Trade Show Display Ideas for a Successful Booth

Ideas for trade show booths

Your booth display is one of your most powerful weapons at a trade show, so you’ll want to make sure that you wield that weapon wisely. A booth display draws the eye before a trade show attendee even sees the person at the booth. It’s not unusual for companies to spend thousands, even millions of dollars on a modular display,truss display or tension fabric display. Before you devote your entire budget to an expensive display, take a few minutes to think of other things you can do to make your booth display more effective at a trade show.

Use the Past as Your Prologue

ook at the types of booth displays that companies similar to yours have done in the past to get an idea of what’s effective and what’s ineffective. Don’t attempt to copy their ideas, but instead take note of what made the displays so effective and recreate a similar effect for yourtable display. Some of the most successful booths have used multimedia presentations, so think of incorporating those with your displays. Computers, televisions, music and projects have also been proven to be effective booth display tools.

Hire a Professional

Consider hiring a professional model to post at the sides of your booth who will engage trade show attendees as they pass by and hand out free samples or product information. These professional individuals know how to market your company and get people interested in your business. If you’d rather not use a flashy and expensive banner display to attract passersby, having a well-trained professional is a good alternative.

Engage Trade Show Attendees

Allow attendees to interact with your trade show display. Have games, live demonstrations, touchscreens were passersby can interact with new products and other incentives to gather a crowd around your booth and get them interested. Think about giving away free gifts that are related to your product and be sure your business card is included with the prize and that your logo is displayed on the bag the free gift comes in. People love getting free gifts and they love telling other people where they got their free gift. Let attendees do your marketing for you.

Bigger Sometimes is Better

If you’re going to one of the larger trade shows, you’ll want to get a pop up display to match the grand scale. The more impressive and majestic the display is, the better it will be for you and your company. It’s recommended that you work with a professional to design the perfect booth rather than go at it alone and risk potentially wasting thousands of dollars. While such a magnificent booth will undoubtedly be expensive, it could possibly pay for itself with all of the new business that you attract and with all of the old business that you manage to hold on to.

Know Your Market

Something else that will help you determine what your booth display should look like is knowing who your target audience is. If your audience is more technologically inclined, have a booth display with digital displays, tablet computers and other kinds of cutting-edge technology. If your target audience is a bit simpler when it comes to technology, you’ll want a more subdued display that still manages to capture the eye.

Put in an abundance of time and thought when it comes to your trade show booth in order to have a successful and enjoyable experience for yourself as well as your company. If you aren’t having fun, then neither are the attendees who stop by your booth.

5 Ways to Make Your Brand More Tech Savvy at the Show Floor

Keeping up with the times always requires effort and often expenditures. It is now common place to see a room full of people staring at their phones rather than talking to one another. In today’s internet integrated, technology infused world the job of marketers to build lasting relationships becomes ever more challenging.

Learn these 5 ways to make your brand more tech savvy, and begin to leverage modern devices to help you start the conversation the old fashion way. These simple but productive suggestions add technology to your exhibit marketing strategy, in order to attract more visitors, generate more leads and boost future revenues.


 

1.     Tablets & Mobile Devices

Tablet brands like the infamous Apple iPad have infiltrated nearly every facet of our daily lives. Made popular by their sleek, ergonomic design and a loyal unwavering fan base, some savvy users tote their tablet around as routinely as car keys. Tablets have made surfing the web and wasting time on games easier than ever. But did you know that you can use your iPad for work also!

 

Tablet Workstation for Trade Show Events

  • Demonstrations – If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many is video worth? Gone are the days of meticulously describing how a product works and hoping they are picturing the same. Now you can inform and entertain at the same time by sliding through product images and playing video of your value offer in action with just the touch of a finger.
  • Lead Management – Trade Shows are a lot of work and can be a lot of fun; but few enjoy the post show necessity of cataloging the mountain of business cards your sales representatives (should) have returned with.
    Utilizing your tablet allows you to take important notes and photos about your competitors as well as making use of idle time by getting started cataloging your prospects. Most tablets running on iOS and Android offer lite versions of Office where you can easily open a spreadsheet and begin organizing all those smiling faces you’ve met.
  • Attendee Information – It’s not always about you! Tablets have also empowered your prospects with the ability to seek out information on a company right on site. Watch for techy types and cater your message with this target group in mind. They’re often on the lookout for ways to interact with brands using their tablet.

