As always, it starts with a concept drawing. We had just gotten our MultiCam CNC plasma cutter before building the booth, which meant we could do some pretty amazing and fancy metalwork. The booth itself would be a showcase of our creative and problem-solving abilities.
The booth itself was part of our presentation and showcased what we did. Because we knew the booth would be handled by forklifts out of our control we purposely aged the display. Any new scrapes would blend right into those we purposefully incurred as we built the display.
We crammed our ten-foot booth with tons of our very best work. This included signs, models, concept art and dimensional displays. We even included a TV to show videos of our projects. The booth was a reflection of how our design studio looks, somewhat cluttered but overflowing with creativity.
The booth itself was part of our presentation and showcased what we did. Because we knew the booth would be handled by forklifts out of our control we purposely aged the display. Any new scrapes would blend right into those we purposefully incurred as we built the display.
The booth glowed brightly under our additional lights. We played warm colors against cool for maximum effect. The booth was informative yet simple. If guests wanted more information we had our iPads and computers at the ready. We also had the apps on our mobile phones to scan their badges and take notes to follow up with more information later.

Design a winning trade show booth

By Dan Sawatzky

Posted on Monday, February 26th, 2018

Imagine walking past more than 1,000 displays—all brightly colored and each filled with eye candy. As people looked at our display we quickly discovered they were confused as to what we did. Multiple signs from park projects were on display as were dozens of photographs, models and concept art pieces. We found ourselves constantly explaining what we did.

We also found that two or three visitors plus the three of us quickly filled our display space. This meant that when we were busy, many people simply walked by, seeing little. We took all of these lessons to heart.

Second year display As we prepared our booth for the second year we were determined to make some dramatic changes. We did the work through the summer even though the show was still months away. Doing so allowed us to think things through methodically and un-rushed. We decided to double the space of our booth to 200 square feet this year. We added two five-foot wings to our ten-foot display to fill the twenty-foot-wide space. We also displayed much less this time. The focus instead was a very simple message: Who we are and what we do.


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Dan Sawatzky

Dan Sawatzky's shop, Sawatzky's Imagination Corporation, is in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada. Dan shares his experience in his Sign Magic Workshops on 3-D sign making, and his Sculpting Workshop.