Are you guilty of abusing your trade show displays and graphics? Many exhibitors are. Most display hardware is pretty durable and will remain functional for years, but nothing is indestructible. And when the exhibit hall shuts down on the last day of the show, many booth staffers race to pack up their displays and head out. This is often when the abuse happens. You can break the cycle of abuse!
Take care of your display
Most displays are meant to last a couple of years at least, so make sure that you take care of it. It initially cost your company money, and replacing it would come out of YOUR trade show marketing budget. Here are some tips to help your booth staff treat the displays with a little TLC:
- Train all booth staffers and salespeople to dismantle and pack the display properly.
- Keep a printout of the set-up instructions in the case with the display and/or digitally on everyone’s smartphone.
- Don’t schedule your travel too soon after the end of the show. Part of the reason booth staffers are in such a hurry to leave is to catch a plane home. Give them a little breathing room.
- If you are in the market for a new display, select one with a lifetime warranty. Warranties don’t cover blatant abuse, but it will definitely save you money in the long run.
- Remember that the graphics are considered a consumable, resilient but not indestructible. Paper, vinyl, and plastic can rip, crease, or crack. Fabric can fray or wrinkle. Panels should be rolled a certain way, etc. Take care to handle the graphics as the vendor recommends.
- Make sure your staffers are accountable. Ask for photos of the display set up and then packed in the case after every show.
- If you and your booth staffers truly can’t handle installation & dismantle, hire someone to do it for you. Sometimes it takes a professional. (You don’t do your own dental work, do you?) Again, this would likely come out of YOUR trade show marketing budget.
- Extreme temperatures can cause damage to graphics and displays. Adhesives can start to break down in the heat and humidity, leading magnetic tape to slide off of your graphic panels. Similarly, cold can cause the panels to stiffen and resist attaching to the display frame. Store your display in a climate-controlled area.
- Only outdoor displays are for outdoors. Most displays are designed for indoor use, so they cannot hold up to wind, rain, and the elements. Rain and dirt can get into the mechanism of your retractable banner and ruin it. That pop-up display is going to catch the wind and blow over, causing damage not to mention the potential for injury. Think of the liability!
- If any part of your display breaks, take it to the vendor for the appropriate repairs. If you have to make due until the expo ends, just try not to inflict any further damage until you can get it to the vendor. Beware: attempting repairs on your own could make things worse or even void the warranty.
Bottom line: If you’re good to your display, your display will be good to you!