Ask The Entreprenette

How to make your booth dazzle

 Dear Sarah, I am doing my first trade show in a few months.  I wondered if you know the best way to set up the lights in order to showcase my products.
Thanks so much – Jon Margalit

Dear John,

I reached out to my friend Emily at Pegasus Lighting as she is a real expert in booth lighting. You’re smart to consider your lighting needs ahead of time! Trade show lights are crucial to make your product stand out to attendees in a sea of options. Your goal should be for the lighting in your booth to naturally attract people – that way, it’s doing some of the promotional work for you.

The lighting setup does depend on how large your booth is, and what effect you are going for. Most are designed with an adjustable clamp-on installation, so you can easily attach them to pop up booths, poster stands, banner stands, and signs. Consider the area that you are lighting.

First and foremost, your trade show display lights should serve as spotlights on your product. This way, if an attendee strolls by your booth, they’ll see what you’re selling in an instant. Spotlight display lights add focus and drama to your booth. If you are showcasing just a few items, it might be a good idea to use one display light per item. Otherwise, you will probably want to bathe your entire product selection with light. In this case, use one display light for every two to three feet of horizontal space. If you main focal point is the wall that serves as the backdrop to your booth, use multiple display lights to call attention to that wall!

It’s also important to be sure you have enough general lighting so that the spotlights will serve as accents and points of focus – not as the sole sources of light. Normally, the exhibit hall’s ceiling lights will cover this. However, you may want to pack a couple of flood lights to be sure your general lighting is adequate, particularly if you have a very large booth.

Finally, consider adding special effects to make your booth even more eye-catching! If you have a sign, graphic display, or poster, you may want to place it in a light box. The bright backlighting will help it stand out. Colored lights can add a dramatic effect as well. You can attach colored glass light filters to your display lights to give your exhibit a pop of color.

If you’re on a budget, here’s a money-saving tip: Many lighting retailers offer “open box items” at a discount. Check the product description to be sure, but this almost always means the light fixture is in unused and perfect condition but is simply no longer in its original packaging. You can save a lot of money by opting for open-box display lights. Good luck with your first trade show!

Emily Widle is a marketing specialist and lighting blogger at Pegasus Lighting, an online retailer that sells a wide selection of display lights and trade show lighting.

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    Written by Sarah Shaw

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