ask the trade show experts

Planning for your next trade show? Creative Displays can help ensure it's a success.

Below are some common questions businesses encounter as they prepare for trade shows. If you have a question, please contact us at sales@creativedisplay.com.

What do trade show services include?

  • Installation and breakdown
  • Refurbishing, retrofitting and add-ons
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Trade show management, including creative services, promotional items and presentations
  • Event registration and billing reconciliation
  • Storage and warehousing

Why should I invest in a trade show booth?

A quality trade show presence can be both a great first impression and a strong reinforcement of your brand. It can stir word-of-mouth and generate additional visits during the show. Plus, it can be used multiple times at several events, allowing you to get more mileage and exposure out of your investment.

What trade shows should I attend?

Trade shows you should attend will vary upon industry, schedules and more. But a good way to get started is by looking at the big-name events within your industry. Trade publications and websites will often have calendars of sponsored events. Also, take into consideration any shows that partners, vendors and competitors may be attending.

Do you have a pre-show checklist we can use to prepare?

Below are some of the steps you should consider taking before a trade show:

  1. Know your budget and your market.
  2. Research trends and competitors.
  3. Select the products/services you plan on promoting during the show.
  4. Determine the space and location you will have at the show.
  5. Work with your internal team as well as your exhibit team to generate show ideas, themes, activities and giveaways.
  6. Research the other displays/demonstrations scheduled for the show – how will they affect your exhibit?
  7. Decide how you will draw people to your display – rely solely on walkup traffic, schedule individual meetings with key attendees, send invites or hotel room drops, etc.
  8. Determine how you will measure effectiveness of the trade show (number of mailing list signups, follow-up meetings scheduled, website visits, etc.).

What are the differences between using Creative Displays vs. show labor?

Nearly 30 states do not have right-to-work laws, which means exhibitors are required to use union labor for events. The trade show coordinators will be able to help you with all the rules and regulations and any questions you might have. However, there are some differences to keep in mind.

Whereas Creative Displays would be able to handle transport, electric/plumbing, installation and additional setup, union labor-only events may have specific jobs distributed between contractors. Union workers are also "on the clock," which means you're being charged for every minute – and in the event of holidays or weekends, you may be charged time and a half. For best results when working with union labor, it's important to follow these rules of thumb: Be thorough. Be efficient. Be respectful.

How much should I budget for my trade show booth?

The cost of an exhibition is based on a number of factors. Expenses to take into consideration include:

  • Trade show participation fees
  • Exhibit space rental
  • Exhibit design
  • Show services including material handling, installation, carpeting, furniture and lead retrieval systems
  • Transportation (shipping to and from show site, customs)
  • Travel costs including airfare, lodging, entertainment and food
  • Marketing & promotional items

What's the difference between an exclusive contractor and a general contractor? An island booth and perimeter booth?

There are a lot of terms unique to trade show management. Here is a glossary of trade show terms you may find useful as you begin planning for the show and working on your exhibit.

What are the advantages of rentals vs. custom booths?

Custom booths are made to your exact specifications, including dimensions, branding, electrical and more. You pay more for a custom booth, but it's also completely yours for as long as you need. A rental booth gives you the flexibility to adapt to your budget at the time and trade show space. While you are limited to some design constraints, you can often create custom backdrops, banners and other interchangeable components that still provide branding opportunities.