Trade show fair, 3 seconds to make an impact.
Your trade show exhibit display serves as a direct, powerful reflection of your company image and portrays the level of product quality and service customers can expect to receive.
To be effective, the visual impact of your trade show display must make a strong first impression and communicate your message in a matter of seconds.
This small window of time is critical to attracting prospects to your booth and maximizing your sales opportunities.
Begin your trade show display selection process by answering the following questions. These will help you determine the exhibit type, size, design, and configuration that meets your specific needs.
What do you want to accomplish through trade show participation?
How do you plan to use your exhibit to meet your objectives?
How large are the events in which you plan to participate? Do they attract national, regional or local audiences?.
What location type (in-line, corner, end, island) and size of trade show exhibit display space will you reserve?
How many events will you participate in annually?
How much is allocated in your trade show budget to ensure you can meet your company’s exhibiting requirements?
Your exhibit, banner stands, lighting and accessories can range from a few thousand dollars to more than $50,000+ for a top-end customized display.
How will you transport your display to each show? Will you require a company that specializes in trade show freight services or will you be shipping and storing the exhibit yourself?
Types of Trade Show Exhibit Displays
Whether you decide to have a custom exhibit produced, or adapt a used or rental unit, the type of trade show display you need will be based on the nature of shows you attend and what you want to accomplish at each one.
Here are some standard types of exhibition stands and displays.
Pop-up Displays: Feature a light-weight folding frame covered with magnetic-backed fabric, vinyl, or plastic panels. Pop-up displays create curved or angled walls for your exhibit area.
Truss Displays: Made of lightweight aluminum and steel tubing for a modern, high-tech look and flexible utilization.
Truss can be configured in a variety of shapes and sizes – and can be used to construct entire booths, special exhibit features, display walls, islands, entrance ways, and more.
Panel Displays: Consist of fabric-covered rectangular sections that are connected to make a wall. They can be readily adapted to different booth sizes and configurations.
Table-Top Displays: Offer a less-expensive exhibiting option for smaller events and feature a lightweight display that sits on top of a table.
These displays usually have three panels with velcro-attached graphics and headlines that can be easily changed and updated.
Pull-up Stands: Provides a lightweight, easy method to accent your booth. These banner stands function like a window shade in reverse and can be placed together or in different booth locations based on your design needs.
Choosing a Trade Show Exhibit Display Company
To fulfill your exhibit development needs, start by carefully researching companies that sell quality trade show displays and select an exhibit firm that:
Provides industry expertise and a wide selection selection exhibit choices.
Portrays the skills to effectively communicate and service your needs.
Has a consistent track record of on-time delivery.
Commits to meeting your budget requirements.
Guarantees the work in writing.
The best place to start sourcing a trade show exhibit display supplier is to visit a show and talk with exhibitors in non-competing industries who have the type of exhibit booth and display banners you like.
You may want to get referrals from professional organizations, your chamber of commerce, and/or colleagues.
Of course, the internet is another valuable resource for finding trade show display companies worldwide.
Once you have a list of possible suppliers of set up a time to talk with a representative or two from each company.
This will enable you to assess expertise, learn how each firm operates, ask about pricing and budget controls, request photographs of completed projects, and secure a list of references to contact.
A number of trade show exhibit companies also rent displays to companies interested in testing different types and sizes of exhibits before moving forward with a purchase.
Exhibit rental is also a cost-effective option for organizations that exhibit only once or twice a year.
Graphics and Banners
You want your trade show exhibit display graphics and banners to grab people’s attention and draw them into your booth.
Most suppliers provide graphic services either in-house or on a contracted basis.
Check out the work they have done for others. If you don’t like what you see, hire your own graphic designer to help produce artwork for your booth.
Be sure graphics and banners with your company and/or product name is highly visible, well-lit, and features large easy-to-read type.
You may want to have multiple signs in different areas of your booth.
Keep your message succinct and direct.
After all, you only have about three seconds to make an impression and turn a prospect into a viable lead.
Editor’s note: This page was originally published in September 23rd, 2011 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. September 22nd, 2017