Developing Trade Show Booth Ideas on a Small Budget

Categories: Trade Show Display Ideas, Trade Show Displays on a Budget, Trade Show Tips

So, you’ve been tasked with creating some trade show booth ideas with a small budget. But how exactly do you go about this?

Sure, its easy to make an awesome looking and functioning booth on an unlimited budget, but how do you do create actionable trade show booth ideas on a small budget?

After reading this article, you’ll be able to put together some ideas for your next trade show booth on a small budget, but this gist of it is that you need to identify your needs, your budget, what you’re willing to do, and what you’re willing to compromise on.

Identifying Your Needs

The first step of generating some ideas and planning out your booth space is to identify your needs.

This process happens regardless of booth size. From single tables events to large, custom trade show booth setups, you need to recognize what you need out of your booth and what kind of displays can help you do that.

Are you selling products, generating leads, want to have meetings directly on the floor in a room, showcasing software, merchandising products for buyers, etc.

For example, if you’re merchandising products you might use either a printed table cover with your products displays on top or you might use a merchandising booth set up with shelving, product showcasing displays, etc. It all depends on your company size, the event, the venue (outdoors or indoors?), budget, needs etc.

But you need to know your needs and wants before planning out your booth even more.

Ideas Based on Needs for a Trade Show Booth on a Small Budget

Merchandising/Displaying Products

If you’re merchandising products for retail buyers, you’re going to need somewhere to put and displays your products. Whether this is a shelving solution or just a simple printed table cloth depends on your needs.

A booth set up in this situation would probably emphasize showcasing more than the need for storage (like if you were retailing/selling products). So you would most likely be using a nice branded backdrop with a good shelving and merchandising solution:

Shelving option:

Backwall Options:

Selling Products

If you’re selling products at the event itself, you’ll probably need some way to display the products, like the merchandising requirement, but also a place to store a large number of products, and a point of sale location.

A booth set up here would then need a display counter/area, a backdrop, and a small counter as the checkout area.

Display counter/area options:

Backdrop options:

Small Checkout Counter:

Software Showcasing

When you’re showcasing software, websites, video games, etc. you’re probably going to want to have some sort of hands-on demo. Hopefully, you’ll be able to use some of your pre-existing assets for this setup, like some tablets, laptops/computers, phones, etc. for the hands-on part, but you’ll also need some way or where to place these devices so people can walk up and use them.

A kiosk or table setup with a computer or two is a great way to demo a product, but also a great way to have a way to gather contact information after attendees run through a demo.

Same deal if you’re using a tablet. You can have a row of tablets on stands for relatively cheap (if you already own the tablets).

Both scenarios let you conserve your budget for other signage such as a nice backdrop, printed table cover, counters, etc. 

Backdrop options:

Kiosk Options:

Display counter/area options:

The identifying needs essentially breaks down to lead generation vs on the floor/at the event retailing.


When building out some ideas for trade show booths on a budget, it is incredibly important to identify your needs before building out your booth. Its much easier to go over budget or work with a bigger budget, but working on a smaller, limiting budget can put some restraints and force some creativity that would otherwise not happen with a big budget. If you have any questions or would like to discuss some budget friendly displays, please feel free to drop us a line using the contact information below!

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