Ask These 5 Questions Before Your Next Display Purchase

January 2, 2016

Ben Camerota

Ben Camerota is the President of MVP Visuals, suppliers of custom branded displays for trade shows, retail promotion and corporate events

If you are new to the trade show world, choosing a company to design and print your trade show display materials can be a bit daunting. Even if you’re not a total newbie, you may have run into issues with your display in the past because you did not know exactly what to look for when purchasing. 

Whether this is your first trade show or your 100th, it is vital that you ask the right questions when choosing a company to design and produce your trade show display materials. Though you may already have a check list ready, there are 5 essential questions that exhibitors often forget to ask the supplier about their trade show display:

1. Does your designer have experience creating graphics for trade shows?

Though experience is often a good indicator that a person knows what they’re doing, this is only true in the right context. A great graphic designer does not necessarily make a great designer for exhibit graphics. Trade show display graphics have different goals than websites or print advertisements, so make sure that the person designing your display has experience working with exhibit design.

2. What is the quality of the fabric?

Not all display fabrics are created equal. For the most part, you get what you pay for. Many inexpensive displays look cheap, and low quality zippers and Velcro tend to wear out rather quickly. If you want a display that is built to last then you need to find a supplier that offers high quality materials. When speaking with reps, ask for fabric samples so that you know what you’re getting.          

3. What is the quality of the print?

Fabric printing is a complex process that requires up-to-date technology. Out of date printers just do not offer the same quality when it comes to clear graphics and colors that pop. Even if the company has been in business for years, ask about their printing process to find out if they stay current with printing technology.

4. What are your options for storage and transport?

Most display material packaging is meant to prevent damage before your first set up. Even if the packaging materials are reusable, that does not necessarily make them ideal for transporting your display from one trade show to another. When contacting the supplier, ask about what products they offer for storing and transporting your display materials. Consider how long these storage materials last and how much they cost before making a purchase.

5. Does the supplier offer reliable customer service?

Customer service should factor into your decision as it is a vital part of ensuring that you get what you want and any potential issues are resolved in a timely manner. As you do your research, find out what your options are for speaking with a rep. Does the supplier have people available outside of typical office hours? Will you speaking to an actual person or a robot? In the end, great customer service can make all the difference in a successful trade show display.

Overall, the key to a successful trade show display purchase is research. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and remember to allow yourself enough time to speak with different vendors, procure samples, and ship to your next show.

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Enter the characters shown in the image.

Partner Voices

As event professionals and destinations adjust, adapt and evolve in these uncharted waters, it is imperative that substantial resources be put in place for all of the people responsible for planning and executing trade shows, expositions and conventions. An example is Mohegan Sun, which built an industry-leading, COVID-19 Resource Center with a combination of pictures from recently held successful events (the property reopened on May 1, 2020) along with several widely available and informative documents, such as an evolving operational framework: