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The adage, "You only have one chance to make a first impression," can be applied to businesses as well as individuals. With the average trade show visitor spending less than three seconds looking at your display, it's vital that you grab their attention. While a well thought-out and designed trade show display can help you turn that passerby into a new customer, the sheer volume of displays on the market can make it difficult to choose the one that's right for your business. This buying guide identifies the different types of trade show displays, explains how to select the correct one, and provides pricing information.

Types of Trade Show Displays

Trade show displays come in a huge range of styles, shapes, colors, and forms that are designed to meet any need or budget. The following types are among the most basic and popular.

  • Pop up: Pop-up trade show displays are a popular option because they are portable and easy to set up. Their retractable frames open up to provide a back wall on which fabrics and graphics can be placed. Options such as lights and shelves can be added for customization.
  • Panel: Like pop-up displays, panel trade show displays provide a back wall to your exhibit for displaying custom graphics, but their solid design allows for a greater variety of applications. Combine numerous panels to further expand your display versatility.
  • Table top: Table top trade show displays are a favorite among exhibitors because they provide a centralized location for a display, literature, and giveaways. Various pop-up and panel table top systems are available.
  • Literature racks: Most trade show display literature racks are collapsible and provide a space-efficient means for business owners to present brochures, pamphlets, and other printed material.
  • Banner stands: Trade show banner stands can function as a standalone unit, a supplement to a larger graphic, or in tandem to create a graphic wall. There are many kinds of banner stands including tension, retractable, and telescoping.

Choosing the Right Trade Show Display

After making the decision to participate in one or more trade shows comes the daunting task of choosing how to display your business to the public. Keeping these considerations in mind will help you choose the right exhibit for your next show.

  • Your budget: Deciding how much you can afford is a logical place to begin when buying a trade show display. Even if you only have a few hundred dollars to spend you can put together a good-looking display, new or used.
  • Available space: For those fortunate enough to ignore budget constraints, the size of your booth space still must be considered. Figure out how much space you have to work with before going out and buying that big, flashy trade show display, and remember that smaller display components like banner stands and literature racks can make for a nice layout in a small space.
  • Logistics: Don't forget to factor in how many people are working the trade show; the distance the displays need to be transported and how quickly you can obtain backup displays and materials if problems arise.

Average Trade Show Display Cost Samples

Ready to buy a trade show display for your business? The following pricing information should give you a general idea of how much your investment will cost. For an exact price quote, try out our request for quote tool and get connected to display dealers in your area.

  • Generally speaking, a trade show display can cost anywhere from several hundred to tens of thousands of dollars.
  • A pop-up trade show display costs anywhere from around $200 for a 6ft display with fabric to $1,000 for a 10' display with graphics to $5,000 or more for a 20' pop-up display with graphics.
  • For a panel trade show display, you might pay around $500 for an 8-panel "on the go" display, around $1,000 for a display with panel, wing, and header graphics, roughly $2,000 for a 10'x20' panel display with panel, wing, header graphics, and lights, and approximately $5,000 for a display kit with 2 middle panels, 2 wing panels, 2 curved headers, 3 vertical extension posts, 1 triangular table, and graphics.
  • A table top trade show display can cost as little as $50 to $100 and as much as $1,000 to $2,000 or more.
  • A literature rack trade show display costs around $50 to $250 per display.
  • A banner stand for trade show displays costs approximately $150 to $1,500 for a basic model to $2,500 to $3,500 for a digital banner.
  • Additional display show accessories include:
    • Table: $250-$1,000
    • Shelf: $100-$1,000
    • Acrylic display case: $500-$1,000
    • Lights: $50-$100 per unit
    • Podium: $50-$250
    • Table Cover: $50-$500

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