trade show design

Exhibit Showcase – VK1012

Posted by Andy Keeler on March 26, 2010
Exhibit Showcase / 2 Comments
  • Display Type:VK1012
  • Booth Size: 10′ x 10′
  • Special Accommodations: Free-Standing Kiosk, Circular Backdrop
  • Price Range: $14,950
  • Turnaround Time: 5 – 10 business days
  • Setup Time: 1 hour


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Exhibit Showcase: Week 4

Posted by Andy Keeler on October 13, 2008
Exhibit Showcase, Trade Show Accessories, Trade Show Displays / No Comments
  • Display Type: Tension Fabric
  • Booth Size: 20′ x 20′
  • Special Accommodations: N/A
  • Price Range: $20,000 – $50,000
  • Turnaround Time: 7 business days
  • Setup Time: 2 – 4 hours

MarketStar Tension Fabric Booth

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Exhibit Showcase: Week 2

  • Display Type: XRline
  • Booth Size: 10′ x 20′ (also converts to 10′ x 10′)
  • Special Accommodations: Monitor mounts, back wall literature holders, locking counter.
  • Price Range: $10,000 – $20,000
  • Turnaround Time: 5 business days
  • Setup Time: 1 – 2 hours

XRline Custom Exhibit

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Business Card Swapping

For decades professionals have found business card swapping to be a useful way to gain new contacts at trade shows. Since you know ahead of time that potential clients and potential colleagues will be asking for your business card at your next event, you can master a few tricks beforehand that will help you make the most out of exchanging business cards. The vast majority of business cards end up in the trash can, and your goal should be to keep your business card out of the trash can.

As a general rule, you should not give your business card to just anyone. By quickly evaluating the situation, you can determine whether the person is genuinely interested in your products and/or services or if they are merely trying to collect business cards. Many people attend trade shows in order to create an email marketing list from the business cards they collect. In a recent post at LawyerCasting, the writer accurately points out that although it is common practice for spammers to create email lists from business cards they collect, giving someone your business card does not amount to opting in to an email marketing program.

Your business card should be designed with at least one side that can accept ink from a ballpoint pen. Slick, shiny business cards look great, but it has always been important for me to jot down little notes so that I can remember exactly which person is which when I go to contact them at a later date. This is especially important if you’re collecting leads at the event in the form of business cards, as it will be helpful for you to write notes on the back of your potential client’s card. When handing your card to an attendee, it may be useful to jot down what type of discount you have promised them, what type of products and/or services they are interested in, or any other particular information that you could not have printed directly on the card.

Business cards should be simple, clean, and stylish. The feel of your business card should match the overall feel of your trade show marketing program. Consistency is extremely important in any marketing program, and your business card is not an exception to this rule.Take a look at my personal business card, and you’ll see that it blends well with the overall feel of our website as well as our blog:

Andy’s Business Card

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Typography in Exhibit Design

Typography plays an important but often underestimated role in exhibit design. The font used in the design of a trade show display will often make a bigger impression upon attendees than the words themselves. Attendees and the general public are largely unaware of the influence that font choices can have on purchasing decisions, and you can use this to your advantage as an exhibitor.

Typical exhibiting goals include increasing brand recognition, generating positive brand association, marketing products and/or services, and distributing promotional literature, and typography can play a key role in helping you to meet those goals. It is important to be aware of what message you’re sending when you use particular fonts so that you can have tighter control of your company’s brand. Here’s a few brief points to ponder that may help you make better design choices when laying out the graphics for your trade show booth.

Over 90% of corporations use Helvetica-based or Helvetica-like font faces in their corporate logos. MODdisplays company logo uses a Helvetica-based font. Stripped of their ornamentation, Helvetica based fonts are very readable. Letters that are sized and spaced proportionally give viewers a strong sense of relatedness and order. Sans-serif Helvetica-based fonts give potential clients the sense that your company is made up of people like them, which instills confidence and promotes spending. We highly recommend using proportionally spaced type faces in company logos and slogans, as well as “skimming material”.

If unadorned fonts are more readable, why aren’t they used in books and magazines? Over the past thirty years, it has been consistently proven that serifed fonts are easier on the eye when reading large blocks of text. The serifed edges allow the eye to pass smoothly from one word to the next, which allows for increased reading speed and comfort. Visit any typography-focused website (one of my favorites is, and you’ll notice that (in general) headings and titles are displayed in sans-serif fonts and large blocks of text are displayed in serifed fonts.

Typography is a seemingly limitless field where the possibilities for learning are endless. Devoting some time to understanding why certain fonts are chosen will increase the quality and visibility of your trade show graphic design, and will hopefully generate some more leads for your company.

