Many marketing professionals can recall an era where trade show displays were large, bulky and expensive to set up. Advances in commercial printing have created possibilities for graphically interesting and highly portable trade show displays. Options like Displayit's 10 Foot Elements Line Trade Show Display and the Ace Exhibits 10-Foot Trade Show package are far more cost effective and convenient display solutions than the massive booths of trade shows in the past.

If your company or business has an upcoming appearance at a consumer or business conference, you may consider investing in a portable trade show display or portable trade show booth to help with your product promotion. These are light, easy to assemble and inexpensive to ship and can be stowed in a closet or basement rather than being stored in an expensive storage facility.

Trade Show Displays: What to Look For

If you're new to marketing and need some tips, read on to help narrow your decision. You'll need to consider dimensions, how much you're willing to pay and how quickly your display will come.

Always start by sketching out the display space itself and determining how much you'll need to allocate for your graphics in addition to space for tables and chairs, podiums, media displays and more. If it's a smaller show, perhaps a tabletop pull-up graphic will suffice. For larger shows, determine if you will need additional lighting, one or two podiums with or without graphics, racks or stands for brochures and sales materials, or even an additional sandwich board to highlight a different aspect of your company. If you know your booth will be viewable from the back, look for options that include double-sided graphics.

Trade show displays come in a range of sizes and styles. Smaller graphics and pull-up signs, which can cost a few hundred dollars, are easier to transport and add color and pop to your display area. Booths with detailed trusses and larger graphics can run in the thousands. The larger the booth, the more it will cost to transport and store. If you do not have a design staff or a designer in house, calculate the cost of hiring a designer to help you complete your graphics. Often, trade show booth companies will provide in-house creative services, including graphic design. Look for a flexible service provider who can accommodate your specific needs.

Turnaround Time
Before you order, check the turnaround time from the manufacturer. If you know your team is likely to change its collective mind more than once, inquire ahead of time about setup fees and change orders. All manufacturers should be clear about their turnaround times. In this era of large-scale printing, it shouldn't take more than five business days for your booth to ship. Some companies will provide physical proofs in additional to an emailed proof. Ensure that if you would like to take advantage of that option, you know how much that will add to your production schedule. If you are in a pinch, many manufacturers will charge a rush fee to cut that turnaround time down to two, or even one, business day.

Trade shows and industry conferences can be the make-or-break event for the year. The right booth can make all the difference for your company's success.

Ace Exhibits Exhibitor 10' Package Review

Ace Exhibits offers a host of complete trade show displays and accessories. Like most printers in this era, they are selling the convenience of a service as well as the materials. They provide a full suite of design support and have a range of add-ons that can all be sourced directly from their website for your convenience.

The Exhibitor 10-foot Trade Show Package will satisfy a lot of needs for a 10 x 10-foot exhibitor space. The package includes a 10-foot aluminum frame in black or silver, a complete podium with storage in back, wrap graphics for both the podium and the frame, and 10 square feet worth of wood-like locking tiles that can be used to cover the floor space. All of this can be contained in the included carrying case that is converted into the podium when assembled. If needed, the company has additional accessories for the booth such as overhead LED lighting that can be attached to the frame. The display material is made of laminate titanium film and the graphic wrapper for the podium is constructed of specialized vinyl.

One big bonus that Ace offers is no rush fee. If an order is approved by noon Pacific, the order ships the next day. Any order approved after the cutoff will be shipped in two business days. This is certainly a huge convenience if you need any new graphics down the line or if you're working on a time crunch. They offer hourly design services at a standard industry rate. All of the materials include a limited lifetime warranty.

This is certainly a complete kit in terms of basic trade show displays. Depending upon your budget, you may be able to get away with a kit that does not involve the additional cost of the flooring. Also, if you're a road warrior traveling solo to set up your show, note that the kit itself can be heavy to cart around. The flooring alone weighs 65 pounds. Ace will drop ship to any location, so it may not be an issue for the trade show display's first deployment. This is a standard banner design, so replacement graphics should arrive quickly. Also, Ace has a complete list of small replacement materials for all of its frames and accessories for maintenance down the line.

