Hello class, it’s great to be back with another TradeShow Teacher lesson. This lesson we will be talking about something trade show attendees’ kick with their feet, yet is still important. Flooring options and how exhibitors can use them to effectively enhance their branding and attract more visitors to the booth.

Let’s start by discussing why it is important to take time to carefully consider the type of flooring choice you select. Some exhibitors just show up and use whatever carpeting the show provides; often times these are the booths that you don’t remember at all because they are not distinctive and memorable. Of course this tends to be for many reasons well beyond their carpeting. The flooring you select should be used to coordinate or compliment your branding and corporate color scheme and sometimes even be used as a key item that will attract visitors to your booth. Let’s
jump into exploring a variety of flooring options. We’ll start with Carpeting and move on from there!

When it comes to carpeting, there are so many directions you can take: You can choose from single color to inlays containing your logo; from just a variety of colors that complement your branding to full color digital carpeting with photo realistic images and beyond! Let’s take a look at some of the carpeting options available.

Single Color Carpet: When selecting carpet for purchase or rental, you should always select a color that will complement your corporate colors and image. There are many options and styles that come in all sorts of descriptions. Those are typically not uniform and depend on the vendor you are purchasing or renting from and tend to be something like: basic, deluxe, premium, pristine, shaggy and so on.

Here’s a great tip. If you feel overwhelmed by the variety of options available to you, there is a cheap and simple option that works for just about every exhibitor: standard black carpet. And here is another great tip to go along with this: If you have a booth that is using pipe and drape you should get the pipe and drape in black to match the color of the carpet. This combination makes your display “pop” and stands out very well.

Lastly, don’t forget to get padding! Your booth staffers and attendees’ feet will thank you. A word of caution, don’t get too much! Even though you may think that by having extra padding you will make them more comfortable, quite the opposite is the case; it’s like walking on sand at the beach all day and very tiring!

Carpet can be rented or you can buy and install your own carpet per show. If you purchase your own carpet, there are many additional creative options you can use to greatly enhance your corporate image and attract attendees to visit your booth. Here are some options:

Digital Carpet: This type of carpet gives you the ability to have photo realistic printed graphics on your carpet. My advice is to select an image that will create emotion or surprise for the attendees; to lure them into the booth. And remember; make sure it matches your branding and color scheme. I know, I know, I am sounding a little repetitive and probably a little annoying by now, but that’s what teachers do when they try to emphasize a really important point!

Logo and Inlay Carpet: You can have your corporate logo, tagline, product name, or a creative, attractive design custom inlaid into the carpet.  This is a great way to continuously brand your company and makes your booth and carpet selection look professional and well planned thought out.

Floor Mat Carpeting: These can be used to make an impressive entrance area by adding your logo or messaging to the design. These are a great option to focus interest; particularly if you have a reception area or stations where you want attendees to view presentations or demonstrations. The floor mats subconsciously help direct attendees to these areas.

Interlocking Flooring Tiles: While not exactly standard carpeting, these are foam interlocking carpet tiles. These enable the ability to lay down creative styles easily in a wide variety of color combinations like red, black, green, white; I’ve even seen a zebra print! These carpet tiles are very comfortable to the exhibitors and attendees walking around the booth; a welcome change for the feet from the hard aisle carpet area and cement floors in the exhibit hall!

Enough with the carpets, it’s time to move on to other flooring options such as hardwood, metal or stone. This type of flooring may better compliment your corporate image if you are going for a cleaner, more sophisticated approach than carpet offers. Here are some of the options available that can help compliment your exhibit space:

Hardwood Flooring: These are typically provided as modular, interlocking panels that are easy to assemble. The options have a wide range of wood finishes; some include ash, maple, oak, beech etc. Speak with a flooring specialist to decide which option is best for you. The benefit of this type of flooring is that it sets your exhibit apart from the majority of exhibitors that use carpeting and the look is very polished and stylish.

Snap Flooring: If you are going for a very trendy and edgy look, a great option for you is the Snap Flooring with the diamond plate pattern in silver, which looks somewhat like metal. It has a very industrial, hip look to it. This will immediately let attendees feel the type of image your company projects and can be a great tool to attract your target audience.

Stone Looking Flooring: This is typically made with a strong combination of fiberglass and urethane. It is a durable product and has a great classy look to it. This will prominently set your booth apart since not may exhibitors use this style.  Stone Flooring is a good way to create an environment, rather than “just an exhibit”.

As you can see there are a wide variety of flooring options to choose from to enhance the look and feel of your booth. Use them in combination with a well thought out display and targeted messaging to increase the recognition of your exhibit and company in the attendees mind.


Your homework for this lesson is to think “out of the box” when selecting flooring for your upcoming trade shows and don’t always stick with the “same old thing you’ve been using” just because you already have it, or go with the standard carpeting that you always rent. Check out some of the flooring options offered by display and flooring vendors; consult with them and implement the creative style that will best compliment your exhibit.

About Linda Musgrove, the TradeShow Teacher

Linda Musgrove is President of the Trade Show Training firm, TradeShow Teacher. She focuses on teaching companies to significantly improve Trade Show Results through strategic, customized Trade Show Training for individuals, departments or entire teams. Training options include phone consulting, webinars, seminars and one-on-one in person coaching. Musgrove authored “The Complete Idiots Guide to Trade Shows”, published by Alpha Books/Penguin Publishing. Learn more at http://www.tsteacher.com and sign up for the FREE monthly Trade Show Tactics newsletter. Follow on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/tsteacher .