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Trade Show Displays on Ebay

EbayEbay is a really good place to buy and sell general goods, but I wouldn’t recommend purchasing a trade show exhibit on Ebay. There are hundreds of “new” trade show displays for sale at any given time for rock-bottom prices, but closer inspection of the product descriptions and user feedback make it easy to see how individuals and companies can afford to sell booths for such low prices.  Here are some examples of problems buyers have encountered when purchasing their booth on Ebay:

  • The seller sends out a broken or damaged product, and then refuses to answer phone calls or respond to emails in the following few weeks.
  • Once the seller has collected payment, the seller is slow and uncooperative during the shipping process. Conferences and expos are extremely time sensitive, and your trade show products need to be shipped quickly and correctly.
  • If you need help setting up your exhibit, don’t expect to get it from your Ebay seller. A seller on Ebay will sell a product “as is” with no support, which may result in you being stranded at your next event. Legitimate trade show companies always package their displays with instructions, have phone support ready and waiting, and even provide Installation & Dismantling services if you need them.
  • Your payment methods may be very limited, resulting in a reduced ability to combat deceptive selling practices. We always recommend paying by credit card for one reason: If you dispute a charge with your credit card company, you almost always win. If you send a personal check, you have no recourse if your product is damaged or broken.
  • It is often unclear whether the product is new or used. Ebay sellers love to be ambiguous, while legitimate companies love to be straightforward.

Here are a few examples of negative feedback left with just one user on Ebay. This particular Ebay user also doubles as a legitimate company. I won’t mention names…

Negative feedback rating Item was received broken, no reply to 3 e mails, will never use again.

Negative feedback rating Tried to contact seller a few times for refund. Item was damaged. No Response!

Negative feedback rating BEWARE! they sent wrong product and would not return message / email / phone.

Don’t turn your next event into a nightmare by purchasing a display on Ebay. Use a legitimate company with a proven track record of quality customer service, installation support, and an understanding of trade show logistics.

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Simple Design, Big Impact

Designing trade show graphics can be a daunting challenge, especially for a graphic designer who lacks experience in large format printing. Using bold images and large text is a great way to garner attention, but it may weaken your marketing efforts if the final product does not reflect well on your company. Creating a simple design for your exhibit is easy, but creating a simple design that communicates your company’s message is a challenge for any designer.

XR Wave Simple

So how do you know you can trust MODdisplays to create a professional, simple graphic design that will work for your company?

  • We staff professional graphic designers that are well trained in the principles of exhibit design. Our graphic designers understand the need for high-impact graphics that are simple enough to convey your message in a short amount of time. Having spent time interacting with exhibits and attending trade shows, our exhibit designers understand what it takes to exhibit well.
  • Browse our website to find past examples of high-quality exhibit design. Our clean, modern approach is recognized across the portable trade show industry, and is easily distinguishable from the graphic design work of other companies. Our graphic design department works much like a marketing firm by analyzing your exhibiting goals and creating a solution that effectively presents your company to your target audience.
  •  Compare the design of our website to the design of other websites in our industry. When you realize how little time and effort other companies spend on their own marketing presence, why would you trust them with your marketing presence? In the same way that our website is simple, clean, and intuitive, our large format graphic design is simple, clean, and effective.
  • Because we offer our graphic design services for free, you can rest assured that you’ll never waste a single dollar on graphic design with MODdisplays. Even if you staff your own graphic designers, why not save their time for something else and put our designers to work for you?

You only have three seconds to grab the attention of a passing visitor or attendee, so make those seconds count by utilizing MODdisplays free exhibit graphic design services.

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Flexibility in Trade Show Exhibit Design

If you’ve ever been to a trade show, you know that standing out in the crowd is important. In the fast-paced trade show environment, thousands of exhibitors compete for the attention of a limited number of attendees, and the battle can be fierce. Companies with huge marketing budgets spend big bucks for custom exhibit design because they understand the importance of using a trade show display that sets them apart from the competition. Would you really want to be stranded with a boring display when the exhibitor next to you is using a custom-looking exhibit?

At MODdisplays, we make custom exhibit design an affordable reality for small businesses (in fact, it’s completely free). Because we design all of our trade show exhibits from an extensive library of stocked exhibit hardware, we can produce high quality designs complete with your company graphics in a very short amount of time (usually under an hour). Our exhibit design images are virtually photo-realistic, and our images always include your company’s logo and marketing images. Because our booth display designers are working from a library of stocked exhibit hardware, any proposal we send you can be produced within a week (custom exhibit houses require long turnaround times because of the need to fabricate parts for your display).

If you’re not sure what type of exhibit you’re looking for, our website offers a huge variety of display images that vary greatly in appearance and style. If you’re looking to blend in with the crowd and let your graphics do the talking, buy a pop up display. If you’re looking for a highly configurable option with a unique canopy, try our XRline display. Whatever your tastes may be, we have an exhibit system that is right for your needs.

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Trade Show Exhibit Design

Posted by Andy Keeler on April 01, 2008
MODdisplays Information / No Comments

We work hard to design trade show displays for our clients that will meet their budget as well as provide them with a quality display that will last for years to come. If you need help designing your trade show booth or graphics, we do it all for free at MODdisplays. We do our best to work on your terms to ensure that you get the best possible exhibit solution. Below is an example of one of the many trade show displays we have designed using our photo-realistic rendering service.


If you want to take a look at all the possible exhibit configurations we can design, check out our website at

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Graphic Design for Trade Shows

Posted by Andy Keeler on November 17, 2007
Trade Show Trends / No Comments

Designing professional graphics that place the emphasis on your company’s image is by far the most effective way to make a big impact at your next conference. If your display does not grab the attention of passing visitors and attendees, you will lose sales… period.

Simplicity is key in graphic design. Our trade show booths are designed to fade into the background and allow your exhibit graphics to take center stage. Your company’s brand is far more important than our trade show display system. We hope that you use our trade show display only to the extent that it aids your design in setting a mood for visitors and attendees.

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