Your Beginner’s Guide to Trade Show Displays

No matter what industry you’re in, trade show’s are a great way for businesses to showcase their latest offerings, and to demonstrate what sets them apart from the competition. It’s also a great opportunity to see what your rivals are up to and to examine recent market trends and opportunities. The thing about tradeshows, however, is that every expo is unique in that there are many variables that can affect the effectiveness of your display, such as timing, location, and your budget. As a result, choosing the right show and the right display is a challenging task that will make all the difference in your pursuit of leads and sales. Here are some key tips to keep in mind for your next trade show!  

Choosing a show that aligns with your objectives

Begin by outlining your objectives and examining your target audience. Identify which shows your target market attends, and collect information related to the show’s statistics/demographics and past participants. If possible, speak to past exhibitors and attendees, or better yet, personally visit the show so you can assess whether its attendees, events, and seminars match your exhibition objectives. Also, take into consideration the timing and location of the show. Does it land at a time of the year where demand for your offering is high? How will other current events likely impact attendance?  

Choosing a display that fits your budget

After picking an expo that meets your objectives, it’s time to crunch some numbers.

First, consider the show’s floor plan. Do you want to position your booth near main attractions or industry leaders? How about your competition? How close or far away do you want to be from bathrooms, concession stands, entrances, or exits? How about windows? A prime location will cost you more but may increase your opportunities. Avoid areas that are poorly lit, have low ceilings, dead-end aisles, loading docks and freight doors, and ceiling water pipes. How about booth size? Smaller areas will be available at a lower cost, but will they be sufficient in meeting your goals?

After settling on location and space, you need to consider whether you want to purchase or rent your display. If this is your first show and you’re still unsure whether there will be another, renting may be a good place to start. However, if you’re planning to be an ongoing exhibitor, purchasing may be cheaper in the long run. Always consider your storage and transportation costs as well.

Keep in mind, when booking your space you will receive an exhibitor manual with a list of “preferred suppliers” (aka suppliers who have a deal with the exhibition organizers) for exhibition display packages and many other items you may need to get. As the exhibitor, you are free to choose to buy or rent trade show displays from whichever company you want.

Choosing the right marketing material for the show

In addition to your eye-popping display and charming staff, picking the right marketing materials for your exhibition will help attract potential leads to your booth and leave a lasting impression.

For your staff, consider matching uniforms for a more professional, unified look, that will make them easily recognizable on the busy showroom floor.  

For business cards that make it easy for leads to reach you, or visit your website or location, consider making trade show business cards that specifically highlight the offerings you’re there to promote.

If you’re looking for promotional material that will sum up everything your company is about, go with a good old fashion brochure. A clear and concise brochure is a great way to introduce your company’s products, highlight key benefits, and share your story and mission. Furthermore, complimenting your brochure with a dynamic and concise postcard is a wonderful way to highlight a specific product or special offer.

Lastly, don’t forget the freebies. As an essential part of any trade show, freebies give passer by’s a reason to stop. Whether packaged snacks or drinks, notepads, tote bags, magnets, or pens, they’re an opportunity to give gifts that are both useful and branded with your logo.

See it this way: that tote bag with your company’s logo on it will likely be used to carry all the other freebies the attendee gets that day, and maybe even his or her groceries.

Or if you want to go for exclusivity, consider setting up a reward or loyalty program. By handing out loyalty, coupon, or gift cards at the show, attendees have a reason to Google you up after.


With your tablet or laptop, collecting customer information is simpler and easier than ever before. Apps make it easy for customers to answer survey questions, enter contests, and provide their names and email addresses. Furthermore, they allow you to download reports or export data for easy follow-up.

To entice leads into entering their information, consider special offers, giveaways, or if you have had the budget, offering to mail a press kit.

To see our collection of life-size cutouts and eye-popping floor displays, click here to view our tradeshow display catalog.

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