Booth Design Stories
Welcome to the show! Many exhibitors have generously shared their booth design plans, from concept to creation, to help you plan for a successful debut at the NSS. Read through to learn new tips and tricks for a knock-out booth design that is:
- Budget Conscious
- Authentic to Your Brand
- Inviting to Customers
- Showcases Your Product
- Efficiently and Effectively Planned
- Follows the Guidelines of the Show
- Maximizes Sales during the Show
GINGER P. DESIGNS
Gina Peterson of Ginger P. Designs returned to the NSS in 2018 after a successful debut in 2017. Her 10’x10’ black and white booth with touches of coral pink closely resembles her design studio in small-town Minnesota, and reflects the company’s fresh, feminine aesthetic.
Gina’s husband, as well as her father-in-law, worked together to build her hardwood booth walls. The walls were 6 sections each that were bolted together. Her husband also built the shipping crate, which she said was easier to load and provided more protection than the pallet she used in 2017.
The rug, from Urban Outfitters, added warmth to the wood-printed foam flooring underneath which was purchased from a local flooring store. She has used the same interlocking foam flooring for three shows now and says they are easy to put together and have held up really well. The coral pink stools and table were purchased from Target and the clamp lights, which she spray painted gold, were from The Home Depot.
For teardown, Gina hired outside help, which she highly recommends, as she was able to leave the show stress-free, and avoided spending an additional night in a hotel.
Papyrusaurus made its trade show debut at the 2018 NSS. Owner and artist, Ashley Aranda, wanted to keep things simple, affordable, and easily transportable from her Long Island studio in her SUV.
She chose white peg board walls because she learned in a booth design webinar how easy they are to assemble without tools and hung them using the free S hooks from Freeman’s service desk. She hand-painted the sign with the company name and logo that hung above her bold booth number decals.
Ashley already owned the tables and purchased the bookshelves, chairs and lights were from Ikea. Her original rug was from Target, but once on site she swapped it for a simpler graphic print rug also purchased from Ikea.
Ashley’s ability to find creative solutions to problems and make spur of the moment decisions is impressive and a great asset for the fast-paced and often unpredictable setup of a tradeshow. For example, the teal triangles that pattern her walls were hand-cut and placed on her white walls when she decided the walls needed a pop of color.
She used books from her collection to display her Tiniest Book Club earring collection, an idea she says she “dreamed up months earlier and was so excited when it actually worked.” The other props, such as the apothecary jars, dinosaurs, and flowers were purchased at Target, HomeGoods, or Michaels.
Overall, Ashley is proud of how her booth turned out and how inexpensively (under $300) she was able to do it!
INDIGO DE PAPEL
Claudia and Felipe Arriagada, the brother and sister team behind Indigo de Papel, meaningfully used a table to display their products. For them the table is, “the place where we celebrate” and the products they design spectacularly transform tabletops.
Upon arriving in NYC, they rented a car in order to move in and out of the Javits Center themselves, and purchase the carpet, lights, and table at the Ikea in Paramus, NJ.
They used Freeman’s Veloce wall system, which they painted in dark gray stripes, accented with thinner gold foil lines. The shelves were also painted gray with a chalk-style coating and the eye catching still life graphic on the back wall was brought from Chile in their luggage and applied to the walls once onsite.
IN THE DAYLIGHT
Jess and Rick Miles are inspired by simplicity. Their booth, like all their designs, was whimsical and minimalist.
The walls, made by M & J Innovations, were painted white and included the lighting. Wall decals clearly displayed their booth number and provided information on their products. They purchased a rug from The Home Depot to partially cover the concrete floor of the Javits Center.
A laser cut timber logo matched the Tasmanian oak shelves, which Rick made custom for the booth. Hanging and potted plants added to the natural look, and were purchased at the local Chelsea flower market. The 10’ Olive Leaf and Seeded Eucalyptus garland that hung across the back wall was ordered from The Garland Guy. As it was fresh foliage, they had it delivered the night before the show to their hotel.
The couple contracted a company to build the booth, and prior to leaving their home in Australia, ordered the furniture from Ikea and had it sent to the contractor’s warehouse.
Bold pink and gold stripes were the focus of the Pickett’s Press booth this year. The Benjamin Moore pink paint called “Full Bloom” is the same shade used for their logo and website. The shine of the gold paint was enhanced by the overhead lighting fixtures from Amazon.
The rest of the booth was kept simple. Clean white decal letters spelled out the company name and tagline “Make A Stationery Statement.” The gray carpeting was purchased from FLOR. The walls, shelves, flooring, and furniture transportation and assembly were done by The Displayers.