 

If you really want to enable your booth visitors to interact with your brand, consider allocating some of your booth space and budget on a Tablet Kiosk Workstation. They allow the visitor to experience what you have to offer on their own time, learning about your benefits without dedicating booth staff to discuss with them. In this way your tablet stand acts as a huge beacon for your staff, stating “I’m looking for information, come talk to me!”

 

2.     Digital Signage

The advent of LCD (liquid crystal display) technology has revolutionized digital signage.  These screens are now used in everything from computer monitors to cell phones and TVs.  LCD screens are thin and lightweight so they’re very easy to move, which is important considering shipping and storage costs between shows. LCD screens are also considerably more energy efficient than older screens so they can be used for long periods of time without a hefty power bill.

  • Interactive BrandingLCD banner screens give you many display options to extend your brand to standalone totem style signage.  They can be easily mounted in frames or placed on specially designed hangers.  This gives your visitors an enhanced opportunity to check out what your brand offers.
  • Stay Relevant – Have you noticed your competitors changing with the times, updating their display’s marketing message to fit a specific venue, buzzing trend, or latest products? Worse off has your company updated its website branding and left your exhibit display showcasing a faded early 2000s style logo? We know from experience that printing high quality graphics are not cheap. Purchasing a nice LCD widescreen isn’t either; but this one time expenditure allows you to update your branding and message to whatever fits the audience, venue, and product focus your company chooses. This allows you to keep your display booth looking fresh simply by turning on the set.
  • Seminar Demonstration – Connect your LCD screen to a computer to display a slideshow or video to a larger crowd.  Electronic signs are ideal for integrating all kinds of multimedia into your display like technical training videos, how-to guides, product specs, or general industry information.

 

3.     QR Codes

Use these handy emblems to extend your brand onto the web. This promotes engagement with your prospects and customers, allowing them to feel part of an exclusive crowd that gets a discount or other promotion.

 

QR Code Monster Displays

  • Let the Games Begin – QR Codes allow you to post these cryptic emblems in your emails, website, and all around your trade show booth that allow attendees to interact with your brand and feel technology savvy at the same time. Now that you are prepared to engage with your attendees, you’ll want to have a logical next step in mind to send someone once you’ve peaked their interest. There are many clever ways to attract more attention toward your booth such as games, contests, and prize raffles.
  • Message Synergy – An email campaign to your existing customers may offer a discount for attending the show that can be redeemed at your booth. This creates some urgency with attendees and a mental bookmark to visit your booth to redeem the promotion. This sends qualified traffic your way that comes to the show having a preconceived plan of companies they want to visit.

 

4.     Newsletter Marketing

Let’s not forget the now traditional method of email marketing. Yes, because newsletters are difficult to differentiate from spam these can often be ignored as noise. However if you are targeting your existing client base and offering real value, you should be able to find an audience.

Newsletters done properly still informs the willing

  • Tried and True – This remains one of the most cost effective methods to establish your message and distribute it to the masses (potentially millions in fact).  For the expense of an employee’s time spent planning, writing and encoding an email campaign you are able to reach many more leads than a billboard, for example.
  • Timing is Everything – Newsletters give your prospects and existing clients the opportunity to review your information on their own time and better plan their trade show itinerary.

 

5.     Social Reporting

Don’t forget that not everyone can spend the money and time to fly to a convention and attend. Many in the industry will be keeping track of developments with the official event #hashtag.

Hashtags work great for connecting discussion ideas

  • All the World Your Stage – By dedicating some time doing an excellent job reporting on the latest news and insights coming out of a trade show, followers will begin to focus in on your updates like a stock ticker. Your Facebook or Twitter account can become the go-to provider of up to the minute “hot tips” coming out of the trade show. Make sure to include your posts to LinkedIn where you can leverage your efforts within your professional peers.
  • Say Cheese! – For better or worse, social media enables anyone with access to the web and an account to be a star (or at least pine for attention). This can be a great way to jump start your company’s follower base and quickly become perceived as an industry contributor. This “thought leader” status is where your play by play reporting and even anecdotal commentary is a valued resource among followers of the event.

