How to Effectively Light Up a Trade Show Booth

World Fuel Trade Show Booth

It was the great William Shakespeare in the play As You Like It who began a famous monologue by saying, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” A visit to a local theater for any sort of production will involve just that: a production. From the music to the actors and the lighting, it’s quite the undertaking. Each of these elements is carefully selected to create the ideal environment. However, it also involves a big budget.

When it comes to lighting your trade show booth, there is also a budget involved: one that needs to cover more elements than just lights. This is why it’s so important to think about the context and environment in which your booth will be standing in order to find the best focal point and lighting type.


There are a variety of ways to incorporate lighting into a trade show booth, but some of the most popular options include:

Accent: As the name suggests, this is simply a way to complement the booth architecture, reinforce brand colors or simply to improve the overall look of the booth. Accent lighting isn’t the start attraction per se, but it does play a great supporting role in the booth by defining spaces or back lighting areas to spotlight features like shelving or a welcome desk.

Product: If your booth includes product displays, it’s important to draw the visitor’s eye (and attention) to your product. This is best achieved through lighting effects, whether it’s a spotlight, down light or even up light. There are plenty of options and it just depends on your product and how it is best lit.

Theatrical: Much like the stage lighting mentioned earlier, some booths require this type of show atmosphere, complete with spotlights and lights coordinated to sound or music. A great example of effective theatrical lighting is Omron’s presence at CES 2018. Their booth featured Forpheus, a ping pong playing robot that was introduced to the crowd during the show. When the demonstration was about to begin, the main lights were brought down and the theatrical lights came up, drawing the eye straight to the main attraction.

Aside from choosing the best type of lights for your space, it’s also important to think about factors that could have a major impact on your overall budget. Here are some things to consider:

  • What are you emphasizing? Are you introducing a new product that needs to be highlighted?
  • Is accent lighting enough to make your booth stand out or do you need additional lights?
  • What is your show schedule? (The price of show services lighting varies by city.)
  • Can your lights be pre-wired to save money? (Any lighting integrated into the exhibit build will result in higher prices, but this will save money on the show floor.)
  • What venue restrictions do you need to account for?

Every trade show booth needs lighting, but every situation is unique. Working with an exhibit house to choose the best option to accent and highlight your space is the best way to ensure a successful outcome.


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