Trade Show Display Cases
Trade show display cases come in an array of sizes and configurations for shipping, storing, and carrying your exhibit components.
Most are durable, made to withstand the wear and tear of shipping, and many have wheels for easier transport. Straps, locks, and wheels should be designed for frequent use.
Some trade showcases serve two purposes by opening out to become a table, podium, counter, or other display.
Pop up display cases come in manageable sizes and shapes, and are usually made from sturdy polyethylene plastic.
Trade Show Display Cases for Shipping
For shipping and storing graphics and panel displays, a flat, vacuum-formed case provides good protection and portable shape. The case should be sturdy enough to protect fragile graphics. Wheels, handles, and straps should be designed for frequent, rugged use.
A graphics display case is best made from a sturdy molded thermoplastic to protect graphics during shipping or airline transport. Handles, straps, wheels, and locks must be durable to resist transit damage. Graphics cases come in many sizes and configurations.
Some graphic cases are designed especially for shipping or transporting large format exhibit graphics. They should be lightweight to reduce shipping costs, and designed with more than one handle to make them easier to manage.
Shipping tube cases are engineered to provide secure storage for display graphics and banner stand hardware. These should be lightweight and lined with foam. Tube cases come in many sizes.
Table Top Trade Show Display Cases
Table top trade show displays can be stored and shipped in small cases that are easy to manage. They should be sturdy enough to protect the table top display, and light enough to keep shipping inexpensive.
Panel display carrying cases should ideally be padded to protect panel exhibits and graphics. Choose a size that is as close as possible to the dimensions of the panel.
Vertical Trade Show Display Cases
To protect your display hardware and graphics, invest in a heavy-duty shipping case with built-in wheels. A molded plastic design will keep display hardware and graphics safe during transport.
Convertible Trade Show Display Cases
Cases that convert to form part of your display or booth are wonderful, dual-duty pieces to own. Some convert into a table or counter and come with a custom-size table covering. Others convert into a podium or display panels.
Save Money on Trade Show Furniture
Trade show furniture is an area where you can cut costs without harming your exhibit’s effectiveness. Here are the basic requirements for booth furnishings, and how to spend less on them:
- Chairs: You probably don’t want to encourage your booth staff to sit during their shift at manning the booth. But you may need a place for customers to sit, especially if you’ll be writing up orders with them.
- Conference table: Will you need a table for writing orders and closing sales? If so, it’s cheaper and much easier to rent a table at the show than to bring or ship your own.
- Wastebasket: It’s far less expensive to buy a cheap one at a dollar store or grocery store that’s near the exhibition hall than to rent one from the exhibit management. And to really cut costs on this inelegant item, you can just use a small box instead of a plastic wastebasket. You – or a neighboring exhibitor – probably have a cardboard box you don’t plan to take back home with you, and it can make a good (and cheap!) substitute for a wastebasket. Just line it with a trash bag so you can empty it at least once each day during the trade show.
- Booth flooring: Buy anti-fatigue mats at a home improvement store in the vicinity of the trade show. It’s far cheaper and easier than shipping them. Most of these stores have an “online order and pickup” service, where you can place your order online from your office before leaving for the show, and simply pick up the purchases that are already gathered and waiting for you at the store when you arrive in town.
- Other booth furniture: If your display or demonstration requires other special furnishings, brainstorm the least expensive way to obtain them for your booth. Can you rent them from a supplier near the show venue? How much would it cost to you bring or ship a collapsible version of the furniture to the trade show?
Trade Show Flooring Tips
Trade show flooring may seem like a lowly part of your exhibit. But although it’s not glamorous and probably doesn’t make or break your sales, it does make a definite impact on the ergonomics of your booth.
To make your booth flooring comfortable, be sure to order a pad for it. Some exhibitors skimp on the pad, but for booth staffers who will be standing on it for hours on end, an adequate carpet pad can prevent a great deal of fatigue and discomfort.
The expo’s management may require that all vendors rent carpet from them. Unfortunately, it’s usually very overpriced, and of low quality – the thinnest possible barrier between your feet and the floor.
If at all possible, don’t rent your flooring from the show’s management. Instead, bring your own carpet with middle-of-the-line padding for it.
Or if shipping the carpet is difficult or too expensive, arrange in advance to rent or purchase carpet from a supplier in the same city as the expo. This local source is likely to be your best deal for getting adequate quality trade show booth flooring for at the lowest price.
Don’t overdo the padding under your carpet – a floor that’s too thick and soft underfoot is difficult to walk on and can tire out booth staffers faster than standing on no padding at all.