trade show display setup

Is your company considering the best ways to create an eye-catching trade show display? Adding digital signage to your trade show strategy can give you an advantage, but it’s important to huddle with your team and flesh out a solid strategy before you pack up every TV and monitor in the office. With that in mind we’ve assembled this beginner’s guide to using digital signage at your next trade show.


Step 1: Plan Your Booth Layout

You’ll want to think about the space you have on the show floor and position your displays accordingly. We recommend planning out your space with pen and paper or a more sophisticated tool like Exhibit Core that lets you input your booth dimensions and add objects like displays and furniture.

Here are some key questions to consider while planning:

  • Will visitors approach your booth from all sides, or just one or two?
  • Where will you place your team members, and where do you want to localize information?
  • Will you offer seating for visitors? If so, how can you engage them while they rest their tired feet?
  • How will you create a flow of traffic for attendees to easily walk through and experience your space?

Step 2: Select Your Display Type

Having a visual plan for your layout will help you decide on the best types of digital displays for your booth. There are four main types of displays to consider for your booth, ordered by average cost per display from low to high: Flatscreen Displays, Projectors, Kiosks, and Custom Displays. For more details to consider when selecting displays, check out our post on “Tips for Choosing the Best Digital Signage Displays for Events.”

  1. Flatscreen Displays ($500-$1500): The most popular trade show signage option, flatscreen displays used in trade show booths are typically between 48” to over 100”, depending on your budget. The simplest setup is to place your flatscreens on tables at your booth, but you can also use TV stands or even mount the flatscreens directly into the walls of your booth for a streamlined look.
  2. Projectors ($150-$2,000): Some booths use projectors to show content on a larger area (6′ x 10′ or more). Projectors vary widely in price based on brightness, lifespan, and features – and you’ll need at least 10,000 lumens of brightness for a well-lit trade show (Online calculator here). Projectors can be used with a screen, white wall, or even targeted at the floor to add extra depth to your booth.  Keep in mind that projectors need to be mounted high enough so that their image isn’t cut off by people walking between the projector and the screen.
  3. Kiosks ($1,500-$2,500): Kiosks are a streamlined way to integrate a display into a stand.  They can be conventional or touchscreen displays and come in a variety of sizes and orientations. Kiosks are a great choice for a standalone display that can add impact and information to corners of your booth. 
  4. Custom Displays (Varies). For a top-of-the-line trade show display, ask your trade show design team about renting custom displays for the event. These displays come in many sizes and shapes, and are sure to be a highlight if they’re within your budget.


Step 3: Choose your Content

Now that you’ve selected displays that match your space and budget, it’s time to think about what content to show on your displays. If you’re a retailer that makes the most comfortable jeans in the world, utilize your displays to convey this message. If you’re a cosmetic company and your superpower is zapping away blemishes, customize your displays to support this. We recommend choosing from these five types of content:

  • Graphics: Most trade show displays use graphics, either images or announcements and flyers created with digital editing tools like Canva.
    Feature a few high-quality product shots to highlight the best of what you offer. Organize a contest at the trade show and promote it with well designed graphics. Spotlight your company culture with cheerful photos of your team on the job.
  • Videos: Movement naturally attracts attention, and you might also want to consider using videos with sound for added impact.
    Before the tradeshow, ask your customers to record and submit video testimonials. Film product demonstrations and allow people to see your merchandise in action.
  • Interactive Social Media: By featuring live posts to your social hashtags on screens in your booth, you can attract more visitors and engage them in your brand. This is also a great way to get more social followers in your industry.
    Set up a custom hashtag on Twitter or Instagram (e.g. #AcmeWidgetShow2016) and feature all of your interactions from the show. Encourage passers-by to step into your booth, try your products, and post their experience. Offer giveaways in exchange for a “Like” on Facebook.
  • News Feeds: Draw in visitors by showing the latest industry news stories related to the trade show’s theme. This not only conveys that your company is an industry expert, but also gives visitors information they’ll find useful.
    You can also show the latest news from major outlets like the New York Times or ESPN.
  • Company Blog: Share high quality posts with attention-grabbing headlines from your blog. This is a great way to communicate your company’s value and offerings to anyone near your booth.

AlienwareFollowing these three steps will help you create an interactive and impactful display. Enplug’s digital signage software makes it simple to show the most engaging content on any HD screens at your show.

For a free consultation for your upcoming trade show, click here.