Overall, the convenience of having a kit like this all in one will be appealing to a busy marketer who needs quick and convenient service. The company has a positive track record for customer service, and the rapid turnaround time could save you rush charge fees.

Back to Top

Aero 1200 Review

Trade show displays have become quite standardized with the proliferation of large-scale printing. Professional marketers now have more options with a wider a range of features and designs at increasingly lower costs. The Aero 1200 offers a range of modular designs, allowing any company to have flexibility now and in the future for different displays.

The frame is constructed of lightweight aluminum and has three basic panels that can be configured into a variety of patterns. The height is adjustable, allowing you to select quarter-height, half-height or full-height graphics for one, two or all three of the panels. The banners retract into the top pole to make setup even quicker. Because the graphics pull down and hook into the base, this may be a simpler setup than Velcro or even magnetic panels. Also, because they are pull-down style, they should be faster to take down and pack up. A standard molded plastic wheeled case is included. Additional accessories like lighting can also be purchased separately.

The maximum width of the package is 177 inches, or nearly 15 feet. The poles can extend up to 83.5 inches, or roughly 7 feet. Graphics can be printed to be 38 or 44 inches for quarter- and half-height options. Graphics are priced and purchased separately. If needed, design services are available. Allow for at least three business days, although rush services are available at an additional cost. To determine your final cost for delivery, spec out your final design online and include your desired delivery date. If you would like to add a fourth or even fifth panel, additional upright legs are available to expand the booth even wider.

With this modular design, please ensure that you have at least a 20-foot trade show display space reserved at your show. Note that the configuration can be set to be curved, squared or flat, so it's recommended that you sketch out the design of your space prior to purchasing. If you do not have internal resources to assist you with that process, you may want to consider engaging the company's design services. Fabric proofs are available for the graphics at an additional fee if you want to see the colors physically prior to approval. The frame itself is protected by a one-year limited warranty.

Overall, this is an extremely flexible and customizable trade show display option for large tradeshow areas. The quarter- and half-height graphics may be an ideal option to line a walkway or smaller section of the booth, or use the full-height option for a colorful rear display.

Back to Top

APG Exhibits Castor 10' x 10' Orbital Truss Review

The Castor 10 x 10 Orbital Truss System has a sleek and versatile design, with ample accessories to showcase your products at your next event.

The setup includes a complete trade show display kit, including the graphics. The pieces lock into place, requiring no tools or professional setup. Also included is a laminate tabletop in a choice of four finishes. This creates a floating type display option for your products. Additional tabletops can be purchased. Other accessories are a set of interlocking tools and four 50-watt spotlights that can be mounted anywhere on the exterior of the frame. The graphic panels can be customized by your own designer or the company's graphic design services, which are available at standard industry rates. Both the frame and the lights are available in a black or chrome finish.

Other accessories mounts offer options to display LCD monitors, literature, podiums and more. The entire kit is packed into a large carrying case that can be shipped to each show or back to the office after it's packed away. Rush services are available from APG if needed. In the future, additional panels can be purchased if you need to swap them out for a new look. The kit comes with a five-year warranty, and six months’ worth of coverage against fading for the graphics.

For trade show displays of this size, it's a good idea to contact the company's sales staff prior to purchasing. Discuss your setup in detail to determine what, if any, accessories may be appropriate for your needs. Note that a physical proof can be mailed to you at an additional fee if you want to assess the printed colors. Give yourself plenty of turnaround time for a booth of this size. The company can provide a complete quote and confirm turnaround time once you've sent in your final proof for the graphics and finalized your design.

Overall, this is a modern, sleek booth with a variety of customization options, even outside of the graphic panels. Consider your needs and speak with a sales consultant prior to purchasing. The company offers a full suite of design and rush services if needed.

Back to Top

APG Exhibits OneFabric 5' Straight Pop Up Review

Depending upon the size of the conference or event for which you will need to invest in trade show displays, sometimes a tabletop graphic is convenient. It is lightweight and simple to set up, and requires a smaller investment than larger trade show displays. The APG OneFabric 5-Foot Pop Up Display can sit in the back of your booth area on a tabletop. It can serve as either the principal graphic element or an additional display item to highlight additional services or products.

