Exhibit Design Search / Trade Show and Event Tips / Fine-Tune Your Trade Show Knowledge /

Trade Show Security Issues: Corporate Cloak and Dagger

Trade Show Exhibit Security 

  • There will always be those who take advantage of the lax security at trade shows
  • Use common sense when protecting your valuables in the booth
  • Your competitors may be looking for an easy way to gain an advantage

While trade shows offer unparalleled opportunities for product promotion, the abundance of merchandise on display can invite theft and even corporate espionage. The unfortunate reality is that in today’s hyper-competitive business environment your competitors can and will seek every advantage.

As Candy Adams, an independent exhibit management consultant, recently explained to Exhibitor Magazine, “With the plethora of expensive A/V equipment, computers, and proprietary products, and the chaos of the show setup, trade shows are an attractive target for thieves. And the labor hired to work on the show floor is not always screened for criminal records.”

With so many freebies typically given away at trade shows, there will always be those who will take advantage of the situation by hoarding these promotional materials and depleting your stock. Staffers from other exhibits have been known to wander the hall and load up on these items. While such behavior is inconvenient, a business could be devastated if a product prototype or some other vital item were pilfered.

Use Common Sense

There are a number of common sense methods that can be used to ensure that your trade show experience is both pleasant and profitable for your company. Be proactive and take the precaution of safeguarding all your promotional items in a locked storage container, counter, or pedestal when unattended. Be careful not to display any freebies until right before the show is scheduled to open.

Veronica Barclay, writing for Wine Business Monthly warns that “Most trade show theft occurs from competitors rather than the exposition crews working in the convention center. Computer boxes or electronics cartons are usually the first to be stolen. One way to deter theft is to purposely mislabel critical items packed in a box marked ‘printed matter’ or ‘sales brochures,’ and hide them under draped tables or counters.”

Consult your trade show contractor and exhibit professional on ways to secure your exhibit. Your show binder contains forms which can be used to order onsite security services, such as security guards. Hiring a security officer for your booth could spell the difference between profit and peril.

Contact Us

For more information about trade show or event marketing, give us a call or Contact Us. We welcome the opportunity to assist you with your next event.

Article Author:

Mel White, CEI

Add designs and photos to your personal gallery simply by clicking on the +My Gallery links

Then email your "My Gallery" to colleagues, friends, or your favorite exhibit designer. There's no better way to begin designing a display that reflects your exhibit marketing goals.

Note: My Gallery uses a temporary browser cookie to store your gallery. We recommend that you send your gallery to your email address if you need to retain it for longer than 30 days.

  • Suggested lead times may vary depending on current orders. Please check with Customer Service.
  • Production lead times are based on business days and DO NOT include any shipping days.
  • Production-ready artwork (when applicable) must accompany the order confirmation. Delays in uploading artwork may lead to expedited charges or shipping changes.
  • No order will be released to Production without a signed order confirmation.
  • Shipping is based on the availability of materials and graphics. Additional charges may apply if materials or graphics must be expedited.
  • Standard lead times do not apply to orders of multiple quantities.
Exhibit Weight varies depending on the packaging and the shipping method. Variables include but are not limited to:
  • Dimensional Weight vs. Actual Weight: Dimensional weight is defined as crate or case size. On most air shipments, the dimensional weight exceeds the actual weight
  • Portable Cases vs. Wood Crates or Molded Tubs (where applicable): Exhibit designs that require one wood crate would require multiple portable cases. Selecting one vs. the other affects the total weight (dimensional or actual).
  • Freight Carrier: LTL carriers (Less than Truckload) quote freight based on space used. UPS, FedEx, and air freight carriers quote freight based on either the dimensional or the actual weight of the shipment.
  • Freight Service Level (number of days): Service levels range from Same Day Delivery to Two Week Delivery.
For more information about exhibit weights and freight options, please contact your local exhibit representative.
Electrical, Cord, and Wire Management varies depending on the display and each exhibitor's requirements. When ordering your trade show display, consider the following electrical/wire management issues and discuss your options with an exhibit professional:
  • Inline vs. Island Displays
  • Lead Retrieval Devices
  • Computer and Monitor Cables
  • Demo Equipment
  • Overhead Lighting
  • Grommets and Grommet Placement in Counters
  • Overhead vs. Floor Power Supply
  • Flooring and Electrical Wiring
  • Options for Hiding Cords and Cables
  • Flat vs. Round Electrical Cords
  • Multi-Plug Outlets and Extension Cords
By reviewing your wiring options BEFORE you order your display, you'll save TIME and MONEY and ensure your exhibit exceeds your expectations and your installation is trouble-free.

Contact Us

American Image Displays
4054 148th Ave NE,
Redmond, WA, 98052
Monday-Friday, 8:00am - 4:00pm PST

Providing Trade Show Displays since 1983

HTML tutorial
American Image Displays BBB Business Review EDPA Logo us veteran owned business logo