Exhibit & Event Theme Idea Generator

  Before You Begin Creating a Theme
  All-American Themes
  Childhood Themes
  Occupation Themes
  Places & Travel Themes
  Sports Themes
  Story Themes
  Time Period Themes
  Transportation Themes
  Water Themes
  Resources & Next Steps

Why Create a Theme for an Exhibit or Event?

Before you design any exhibit or event, begin by defining your basic message. Then craft a theme that brings that message to life.

Why Themes Matter

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of using themes in exhibits and events. I've worked on many projects built around a central theme that was so memorable attendees could recall it even several years later. (I even devoted chapters in both Build a Better Trade Show Image and Exhibit Design That Works to the topic of creating a great theme!)

  • A powerful theme not only helps to give your exhibit or event focus, but also creates an emotional response and distinguishes you from all the other exhibits on the show floor.
  • It can also be an economic way to make a big impact. In fact, you can create a theme with virtually any budget. Some of the most clever I've seen (or used) have been done with the most bare-bones budget.
  • But don't do a theme just to be cute! If you can't tie it back to your company, products or message, then your theme will fail. When it's used as part of your overall marketing plan, a theme can really reinforce your brand.
  • And never let your theme take over – use elements to enhance your message, but don't go crazy and blow your budget on things that don't really add value (like pricey entertainment or eye candy).

Here's the key: Define what impression you want visitors to leave your booth or event with, and then design cues that will create that impression.

No matter whether you're an exhibitor, trade show organizer, meeting planner, or marketing manager, there are ideas included here that will work for you. In fact, these ideas have been incorporated in exhibit displays, educational conferences, hospitality events, and more.

How the Theme Idea Generator Was Born

Nearly two decades ago, I began creating a notebook with ideas and examples for about 100 creative exhibit and event themes. My first thought was to create a book featuring all the ideas, but that seemed too limited for a list that was constantly evolving.

Next I considered creating a mobile app, but didn't know how to begin designing a high-tech project like that.

Finally, it hit me – publish the list in the Exhibit Marketers Academy! Now each of the theme ideas can be tweaked and improved over time, plus you will have ongoing access whenever you need to generate a new idea.

While you may not see all 100+ themes right now, remember this is an ongoing tool and ideas will continue to be added over time.