Custom Trade Show Displays: Your Options

By
Allen Malapit
March 3, 2016

Trade show exhibitors have seemingly endless options when it comes to purchasing custom trade show displays. Some brands make their choices based on cost––both the cost of the display itself and the cost to ship and store it. Some brands prioritize ease of assembly, and others prioritize design. Whatever your priorities are, here are a few of the most common options.

Custom Trade Show Displays: 3 Options

Option 1: Portable Displays

Portable displays are designed for easy transport and set-up. They are also very simple to install, making them a great option for smaller booths and events. A good portable display system will also be durable enough to be transported and reused from show to show. Portable display tools include:

  • Banner stands
  • Outdoor displays
  • Folding display panels
  • Fabric pop-up displays
  • Tabletop displays and table covers
  • Kiosks, tablet stands and portable display racks

You can also go with a portable hybrid display, which corporate tension fabric graphics, aluminum extrusion, and more. These will be more expensive than regular portable pop-up displays, but they’re an option if you want more bells and whistles.

Option 2: Modular Displays

Modular displays are better for larger event spaces. They’re similar to portable displays in that they are generally more lightweight and easily transported, but you’re also allowed more flexibility and customization options, with the ability to add lighting, shelving, monitor displays, and more. These modular systems can also be easily adjusted to meet the needs of different booth sizes. If you have a 20-foot booth space at one show and a 10-foot space at the next, you can simply adjust the configuration by adding or removing pieces of the display, rather than investing in two separate systems. Like Portable displays, modular display components are generally lightweight and compact, lowering transportation, drayage, and storage costs when compared with traditional custom-built displays.

Option 3: Fully Custom Trade Show Displays

The final option is custom trade show displays, which are completely custom designed and built to your specifications. These booths can vary widely in cost based on your goals and budget, but they are generally the most expensive option of the the three. Because these displays are tailor-made for you, they’re going to have very specific assembly instructions, and you may end up needing someone from the exhibit house to help supervise installation and dismantle procedures. The great thing about custom trade show displays, however, is the ability to design something truly unique to your brand, while also designing all the functional elements that you want as well. There are exhibit houses that do only custom trade show displays, and other vendors that only offer portable and/or modular displays. Some vendors offer all three options. Ultimately, your decision will be made after weighing cost, functionality, portability, and design. What approach do you take to your trade show displays? We’d love to hear about it in the comments. For great tips on how to have a great trade show while keeping your budget lean, check out our Cutting Costs series, by Mel White of Classic Exhibits.