How to Choose the Right Trade Show Display for Your Next Exhibit

After you decide on the trade show that you plan to attend and pick your team to organize and exhibit at the event, it’s time to choose the right display vehicles that will distinguish your company from everyone else. First impressions are lasting impressions (considering humans, on average, make a first impression in just 8-seconds). Therefore, you want your visuals to perfectly encapsulate what it is that you are trying to sell.

So, how do you choose the right trade show display?

Let’s go through a few different options:

1. Pop-Up Displays

These are generally the traditional displays when we think of a trade show booth. These pop-ups come with collapsible frames and photo-quality graphic panels that attach with magnetic strips. This is a great way to present visual explanations without breaking the bank in the process. They are portable and easy to move around depending on the size of your booth.

2. Banner Stand

Similar to a pop-up display, a banner stand is a single large graphic that is supported by a standing frame. It can be retractable, motorized scrolling, and telescoping for both indoor and outdoor shows.

3. Table Tops

These are foldable frames that display graphics attached to the frame with metal fasteners, magnets, or Velcro. They can be 2 to 3 feet tall, which means when placed on top of a table, they can reach heights of 5 feet or higher. These are very easy to set up.

4. Table Covers

Table covers are customized graphics that drape over a table, designed to industry-standard table sizes.

Now that you know some types of displays, how do you pick one that is right for you?


First, analyze your industry and the visual nature of the industry. For example, if you are in the technology space, you may need more technology-oriented visuals than if you are a construction company.


Displays can get expensive, quickly. If you are on a tight budget, you might want to consider some of the more traditional options, like pop-up displays.

Ease of Transportation

If you don’t have anyone at the exhibit hall to help you lift things, then you need a light display that is also portable in nature.

Type of Trade Show

Are you going to a local or international trade show? Depending upon the size, you want a display that is going to stand out no matter where you go. Generally, the bigger the trade show, the bigger your display should be.

Visuals make a lasting impression, which is why your trade show display is one of the most critical parts of your entire trade show presentation. Spend time on envisioning your trade show display so you are able to wow your customers.

Top 5 Reasons to Avoid Exhibiting at Trade Shows

Sure, trade shows are a great way to showcase your products and services to a wide audience; but, have you ever stopped to consider if trade shows are a good fit for your business?

Considering the money and time that goes into this kind of investment, it’s worth going over a few things before you decide on exhibiting at a trade show.

So, should I exhibit at a trade show?

Here are our top 5 reasons you should avoid exhibiting at a given trade show:

1. Audience Mismatch

Not every trade show is going to be filled with your target audience. For example, if your target audience is high-tech millennials, then old-school industry trade shows are generally not going to have the right attendees. Or, if you are only looking to franchise, then going to a non-franchise focused trade show is probably not going to yield the leads you desire.


If you see your competition constantly going to a trade show, that does not necessarily mean trade shows are right for you (even if your business is slightly different). Before you invest thousands, do your research, look up the history of the trade show and its typical attendees, as well as how many leads or business deals can be expected. Think smarter than your competition.

3. Time Conflict

If the timing of a given trade show is in conflict with customer meetings, a pre-scheduled business function, or, even another trade show that’s more compatible with your line of business, you might be better off skipping that trade show.

4. Cost

If you are a startup or a small business with little budget for a trade show, maybe, wait a few years before you attend a trade show. Once you have the budget allocated, then foray into the trade show waters.

5. Lack of Preparation

Many times, businesses sign up for trade shows at the 11th hour. A lot goes into coordinating the booth, trade show displays, chairs, tables, marketing material, etc., which is why you do not want to rush it. If the show is in 2-weeks and you sign up today, you are going to be incredibly stressed.

We aren’t saying you should never exhibit at a trade show. Trade shows can offer value to every business, in every industry. But, if you feel like you are not ready, don’t rush it! Throwing money at the wall is often not a wise idea. Take your time, do your homework, and you’ll know when the time is right.

… and, when you are ready to exhibit at trade shows, use ExhibitDay to plan your trade shows and collaborate with your event team to get things done.

Maximizing Trade Show Value: How to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

If you’ve decided to invest money into your very own booth at an upcoming trade show, chances are, you’re wondering how you can maximize the value of this event. Trade shows aren’t exactly cheap, which is why you’re probably feeling pressure to meet as many existing customers, find as many new leads, and meet as many business objectives.

Well, luckily, there is plenty of prep work you can embark on now to guarantee maximum value if you’re doing a trade show on a budget.

