Inline Exhibit Design

Inline Exhibit Design

Mastering the art of inline exhibit design requires a touch of creativity, strategic thinking, and attention to detail.

Your goal when designing your next trade show or expo booth is to tell your brand’s story. In that story you have to explain to trade show goers who you are, what you do and most importantly what you do best. 

So you, as the exhibitor, have to paint this unique but easy-to-understand story of your brand, whether by the booth’s physical representation or by the presentation at hand.  

So, how do you tell your brand’s story to prospective clients through the lens of your booth?  

Today, we will discuss how you can use your Inline exhibit design creatively and forward-thinkingly. We will explore how you can use these linear configurations along the aisles, which are designed to maximize visibility, hopefully, attract attendees, and effectively communicate a brand’s message within our own confined space.  

Mastering the art of inline exhibit design requires a touch of creativity, strategic thinking, and attention to detail.  

In this piece, we will explore some important elements of successful inline exhibit design and hopefully offer some insightful tips to help you create the most engaging and impactful display on the trade show floor. 


Before we dive into the insightful tips for creating an engaging inline exhibit, we must first discuss the types of Inline exhibits you have to choose from. 

There are three main Inline Exhibits:  

Portable: These exhibit features include banner stands and popups. Think of these as Exhibits you could toss in the back of your car. They are typically the lightest weight exhibits.  

Modular: These exhibits are becoming more and more popular with general trade show exhibitors. Modular exhibits are packed in larger tubs or smaller wheeled crates. These types typically come with an aluminum frame system. These setups are relatively lightweight and very packable but have the structural integrity to include aspects like monitor brackets. The main difference between this setup and our portable setup is modular, which gives you the functionality that a popup normally cannot. Modulars can also provide storage space, which could come in handy at multiple-day events.  

Overall there’s a reason why these specific types of exhibit continue to grow in popularity. With its functionality and its price point, it’s become the star of the trade show floor.  

Custom: We typically don’t see a lot of Custom exhibits in a 10 X 10 or 10 X 20 space. The reason for this is simply the cost associated with using custom in those spaces is really expensive. Situations where you require custom shelving, custom shapes or unusual storage requirements are typically the main reasons to venture over to a custom design booth.  


Now that we have a basic understanding of the types of Inline Exhibit designs, we venture on our ultimate quest to tell our brand story through our booth design.  

The first step, even before the design process, is to set a standard of objectives you want to complete with the overall design. 

It is essential to clearly define your objectives. 

What do you hope to achieve with your exhibit? What’s the purpose of your booth? Are you launching a new product, generating leads, or building brand awareness?  

By clearly defining your objective, you can understand your goals, and hopefully, understanding goals will guide your design decisions. However, in this process, you must ensure that every element of your exhibit aligns with your overall strategy. 

Map out your objectives before you even start the design process. You’ll thank us later.  


Inline exhibits typically have limited space. In this limited space, you have to create an easy-to-read exhibit that tells your brand story. 

Making it crucial to use every square inch effectively.  

The first step in maximizing your space is to start by mapping out your floor plan and identifying key areas and don’t forget to think about storage.  

We highly suggest that you consider using modular components that can be easily reconfigured to adapt to different spaces to make the process more seamless. 

Another key component of effectively using space is using vertical displays. These displays can help maximize space by utilizing the height of the exhibit, which could naturally draw visitors’ eyes upward and create a sense of openness. 

When setting up your next design, it’s imperative to consider the real estate on the trade show floor.  


First impressions matter.   

There should be no excuse for you not to create a booth that gives an incredible first impression.  

To make this happen, understand that your exhibit needs to capture attention from afar. Use bold colors, striking graphics, and eye-catching signage to stand out amongst your peers in a crowded exhibition hall.  

You should also be considering high-quality visuals that reflect your brand’s identity. It’s also important to Incorporate large-format images, dynamic lighting, and digital displays to create a visually compelling environment that will make you talk of the trade show town.  

We cannot stress this enough, first impressions could be a make it or break it aspect of your trade show journey.  


A booth of any magnitude needs to be engaging. Engagement is critical to a successful exhibit. 

Another creative aspect you can add to your booth design is interactive elements that encourage visitors to stop, explore, and interact with your brand.  

These could be anything from touchscreens, product demos, virtual reality experiences, or even the classic hands-on activities.  

Your goal should be to provide a memorable and engaging experience, but on the other hand, you need to be consistent with your design. While it’s important to have a creative aspect to your booth design, it’s equally important to stay on message and be consistent. 

The truth is your exhibit should be a seamless extension of your brand.  

You should have consistency throughout your branding, from graphics and signage to promotional materials. All these elements should reinforce your brand identity, with the added goal of building brand recognition. 


We’ve touched upon a lot of creative aspects and our desire to stick out, but let’s focus on the functionality of our booth for a minute.  

While as we’ve stated before aesthetics are incredibly important to the overall scope of your booth, functionality should not be overlooked.  

One of the most obvious aspects of functionality is ensuring that your booth or setup is easy to navigate, with clear pathways and accessible and visible displays.  

Another functional request you shouldn’t ignore is designated areas for staff to interact with visitors, conduct demonstrations, answer questions, or even place their personal belongings.  

With that being said, consider all the practical aspects of your exhibit, such as storage for promotional materials and a comfortable space for staff breaks. 

Although this isn’t the fun side of your booth design, it becomes vitally important for you to remember.  


Although we’ve touched upon the creative aspect as well as the functional aspect of a booth, we’ve got to bring back to our main objective.  

That objective is to tell a story through the lens of our booth through the physical manifestations. The graphics on your booth can highlight these physical manifestations. 

One of the missing elements of our storytelling is the tagline that will be secured on these graphics. It would help if you considered placing a tagline on a visual apparatus for the entire trade show or expo event to see. This should not be something we at the Trade Group consider a “Yada, Yada, Yada” phrase.  

A “Yada, Yada, Yada” phrase is simply a tagline that is so cliche that no one really pays any attention to it. You have to have a tagline that offers a real benefit—something tangible, not a “yada yada” tagline that everyone else offers.  

You should avoid cliche statements or images and try to stay away from meaningless statements. This tip applies to images, graphics, and literal words. 


Something you should consider while designing your booth is the addition of motion graphics. Motion graphics continue to play a larger and larger role in the exhibit industry and there’s a reason why. 

Motion graphics are a more dynamic way to display your graphics. Motion graphics also allow you to stay away from cluttering up your exhibit. It allows you to have multiple images, thus creating a seamless story. 

On the flip side, it also allows for more complex stories to be told.  

You set yourself up for a successful inline exhibit design by understanding your objectives, maximizing space, creating visual impact, ensuring brand consistency, focusing on functionality, and, most importantly, telling a story. 

Now, you’re on the path to creating compelling exhibits that leave a lasting impression on your audience.  

Remember, by telling your brand’s story clearly and concisely, you open yourself and your brand up to endless possibilities.  

It’s time for you to make a creative, innovative, and story-forward inline exhibit design.

For more insights and award-winning event strategies, contact our team of event specialists to design the perfect exhibit to amplify your brand. Connect with a team member here or give us a call at 972-734-8585.

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