This signage is highly portable. The aluminum frame collapses and is packed into a soft carrying case, and the reinforced fabric graphic is flexible enough to remain attached to the frame when it's back in storage. This should make setup even quicker. The entire weight of the setup is less than 20 pounds, making it convenient to carry on airplanes or rental cars.

The hardware will ship immediately after it's ordered, and the graphics will ship after the design is approved. Rush services are available if needed. The company offers design services at standard industry rates. Available accessories for this model are a convertible carrying case that can serve as a podium and an LED light kit. The display will accommodate two lights. Fabric end caps are also included. Fabric proofs are available for an additional fee.

The company provides a full warranty against factory defects on most of the hardware, but the graphics are nonreturnable. Unusual fading of the graphics is protected under the warranty for six months. If you should ever need to switch out the graphics, you may order those separately from the company's website. Most of the accessories are protected by a one-year limited warranty.

If your trade show display area only includes one draped table and if you need to use that for any other products, this graphic will take up quite a lot of space. This is signage that normally goes to the back of your exhibit. If you require a graphic that can sit directly on the floor, you may want to consider other options.

This tabletop display is a minimal investment, can be moved around and has additional lighting to make your graphics pop. Replacement or alternate graphics can be purchased if needed. The frame itself has a lifetime warranty. Overall, this type of display is ideal to sit at the back of a display, or for a professional who needs something lightweight with a quick setup.

Back to Top

Aptos EZ6 10 x 10 Truss System Review

Aptos has a variety of options for truss trade show displays that are quite customizable and simple to assemble, including a variety of accessories. The EZ6 10 x 10 is a three-panel design with options for laptop display shelves.

This kit includes three 75-watt halogen clip-on lights, a three-panel display frame and two carrying cases. The frame comes in a variety of finishes including a modern matte silver. A separately purchased accessory pack includes two laptop shelves. Inquire directly with retailers for different finish surface options for the shelves. All of its frames are manufactured in the United States.

While this is a sleek-looking, interlocking, truss-style trade show display, there is more to say about what isn't included: the graphics. For the price, comparable packages include the cost of all of the graphic panels, so be prepared to shell out another substantial investment for those. In addition, the company doesn't include mounted tabletop, choosing instead to price them as separate add-ons.

The frames of this trade show display have lifetime warranties as standard, but the rest only has a one-year warranty. This kit is also available for rental; contact the company directly for associated fees for shipping and possibly insurance fees.

The shipping weight of the booth is a hefty 240 pounds. Rush services, design services and other levels of design consultation are available, but they are quoted separately and are charged according to the nature of the design. All graphics must be loaded through an FTP interface, and there isn't a design template. Ultimately, this company is set up on a more direct sales model. It's advised that you contact them directly for more sales and product information as, overall, their website alone may not be a reliable resource for pricing, product description, accurate shipping costs and turnaround times, which perhaps defeats the point of having a shopping cart on the website.

This truss trade show display system is costly compared to other comparable products. Printing of graphics is not included in the cost of this kit, and the included accessories are nominal. Renting is available for shorter-term needs, but you'll need to inquire directly as to those costs. Additional insurance may be required for rentals.

Back to Top

Displayit 10-Foot Elements Line Review

If you are a road warrior who needs lightweight trade show displays that you can transport on a plane and set up on the show floor, the ElementsLine 10-foot Trade Show Display is an option to consider. It is designed to be easy to set up, has some flexible display options and rings in at a price point that is reasonable for both smaller businesses looking to save cash or larger corporations who need graphics solutions for smaller conferences.

As far as trade show displays go, the ElementsLine's lightweight, interlocking aluminum frame elements make this booth simple to install and transport. The frames are modular and can be customized for several different looks. Use their custom templates to design your own graphics or send an install link to your in-house designer.

The kit includes two 40 x 87-inch panels and one 40 x 96-inch panel as well as the frames, feet and assembly instructions so it's ready to be assembled upon delivery. The display can be set up to be flat, curved or in a z-pattern, depending upon your requirements. If you have a 360-degree display environment, you can also request that the panels have double-sided graphics so the display is grabbing from any angle. The custom booth includes a 40-inch flat packing crate with wheels, making it convenient to take right on the airplane.

