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How to Save Time & Money with Trade Show Displays

When you’re in the market for a new trade show display, you have lots of options as to whom you purchase from. Remember the adage, “you get what you pay for”? That statement couldn’t be truer for displays. There are quality exhibits, and then there are cheap ones. Really cheap.

Made in China

In recent years, inexpensive portable displays from China have been flooding the Internet with jaw-dropping prices. Some of them are designed outside China and just manufactured there, while others are cheap knockoffs of very low quality.

Before you buy, consider a couple of things: 1. Many of these bargain imports cannot be repaired if they break; they’re essentially disposable and you’ll have to spend more money on another one. 2. What kind of warranty do they offer? Be sure you know what you’re buying if you choose to go this route.

Working with What You’ve Got

If you already have a trade show exhibit, consider working with what you’ve got. Quality-crafted trade show displays can last for several years. A display’s life expectancy will vary depending on the frequency of use and how it’s stored. They receive a lot of wear & tear when they’re shipped, assembled, displayed, disassembled, and shipped back. It’s advantageous to inspect and catch small issues before they become big. This includes both the structural components and the graphics.

Just like an automobile, if it’s used frequently it’s going to need more fuel and maintenance than one driven occasionally. How old is your trade show display? Is it checked for wear each time it’s used? How long has it been in storage? If you don’t know the answer to any of these questions, you should find out.

Inspecting the Display

Under the hood: The trade show display should be structurally sound for many reasons, including safety. The structure supports a great deal of weight so it’s vital that it’s in pristine condition. Missing or warped parts can create hazards that turn into liabilities.  After each event, ensure the structure is thoroughly inspected. Check for worn or missing parts including burned out lights, graphics, connections, and hinges.

Glossy exterior: An exhibit should always look brand new.  It represents not only your brand but your products, too, and it needs to look its best. Just as your car needs occasional cleaning and routine maintenance, so does your trade show display.

Time for an Overhaul?

Overhauling an exhibit is much more economical than replacing it, especially if it’s structurally sound. There are several reasons to overhaul your trade show display, including:

  • Graphics and signage wear over time with each use.
  • Your company is promoting a new product. 
  • Exhibit designs/trends change over time.
  • Flooring is worn or outdated.

1. Refresh Graphics and Signage

An exhibit’s visuals are one of the key attractors to your trade show display. They should be fresh, attractive, and inviting. You can easily update your trade show display with hanging signs, interactive technology, and LED walls. If your budget doesn’t permit the latest tech, interactive tablets are still a great way to hold people’s attention.

Another reason to update your graphics is for new products or services. The trade show display is not just a backdrop at a trade show. It needs to be alive and visually inviting. It needs to be experienced. And most importantly, it needs to communicate your message.

2. Replace the Flooring

Let’s face it, flooring is the part of the exhibit that gets the most wear and tear, yet it’s so often overlooked. There may be hundreds of visitors through your exhibit each show so make sure you give your flooring a little love. Perhaps a good cleaning is in order. Or maybe it needs to be replaced. A flooring update can add visual appeal to the overall exhibit.

3.  Consider a rental exhibit

Renting an exhibit has several benefits. You can get fresh, new graphics each time; you can change the style and layout of it, and you don’t have to pay for storage between shows. Renting is ideal for companies that don’t exhibit often, or who don’t plan to reuse the same structure.

Not sure about the best solution for you? Let us know. Apple Rock has 35 years of experience in trade show exhibit design, fabrication, and experiential marketing. We can show you ways to refresh your current trade show display and offer insights into the latest design trends.


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