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A Buyer’s Guide to Eye-Catching Trade Show Displays

Engaging Displays Get Noticed!

Exhibiting at a trade show without an eye-catching booth or display is like going to a new client meeting or networking event without business cards. Actually, it’s worse. At least you can exchange phone numbers or emails at a meeting and reconnect later. But, without a trade show display, attendees lack an easy way to identify you and your services. You’ll never know the opportunities that passed you by, much less connect with the prospects you missed because you didn't make a compelling reason for them to check out your products or services. An eye-catching trade show display is a necessity to gain attention amongst the many other companies exhibiting at an event. Exhibitors are there for the purpose of generating leads and you want your company to be the one prospects gravitate toward. A great trade show display grabs attention and makes your company’s first impression a memorable one. Haley Haar, AlphaGraphics Kansas City President explains, "A trade show display can quickly tell attendees who you are, what you do and how your products or services can help them do better business. The most effective displays reflect your company’s brand and image in a way that facilitates introductions to your products or services. The display should help you strike up conversations with attendees, generating qualified leads and leaving a memorable first impression.”

Types of Trade Show Display

With so many different trade show displays, and so many ways to configure them, choosing the right products to meet your needs and requirements can be challenging. Here is a run-down of the most common types of trade show displays and their characteristics.
Pop-Up display
  • An accordion-style frame with flexible panels or fabric graphics attached with velcro or magnetsTradeshow Backdrop
  • The single-frame piece expands to lock in place
  • Creates a curved or angled wall that serves as the exhibit’s back wall
  • Lightweight, easy to handle and travel or ship
  • Typically costs less than other display options due to standard size options
Tension Displays
Tradeshow Tension Display
  • Fabric graphics are stretched around a rigid frame made of aluminum or PVC
  • Quick assembly and lightweight for travel
  • Additional graphics or panels are cost-effective and enable you to have multiple branding options using the same hardware
  • Step and Repeat and other event banners are commonly made from this display option.
Pop-up and tension displays are popular with small businesses for their ease of use. “It’s common for small businesses to eventually outgrow their pop-up displays. Either they graduate to having a bigger presence at a trade show or they need something more permanent and customized to reflect their bigger industry footprint. Panel displays are often that next display of choice,” says Haar.
Panel Display
  • Rectangular, rigid panels or fabric-covered tubing in connectable sections
  • More customizable options and sizesTradeshow Banner Display
  • Heavier with more demanding set-up, yet also sturdier and more stable; Requires individual assembly and breakdown
  • Configurable to create shapes and sections
  • Can support TV's and other technical components
  • Sections can be used together or separately
  • Typically includes a tabletop display that doubles as storage
Modular displays
  • Configurable sections that utilize different types of panels, hardware, and graphics
  • Hanging banners and signs are typically available as an enhancement
  • TV's and lighting used to enhance the display
  • Typically the most expensive
  • Frequently requires support for set-up and break down.
Other Display Options
  • Pipe and drape display - Metal frame with fabric drape.  These work best as a backdrop that can be branded with several graphics options.
  • Truss display - Steel or aluminum heavy-duty frames that include panels, fabric or heavy product displays.  Often used or Tradeshow Retractable Banner Standslarge events and branded television or video production and include lighting systems.
  • Retractable Banner Stands - The simplest option for a trade show is to combine a retractable banner with an attractive table.  Pop up banners are also a great option to highlight custom messaging in front of a larger display.
  • Table Covers - Branded table cloths are a cost-effective way to showcase your brand. Enhanced printing options allow for total customization so there is no reason to just put your logo on the front.  Cover the whole table with a design that highlights the benefits of your product.
  • Islands and Counters - Islands can be a great option for larger kits as they can be a great use for the storage container that the rest of the exhibit travels in.  By adding a graphic wrap and a tabletop, you have a table to display products and sales materials.

Choosing the Best Option for You

Chances are that you’ve attended trade shows and can pinpoint the types of displays that have caught your attention. Think about what exactly caught your eye about them and how you might use a similar display to showcase your business. That idea can act as the blueprint for your company’s display. Since you only have a few seconds to grab the attention of trade show attendees, it’s important to get the design just right. An effective display is unique, visually appealing, involves bright and compelling graphics, and clearly delivers your branded messaging.

Four Design Tips to Tradeshow Display Success

  1. Build your display to last. Choosing durable, high-quality materials saves time and money in the long run compared to creating a new or replacing an old display every year. For maximum use, consider an adjustable display designed for various configurations, so you’re ready for any opportunity.Design tips for Tradeshow Display success
  2. Select and display your crème de la crème services and/or products. Trade show booth space can be tight and the floor can be overwhelming, so focus on your bestsellers or most relevant to the show and attendees.
  3. Design is eye-catching, but your message is substance. Communicate your key differentiators and benefits by combining graphics and words to represent your position and selling points.
  4. Feng shui principles apply to trade show displays; make sure traffic has a logical flow and that your display is balanced between conversation, demonstration, and display.
While online options are abound, don't be tempted to make decisions about your trade show display based on what’s available in internet stores. Online options are limited to standard options of hardware and graphics quality can vary greatly between vendors. Working with a trade show display vendor, like AlphaGraphics Kansas City, gives you the ability to make nearly any display possible.  Customizing a system or combining aspects of common display types to your business or industry gives you the best appeal. More importantly, you have a personal point of contact who will ensure you have a trade show display that reflects your company, meets your budget and will be a hit any time you exhibit.

For further information about AlphaGraphics Kansas City and their capabilities, contact the AGKC team at 816-842-4200 or visit their website, AlphaGraphics KC.


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