Trade Show Displays

How to Design Your Trade Show Booth

How To Design Your Trade Show Booth

When you first start going to trade shows, you may not think about the booths and their designs too much. Beautiful, professional graphics seem par for the course.

The first time you want to be an exhibitor yourself, though, that all changes. Where is everyone getting these custom graphics for their trade show displays?

You can always go the traditional route of interviewing graphic designers and finding one to hire. Or, you can take the modern approach by getting your graphic design services online.

If you aren’t sure where to look, start with these services.


The best way to describe 99designs is to call it a platform for freelance designers. Consider it to be a digital marketplace where you can find out about designers and hire them to create your design.

There are a few ways to use 99designs. If you want to hand-pick your designer, you can browse profiles, find designers who share your aesthetic tastes, and hire them to create your display graphics.

When you find one you like, you can contact them directly to discuss your project. The downside of this approach is that it can take a long time. You might need to contact several designers before you find one who is willing and available to do your project.

The other option is to hold a “competition.” You describe the type of graphic you want to create, and designers respond with their best pitches and ideas. You provide feedback and ultimately choose which design is the winner.

While this format may be quicker, there is always the possibility that you won’t like any of the pitches, and you’ll be back to square one. Also, providing all that feedback can turn into extra work.


Fiverr has been a popular platform for years. It’s similar to 99designs because it’s a platform for freelancers, but they operate the site differently.

While 99designs is exclusively for graphic design, Fiverr is more varied. People can offer their services for everything and anything, from marketing services to custom music creation.

On Fiverr, you choose the design category you need and review profiles for as many designers as you want. You’ll be able to see a portfolio of their work and find out the price for what they’re offering.

From there, you reach out to the designer and kick off the process. 


Upwork is similar to Fiverr in many ways. Like Fiverr, it’s a platform meant to bring freelancers together with the professionals who want to hire them.

Also, like Fiverr, Upwork is a popular platform for freelance graphic designers as well as professionals in a range of other services like data entry.

There are a few different ways to connect with a designer on Upwork. If you choose, you can look through designers’ profiles and directly contact the ones whose work fits your vision.

Upwork also has a bidding option. You post as much information as you can about the project and what you need for your design. Designers pitch their ideas and their prices, and you choose your favorite.

Design Pickle

Design Pickle is a unique change of pace from 99designs, Fiverr, and Upwork. Rather than working with independent freelancers, Design Pickle is a managed service with an internal team of professional designers.

With this site, you sign up for a monthly membership. That monthly membership allows you to order as many or as few designs as you want.

When you sign up and start your project, Design Pickle will pair you with a dedicated graphic designer. This is a unique advantage because you develop a relationship with that designer. They get to know your brand, so everything they produce is consistent with your company’s image.

The catch is that as a monthly subscription, Design Pickle is meant more for ongoing design work than a one-off project. If you need a design for your trade show booth as well as other graphic design projects, it could be a good fit. 

Get Crafty on Your Own

If you’re more of a DIY’er, don’t worry, the internet has plenty to offer you as well.

There are plenty of online programs that make graphic design easier for people who aren’t professional designers. Some have a low cost, and others are even free.

If you plan to create your own design, the easiest way to go is to start with a stock photo and make adjustments or add design elements to it. One service that makes this easy is Pixlr.

Pixlr has both free and paid options. Think of it as a limited but easy-to-use version of Photoshop. It allows you to manipulate photos and create graphics in much of the same way.

Another common choice is PicMonkey. While PicMonkey doesn’t have a free version, the monthly cost is low and accessible.

PicMonkey offers many of the same capabilities as Pixlr. It comes down to which format feels most comfortable for you to use.

Get Graphic Design Services Free with Your Trade Show Display

All the graphic design services above are viable options for getting designs for your trade show display. They all come at a cost, though, whether they cost you money, time, or both.

Regardless of which service you choose, keep in mind that you’re paying for the design alone. You still need to get the display printed with that design.

Or, you could get it all in one package. At Display Pros, we have professional graphic designers on staff. Purchasing your trade show display from us entitles you to free graphic design services.

Not only will your design services be free, but the process will be a time-saver for you as well. There’s no need to search for designers online. Plus, since all the services are under one roof, you can be sure that your final custom printed display will look its absolute best.

To get started, learn more about our trade show booth design services and reach out to us today.


About Ryan Schortmann

Ryan Schortmann is the Founder and Managing Partner at Display Pros, where he works to help businesses of all sizes make an impact with their customers by providing quality trade show and retail displays at affordable prices. A graduate from New England College, Ryan holds a degree in Business and Computer Science. When not hard at work at various marketing roles, he enjoys cooking, travel, and gaming.

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