 


Have questions about how to best use technology with your brand? Our exhibit experts are always happy to discuss options and recommend the best display for your company’s needs.
The Monster Displays team can be reached at Sales@MonsterDisplays.com or call (888) 484-3344, we’d love to put our experience to work for you.

Trade Show Survival Kit – Don’t Exhibit Without It

You don’t need an 80s style mullet to save the day like MacGyver at your next event – creating a trade show survival kit just requires thinking ahead and creative use of these everyday items. With so much planning and chaos during the final days leading up to an event, remembering to bring things that can keep your team going and your booth looking great can make or break your exhibition success.

Trade shows are an exercise in proving Murphy’s Law is more than a series of ironic calamities. Small mishaps can be very costly when they impact how well you achieve goals necessary to meet your expected ROI. It usually takes experience (or a borderline paranoid sense of preparation) to foresee many of the problems that can arise at a trade show.

Medic_cross1

Save money, time and frustration by avoiding last minute purchases with these survival kit tips:

Alcohol Wipes – Great for cleaning up graphics with a quick rub down. Dust accumulates quickly during busy shows and its best to clean things up before packing your display away.

Anti-indigestion – This depends heavily on the person, but fast food, finger food and alcohol can cause quite the upset stomach. Bring Alka-Seltzer for relief so your team performs their best and doesn’t miss any scheduled events.

Black Permanent Markers – Important enough to stand alone from general office supplies like pens. Useful for memos, labeling boxes or marking items that you don’t want getting mixed up or “growing legs”; every deterrent helps.

Cloth Gloves – No not so you can play CSI Detective! These are very useful for protecting your graphics from fingerprint smudges when you handle them during installation.

Comfortable Shoes – This goes for men and women. You want to look professional, but should be mindful that the pair of shoes you choose look nice and don’t kill your feet. Women may like the look of high heels, but be sure to bring a comfy backup pair or you’ll be suffering the consequences by day’s end.

Digital Camera – Take pictures of your booth, empty before the show to best show off your finished booth and again while it’s filled with eager attendees for future promotional uses.

Eyeglasses – Make sure you bring your glasses even if you wear contacts. The long hours might start to dry your eyes out. You also never know when your primary pair will get knocked off your face and stepped on.

Eye Drops – Long hours of keeping eye contact with visitors, watching demonstrations and loss of sleep will ensure these come in handy.

Extra Batteries – This is a must have for any display booth lighting and other devices. If forgotten you face huge markup when trying to purchase from the convention store.

Extension Cord – Your exhibit booth’s nearest electrical socket may be too far to reach. You don’t want to get to the show and find that the awesome new HD widescreen on your backwall is too short to reach and is now in danger of becoming an oversized paperweight.

Garbage Bags – Especially useful for that after show cleanup.

Hand Sanitizer – Shaking hands is a great way to make a good first impression, but it can also be a great way to catch a cold or other illness.

Lip Balm – Excessive talking can dry out any mouth. Get quick relief and keep focused on achieving your goals.

Medicine – Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Sudafed or other medications. Headaches and allergies are common at trade shows due to travel, sickness, long days, after hour cocktail mixers, lack of sleep, and the general stress that comes with the event.

Mouthwash & Breath Mints – Do your booth visitors keep backing away politely? Travel and quick eats can sneak up on you; don’t be the one with “dragon breath”.

Notebooks – A regular necessity for trade shows. Your booth team should be taking notes on demonstrations, competitor ideas, leads, and general notes.

Office Supplies – Anything you commonly use in the office will be good to have on hand. Don’t get caught without a good supply of black and blue pens for taking notes. Keep business cards, stray marketing materials and information together with paperclips or staples. These cheap items will be highly marked up at the show, if available at all.

Power Strip – Access to electrical sockets can be very limited.  Make sure you have a way to share power between all the devices you want to feature as part of your booth’s engagement. An iPad Kiosk is a great way to let visitors interact with your brand, or allowing you to input new leads in real time. Plan ahead to make sure charging these devices don’t compete with your brand’s focal points like stunning lightbox displays.

Push Pins – Useful to hold agendas in place, post messages or notes. Try to resist the urge to place them on your co-worker’s chair.

Paper Towels – In addition to quickly cleaning up spilled food and drink before it ruins equipment, your display will benefit from a quick wipe down as per best practices for maintaining your trade show display for years to come.

