18 Creative Trade Show Booth Design and Activation Ideas From Connect Tampa

From a branded half-pipe with IRL skateboarders to mystery tattoos to plenty of Instagram moments, Connect Tampa was chock-full of inspiration.

Connect Tampa

From Aug. 30 to Sept. 1, Connect took over the entire trade show floor at the Tampa Convention Center for a three-day event featuring a series of thought-provoking education sessions, one-on-one appointments, ample networking opportunities and, of course, a trade show floor filled with inspiring ideas for meeting and event planners to bring back to their own gatherings. 

In between education sessions and appointments, in-person event and meeting professionals scoured the extensive trade show floor, where suppliers and vendors from across the U.S. put their best booths forward to inspire planners and build connections for future events. The booths at this year's event proved that gone are the days of simple pipe and drape, and experiential activations that engage the consumer are the name of the game. 

From art activations and puppies to mystery tattoos, pickleball tournaments and more, suppliers brought their A-game to Tampa. Keep scrolling a closer look at just a sample of the standout booths on-site. 

"At the front of the exhibit hall, Champagne Creative Group curated an irresistible Instagram moment that drew inspiration from a postcard. Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions"
At the front of the exhibit hall, Champagne Creative Group curated an irresistible Instagram moment that drew inspiration from a postcard.

Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions
"California-based OC Ramps bought in a half-pipe painted to match the colors of MeetingPlay's new rebranded logo. To the side of the half-pipe—which featured real skaters showing off their skills during the day—attendees could hop on a stationary skateboard for their own photo op. Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions"
California-based OC Ramps bought in a half-pipe painted to match the colors of MeetingPlay's new rebranded logo. To the side of the half-pipe—which featured real skaters showing off their skills during the day—attendees could hop on a stationary skateboard for their own photo op.

Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions
"California-based OC Ramps bought in a half-pipe painted to match the colors of MeetingPlay's new rebranded logo. To the side of the half-pipe—which featured real skaters showing off their skills during the day—attendees could hop on a stationary skateboard for their own photo op. Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions"
Virtual venue platform 6Connex boasted a tech-forward booth with a cheeky, attention-grabbing neon sign that read "What the hybrid?" to draw in attendees.

Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions
"CVBs and DMOs from across the U.S. pulled out all the stops to get meeting and event profs to stop by their booths and start meaningful networking conversations. (After all, with more than 130 exhibitors, you have to find ways to stand out!) For example, Discover The Palm Beaches brought in colorful props and blooming florals for a picturesque photo backdrop. Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions"
CVBs and DMOs from across the U.S. pulled out all the stops to get meeting and event profs to stop by their booths and start meaningful networking conversations. (After all, with more than 130 exhibitors, you have to find ways to stand out!) For example, Discover The Palm Beaches brought in colorful props and blooming florals for a picturesque photo backdrop.

​​​Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions
"Bringing another Instagram moment to the night's Unlock the Block opening reception sponsored by Visit Tampa Bay and held at multiple locations, including The Florida Aquarium (pictured here), Las Vegas-based Champagne Creative Group reinvented the red carpet with this experience. Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions"
Bringing another Instagram moment to the night's Unlock the Block opening reception sponsored by Visit Tampa Bay and held at multiple locations, including The Florida Aquarium (pictured here), Las Vegas-based Champagne Creative Group reinvented the red carpet with this experience.

Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions

 

"Amateur Athletic Union USA (AAA USA) had attendees shooting hoops, snapping selfies and interacting with custom QR codes at its booth. Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions"
Amateur Athletic Union USA (AAA USA) had attendees shooting hoops, snapping selfies and interacting with custom QR codes at its booth.

Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions
"Discover Puerto Rico had long lines for the handcrafted coffee its baristas were serving up each day. Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions"
Discover Puerto Rico had long lines for the handcrafted coffee its baristas were serving up each day.

Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions
"Virtual event platform BeyondLive's tech-savvy booth boasted a digital backdrop showcasing a sampling of the brand's capabilities for online and hybrid events. Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions"
Virtual event platform BeyondLive's tech-savvy booth boasted a digital backdrop showcasing a sampling of the brand's capabilities for online and hybrid events.

Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions
"Right next to the BizBash stage, South Beach Photo Booth Co. had guests strutting their stuff on a treadmill catwalk in front of a green screen. Peek to the right and you'll see the runway brought to life digitally. Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions"
Right next to the BizBash stage, South Beach Photo Booth Co. had guests strutting their stuff on a treadmill catwalk in front of a green screen. Peek to the right and you'll see the runway brought to life digitally.

Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions
"A fan-favorite at BizBash events, Champagne Creative Group's mystery tattoo activation added a local spin, with branding for both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tampa Bay Lightning. Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions"
Champagne Creative Group's mystery tattoo activation added a local spin, with branding for both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions
"Yaymaker allowed attendees the chance to try their hand at creating their own artwork with a fun, live painting activation. Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions"
Yaymaker allowed attendees the chance to try their hand at creating their own artwork with a fun, live painting activation.

Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions

 

"Not a booth by which any attendee was disappointed, Reno Tahoe's Puppy Lounge featured a litter of adoptable puppies from The Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Better yet? All of the puppies were adopted! Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions"
Not a booth by which any attendee was disappointed, Reno Tahoe's Puppy Lounge featured a litter of adoptable puppies from The Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Better yet? All of the puppies were adopted!

Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions
"To really immerse attendees in what they're all about, USA Pickleball Association held live pickleball tournaments on the trade show floor. Fitness-forward meeting break, anyone? Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions"
To really immerse attendees in what they're all about, USA Pickleball Association held live pickleball tournaments on the trade show floor. Fitness-forward meeting break, anyone?

Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions

 

"Display Group drew eyes to its colorful, projector-clad booth that included a larger-than-life polar bear statue. Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions"
Display Group drew eyes to its colorful, projector-clad booth that included a larger-than-life polar bear statue.

Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions
"Visit South Walton took to DIY resin art to capture attendees' attention on the trade show floor. Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions"
Visit South Walton took to DIY resin art to capture attendees' attention on the trade show floor.

Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions
"Travel Wisconsin's booth had bartenders slinging handcrafted old-fashioned cocktails for guests. Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions"
Travel Wisconsin's booth had bartenders slinging handcrafted old-fashioned cocktails for guests.

Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions
"At Visit St. Pete Clearwater's booth, things got a bit, well, sandy. A live sand artist molded and shaped sand into creative visions. Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions"
At Visit St. Pete Clearwater's booth, things got a bit, well, sandy. A live sand artist molded and shaped sand into creative visions.
Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions
"At Visit St. Pete Clearwater's booth, things got a bit, well, sandy. A live sand artist molded and shaped sand into creative visions. Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions"
Exhibiting in Tampa to show off its experiential mobile venue, Topgolf immersed guests in its signature golfing experience with an on-site edition of its newest offering for live events.
Photo: Christie's Photographic Solutions