Other accessories include LED floodlights that can be purchased separately. If you do not have a designer, the company will provide you with design services for a fee. One emailed proof is included. Fabric proofs will be sent for an extra fee. If the latter is requested, allow for additional production time. As with any customized product like this, it's recommended that you contact the company directly prior to ordering. The turnaround time can take as few as five days, but if you need a quick turnaround, it's also recommended that you confirm the delivery date with the company. Rush pricing is available if needed.

If you need to update your graphics later, additional graphic screens can be ordered and slid over the existing frame. This also allows you to mix or match different graphics depending upon the event. Each element in the kit is also sold separately in the event that a replacement part is needed down the line.

Easy to transport and set up, the ElementsLine trade show display is modular with parts that can be swapped out. Replacement graphics can be ordered when your company updates its look or is promoting different products or services.

Back to Top

DisplayStar Pop-Up 10-foot Curve Review

Curved read pop-ups are amongst the most popular type of trade show displays as they are light and designed for carrying on an airplane or in car and do not require any additional tools to set up. DisplayStar's Pop-Up 10-foot Curve Display provides versatility at a fixed price thanks to the included full graphics package.

This package includes essentially everything you would need for a basic but professional trade show display. Its aluminum frame is made of aircraft-grade materials and is covered by a lifetime warranty. The complete package includes magnetic bars for attaching the graphic; the graphic panels; two 150-watt halogen lights with bulbs to be mounted on the top of the frame; a carrying case that converts into a podium stand and a graphic wrap for the podium. They even throw in an extra light bulb for good measure. Flooring and other accessories must be purchased separately.

Design services are available for standard industry rates. Expect that the set up time for one person shouldn't take more than 30 minutes, so it's ideal for the marketer or sales rep who is traveling solo to a show. The materials when packed into case weigh 80 pounds, so double check weight limits with the airlines prior to travel for additional charges. The wheeled case should make this reasonably transportable for a single person.

If needed down the line, graphic panels can be reordered to update your look or represent different products or brands. The metallic bands may prove to be faster and smoother to assemble and disassemble than Velcro. This is designed to fit into a standard 10 x 10-foot exhibit space, so confirm the measurements of your setup prior to purchasing. Allow yourself at least five business days for turnaround if you don't want to pay the rush fees. It's always recommended to discuss your options for a graphic of this size with the provider prior to ordering.

This is a reasonable rate for a pop-up trade show display. It should be simple for a single person to set up, so ideal for a solo traveler or anyone who arrives prior to the show opening to set up. The included features and accessories encompass a complete setup. Other accessories, such as literature stands and flooring, can be purchased if needed.

Back to Top

DisplayStar Pop-Up 6-Foot & Case Review

Rear pop-up graphics are an affordable option for a smaller exhibit. They can also provide additional trade show display coverage for different products or services within a large exhibit. They are extremely fast to set up and can give a nice wow factor for your display area. DisplayStar's Pop-Up 6-Foot Display may be a cost-effective option for your next event.

The frame itself is covered under a lifetime warranty and made of light aircraft-grade aluminum. When packed into the case, it weighs 50 pounds, making it ideal for a single traveler to carry around. The carrying case is sturdy enough to be shipped ahead if you have a larger display. Custom table throws and runners can be purchased separately if you don't want to rely on the drapes that the trade show will provide. The graphics mount to the frame magnetically, which may be smoother to assemble and disassemble than Velcro.

Graphic design services are available at a standard industry rate. If you need to cut down the three- to five-day turnaround, rush services are available. Replacement panels can be ordered from DisplayStar down the line if you need to swap out graphics or represent different products.

This graphic should be used for rear display only, meaning that, like any large pop up trade show display, it should sit at the back of your booth. This is not appropriate for single table signage. It may be a nice alternative to more expensive and larger trade show displays signage.

This graphic must be placed on a tabletop, so it is not appropriate as floor signage. If you don't have room for more than one table in your booth space, you may need an option that is tall enough to stand on its own, such as 8-foot or 10-foot pop-up displays. If you like the idea of attached lighting or accessories, you may want to look for other options.

This is a good value for a simple tabletop pull up graphic. You have the option later to purchase additional graphics to give you more options if need be, and the frame itself is covered by a lifetime warranty. The case should make it quick to move around or ship ahead. This is a cost-effective way to get some good branding for a smaller show or give more attention to different products at a larger show.

