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What is a Custom Trade Show Exhibit?

Custom Trade Show Booth FAQs

The term "Custom" is often used to describe a trade show exhibit design. But what does custom mean? In the trade show industry, custom has a generally accepted definition, which is defined below. However, the materials, process, and quality can vary significantly depending on the builder and the budget. Details matter. As a buyer of a trade show exhibit, you have a responsibility to not only participate in the creative, design process but also the responsbility of inquiring about the construction, the packaging, and the assembly details. How the "pretty" gets to be "pretty" can be the difference between a successful trade show experience, both short-term and long-term, or an ongoing exhibition nightmare. 

What is a custom trade show booth?

Custom Tradeshow ExhibitA custom trade show booth is a tailor-made exhibit specifically designed for a company to showcase its products, services, and brand at trade shows and other industry events. It is carefully designed to communicate your unique brand identity and meet your functional needs with customized elements such as graphics, branding, signage, displays, interactive features, and virtually anything else you can dream up!

What is a custom modular trade show booth?

“Custom” means the exhibit layout and finishes are designed based on your brand identity and functional needs. “Modular” means that it can be broken down into smaller components for easier shipping and/or reconfigured into different exhibit sizes. Modular or portable displays allow you to disassemble and reassemble your exhibits at multiple trade shows and events, yielding a higher return on your investment.

How long does it take to build a custom trade show exhibit?

This will vary greatly depending on factors such as the size, complexity of the design, production requirements, and availability of materials and resources. However, once a design has been signed off, the production can take between 15-20 business days for inline exhibits and 20-30 for island exhibits. It’s a good idea to start the exhibit planning and design process well in advance to allow plenty of time for fabrication, testing, and any necessary adjustments.

How much does a branded trade show exhibit cost?

Custom Trade Show ExhibitCustom trade show exhibits typically start around $150-$175 per sq ft. for the exhibit hardware and graphics depending on the complexity. With this in mind, the total cost of a custom trade show booth can vary greatly depending on the size of the exhibit and any additional features included. Exhibit designers will work with you to provide a detailed, accurate cost estimate based on your specific needs.

How do you pick the perfect theme for your next customized exhibit?

The theme of your exhibit should be perfectly in line with your brand identity and overall marketing message for the show and product you are promoting. Don’t leave people guessing at what problem your product or service solves. Exhibit designers will work with you to come up with the perfect theme and trade show booth ideas by defining your objectives, understanding your target audience, researching industry trends, reflecting your brand identity, considering the event context, and visualizing the complete experience.

Why invest in a custom trade show display?

Custom trade show booths offer many advantages over other trade show solutions. They allow you to represent your brand uniquely, stand out from your competitors, engage with your target audience, and align your booth with your overall goals and marketing strategy. Going the custom route ensures maximum flexibility, adaptability, and brand consistency. Although a custom booth may cost more upfront, you can continue to use it for different trade shows and events to generate a higher ROI.

How does the process work for purchasing a customized or personalized trade show booth?

It starts with a discovery call/meeting to understand your needs and wants along with providing a timeline to keep everyone on track. Next, the creative team creates a design concept based on your objectives and budget. After any revisions and the pricing has been approved, the exhibit builder moves into fabricating your new exhibit!

Custom Trade Show Display

Article Author:

Mel White, CEI

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  • 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.

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