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A Guide to Custom Trade Show Displays

Trade shows and conferences can be big money-makers for most businesses. The amount of leads and traffic you can generate from these shows is spectacular – if you do things right.

And doing a trade show the right way means having the best custom trade show display your budget will allow.

It’s hard to overstate just how important your display is to the success of your show. It catches the eye of your potential visitors and gives people a reason to stop by. It represents your brand and your message. And it starts the prospecting journey from initial visit to new customer.

Trade show displays matter. Here’s more on getting the right trade show display and making it work for you.

What Are Your Trade Show Goals?

The first thing you need to consider before you get a custom booth is to figure out what your goals are.

There are several possible trade show goals. These include:

  • Lead generation: Create more leads for your business by getting contact information
  • Qualify leads: Meeting with potential leads and determining which ones are most likely to do business with you
  • Promote brand awareness: Get your name out there where people can see it
  • Sales generation: Actually making sales at your booth during a show
  • Product/service promotion: Introducing a new product or service to the public

You want the same thing for all of these goals: an attractive, appealing, and functional trade show booth. But what your booth looks like and how it functions will depend on what you want to accomplish.

For example, if you want sales, it helps to have a 3D display with depth, where people can walk in and speak one-on-one with your team. You can create stand-up tables that offer a comfortable, close space for deals to be made.

If you want brand awareness, you need a big, bold display with large, visible signage and something to get people to take notice. If they don’t notice your brand, after all, then you can’t make them aware.

For promoting a product or service, you can have LED monitors built into your display to show a video highlighting that product or service. You can even include space to highlight a physical model or prototype of the service.

Working with a custom trade show display maker can really help you hone in on your goals and find the perfect display configuration to meet them.

What’s Your Display Budget?

In a perfect world, you’d have unlimited resources and could build the best display ever with all the bells and whistles – without breaking a sweat.

But in the real world, you have a budget and will have to design a display to fit your budget.

One way that our clients frequently find attractive and functional booths to fit within their budget is with modular displays. Modular displays come in a variety of configurations that can be scaled up or down by adding or taking away modules. These modules can include anything from wall panels to signage, displays for LED monitors, stand-up tables, and more.

One consideration you need to keep in mind that most people forget is the purchase cost versus the lifetime value. The purchase cost is how much it costs you to build the display. That’s not the only consideration, though. You have to consider how long you’ll use it and figure out the lifetime value.

If you’re going to use a booth for five years, then you can figure out the return on your investment and thus the lifetime value of that display. Graphics tend to last one year, and a display tends to last five years – but by working with a custom designer, you can find a configuration that may be a better investment for your budget.

Things to Consider When Designing Your Trade Show Display

After you’ve figured out your goals and your budget, it’s time to look at the display itself. What do you want it to look like? What functionality do you want or need?

One thing to consider at the beginning is your layout. The typical booth layout is a horizontal one where there’s no depth – there’s just a table up front with a banner above it. There’s nowhere for people to walk into.

This may not be ideal because it doesn’t allow for deeper engagement. It’s also boring. Consider adding depth if space allows by breaking up the horizontal presentation and creating room for people to walk “into” the display area. All the top display spaces we’ve helped create have depth as a part of the look and feel.

A display can have a lot of different components. These include:

  • Hanging structures
  • Backwalls
  • Hanging graphics
  • Vertical graphics/banners
  • Counters
  • Towers
  • Stand-up tables
  • Meeting spaces
  • Media displays (i.e. monitors)
  • Product shelves
  • Tables
  • Storage space
  • Flooring

The components you need all depend on your goals and the layout you’ve selected.

One thing to keep in mind is flow of traffic. You want an easy-to-follow path that people can take when they arrive at your booth that presents them with the right information at the right time. Something at the beginning can draw them in, and then your persuasive materials are in the center.

Graphics are arguably the most important part of a display. They need to be highly visible, colorful, and attractive. You don’t have a lot of room, so the words you choose need to be highly impactful. Slogans and taglines work well, as do bullet points of the services you offer.

When coming up with text for your graphics, think first and foremost of the benefits someone can receive when they do business with you. People don’t buy features; they buy benefits. They want something in exchange for their time and money.

Putting It All Together

Custom designs perform better than standard ones. You don’t want your booth to look like everyone else’s. You want it to stand out. You want it to reflect your brand. You want it to look like your company, with the right configuration and shape that best compliments your brand. That’s why custom design is superior to standard elements if your budget allows.

The best way to tie everything together is to find a display booth manufacturer or distributor who specializes in strategically customizing displays for companies looking to make an impact.

You want a partner who has experience and creativity. It’s really important that they’re creative, because creativity, more than anything, gets attention – and attention sells.

We specialize in custom trade show displays and have designed countless displays for a wide variety of companies in just about every industry you can think of. You can see some of our work in our gallery.

If you have any questions, or want to start the process, contact us – we’re ready to design a custom booth that will shine at your next show and deliver top ROI for your budget.