Safety Pins – Great for a makeshift fix for a table cloth. Also useful if anyone’s elegant dress has a strap break right before a live demonstration. These are moments you’ll feel indifferent toward until you find yourself in a crisis.

Sewing Kit – This may seem silly, but trade shows are crowded and there are many opportunities to snag clothing on a corner as you pass. Depending on how many extra business outfits you packed, and how far your team traveled for the show you could find yourself frantically reaching for needle and thread. Wardrobe malfunctions might make you memorable, but it’s doubtful they’ll be telling stories about your brand.

Snacks – Energy food that isn’t too messy or rough on the stomach (see Alka-Seltzer recommendation) is a must have. Your team can’t bring their A-game if all they’re thinking about is stealing someone’s unattended sandwich (nobody likes a booth bandit).

Throat Lozenges – Halls or Ricola can be life savers (no not the candy) after days of speaking in the dry temperature controlled convention space.

Tissues – Colds are an ever present reminder of the hazards of collecting hundreds of people from around the nation together in one big space. You never know when you’ll need these, so even if your team is fortunate enough not to get sick there is likely a sneezing someone you meet that will appreciate the gesture.

Tools – A portable multi tool kit is so important it might be insulting to include on this list. If your display isn’t one of the fantastic newer tool free solutions you will need a screw driver at the very least to assemble your components.

Tape – As any home owner knows, the utility of strong masking or duct tape cannot be under stated. You might need to do a quick repair on your display to pin down a wayward graphic or flowing table cloth. Don’t forget to tape down electrical cords so no one trips (memorable yes, but not the best way to make a first impression).  After the show you’ll be happy to have this to seal up boxes for the trip home.

Velcro – Many trade show display styles like tension fabrics use Velcro to attach graphics to the frame. Bring extra for last minute signage that needs a firmer stick on the walls of your display.

Wrist Watch – Besides helping you look professional and punctual, a trade show agenda is filled with demonstrations and meetings; make sure you are on time to make a good first impression.

We hope you find this checklist handy to alleviate the last minute panic and give you piece of mind that your team is ready for any unforeseen mishap. For more tips, and expert advice on building a fool proof exhibit booth that looks great give us a call at (888) 484-3344.

Boost Trade Show Booth Traffic with 5 Strategies

Learning to boost trade show booth traffic is the the holy grail of any of your convention marketing. More importantly you want them to be qualified visitors. What is the point of having a big crowd in front of your booth if the mob is made up of nothing but people interested in taking home a tote bag full of swag.

Getting someone to head home with some desk widgets or tools with your company logo on them can be excellent for brand retention, but what about getting more people to visit your booth that should have a genuine interest in your product?

There are many great tips out there that have suggestions for doing just that.

 


 

1) Plan Ahead to Boost Trade Show Booth Traffic

There is no goal that can hope to be achievable without a strategy and good planning. Christine Lagorio-Chafkin writes on the importance of pre-show planning as a two pronged approach:

“The first would be to contact your in-house file – that’s your regular customers, local contacts, and solid prospects. The other? Registered attendees of the show…You should conduct some outreach to them – or a segment of attendees that might be interested in you – either through direct mail, e-mail, or even phone.”

In this way your expectations for success on the actual day of the trade show improve. By reaching out to your existing clients you begin to shape a real world view of your convention audience. This should help ensure that the trade show you want to exhibit at will contain people who are there to see your product and similar.

Use this valuable time leading up to the event to reach out to your existing customers you want to become closer with, or prospects that might close if you could just get a face to face conversation. Christine adds:

“While you’re at it, make a substantial effort to contact and make appointments with your local clients, suppliers, or anyone you do business with in the geographic area of your show. It’s a simple way to get face-time with folks you might not otherwise be able to sit down with – and a way to make sure you or your employees aren’t wasting time standing around in an empty booth.”

Whether your expectations for the upcoming trade show relate to improving brand recognition with a gambit of in person discussions or you have more grandiose outcomes in mind, your ability to achieve the goals you set is going to relate to the strategy you plan.

2) Interaction

Fulfilling your trade show expectations depends on having the booth traffic to make headway with your goals. This means having enough visitors to make a measurable effort and figure out what works and what doesn’t. This becomes a ‘chicken or the egg’ scenario where you need visitors to get leads, and your most qualified visitors would come out of your existing customers and leads (remember pre planning).