The clear or white furniture was from Flash Furniture. Their wedding, holiday, and stationery albums were on the tables for people to flip through, boxed sets were displayed on shelves on the walls, and a happy hour on Wednesday showcased their bottle tags.
PAPER BANDIT PRESS
Paper Bandit Press’ 10’ x 10’ booth walls were made from sheets of birch plywood from The Home Depot. The sheets were cut down into 4’ x 4’ square panels, with some half sized 2’ x 4’ panels. They were pre-painted and pre-drilled so that they could be easily bolted together onsite without using power tools. The short side walls added stability and an area to clearly label their company name and booth number using vinyl signage from Big Fat Logos.
Kim Borup and her husband built the tables and shelves themselves to match their booth walls. The shelves were bolted to the walls and SKU numbers were slipped into metal brackets in front of each card. For lighting, they rented a par can light from the Javits Center and ordered additional spotlights from Amazon.
Their white foam floor tiles were from SoftTiles, and they stated that the cushioned flooring really makes a difference when standing all day. The area rug and all the rest of their booth furniture is from Ikea in Brooklyn, which is easily accessible via subway or bus and has minivan taxis parked outside to help transport purchases back to the Javits Center.
The couple built both the booth and crate themselves. It is transported to and from the Show by Showtime Express then stored in the Showtime Express warehouse in New Jersey.
The bright colored paper and gold leaf designs appear to pop off the walls of Catherine Greenup’s booth. Carl Finley, her husband and business partner, designed the booth to do just that. Their cabin-like booth was visually interesting but did not compete with the stationery.
The wall infrastructure was purchased from The Home Depot. The wood-printed foam flooring and the lights were purchased from Amazon. The folding chairs were purchased from IKEA. Covering the walls are dimensional brick panels, which were easy to assemble but a heavier option compared to a brick printed wallpaper or backdrop.
Carl designed and built the tables himself, and has even written orders for his furniture at the NSS! Likewise, the shelves, which he built using leftover slabs from other woodworking projects, feature angle groves for the cards to sit in and have been so successful he now makes this custom shelving for several retail stores to display their cards.
Transportation costs for the 640 lb booth are a major drawback. However, the couple is able to save both time and money on set-up because of its easy assemblage with simple hand tools.
Shani and Tal Feldman traveled from Israel to exhibit at the 2018 NSS, their first trade show ever. The sisters and co-designers behind Compoco wanted to build a booth that captured the company’s colorful space-theme. Their products shine under the fluorescent glow of LED lights attached to all their shelves and inside the framed display cases. And their shiny company name and booth number in acrylic decals are surrounded by precision cut mirror backed perspex stars and planets.
Three days before the Show they purchased 4’x4’ sheets of plywood at The Home Depot and constructed and painted their booth walls and shelves in the parking lot in less than 6 hours, following a meticulously detailed plan they had been working on for months in Israel.
They purchased the desk and bookcases at IKEA, as well as the black bowl they filled with the custom M&Ms from the Time Square M&M Store, which matched the colors of their booth. After the Show, they donated all the furniture to Housing Works.
The Ilootpaperie booth encapsulates sense of fun and creativity like their brand. They mocked up their Wild for Stationery Jungle concept initially in illustrator, where they were able to toggle between paints swatches to select the right colors for the bright, fresh Jungle feeling they wanted.
Because they lack the space in Pasadena to house hard walls and a full size crate, they worked with Freeman to have veloce hard walls pre-installed, and really enjoyed working with the Freeman staff. They also had one Kubox shipped directly into Javits through Freeman. Everything else was shipped to the hotel or came with them in their luggage.
The first day on site they applied two layers of Kilz primer to the walls. Next they paint the walls and theme elements, using a Prestige paints ordered from Amazon. They had stencils for the 6 giant leaves laser cut by Gen X Graphics in CA, which were pieced together on site to transfer onto the walls.
They supplemented the track lighting that comes with the hard wall package with lights from IKEA and reused their acrylic signage from the year before. Their signage the first year snapped into 3 pieces during take down because it was attached it too well to the walls. The acrylic they sourced from a supplier in West LA and again used Gen X Graphics to laser cut it.
Because they have over 200+ card designs getting the shelving installed and everything up in time, is a time consuming challenge. Once completed, two 4 x 6 rugs from Target were laid over the concrete floor, the smaller size makes it a little easier to handle them when we ship them back to CA. And finally the furniture is assembled and finished touches and accents were added. The ottoman, table, green boxes and green plate were purchased from Target and @fdk_florals provided the fresh greenery.
This year, having gotten better at take down, they even made the Javits’ Fedex deadline and were able to ship-out what they needed on-site, which they highly recommend.