Exhibit Advice

We hope that you find our Exhibiting Tips helpful in making smart decisions so that you end up with the right display at a price that works for your budget and meets your unique needs. Please enjoy our Exhibiting tips infographic and the full test version that follows and make your next tradeshow one to remember.

What Style and Size Display is Right for You?

When attending a Trade Show, choosing the right Display can be a difficult task. The size of your display will depend on your budget and the size of your booth space at the show. The style of your display should be based on a variety of factors including

  • Your tradeshow program goals
  • The number of shows you exhibit at annually and the size and portability requirements for these shows
  • Any product or video display requirements, or other needs like product demonstrations, conference rooms or storage space.
  • Reconfiguration needs driven by differing booth sizes or show goals

Should You Consider Renting an Exhibit?

If your budget is tight, you may consider renting a trade show display instead of buying one. Renting is great for limited budgets and allows you to go bigger on your first show.

Often when you exhibit at a show, you will see competitors with a display booth you might want to try at your next show. Renting gives you the flexibility to try out different booth designs at different shows and vary both the booth style and size to match your audience and individual show goals.

When it comes to larger exhibits, we have found that renting is often a much better solution. But, be sure to choose a company that will handle the entire project from start to finish, including design, delivery, and set-up of the display at the trade show location. Note that Iconic Displays offers a totally turnkey exhibit rental program.

Infographic on how to have a great trade show

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Arrive at the Convention Center at Least Two Hours Early

Getting to the Trade Show early will give you the necessary time you need to get your display set up the way you want it.

You may run into some issues with the show organizers getting your display to your booth location. They will charge you a “drayage” fee to transport your display to your booth. Alternatively you can transport it yourself, but in some convention centers you have to hand carry the exhibit.

You may also find that the electrical, internet, carpet, or other services that you ordered have not been delivered or set up. Get there ahead of time so you don't get caught off guard. You'll have a better trade show if you do.

Develop Your Trade Show Budget

Exhibiting at a Trade Show can be pricey, there's no doubt about that. The more you know what those costs are, the better your chances of avoiding unwanted surprises. Here is a list of some of the expenses you need to factor into your budget:

  • Purchasing versus renting a trade show display.
  • Graphics for your exhibit (Include Design if needed).
  • Transportation of your exhibit to the hotel or convention center. (Price will depend on what size display you have)
  • Installation & Dismantle (I&D). This is a major part of exhibiting that catches many people off guard.
  • Staffing your trade show booth. Consider how many people will be in your booth and how much the total travel cost will be for each.
  • Renting booth space at the convention center. This is a significant expense so make sure you have an excellent location.
  • Internet access inside your booth. This price can range from $200 to $2500 depending on the show and how much Internet bandwidth you need.
  • Vacuuming the floor and emptying your trash each day of the trade show. Yes, they do charge for these!
  • Electrical power to your exhibit and booth. In most cases, the convention center does not include power, so find out how much extra it will be to get it.

Make Sure That Your Exhibit Graphics Look Great!

So, you spent thousands of dollars on your display and covered it with subpar graphics? Yes, we have seen this over and over in the many years we have been in the trade show display business.

Only do business with an exhibit company that has in-house designers with design experience. Ask to see samples of previous designs, and to speak with the graphic designer. This will put you in a good position to judge their work before spending money with them.

It's also an excellent idea to update your trade show exhibit graphics as you attend more shows. Make sure to feature your new products and services on your new graphics.

When attending a new trade show and reusing your existing graphics make sure they are clean. Clean up the smudges, and if there are dents or tears it’s time to buy new graphics.

We also recommend you use a separate case for transporting your graphics. This will prevent your graphics from getting damaged in storage and transport.

Use Retractable Banner Stands for Spot Messaging

Retractable Banner Stands have become popular in the trade show business. They work well as a compliment to pop up displays and are also an excellent choice as a compliment for larger exhibits.

These stands are an excellent choice if you want to avoid the time and hassles of breaking down a larger exhibit. They are also convenient for traveling, allowing you to carry them on an airplane or store them in your car.

Trade Show Exhibit Lighting – Know the Lighting Rules of the Convention Center

Light rules change from one convention center to another. Many convention centers only allow 150-watt lamps on pop-up displays.

Ask for paper work showing the details of the lamps you buy for your display. You want to make sure they are all up to the standards of the trade show industry.

Caution! When the show is over, make sure you unplug your display lamps an hour before you pack them. These lights get hot, and many people have gotten burned from touching them. Fires have even started when the hot lamps hit the exhibit fabric inside the cases.

Choosing a Tabletop Display

Table Top Displays are ideal for small trade show and conference settings. Using a tabletop display vs. a full-sized fabric or graphic pop up display is fine if you have a nice setup and graphics.

You can fill up some of your booth space by adding a banner stand or two, or even a nice custom podium counter. There are also suitcase” styles of displays that look very professional and set up in seconds. The graphics stay attached and are quite easy to change, as your visual needs change from show to show.

Standout with Flooring

Trade show flooring provides an often overlooked way to stand out in the exhibit hall. We offer several types of Portable Flooring. You will find a broad range of color choices and designs to match your trade show booth and graphics.

Interlocking comfort tile flooring sets up quick and is easy to ship. We send it in its own case with handles and wheels for easy transportation. Not only is the interlocking flooring portable, but we can also add your company logo for an extra touch.

Ask one of our representatives to show you’re the many assorted styles we offer.

You can also choose to use carpet, vinyl flooring, or even hardwood booth flooring. The show sponsors generally provide a very limited selection of carpet colors and never offer hardwood or vinyl laminates, so renting or purchasing flooring from an exhibit company can be a great way to set yourself apart.

Promotional Items… Good idea?

It is always a good idea to have “Giveaway” products available in your booths. Whichever products you decide to go with make sure they are items that people can use and ideally have a tie-in with your product or service. Also, make sure your logo and website address are on all the items you pass out.

Know the Union Rules of the Establishment

Union Rules vary from one convention to the other and from city to city. Unions have many regulations and policies that you must be aware of, so be on the lookout for them ahead of time.

For instance, how long you have to set up & tear down. There are certain things the union will and will not let you do. If tools are required to set up your trade show display, it is almost sure you will not be allowed to set your display up but will have to let a member or two from the union take over. (Yes, you will pay for this) If you decide to buy a Pop Up Display, be sure to buy one that does not need tools to set it up.

There are many other things the union will charge you for, so don't get caught off guard.

Gain Visibility with Hanging Banner Displays

Hanging Displays with your company name and logo displayed on them is an excellent way for convention attendees to find your display booth.

You can choose from triangle, square & circular hanging displays. If you don’t mind spending more money, you can have your circular hanging display rotate.

If you decide to use a hanging banner display at your next trade show, make sure you don’t go with a frame that is too small. You want to use a large enough size that is visible from a distance. Also, make sure the person that is doing your art design fills up space with large text or your logo. Try and avoid using small text like a tagline on your hanging display because it will be hard to read.

Thank You for reading our Trade Show Exhibiting Advice section and we wish you much success at all of your future Trade Shows.  For tips on using content to help promote your next Trade Show click here.  Contact one of our outstanding sales representatives to discuss any of our products you are interested in.