Now that you are prepared to engage with your attendees, you’ll want to have a logical next step in mind to send someone once you’ve peaked their interest. There are many clever ways to attract more attention toward your booth such as games, contests, and prize raffles.

Normally you want this process to be as easy as possible to avoid making your attendees work. Sometimes however, you can capitalize off of someone’s need to go beyond the status quo and discover something more.

An email campaign to your existing customers may offer a discount for attending the show that can be redeemed at your booth. This sends qualified traffic your way that comes to the show having a preconceived plan of companies they want to visit. Similarly you can create a scavenger hunt that rewards users for seeking out more information on your brand like a QR code. Scott F. McFadden of CSW Corp. points out:

“QR codes (Quick Response codes) are a great way to be innovative at tradeshows. They can be imprinted on banners, shirts, your booth, chairs, rugs, and all your tangible marketing giveaways. They are a great conversation starter to encourage visitors to download a brochure, watch a video, visit your website, or follow you on different social media channels.”

Using QR codes to boost booth traffic

QR Codes allow you to post cryptic emblems in your emails, website, and all around your trade show booth that allow attendees to interact with your brand and feel technology savvy at the same time. While these tech tools can be great at sparking interest, you’ll want to make sure they are a part of a bigger strategy that does not rely on this sort of gimmick, McFadden warns:

“These aren’t exactly new and trend setting anymore. In many cases they’re overlooked and a novelty. However they represent a merge of technology, interest, and spontaneity. Take advantage of this quick lookup for that moment when you have someone’s interest peaked. They go through the effort to snap your code and look at your promotion, so try to have something worthwhile there to keep them with a favorable memory and not feeling like their time was wasted.”

3) Become the Experience

Sounds spooky and existential – but what does it mean? A trade show can be a lot of fun and a lot of work for attendees. To improve your brand awareness and drive people to your booth try thinking about how you can alleviate headaches and improve their experience.

When you’ve been walking around talking for hours and someone hands you a bottle of water, whatever you were feeling is paused for a moment as you thank them, notice who was so kind and continue on your way. In that moment of refreshment the water giver has become part of your experience and helped it improve.

Anything that breaks up the norm, especially if it saves someone time and effort is appreciated and earns you some good will. Doesn’t everyone hate trying to find parking and then walking in the heat toward the convention center? While not within everyone’s budget, Tim Carter explains how becoming a car service does just that:

“Consider renting a small van or bus for the day. It can give you a unique opportunity to increase traffic to your tradeshow booth. Putting the name of your company on the van or bus gives you instant exposure to anyone moving through crowded parking lots. Those who catch a ride may also feel indebted to your company. The least they can do is give you a few minutes to learn more about the products and services that you offer. Of course, running a shuttle bus also gives you a chance to take control of the experience. If you choose a booth near the tradeshow’s entrance, you can use the location as a pick-up and drop-off point.”

Shuttle service to attract visitors to your booth

In one swoop many of your goals of brand awareness, goodwill and an opportunity for face time to explain your product have been achieved.

4) Nurture the Now and Later

Just as you worked hard to set up meetings and promote your attendance to boost trade show booth traffic, you want to carry on that effort after the show to nurture your leads. Megan Zweig at The Core, Marketing blog suggests hiring a photographer to increase demand that people seek out your brand.

“Hire a photographer to chronicle your experience at the tradeshow by taking photos of your team in action along with fun photos of you with your customers on and off the show floor. After the event, mail your customers a card with the photo of you and the customer framed and ready for placement on their desk.”

Trade Show photography helps drive traffic to your booth and follow ups

If a tree falls and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound? This classic philosophical adage is my best way to sum up your marketing. In the ever more important world of social media, anything good that your brand has done (sometimes winning points for admitting when you do something not so good) should become part of your social media strategy.

You want to get the word out, and so do the companies you are there to meet with! If you have thoughtfully put some of your budget toward showcasing the people you have met at the show and sending them a little something that pictures them at the show, they should appreciate it. The added benefit is you’ve started the conversation by doing something nice and now they have a way to be reminded of you the next time they need something.

5) Go Above and Beyond

In today’s world of marketing there is almost nothing that hasn’t been thought of already. This doesn’t mean you want to stop trying to exceed expectations as well as boundaries as you seek to reach your audience even after a convention.