Back to Top

MODdisplays Standard 8ft Velcro-Receptive Review

Popup displays often need to be versatile, especially for companies with various brands or dynamic products. The convenience of a solid black Velcro background is the ability to change out smaller graphics constantly, giving you a lot of versatility for a minimal investment. MODdisplays offers a variety of trade show displays, and the 8-Foot Velcro-Receptive Popup could be a cost-effective investment if you need a display that can be updated quickly.

The kit itself comes equipped with a carrying case that will double as a 35-inch high, 37-inch wide podium. A laminate plywood countertop is included to use when the case is converted into a stand. The display itself pops up into a curved 8-foot booth with a blank canvas of plain Velcro upon which you can attach your laminate graphics. Choose a background color of black, gray or royal blue. Two 12-volt halogen lights are included, which are clamped to the top of the display. The frame itself is made from aluminum and is designed to be light and simple enough for one person to set up solo.

The company does provide graphic design and printing services if you need advice or direction in that arena. If you have designs and graphics in mind but need an actual designer, there are some guidelines on the company's website that will dictate not only what the overall costs will be but also how long the printing process will take. If you already have Velcro-backed graphics ready to go, the booth itself will ship within two business days of ordering.

The advantage of this trade show display is that it can be changed out quickly, and you don't have to pay for the design work if you don't need it. If you plan on ordering graphics to wrap around the entire display, you may want to look at models that offer custom graphics in the package. If you are using different visual elements, you may want to consider using software to mock up the entire look, or have a designer proof this for you. With 8 feet to work with, you will want to know what the entire completed design will look like. Velcro-backed options were some of the initial portable trade show displays. If you haven't investigated contemporary design options, you may want to spend some time checking those out before you invest in this model.

If you need a blank slate that can be updated regularly and quickly, this is a trade show displays that may work well for you. It's cost effective and can be set up by one person. It may look a bit plain if it's not paired with the right graphics.

Back to Top

Orbus Linear PRO 10-foot Kit 25 Review

Portable trade show displays come in more options that just pop-up graphics and pull-up signage. The Linear PRO 10-foot Kit has a sleek and modern design, and it includes a complete set of accessories and graphics. Despite its sturdy structure, it can still be packed away into two wheeled carrying cases for convenience.

The kit is inclusive of the most important elements for a complete trade show package. The assembled dimensions of the booth are 10 x 8 feet. With a depth of just over 2 feet, or 27 inches, it is shallow enough to sit at the back of at 10 x 10 exhibit space and allow room for mingling or other display objects. All of the graphics and printing costs for the back wall is included. Also included are two side-mounted tabletops, two lights, a canopy, fiberglass wings and header with printing, and two shipping cases. The tables have an option of four different laminate finishes.

The booth hardware is covered by a full five-year manufacturer's warranty against defects. The shipping weight is 145 pounds, making it relatively light for a booth of this size and design style. The site provides a shipping calculator to determine your final shipping costs. While it is not as quick to put together as a simple pop up trade show display booth, it does come with a full set of hardware and assembly instructions.

The company also provides a full suite of additional services, including graphic design and rush services if needed. If you wish to get printing on the header and wings, an additional fee will be assessed. Additional monitor mounts, printing on the header only and an upgrade to LED lighting are also available. Finishes for the lighting include black and chrome.

If you have an in-house design staff, Illustrator and Photoshop templates are available for download. Designs must be submitted via FTP instead of a direct upload. With an investment of this nature, it is recommended that you contact the vendor prior to purchase. One of the downsides of the online ordering process is that there are no sample images of how the wings and cover look with printed graphics. It's unclear if fabric proofs are available. The site mentions that a fabric canopy is included, but further details and images are not provided. If you have a specific deadline, inquire directly as to turn around times for this booth. Graphics require a five-day turnaround. Note that assembling and moving this booth may be job for more than one person. Ensure that you have ample time for setup onsite.

This is a professional trade show display that includes a complete graphics and accessories package. It is large and may be hard to set up if you're solo. It's recommended to discuss this product with a sales specialist prior to ordering.

Back to Top

More Top Stories