How to Get the Most Out of Your Trade Show Display

August 16, 2018

Tifany Scifo

Tifany Scifo is the Creative Marketing Manager at Reveal Marketing Group, where she specializes in web design and development, creative design and direction and trade shows. She enjoys sharing her thoughts through blogging and social media.

Trade shows are crucial to the growth of many businesses. They are competitive events but can lead to the successful business relationships. The key is to stand out in the right way at the trade show. When used effectively in a trade show setting, exhibits and displays can grow your business and bring it to the next level.

How do you get the most value from your trade show display?

Any company participating in a trade show and commissioning portable displays should first establish how they want to brand themselves. They can get a custom-made display or customize a pre-existing one, but this process is vitally important regardless of where the booth came from. 

Every company at a trade show must strive to stand out from the pack of similar companies and services in order to attract attendees to their booth. By branding the trade show booth, attendees will have already established an idea and feel for the company before even speaking with a representative. This makes the booth more approachable and friendly, while also allowing it to stand out from everyone else. So, use the company’s pictures and marketing material and do not rely on generic posters because that will make it indistinguishable from everything else.

Purchasing a customized trade show display booth is the easiest way to achieve a properly branded booth. That being said, there are always tricks that can be applied to a rental display. The key is to have a plan in place and to establish with the rental company what can be done to the display.

Tips on how to effectively use a trade show display

Trade shows can be stressful, high-pressure situations. Having a strategy for the show can relieve some of this tension though:

First Impressions: It’s no secret that first impressions matter. It will play a huge role in any continuing relationship for a long time. Having a well-constructed and creative display will help establish this highly sought after good first impression. 

Reach Out Before: Rather than just trying to attract attendees walking by to the booth, try reaching out a couple weeks before the show. Email and call attendees on the list to set up meetings at the show. This makes the experience more about networking rather than selling.

Interactivity: People love being able to interact with technology. A crowd is guaranteed to form if you are able to make the display interactive in some way. Use touch screens or any tools that are available to you. This could be as simple as taking a quick quiz for fun results or seeing an augmented picture. Unfortunately, not all services easily lend themselves to an interactive display.

Why the quality of your trade show display plays a big role

It can be tempting to settle for a display that just gets the information across to the audience, but this would be a grave mistake for the company. Many companies, especially young ones, don’t want to invest too much in trade show displays in order to save money. 

Often, spending extra initially will both save money and generate new business in the long run, making more than just a return on the investment. A quality display will last longer than one of a lower grade. Instead of having to invest in a new display every year, quality materials can double the lifespan. Not only does this save money, but it also saves on time and energy that goes into having a new display made.

Quality also will leave a better impression with attendees at the trade show. Booths often only have a couple of seconds to attract attendees passing by and in that time, they will formulate an opinion about the booth’s company. If they see low-quality materials, blurry photographs or other little mistakes they are likely to choose a competing company with a better display booth. Clear pictures accompanied with high-quality materials present a more professional look to attendees. 

It is important to note that “high quality” does not have to mean fancy. It refers to materials that are made to last and good design within the booth. Any company can achieve this while also staying true to their brand.

Hire the right exhibit marketing company

Every business should hire an exhibit marketing company to complete all of their print and digital signage, as well as full displays for these shows. This is particularly true for companies that rely on trade shows to garner new customers and clients. An exhibit marketing company has experience and knowledge about what works best in these situations to attract attention. Hiring a good company will allow you to benefit from this experience. They will also work with you to properly convey the brand and tone. Just be sure to look at their past work and professionalism in order to find the best company for your trade show exhibit.


Don’t cut corners when it comes to trade show displays and exhibits. They are one of the most valuable assets at these events. Displays will establish first impressions amongst attendees while also stealing the attention away from competing businesses. So, don’t shy away from the investment and find the right exhibit marketing company.


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Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.