There are a couple basic "rules" that we advise our clients on. Well, not really rules, but a backwall graphic will typically go at the back of the booth, so I guess you could violate that "rule" if you want to, but it isn't too likely you'll get any visitors because it'll be blocking the entrance to the booth!
What We Tell Our Clients
Our advice is to use some type of sign on the edge of the aisles inviting people to come into your booth for a drawing or something free. "Free" is still a word that works wonders in getting people to give you their name and email address and/or phone number. Drawings, of course, are a chance at getting something free as well, and trade show attendees will fill out drawings prodigiously if you're offering something of value, even if it's not what you typically sell. If you're giving away a brand new car, for instance, even I will stop and give you my information.
Signs You Can Put Up in the Front Lines
There are a few types of signs that can be used on the "front lines" of your trade show booth. An easel with a sign board is an attractive option, especially if the trade show is in the town your business resides in. You can always throw a three foot by four foot EPVC sign or two in your van to take to the show after you've picked it up at a local sign shop or digital print shop.
However, if you're not in your town, it can be a hassle to find someone in the online phone directories in the town where the trade show is taking place. If you have no recommendations, how will you know if they can do a good job when you call a random sign shop in Tucson or Tukwila?
So, I would recommend a sign that can break down more easily, or rather, a banner. You can purchase an X-banner stand at many sign and print shops around the country, and if you know your vendor, you should be able to switch out your graphics whenever you want something new on your banners. An X-banner stand works with tension, and sort of looks like a couple of bows, crossed against each other and pulled taut by a banner that is also pulled taut due to the tension of the X-stand. These banners can be vinyl or dye sublimation printed fabric graphics, and they are quite cost effective.
Another options is the roll up banner stand, alternatively known as a pull up banner stand or a retractable banner stand. This is my personal favorite as they are super fast to pull out of a fabric bag that comes with the stands, put the poles together, and pull the banner out of the cartridge, kind of like a window blind, and ¡voila!, you have a great looking banner (assuming you have a decent graphic designer).
Materials Used in Banner Stands
Materials that can be used in banner stands are no-curl vinyl, durable paper, and polyester dye sublimated printed fabric banners. As you'll know if you've read many of my articles, my favorite banner material, hands down, is the fabric banner. When printed using dye sublimation, fabric banners have a continuous tone that is almost, if not exactly, like a photograph. The heat plus pressure method of transferring the image from a specialized printed paper creates, from a dried, originally liquid ink, a gas, which, when pressurized actually becomes part of the actual polyester fabric. It is not just a surface print.
Other Displays You Can Put in Your Trade Show Booth
Other booth accouterments often include tables along the aisle or possibly along the sides of the booth, or both. Most exhibitors will use table runners as a dual purpose display and sometimes to hide boxes of literature sitting under the tables, or merchandise, or whatever.
Merchandising shelving is also a possibility within a booth, though typically it will be set back into the booth somewhat to prevent sticky fingers from pilfering your goods without paying. These can also have graphic elements behind the products if you choose to go that route.