While trying to market to exhausted trade show attendees during the after hours will most likely become noise, you can still become part of their end goal: relaxation! While giving out food or drink and offering a quiet place to sit are great ways to improve an attendees’ experience at the show, Megan points out that your efforts can continue on:

“Invite existing and potential customers and partners to your gathering and offer them light bites and cocktails featuring your fresh products. People will head to your booth in droves for an opportunity to attend THE social event of the show. Take advantage of their visit by sharing your latest products/services/news.”

Many of these suggestions may come off as pandering, and that’s not wrong. Anything that calls attention to your brand and leaves a person with a positive mental association with your company is a win. During the busy chaos it becomes the difficult task of your marketing team to boost trade show booth traffic and manage the leads produced. Leave an impacting impression and reinforce that brand recognition in the days and months after your exhibition.

Did we find the best choices? Let us know what your favorite strategies for boosting trade show booth traffic.

The Monster Displays team can be reached at Sales@MonsterDisplays.com or call (888) 484-3344, we’d love to put our experience to work for you.

Read more Monster advice on How to Attract Business at a Trade Show.

Maintaining Your Trade Show Display to Protect Your Investment

Come One, Come All

Each trade show season thousands of companies globetrot between conventions, spending millions on the chance to directly connect with their target audience for a few minutes at their exhibit booth.

In many cases this happens a few times a year, but even if your company only attends one annual convention, the transport, set up, exhibition, disassembly and storage of your trade show display can produce costly wear and tear if not handled properly.

With so much of your marketing budget going into the purchase of a display, it is very important that it holds up to repeated use. After all, budgets rarely get larger and the entire purpose of your trade show strategy is to make a stunning impression on attendees time and time again. Let’s learn the most common pitfalls that companies fall into, and how maintaining your trade show display helps protect your investment for years to come!

Solo Counter Post Chocolate

Help keep your display looking great

A Case Just in Case

Your first line of defense in protecting your display booth investment is making sure you are transporting in a hard back carry case. The most dangerous phase of your display’s life will be the transportation (more on transit safety later) where items will shift in the back of a truck or van and may even have other packages stacked on top.

The easiest way to gain peace of mind is to invest in a carry case with a hard exterior to protect the outer shell from impact, and a product specific case with a snug-fit interior so your sensitive components don’t shift during the move from point A to B.

Think of it in terms we are more familiar with: would you carry a guitar without its case? Protect your display from scratches and dings; those little eyesores will quickly begin to impact your brand’s professional appearance.

Disassemble with Care

Your display is relatively safe when the booth is set up (making sure to keep food and drink far away). Most of the damage comes when a convention is over and your booth staff begins taking down the display in a hurry, eager to put a long day behind them and get back to the after hour social scene.

Hastily removing panels and graphics can cause them to tear or become wrinkled. It is also important to train anyone handling the display on common things to avoid and areas where it is more prone to damage, such as lighting kits.

This is one area where you get points for taking the time to do it right, and gives you the chance to inventory your pieces to make sure you don’t leave without any crucial components.  Also make sure to use all protective packaging included in your booth.  All those bags, inserts, dividers and boxes are there for a reason.

Develop Good Habits

It is always good to get in the practice of inspecting your display before packing it to the next event.  Look out for tears, fading color, wrinkles, broken parts and missing screws so you can try to get everything fixed on time.  This helps you avoid the ever too common last minute trade show rush, which often costs you more money versus having the time to price hunt between competitors. You will also be able to better tell whether your display got damaged before or during the show.

Before packing your display away for your next show, always do a quick cleaning to get rid of dust or gunk that accumulated during the show. As with most materials, the longer a mess stays the more damage it does and the harder it is to clean later. You will want to use a mild mixture of detergent and water for this quick ‘once over’ wipe down, remembering to never spray directly onto your display.

Simple rubbing alcohol can work wonders for this, while others prefer to use on hand cleaners like Windex, 409, or Mr. Clean spray bottles. Similarly to technology and other delicate surfaces, never spray directly onto your canvas or frames. Instead, spray onto a towel and gently wipe your booth for best results.

Keep a policy with your staff of avoiding any food or drink near the booth. Staying hydrated and not running on fumes (uh-oh cranky booth staffers) is important since conventions often last most of the day – just not near the marketing materials! Spilled soda will certainly cause damage as the moisture and sticky syrup invades the folds and spaces between the display.

