Trade Show Displays

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Budgeting for a Trade Show: Rent or Buy?

Before you invest in trade show materials, you want to make sure you’ve got enough room in the budget to cover all of the required pieces and parts. Your trade show presence requires a variety of unique expenses in addition to the cost of your trade show display rental or purchase. You’ll need to cover graphics, transportation of the exhibit, installation and dismantle, staff, booth rental fees, internet access inside your booth, cleaning and maintaining your booth during the show and powering costs. Because the fees and expenses can add up — especially if you plan to regularly travel for shows — you’ll want to thoroughly break out your budget before making a decision on whether to rent or buy.

If you think you may want to rent a trade show exhibit, you need to zero-in on exactly which type of display you prefer. The size of the booth, your business’s storage limitations and your aesthetic expectations will help you determine whether to rent or buy an exhibit booth. We recommend renting smaller pop-up exhibits for 10-foot by 10-foot and 10-foot by 20-foot booths for your first trade show appearance. If you like the way the display looks in the space, then it’s probably a smart investment to move forward with purchasing. If you really want to make an impression at a trade show but have minimal storage space and don’t plan to regularly attend shows, renting is a great choice.

How to Prepare Your Booth for a Trade Show

Before arriving at a trade show or promotional event, it’s important to have a checklist to ensure that you have everything you need ready to go. This way, you won’t waste time setting up or scrambling for the proper components before the event begins. Here’s a quick rundown of things you can attack ahead of time to make sure your trade show presentation runs smoothly:

  • Determine how the booth will be shipped or transported to the event
  • Decide how the booth will be assembled, either by the presenter or a professional
  • Determine what sort of electrical equipment and outlets are needed
  • Develop a plan for your graphics/brand placement
  • Account for appropriate product displays, such as cases or podiums
  • Set up appropriate TV and video displays
  • Plan placement of your hanging banners, signage
  • Set up and stock your brochures/literature rack
  • Ensure ample space for product demonstration, if necessary
  • Thoroughly clean your existing graphics
  • Transport graphics in a separate case to avoid dents and tears
  • Plan giveaways and order promotional items
  • Know the union rules of the establishment

If possible, you should take the time to fully set up and tear down your complete display before the event to ensure that you’ve allotted yourself the appropriate time and space for your particular booth and all of its components. This is especially important if you’re introducing new display pieces for the first time and haven’t yet brought certain elements to a show.

Additionally, you’ll want to make sure your trade show graphics, including banners and signage, are up to date. When you’re working one-on-one with a company you trust, like Iconic Displays, you can easily update your graphics as your company evolves. Remember to replace your signage if you see any dents or tears, as this can really take away from the look of your overall display.

Why Iconic Displays?

Iconic Displays has more than 20 years of industry expertise, so we’re well-equipped to assist you with choosing the proper trade show display. We’ll walk you through the entire purchasing or renting process, from developing your custom trade show graphics to assisting you with shipping and assembly. If you see something you like on this page, we’ll be happy to give you pricing details and information over the phone. Give us a call anytime at 1-888-331-4260 to speak with a consultant — or reach out to us via email at — and get started with a display that will maximize your brand’s marketing potential.

Not sure whether renting or buying is right for you?
Call us at 888-331-4260 to discuss your options with an experienced Iconic Displays Exhibit Consultant, and we'll help you figure it out.
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