There is no better place than a trade show to make a direct contact with your customers. There is no replacement for flesh and blood human contact with customers, and industry trade shows are the best place to meet old and prospective customers to solve their problems and sell your products. Trade show displays done right will make you stand out from the dozens of other customers at your show and draw customers in with maximum impact.

guide to trade show displays image

With dozens of trade show display products and even more options, deciding what works for your company can be dizzying and intimidating. We’ve put together this tradeshow display buying guide to help you sort through the options and make a strategic decision that will help you attract and earn new customers at your next show.
Trade show displays should be:

  • Branded – You should custom brand your trade show display with well-designed company colors, graphics and logos.
  • Consistent – Keep the graphics and messaging consistent with your marketing materials and website
  • Impactful – The display should use the physical space in a way that amazes customers
  • Helpful – Display the marketing materials thoughtfully with the customer in mind. They shouldn’t search too hard to find out what your company does and how it can help them.


Trade Show Display Strategy

When you set up a table or booth for your business at a trade show, you want to stand out from the crowd. There are many different types of tradeshow displays available to help do just that. Each offers a unique opportunity to showcase your business logo, products and other important information in eye-catching ways. Choosing the right display for your needs and budget is easy with this variety of options.

Buyer’s Guide to Trade Show Displays and Exhibits, Coastal Creative
An epic trade show display.

The combination of trade show displays is different for every business. You will want to outline clear goals for your trade show exhibition and decide on trade show exhibits with those goals in mind. You may want to capture leads, sell products on the spot, give out samples, or recruit new members. The key is to choose your primary goals and build the exhibit around those goals. What works for a large consumer product company will not work for a small services company.
We’ve outlined a few of the most popular displays so you can understand what their purpose is and whether they’ll fit into your trade show masterpiece. Let’s begin!

Pop Up Displays

When you need a display that can be set up by just one or two people, pop up displays make good choices. These types of displays are compact and only require one or two cases for storage. They can often be carried by one person if the person is strong enough.

Buyer’s Guide to Trade Show Displays and Exhibits, Coastal Creative
Trucode pop up display

However, they’re not very versatile when it comes to size. You can’t adjust the panels to fit different space requirements, so if your space at a trade show doesn’t accommodate your display, you’re out of luck. Fixed size also means limited customization of graphics, but you can always add panels in the future thanks to the expandable nature of pop up displays.

Modular Trade Show Displays

Choosing modular trade show displays to draw a crowd to your business gives you a great deal of flexibility in design and setup. Using a collection of folding panels, you can create any layout you want and even change it from show to show. A modular setup is a good alternative for businesses who can’t afford completely customized trade show booths.
Buyer’s Guide to Trade Show Displays and Exhibits, Coastal Creative
These versatile displays are also useful at trade shows where space is limited but you still want to give your business a commanding presence. Customize your display by combining the panels with other components to entice customers to come visit your table. These modular displays can end up being fairly large and require multiple people to set up, so keep that in mind if you have limited help setting up your trade show exhibit.

Trade Show Booths

Some trade shows require more than a simple table to catch the attention of potential customers. With so many other businesses exhibiting their offerings, yours could easily get lost in the shuffle if your display is too simple. A complete booth setup gives you the ability to create an immersive experience that draws people in. Booths aren’t limited in size, shape, layout or colors.

Buyer’s Guide to Trade Show Displays and Exhibits, Coastal Creative
A full booth experience.

The design and setup can be customized to reflect the attitude that you want your business to convey. From simple rectangular backdrops to elaborate curved booths with raised ledges, the marketing possibilities are endless.

Exhibit Displays

There are several other types of exhibit displays that you can choose from to make your trade show area more eye-catching. Lightweight frameless displays use a single plastic panel to showcase your graphics and are simple enough for one person to set up. Tabletop displays are good for small spaces and offer all of the benefits of pop up and modular displays in a more compact package. Setups that combine a framework of pipes with draped fabric draw attention to tables and booths and may be easily customized with different colors and types of fabric to fit specific occasions.

Portable Trade Show Displays

With the possible exception of booths, all of these different displays are easily portable. This is an important consideration when traveling from show to show. Portable trade show displays are simple to set up and take down and can be transported in sleeves, cases or boxes.

Portable pop up display
Portable pop up display

[/et_social_share_media][/et_social_share_media]When deciding on what type of display to use, consider how you’re going to be bringing it from place to place. If you drive, the size of your trunk or back seat is your only limitation. Weight and bulk need to be taken into account when flying, as does safety. You want your display to look just as good when it arrives as it did when you packed it up.

Finalizing the Design

You’ll want to keep the audience in mind when designing the layout of your exhibit space. Think about what actions you want your customers to take when visiting your booth. Do you simply want to put a face to your company? Do you want to drive qualified leads? Do you want to get contact information for your email and mailing lists? Are you trying to sell products at the show? All of these questions are important to ask before you design your space because you’ll want to attract and guide your customers through the exhibit with your business goals in mind.
Trade shows are an excellent place to meet and connect with qualified customers. By researching and understanding the best trade show displays and supporting materials, you’ll provide the customer a better experience and earn more business.