Custom Cardboard Design for Conferences, Conventions, and Tradeshows – Booths, Furniture, and Installations

04 Jan Custom Cardboard Design for Conferences, Conventions, and Tradeshows – Booths, Furniture, and Installations

Having been to many conference and tradeshows we have begun to notice that most booths and exhibitors booths look the same. They blend in with their neighbours and do not create an impactful experience on us: the trees are lost amidst the forest. It is only when we stop and look closer that the interest and relevance of what the exhibitor is telling us becomes apparent. Most exhibitors use the same tables, chairs, and though their backdrops and partitions may differ in colour and graphics, the same parts and mounting stands are used. This results in a unified experience for visitors and does not create visual appeal.


Even when an exhibitors uses a novel method to mount their backdrops or partitions, it is usually from generic parts: so the impact on visitors is still low because the exhibitors is still using mass-manufactured displays. On the other hand the signature booths at the conferences and trade shows are often highly impactful: they break the mold by create coherent branding in their booths and furniture, as well as installations which are 3D sculptures that represent the vision of the exhibitor. Because these “signature” booths are are made from metal, plastic, aluminum, vinyl and are complex to assemble their costs can be astronomical: running into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The impact that a successful tradeshow can have on an exhibitors business is huge, and so these “signature” booths are a very useful investment for the largest companies who do a circuit of conferences.


However in our experience cardboard can be used effectively at conferences to create an impactful exhibition that is easy to assemble on-site and doesn’t break the bank. Cardboard can be used to create a “signature” booth for exhibitors who cannot afford custom metal and plastic booths, or who do not want to invest in “permanent” booths for multiple conference.  If you are an exhibitor would like to make an impact at a conference, convention or tradeshow with a custom booth, cardboard may be something to consider.


In the right hands cardboard is a powerful material for conventions and tradeshows that can be custom fabricated at a fraction of the cost of signature booths while still creating an impact.


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There are many examples of custom cardboard booths being used in conventions but often they are simple brown-color cardboard.  We have experience as well as the resources to create cardboard installation which move past this to create booths, furniture, and installations which look like any surface or object (due to printing and folding techniques).  Although sometimes our clients want to use the “cardboard” look intentionally, as we did for Luminato’s Cardboard Beach (see below).




The main benefits of using cardboard for conference and tradeshows includes:

  •  Your imagination is the limit. Break out from the straight, plain, and generic booths to create a space that says something about your companies mission. Our Paper Life’s advanced cardboard design and manufacturing techniques mean that almost anything is possible to build out of cardboard. Surfaces can be printed in high-resolution with pictures, graphics, text, or solid-colour to create highly impactful displays at a fraction of the cost of metal furniture or stands with vinyl applied on the surface
  • Cardboard can be used as partitions and backdrops for conferences because it is lightweight and strong. But for those exhibitors looking to make an impact, it is also possible to build complex 3d shapes such as over-size 3D letters, objects such as company logos, or cardboard replica of products or services offered.
  • Integrated look for backdrop, partitions, furniture, storage: giving exhibitors a unified, designed, and impactful overall presence at the conference.


At Our Paper Life we have used cardboard to create custom display booths, furniture, storage, and installations for tradeshows across North America. Most recently we created a 10′ cardboard rocketship for a promotional video and conference in San Francisco; a backdrop, furniture and storage bins for the Swiss Government at a convention in Brooklyn New York; and closer to home, a cardboard sculpture made from 12 cardboard desks for our own booth in Toronto.


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Additional benefits include:

  •  All of our products can be assembled and dis-assembled on-site with no tools or glue. This means that exhibitors don’t need special assembly teams or to pay for the conference staff to set-up metal furniture.
  • Sustainable and Environmentally friendly.  Our products are 100% Recyclable and made from recycled content.  Conferences can generate alot of waste: using cardboard means that exhibitors can immediately eliminate their plastic and vinyl waste by switching to cardboard.
  • Our Paper Life not only offers custom booths, and furniture, but also give-away items that are unique, impactful, in-expensive, and customizable.  We have worked with companies to create items which are unique, including the Food Networks give-away cardboard plates, Cardboard visors for MLSE, and much more.


At Our Paper Life we believe that cardboard is an ideal material to use as the basis for creating custom display booths for tradeshows, conference, convetions, and other temporary events.  Our ability to shape and use cardboard to create impactful and custom booths at a fraction of the cost of traditional “Signature” booths means that many small and medium sized businesses stand to benefit from using cardboard.


Every custom project begins with a conversation!


Contact us to get started on your Project today!