Treat Graphics with Care

The graphic elements of your booth are like beautiful flowers, they are the livelihood of your exhibit space.  These areas should truly be a focal point of maintaining your trade show display. They thrive with persistent care; wither easily when mistreated and before you know it they will be replaced with a newer, fresher message that fits the changing needs.

The type of care needed will depend on the type of material used.  Some graphics will have a laminate layer – these are the easiest to maintain.  Just wipe them clean with a soft cloth.  Use rubbing alcohol or lighter fluid to clean up dirt.   If the panels are stored rolled up, always roll them up with the graphic facing out.  I know, it sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s the right way so that the layers stay together.  Try it the other way around and you will find your graphic panels full of air bubbles and nasty waves.  If your laminate is good, it will be some type of polycarbonate.  The downside of this great material is that dents are permanent and visible, so be extra careful as you handle them.

Tradeshow backlit display

Graphics are the focal point of your message

Let’s talk about non-laminated graphics now.  Although they are more common with the new technologies that offer better quality and adherence of the ink to the media, they are still very fragile, so stay away if possible.  Clean them only with a soft cloth, no water or cleaning agents.  They will scratch a lot easier and will not last as long as their laminated counterparts.

Finally, let’s look at fabric. There are several print technologies to decorate fabrics.  The best solutions will offer results that are washable and hold up to steam.  Not that you will throw your trade show graphics in the washer, but you can use mild detergent to wash away dirt.  A portable steamer will be a great addition to your exhibit tool-kit, to help them look crisp and clean every moment of your event.  To store them, make sure to fold gently and place in a plastic bag or container, to protect from moisture or external agents.  If they attach with Velcro to your frames, make sure to keep them away from the hook side of the Velcro, to avoid tears.

Shipping and Storage

Avoid hot, muggy areas like garages and storage pods that don’t have temperature control. Heat and moisture are enemies of any trade show display. Your panels will warp and begin to create rippling in your graphics. Leaks or flooding can cause mildew to grow and any exposure to water will almost immediately begin to ruin any wooden surfaces permanently.

Another down side of heat and moisture are the pests. You want your display’s storage area to be free of insects and rodents that would love to chew it to pieces or leave behind nasty reminders of how you could have done better.

trade-show-display-protected-transport

Professional Transport Helps Protect your Investment

When in doubt, hiring a professional takes the stress off your hands. You wouldn’t dream of drilling your own teeth, but in an effort to cut corners companies most often handle transport logistics themselves. Your exhibit booth is often worth thousands and trying to maintain and take care for these materials yourself can become a costly mistake.

This is especially true if you are running behind schedule and unpacked your display to check its condition much too close to your convention date. The last thing you want when stressing about planning your marketing presence, transportation, and booth staff is the revelation that the musty garage you stored your booth in has been warping your graphics the last few months.

Why Should I Care?

Not practicing good post-show clean up habits can turn a bad situation into a nightmare as you try to replace a gunky part and now struggle to purchase a matching piece. If you are forced to replace graphics that become damaged you’re going to face the almost impossible task of matching up the colors.

Even if you are using the exact same Pantone color, with the same paper weight, and the same coated or glossy scheme – even printing from the same shop will rarely be able to reproduce an identical graphic.

And although the colors, material and scheme all match, the undamaged graphics will have a different level of fading and wear than new ones, further contributing to the mismatch dilemma. It is best to take care to maintain your entire booth, or you may find yourself forced to replace many of its parts.

Never forget that the state of your display booth represents your brand. As with your logo, staffers, and ability to communicate with attendees, your trade show exhibit is going to give a heavy psychological association (sometimes unfairly) with your company’s service.

A prospective client is going to have a hard time looking past your flimsy, wrinkled booth and still purchase with confidence. The mental perception unfortunately becomes “if they don’t care about how they look in front of hundreds of people, how are they going to treat me?”

Regularly practice these expert tips to properly caring for and maintaining your trade show booth and you can ensure it lasts your company for many years (and shows) to come.

Have questions about how to best care for your trade show display? Our exhibit experts are always happy to discuss options and recommend the best display for your company’s needs.

The Monster Displays team can be reached at Sales@MonsterDisplays.com or call (888) 484-3344, we’d love to put our experience to work for you.