʹ x 10ʹ trade show booth cost?

The average cost to produce a trade show booth is $125 - $150 per square foot. A 10ʹ x 10ʹ trade show booth might cost about $14,000, but the price can vary widely depending on design choices, materials and a host of other factors.

Additional costs for a trade show budget may include floor space rental, travel expenses, shipping, assembly, staffing, and sales collateral. 

A good rule of thumb when budgeting for a trade show is to multiply the cost of the booth production by 3. If a 10’ x 10’ trade show booth costs $14,000 to produce with design and fabrication services, the total budget for the event should be close to $42,000. 


How to Get a New Booth Design

A custom trade show booth design is a great way to attract the attention of new customers and retain the interest of current ones. However, a new booth design shouldn’t just be about aesthetics. Consider your goals for upcoming events—and future trade shows—so you can invest in a cost-effective solution that helps to achieve them all. 

A great place to start is with an introduction to Bridgewater Studio and a free, customized Project Success Map tailored to your needs. We’ll help you understand the many options that can help you get the most bang for your buck, and get the most mileage out of your trade show booth.




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