Alexis Exhibits

Choosing the Best Trade Show Display For Your Needs

Once you’ve decided to take the plunge into tradeshow exhibiting, the next question might be: what type of display or exhibit will we need? The answers will vary depending upon a multitude of factors. You’ll need to ask yourself some basic questions, such as: how large are the events you wish to participate in? What type of audience do you wish to attract? What location type (in-line, corner, end, island) and size of booth space are you considering?

Other questions in regards to the frequency of exhibiting and how you will transport your exhibit also need to be considered before you can determine which type of display will best serve your needs and meet your tradeshow objectives. Another important question is how much do you have to spend on a display. When you include the physical display itself, plus banner stands, lighting, and accessories, you could be talking anywhere from a few thousand to over $50,000 in costs.

Once you’ve determined all these things, it’s time to start evaluating the different types of displays. Let’s take a look at the various types.

Pop-up displays. These are made up of a lightweight, folding frame covered with magnetic-backed fabric, vinyl, or plastic panels. These displays are available in tabletop or floor versions.
Pros: Because they are lightweight, they are easily handled and less expensive to transport.

Truss displays. Structured around lightweight or aluminum tubing, these displays can be configured in a variety of shapes and sizes, from entire booths to special exhibit features, display walls, islands, and entranceways.
Pros: Highly configurable for added flexibility.

Panel displays. These displays are made up of fabric-covered rectangular sections that are connected to make a wall.
Pros: Also very flexible because they can be configured to fit different sized and shaped booths.

Table-top displays. This display type, which features a lightweight display that sits on top of a table, is ideal for small events. The displays typically have three panels with Velcro-attached graphics and headlines that can be easily changed and updated. Some come with briefcase-style cases for easy transport.
Pros: Least expensive option and more durable than pop-up systems.

Banner stands. These banner stands provide an easy, lightweight means to display your corporate banners or other signage. These are available in single, double or triple-sided models. You can use two placed together or separately in different locations within your booth. Some come with lights to enhance the image display.
Pros: They are lightweight, portable and durable.

Custom displays. Exhibit companies can help you design your own custom display in any size or configuration will fit your needs. You can also incorporate accessories, including cabinets, countertops, backlighting, and bridges. Most will also offer a no-obligation design and price quote for your proposed design, so you can weigh your options before committing to anything.
Pros: Designed exactly with your needs in mind.

Trade Show Design Trends: Multi-Purpose Custom Design

Most companies end up purchasing several kinds of displays to work for different types of events. For small, local shows they have tabletop and standing displays, table covers in various sizes, and portable trade show stands. For larger spaces, they have modular displays. And for their “big show” they have a custom exhibit.

Now, some companies are asking a lot more from their trade show design firm. They want to invest in trade show exhibits that can be used for many types of events, will hold up to a lot of uses but still look new, and that can be easily updated for new shows. They are commissioning Multi-Purpose Custom Exhibits.

These companies are investing in large custom exhibits that are composed of components that can be used in smaller booths. In some cases, it is as simple as cleverly designing a large backwall so that a 10-foot section can be used in a small booth. In others, an elaborate custom space with stages, interactive displays, meeting area and merchandise fixtures is created for a large island booth at a major trade show. After the show, many of the components can be reconfigured to use for smaller exhibits.

Multi-Purpose Custom Design has financial benefits

The main motivation for moving to Multi-Purpose Custom Design is financial. Sometimes the initial custom display is a bit more expensive but most companies experience savings in the first year.

Brand consistency across all shows

Because all of the components for trade show displays are done at the same time, it is easier to maintain brand integrity. There is consistency in graphics, colors, copy positioning, and product displays.

How to start work on a Multi-Purpose Custom Design

Put together a list of all the shows on your Trade Show schedule along with planned booth sizes. Make sure to gather any special exhibit requirements. Determine how long the exhibit will be used. Is it for a year, or for longer? Define your marketing goals and how the exhibit will be tied into your company’s overarching brand campaign. Then select a custom design firm that understands how to create Multi-Purpose Custom Exhibits.

Yes, it takes a bit more planning in the beginning but the benefits are worth the effort.

Have Marketers Stretched the Definition of Portable Displays?

Portable is a crazy term when used as a description of a trade show exhibit. If I asked my wife (an English teacher) to describe a portable display, she would probably say “a display that can easily be carried around by one person”. In the real world of trade shows, marketers of portable displays have stretched that definition considerably.

A while back, I had the opportunity to deliver a demonstration display to a prospective client who was considering the purchase of several units. The only way that I could transport the cases for this 10’ display was to strap one of them to the top of my midsized SUV! Needless to say, the client questioned the portability of that particular unit. Fortunately, every other display that met her needs packed in multiple cases with wheels and weighed about the same so we had many better options, but sometimes lessons are learned from bad as well as good.

For most trade show marketers, the only truly portable displays are pop-up displays and banner stands. (I’m sure that I will hear from many of my friends on the portables side who disagree with me on this). That having been said, a 10’ popup display collapses and packs into a case that resembles a large trash can with wheels and weighs in at just under 100 pounds. There are probably at least 30 different brands that are all very similar but none of them can be easily carried around by one person. There are also trade show booth accessories that can be added to provide shelves, literature racks, lights, etc.

Banner stands are very popular but they are usually about 3’ wide, and when you put a few of them in a standard booth space, in my opinion, it’s not a very professional look. There are various other types of portable displays that pack into smaller cases but they can limit your ability to interchange graphics and may be less durable over time.

The moral of the story: If you’re in the market for a portable display, do some research and find a unit that suits your needs. Make sure that you look at the shipping cases and consider whether the size and the weight make sense for you. Need Help? Let’s Talk.