One way to draw attendees to your exhibit is to create a calming ambiance that provides a respite from the chaos of the show floor. In other words: create an oasis.

The benefit of this approach is that once attendees have entered your space, the rest of the show floor fades away. You have more of their attention and they're likely to stay longer.

Lots of exhibitors set out to create an oasis on the trade show floor, but few succeed. What is it that transforms an exhibit into an oasis? Integrate these five characteristics:

1. Immersive. In order to feel like an oasis, the exhibit has to surround and immerse attendees. This means creating a full environment, typically one that has most, if not all, of the perimeter enclosed—and possibly some sort of structure overhead. The idea is to block sight lines to the aisle and neighboring exhibits so people experience your story without distraction.

The Thermos exhibit (photo above) at International Home + Housewares Show achieved immersion with simple rectilinear walls that created museum-like viewing alcoves within the exhibit. (Exhibit design and fabrication by 3D Exhibits)

2. Uncluttered. You know how sometimes just looking at a pile of clutter on your desk can make you feel overwhelmed? The same goes for how the amount of stuff in your exhibit can impact attendees. If you want your exhibit to exude a calming ambiance, leave as much as you can at home. Think minimal, simple, and organized—and you'll do just fine.

The MOBA caf� at International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) achieved oasis status by keeping its fixtures minimal, its finishes clean, and leaving lots of open space around the tables.

3. Unique quality of light that is easy on the eyes. Lighting is a big part of what makes a space truly feel like an oasis. You want your exhibit to be nicely lit—but with colors and light temperatures that are easy on the eyes.

At IPPE, Baader's oasis-like tech demo area used soft blue and green illumination that felt both dynamic and restful to attendees. (Exhibit design and fabrication by EZ Fair)

4. Interesting. Even if your oasis offers a respite from the chaos of the trade show floor, if the architecture isn't interesting enough to draw people in, you won't get the results you want. Therefore, strong design is a must.

At Consumer Electronics Show (CES) BCS Automotive Interface Systems created a space people wanted to enter—and which felt like it was anywhere but on the show floor. Layers of white fabric, organic curves, and softly undulating LED lights worked together to deliver a unique, calming, and memorable experience. (Exhibit design and fabrication by Spinnacker)

5. Quiet and comfortable. It almost goes without saying that to qualify as an oasis, your exhibit has to be quiet and comfortable. That's what makes people really want to enter—and stay.

How do you make your exhibit into a respite from the chaos of the trade show floor?