4 Convention Booth Design Programs That Make Beginners Look Pro

by Jun 18, 2015

Designing a convention booth may seem like a daunting task especially if it is your first time attempting it. Fortunately, the industry leaders have developed some intuitive, beginner-friendly software to help you along. Here are a few of the more popular software programs for designing a convention booth.


Not just a tool but also an informative website set the Smart Draw Booth Layout and Trade Show Planning tool apart. Naturally, you can create your booth from the ground up but Smart Draw provides you with a set of excellently conceived templates. In addition, the program is designed to help you with the production of collateral materials for both marketing and visitor “takeaways.” Do not be mistaken, Smartdraw will not give you top-notch full 3D renderings but it is a good stepping off point for conceptualizing with top down layouts.

Expand DiplayBuilder

Conveniently developed by Expand, one of the most commonly used trade show building materials manufacturer, Expand Display builder is for use in conjunction with designing Expand brand products.

Though it includes fewer “bells and whistles” than the other products on this list, DisplayBuilder is easy to learn and quite capable of producing excellent trade show booth designs as well as associated sales presentations. This program is probably best for those that are a little more technological savvy than the other two. Just keep in mind you are slightly limiting yourself to using only expand brand display components and frames.


Exhibit Core

Developed as a sales tool, this program lets you start from scratch or with a variety of pre-made templates. Start with a floor plan if have multiple rooms at the event and then build 3D booth designs. Afterwardyou can upload your models to the ExhibitCore Floor Planner section of their website. You can then share the designs with whomever you decide.

Again, this will get you closer to a professional 3D rendering but not a completely custom booth with full branding and little details. Looking to add merchandise, mannequins, props or other products? It’s going to take a little bit more experience.


Sketchup is your standard professional convention booth design program. You start with baseline shaping, expand surfaces into 3D walls, countertops and eventually you will have a completely custom trade show booth. We stress the word eventually because even the most seasoned trade show booth designer will need to set aside a substantial amount of time to develop a killer booth design.

A Final Note

While these software tools do make the process of convention booth design significantly easier, it is still somewhat of a challenge to get it just right. Instead, if you would like to go the easier route, grab a pen and some paper, sketch out a rough design and then turn to a professional in the industry. Most are intimately familiar with the design process and can one turned out for you in far less time and with far less aggravation than by doing it yourself.


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