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What You Need to Know When Setting Up Light for Trade Shows


A trade show is a perfect opportunity to market your products or services and to gain visibility for your business. In fact, trade shows are the most profitable B2B media strategy in the US. In 2017, US companies increased their trade show spending by 29 percent. That same year, US marketers planned to attend 7 trade shows where they discover products and services that are readily promotable. These numbers all add up to indicate that trade shows are a booming business that you want to participate in. One way you can ensure your trade show exhibit stands out from the crowd is by optimizing your lighting setup.

Check Power Source

Before you choose a type of lighting for your trade show exhibit, contact the trade show venue for more information about the power supply. Questions to ask include:

  • How many electrical outlets will be available for me?
  • What type of power source is provided?
  • Are there any restrictions on lighting the venue?

The venue should have all of this information readily available ranging from guidelines for power use and lighting setup.

Choose Lighting Based on Mobility

As you select the lighting, remember that you will be required to transport the light fixtures and any accessories (extension cords) to and from the venue. Lightweight lighting that can be carried easily is your best option. If you need to use trolleys or hand trucks to move the lighting through the venue, make sure you have permission to do so before the day of the trade show. An insider's tip:

  • Get a map of the venue and identify where your booth will be located. If possible, visit the venue and walk over to your area. This will give you the chance to look for possible hiccups, such as obstacles that you will have to navigate with your lighting the day of the show.

Optimal Lighting for Trade Shows

The benefits of using lighting for a trade show are extensive. Lighting creates a vibe and allure for your booth. It helps you stand out from the crowd. Properly designed lighting can also create a mood that generates emotions from trade show attendees. Emotion makes exhibits memorable, and that is what you want—to be remembered long after the trade show is packed up.

Some tips on how to choose the best trade show lighting include:

  • Go with the best lighting even if it costs more up front. Keep in mind you will be able to reuse this lighting source for future trade shows, so consider it an investment.
  • Minimize the use of flashing lights. These can create a noxious experience for attendees, especially if they suffer from PTSD or epilepsy.
  • Overusing lighting in a trade booth is just as aversive as not using lighting at all. Too much light can cause eye strain and detract from your message. The goal is to use lighting to complement your marketing efforts.


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