Booth Brainstorm: Walls

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When you’re planning your tradeshow booth, start with your walls. The type of walls you choose to use will have a domino effect on other decisions you make for your booth. For example, your walls will determine how you display your products, whether you use shelves, how you hang your signs and what lights you use. Plus, your walls set the stage for the overall aesthetic of your booth.

Whether you rent or build your own walls, there are a number of factors to consider when choosing your wall materials. How easy are the walls to transport and install? Can they be reused? How much will they cost? Do they display your product well?

Ultimately you want your booth to mirror your brand and highlight your products in the best possible way to garner sales. Here are some options to get you started.

Hard Walls

Plywood walls are gaining popularity among our alumni for a few reasons. If you’re planning on doing multiple shows, investing in hard walls up front can save you money over time. Plywood walls and pegboard walls are durable and can hold a wide range of shelving units and product displays. They can also be painted to match your brand. Shipping hard walls can be costly and installation can take extra time at set-up, so make sure you consider all factors.  

Hard walls are also available to rent through your show decorators (we love Manny Stone Decorators).  When you rent your walls, they will be installed before you arrive at the show so there is one less thing you need to do at set-up. This is especially helpful if you’re traveling far distances to your show.

Foam Core

Foam Core walls are a fan favorite for our alums because it can be a less expensive option than hard walls. The 4 ft. by 8 ft. panels come in white, can be matched to PMS colors or custom printed with your logo or placeholders for your products. Foam core board are 3/16-inch thick and if you’re DIYing foam core walls, you can attach the boards to the pipe framing with zip ties. If you rent your boards, Manny Stone Decorators will handle the installation for you before you arrive at the show. If you choose to use foam core, be sure to think through your product displays.

Foam core cannot accommodate heavy shelving, but it’s great for lightweight products. In the paper world, most exhibitors affix cards directly to foam core walls using double sided tape or velcro. Foam core walls are one-time use, but they look great and can be customized to match your branding.

Set Paper & Fabric

Set paper and fabric walls are the two lease expensive wall options. However, if you use canvas, fabric or curtains you bring from home, most shows will require you to fireproof the fabric; an extra step and cost that you’ll want to factor into your timeline and budget. Your set paper or fabric walls can easily attach onto the pipe frame of your booth, and will hang in front of the drape provided with your booth. Since these walls cannot support shelves, you’ll need to get creative and either find a way to hang your products from the pipe or utilize stand-alone shelves. Think through how you want to merchandise your products when determining whether these walls are best for you.

Want to see these walls in use? We have tradeshow booth inspiration that will help you along the way. Then, take a look at your signage so you can draw people to your booth!


Connect with Katie Hunt

Katie Hunt is a business strategist, podcaster, mentor and mama to four. She helps product based businesses build profitable, sustainable companies through her conferences, courses and coaching programs.

Website:  |   Instagram: @prooftoproduct

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