trade show design

Pop Up Displays – The Basics

At the simplest level, most pop up displays set up basically the same way.  You have a frame, which needs to be set in place.  This can be a quick process (such as a collapsible frame found in a lot of fabric displays), a bungee or aluminum tube system (think of those poles used for setting up a tent), or a versatile twist and lock system (like that of the truss displays). is a leading supplier of trade show products in Toronto, Ontario.  Please take a look at our pop up display pricing and don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-350-7152.

Pop Up Displays collapsible frame

A sturdy, well made collapsible Pop Up Display frame

After putting up the frame, you attach your graphics.  This can be fabric attached by velcro, stretched and pulled over your frame, or PVC panels held in place with magnetic strips.  You can add on some extras, like lighting, monitor mounts, or counters.  Voila!  You are done!  Or…are you?

Pop Up Displays

Whether your display is fabric, laminated PVC panel, an elaborate truss system with overhead signage, or the simplest backdrop media wall, not all pop up displays are equal.


Pay Attention to the Details

Pop Up Displays bad-example

White space between panels is sign that something isn’t quite right

Now, we all know how we shop online.  We’re always looking for the cheapest price.  Seems like this is a good mantra, but the old saying, “you get what you pay for” holds true.  If you’re searching for a cheaper option, well, chances are you’re going to end up with a cheaper product.

Please, take some time, and don’t think cheap and affordable mean the same thing.  Often, when you put in a bit more into the budget, you get a LOT more return in quality.

Pop Up Displays bad-example_3

Some cheaper Pop Up Displays can have problems with their magnets

The cheapest aluminium frame for your fabric display can bend and twist, causing your backwall to sag or ripple.  Pop up displays with magnetic channel bars might not hold tight, or the panels themselves might be cut too narrow, causing space to show between the sections.  If you’ve got a good frame, but the panels have been printed on a cheaper quality panel, they made have shrunk since printing.  It can be frustrating to set up pop up displays like this.

It can make what should be a quick and easy process turn into a chore.

In addition to all this stuff about frames, quality is also greatly influenced by what your graphics are printed on.  Is your fabric printed in the traditional dye-sub method, or digitally?  Do you have issues with banding?  Are the PVC panels thin, or perhaps you’ve saved money by not having them laminated?  All of these things can greatly influence the quality of your product, and the impression you’re giving to your audience.

It Doesn’t Have to Be this Way

I mentioned already that a little more budget could greatly help your quality, and I meant it.  Searching for a mid-range pop up display will mean a product which lasts longer in the long run.  To get the most of your pop up display, to make your display last, ask questions when you buy your display.  How thick is the panel?  Is it laminated?  If you’re getting fabric, find out how it will be printed, if it has a solid back, or how the frame comes together.  It’s alright to ask, it’s what we’re here for.



We’ve written before about how to utilize some core design principles in your trade show booth design.  While some of the points there might seem obvious, we can’t stress enough how important it is to pay attention to the basics.

Having an easy to read, easy to understand back wall is key.  Using dynamic, hi-res, impactful images can really make a difference between you and your competition.  Knowing your booth layout, the rules, and the regulations before you arrive is not something to be ignored either.  If you haven’t read that post, it might be worth your time.

Those are the basics.  Now, let’s think about some more detailed tips.


Trade Show Booth Design

Trade show attendees will decide quickly whether they’re going to check out your booth (and your product) or not.  Having a good booth design is critical.  Covering the basics is a must.  But if you want to be remarkable, make sure your booth is both appropriate to the venue and approachable to the widest range of people.


Be Appropriate To Your Venue

Trade Show Booth Design

We’ve seen some trade show booths that do not quite seem to fit the venue.  A booth at an Outdoor and Fishing show that has an industrial feel, for example.  While you don’t want to look just like everyone else, your trade show booth should match the personality and style of the show as a whole.  Make sure you’re in the right place, and make sure that the viewer clearly understands why you’re in the trade show.  This can be accomplished either with the look of your booth’s hardware, or with the graphics.


Your Booth Should Be Approachable

Your trade show booth should be approachable

Approachable booth, with plenty of information

Aside from having a stand out design, clear info, and a great message, make sure your booth is approachable.  Having a range of display options is important.  If a trade show attendee wants to read your brochure instead of talking to one of your reps, this should be an option.

Some people like brochures and pamphlets, even to look over at a later date.  If applicable, being able to demo your product is important as well.  Others will want to talk and spend time with you or your staff at the trade show.  Both of these are common, so be prepared to cover as many possibilities as you comfortably can.  (I say comfortably because let’s face it, even after these points, if you’re nervous or unprepared it will show more than any problems with your booth design.)

Take your time, be prepared, and trust in both your product and your trade show booth design.



Visual Marketing Trade Show BoothsIf there’s one clear advantage of visual marketing in trade show booths, it’s the ability to capture and maintain the attention of trade show attendees. As we all know, getting attendees to stop at your booth is a vital step towards capturing leads.

Visual marketing in trade show booths combines printing, and digital content to maximize your trade show booth’s impact and helps to convey your message in a memorable manner. The best way to do this is with a simple, impactful design that captures attention. Here are a few things to think about:


Pictures increase engagement

Use graphics to create an emotional connection with visitors and encourage them to learn more about your company. What makes for an engaging graphic? It should attract attention, but also be relevant to your brand and messaging. Don’t use kittens to sell your sports products, or happy families to sell technology.

Original visual content

The last thing you want is to invest in visual content strategy, only to find out that another booth at the same trade show is using the same stock photos. Create unique video content or images, using custom graphics and original shots of your actual products and employees. With the cost and weight of large monitors coming down dramatically, adding a large video presentation to your booth is an eye catching alternative. Showcase the great features and benefits of your products via stunning video graphic presentations.

Include calls to action

Once you’ve attracted a visitor’s attention with your graphic or display, you want to help them decide what to do next – which is why a call to action is essential. Here are some samples:

“Request a free product demo!”

“Receive our free whitepaper”

“Sign up for a free estimate.”


Visual Marketing in Trade Show Booths Reflects your brand

The graphics, visuals, colours, and tone of your displays should match your brand. No whimsical lettering or imagery for a serious brand, or a serious tone for a fun and upbeat brand. Ensuring your visual messaging matches your brand helps visitors to connect, which means they’ll be more willing to hear a pitch from your salespeople.

Check the big picture

What does your visual marketing message look like to attendees? When you’re creating trade show graphics make sure important text or your focal point are clearly visible from 20 feet away. In regards to text, here are some suggestions for the correct text size to ensure maximum visibility.

Finally, you can increase your engagement by combining visual marketing with social media, including graphically-based social media channels, including Pinterest or Instagram.

Please contact us for some free creative input on creating  visually stunning trade show graphics.

Photo credit: Twobee