How to take care of your trade show display

Being in the trade show display business, we often see companies coming back to us because they have either damaged their display or need to replace lost parts. What we learn is that in most cases, those incidents could have been prevented. Most of the damage that happens to a display happens because of carelessness. It is very important to learn how to take care of your trade show display. 

When we ask our customers what is one of the top things they are concerned about when purchasing a trade show display, it’s usually associated with the cost. Although many of these companies are very cautious about how they spend their money, they aren’t so cautious with their display after purchase.

Having to replace parts for a display or having to replace an entire display can create unwanted additional costs. Taking care of your display will save you time and money in the long run.

5 tips for taking care of your trade show display

  1. Pack your trade show display carefully. When we hear about how most trade show displays were damaged, we’re usually told that the damage happened at the end of the trade show when they were packing up for the day. Exhibitors are exhausted after trade shows and are in a rush to leave. Each display is different and here are a few pointers on how to take care of them:
  • Pop Up Displays: Make sure that the panels are rolled separately (not stacked one on top of the other) and when you put it in the case, make sure that the panels are rolled toward the interior wall of the case. Trade-Show-Advisor also recommends that you “do not keep your panels rolled up in the case for more than a couple of weeks at a time. If you are planning to store your display for an extended period before your next show, you should take the panels out and lay them flat.”


  • Fabric Displays: Fold your fabric display carefully and don’t just stuff it in the case, otherwise, it will be full of wrinkles. If it is a tension fabric display, you don’t have to remove the fabric but make sure that you take special care of the hardware pieces, for example:

fabric display care instructions

  • Display Lights: The lights should be the first thing you take off from your display. Set the lights aside and let them cool. You want to avoid burning yourself or damaging something in your display because of the heat. Put the lights away in a separate compartment or separate box so that they do not break.
  • Banner stands: We usually have extra banner stand poles in stock because it’s the part that gets lost the most. Make sure that when you’re taking it down, you don’t forget to pack all the parts. Be careful when you’re feeding the banner back into the base so that it’s not folded and it doesn’t get caught on the sides.

2. Invest in a shipping case. Most trade show displays or banner stands come standard with a canvas carry bag that works for short term use but might not be ideal to use over and over again, especially if you’re going to be shipping it or traveling with it. Although it might cost a bit more upfront to buy a shipping case, it’ll protect your trade show display from getting damaged. 

The shipping cases also come with their perks. Some of the hard cases for the large displays are case to counter! It’s a win-win.

  • If you’re not attending a trade show frequently, store your shipping case/display in a dry, pest free environment.

3. Read set-up/care instructions carefully. Before you start setting up your display, read the instructions or watch a video so that you take out the guessing out of setting up. There have been instances when customers who haven’t set up a display before either try to force pieces that don’t belong together or break them in the process. The best thing you could do is have the trade show display company show you how to set up the display when you pick it up in person. They’ve probably been doing this for years and can give you helpful pointers to avoid any disasters.

  • Check to see what the care instructions are: For example, can you machine wash your fabric display or does it have to be dry cleaned? Are you able to use a steamer on your fabric display to get rid of the wrinkles? For pop up displays, should you use a special cleaner or just use a damp towel? If there are no care instructions, chat with your trade show display company.

4. Inspect your trade show display before an event. We’ve heard it plenty of times- people go to an event only to find out the last person that used the displays lost or damaged a piece. Now, not only are you stressing out about the trade show but you’re also trying to scramble to find a local company that has that specific part in stock. To avoid any of that craziness, set up your display a couple of days before to make sure all the parts are there and nothing is broken. If there is something you need to fix, at least you have time to correct it.

5. Purchase a display with a warranty.  Protect yourself by purchasing a trade show display with a warranty. If you’re going to purchase a display and there’s no warranty, I would recommend looking at another company. You want to purchase a display from a company that will stand behind their products. Some displays might have a six to twelve month warranty on economy displays but purchasing a higher end display might give you the peace of mind you need by offering a lifetime warranty.

Follow these 5 tips so that your trade show display last longer! What do you do to take care of your trade show display?



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