Tradeshow Displays


A trade show display is, broadly speaking, a temporary stall or booth that an organization presents at a trade show, job fair, or convention. The display itself is often composed of many different advertising mediums, including banners, posters, and other graphic displays, while some larger and more elaborate booths may include advertising or branding material suspended from the ceiling, and may even include electronic displays. Organizations often try to use bold images or other visual magnets in order to attract attention and draw consumers to their displays so they can present a sales pitch.


Trade shows can often be industry-specific, with different standards for preparation existing between industries. In some industries, significant capital is spent on creating highly impressive trade show displays in an attempt to generate major interest in a product and create a strong, positive impression. Generating sales is one of the fundamental reasons for exhibiting at a trade show; and many organizations use trade show displays to launch new products as well. These shows can also be used effectively to reposition an organization or its products, and a strong showing can help correct any misconceptions about the product or brand which may exist in the minds of consumers. Given that a percentage of the audience at a trade show may already purchase a product or service from an exhibiting vendor, trying to persuade that audience to purchase more of the product is often a primary goal, as well.


The types of display features an organization uses often fall into three broad categories– table-based, including both table-top displays and branded table covers; portable displays and banner stands; and structural displays, which may be of modular, panel-and-frame, or of custom construction. Table-top displays are a common feature of most exhibits, as they are often easy to set up and allow an exhibitor to display pamphlets and other take-away promotional items. Custom-printed table covers allow an organization to utilize the space on the front or sides of a table in order to display branding or advertising images, as opposed to simply draping a plain cover over the table. Portable displays and banner stands offer a lightweight and portable way to display large printed panels, which can include slogans, product information, and/or images. As opposed to table-top displays or other portable displays, panel-and-frame displays and custom-built exhibits are more labor-intensive to produce and to set up. Custom-built displays, in particular, are generally used by large organizations or companies who wish to create larger, more elaborate constructions, many of which may feature stages, individual rooms, integrated electronic displays, and even work stations.


While the trade show industry has long been dominated by the idea of an organization owning all of the materials involved in its own exhibit, there has been a recent shift towards the idea of renting exhibit components. Renting the components of an entire exhibit, or buying a used exhibit, can present considerable up-front savings to an organization. Inventory rentals are, generally speaking, rental trade show displays composed of general components in standard configurations. These displays provide a ready structure to the exhibitor, and these inventory rentals are often made available to exhibitors by trade show producers. The components are designed to be augmented with easily removable finishes, graphics, and other aesthetic pieces provided by the customer. The purchase or rental of used exhibits is becoming more popular as well. Often used exhibits, which may be older but still in reasonably good shape, can be adapted by a creative organization to suit their purposes– often at a considerable savings, compared to the rental or purchase of new trade show paraphernalia.