Here’s how:

1. Send Out Emails

There’s no harm in drumming up a little excitement! Send out an email to all customers within the proximity of the event, letting them know about your booth. Try and secure them complimentary tickets if available through the organizer. Many times, the event organizers will help you any way possible to make your event a success.

2. Schedule Appointments

Make it known on social media and through other channels that you are accepting appointments during the trade show. Contact your top accounts and promise them an exclusive demonstration of your product or service at the event. Everyone likes to feel special.

3. Host VIP Events

Consider hosting a happy hour or some kind of cocktail meeting after the exhibit hours to show some of your key customers how special they really are to you.

4. Go the Extra Mile

Did you know many of the convention centers have conference rooms where you can further explain and demonstrate products to potential clients? This is a great way to go above and beyond, really taking time to go deep with your product for the right potential buyer.

5. Say Yes to Extra Marketing

Event organizers want to find ways to drum up excitement for their event as well. Volunteer to take part in any workshops, discussions, and seminars that take place before, during, and after the exhibit hall hours. This is a free way to get exposure through their network.

6. Extend Your Stay

If you think you have made some invaluable connections for the future trajectory of your business, then do not hesitate to extend your stay and really nurture the lead. It will show them you are a serious contender and determined to make it work. Additionally, if a potential client reaches out to you before the trade show, consider arriving a few days early to close the deal before the show even begins!

Every business could stand to cut down on unnecessary costs in a given fiscal year, which is why the 6 tips above can help maximize the value of your next trade show.

The Top 6 Ways to Exhibit Efficiently at Your Next Trade Show

Everyone knows a trade show requires a lot of time, resources, and investment to make it effective. That’s why planning for your next trade show can seem overwhelming and frustrating at times, especially if you are a new business or a startup. However, with the right preparation, you can maximize your return by carefully planning for each required resource in advance. Not to mention, you can get your brand loyalists involved in a way that is beneficial to your company for years down the line.

So, how does one master trade shows? Here are our top 6 ways to exhibit efficiently and effectively:

1. Purchase and Donate

You’re going to need furniture, flooring, and other resources to pull off a trade show booth. Check with local companies, like Home Depot or Ikea, and see if they have any kind of items that you can use at your trade shows. Some places will even let you rent them for much lower than buying the items.

If you do buy the items, try donating them afterward to a Goodwill-ideally an organization that will come and pick-up the pieces for you.

2. You Scratch My Back, …

Many vendors, like LCD manufacturers, will bring their product samples to the exhibit hall. Contact them ahead of time and offer them to demo your product or service on their LCD if they were to bring an extra LCD for your booth. This way they would get additional exposure while you would save the cost for an LCD at your booth.

3. Local Help

There’s no need to fly employees across the country when you already have a remote workforce within driving distance of the trade show. Have local partners come in and work through the exhibition so you can save thousands on flights, hotel, and other costs.

4. Brand Ambassadors

Every company has those loyal customers that would do anything for the business. Have your loyal clients come in and provide raving testimonials that really elevate your booth presence. Offer them an incentive in return, like a free product or service. These same people can market your upcoming trade show on their social media to drum up excitement.

5. Do Everything Early

This holds true with everything from booking the booth and everything associated with your event, to setting up the booth. Set up your trade show booth as soon as you possibly can. Many times, setting up one day early can free up your time the day before the conference so that you can spend time and potentially early viewing of your products for your large customers and get a head start before the official start day. Remember you are not the only one that is competing for their attention while they are at the event.

6. Schedule in Advance

Some of the most valuable trade show magic can happen 4 to 6 weeks in advance of the actual trade show. Make yourself highly available to interact with your existing customers over the phone, through video conferencing, or even via flying to the show a few days early to secure a deal.

There are a lot of different components that go into an effective trade show, which is why we want you to be prepared to really maximize your value the next time around. Follow our tips above to ensure you are stocked up and ready to go ahead of time.

How to Measure ROI for Trade Shows and Exhibits

The new ROI Calculator in ExhibitDay helps you measure the Return on Investment for exhibiting at trade shows and sponsoring events.

How it Works

After entering the actual costs for your event (in the “cost” field for booth reservation, booth services, shipments, sponsorships, travel, etc.), under the [ROI & Analytics] tab of each event in your ExhibitDay workspace, you can enter the Actual and Potential revenue amounts attributable to the event:

As you enter the attributable revenue figures, ExhibitDay automatically calculates the Return on investment for your event in the summary section:

Comparing ROI Across Your Events

You can compare the Return on Investment across all your events for a given year under the [Annual Budgets] link:

Compare Engagement Metrics and ROI Across events

Sign up for a free ExhibitDay account and start measuring the return for your investments in trade show exhibits and event sponsorships.