Your trade show exhibit design company has just sent over a beautiful rendering for a new custom exhibit. It's gorgeous. "Ooohh. Yes! Yes! Yes!" you think.

But before you move ahead, it's important to make sure the exhibit will perform in every way-- from communications medium to functional tool.

The questions you need to ask vary for every company and can get very granular. To get you started, we've come up with six major assessments every marketer    should make before signing off on their new exhibit design concept and proceeding to construction plans.

Checklist for evaluating the functionality of a proposed trade show exhibit design:

  • Brand consistency. Check this item off if the look and feel of the exhibit represents your brand well. Don't forget that it's possible        for an exhibit design to be both beautiful and totally wrong for your company.
  • Messaging. Will it be easy for trade show attendees walking by your exhibit to identify who you are and what you do? Or even better:        Does the messaging articulate why prospects should buy from you versus a competitor?
  • Attract mechanism. Is there something in or about your exhibit that will slow visitors down—or even better, entice them to        stop? If not, realize that the entire burden of drawing traffic will fall to your exhibit staff. (Exhibit staff training anyone?)


  • Traffic flow. Is there a logical flow to how visitors will experience your exhibit? Is there enough room for the quantity of visitors        you expect?
  • Storytelling. Does the exhibit facilitate telling your story? The best way to tell your story is different for every company. Yours        might be an interactive, hands-on demos, a theater or something else. Your exhibit needs to fulfill whatever your company's best case scenario        is.
  • Content. Trade show attendees come in three varieties: Paddlers who want high level information; swimmers who want the full story;        and divers who will ask for granular details specific to how your product will fulfill their company needs. A great exhibit incorporates tools        or experiences that enable the staff to accommodate all three of these attendee types. Does your proposed design do this?


If the proposed exhibit design falls short, your next step should be to tighten up your plan. Decide which of these aspects you can integrate through your    marketing, promotions and interactives—and ask your exhibit design team to revise the exhibit to accommodate the others.

Then let us know how it went. We'd love to hear your results.