Build Your Business:

Trade Show Display Tips for Screen-Printing Companies

By Kristen Klingensmith , Contributing Writer

January 8, 2019

Trade shows are a major seasonal sales and marketing resource for screen-printing companies. However, when it comes to planning and setting up your booth so that you maximize your ability to engage with potential clients and capture quality leads, you may not be sure where to begin. Or perhaps you’re on a budget with your booth and don’t think you can afford all the bells and whistles that will make your display stand out.

That’s why we’ve put together some of our favorite tips and tricks to help you plan your next trade show display booth.

Spend Intelligently
What’s the difference between a truly phenomenal trade show display and a poor, boring or generic booth? Surprisingly, it’s not money, and it’s not dumb luck either. You don’t have to have full lighting sets, spinning gadgets and T-shirt cannons at your booth to have the best one around.

Instead, spending some quality time on your display plan (plus a little creativity) will amp up your display more than a blank check will. Think carefully about your branding, and how to immerse visitors in your brand story and products in a creative and fun way. If high-powered fog machines and a ten-piece jazz ensemble aren’t in your brand identity, don’t spend for them.

Bottom line, putting cash blindly on effects and tech without understanding how it fits into your companies story, mission and goals is just wasting money.

In fact, this leads us to our next tip…

Ditch Pointless Giveaways and Focus on an Experience
Trade show companies and booths used to shell out big bucks for logoed items to give away at their booth. Things like pens, letter openers, mugs, and even caps usually saw their way onto a display table in some form or fashion.

However, we’re marketing to a new generation that doesn’t value branded junk quite as much. Experts agree that millennials are more about experiences than material items. They’re also the demographic filling up trade shows in recent years. Love the trend or hate it, you’ll have to make some concessions to capture business.

Speaking of concessions, consider an out-of-the-box way to incorporate food and drink into your display and you’ll capture a ton of interest. An interactive game is also another idea to create an experience at your booth. Maybe even incorporate visitors to create a new catalog for your merchandise by having them pose in photo booths with your designs.

Invest in Eye-Catching Backdrops
The appropriate collateral at your booth is important to have, such as business cards and flyers. However, focusing a significant portion of your trade show budget there may be a collossal waste. This is true even if people are taking your information.

Generally, a memory will fade quickly after a trade show, and piles of collateral that were eagerly collected at the event will be discarded after the first few are leafed through and contacted. This is why you should instead invest in a clear, crisp and eye-catching backdrop for your booth. Graphics, signage, popouts and expert lighting will help your booth stand out in the mind’s eye of tradeshow goers more than stacks of rack cards will.

Incorporate Tech
Capturing quality leads is a huge part of why companies put up booths at trade shows. Therefore, making the process as seamless and pleasant as possible is a must. Using sign-up sheets with pen and paper is an outdated method. Instead, install a lead-capturing app (there are tons) on an iPad or two at the booth. You can even incorporate this into part of your booth experience that we talked about above! By using smart technology and making the process easy, there won’t be any awkward waiting for a pen or losing patience as someone fills out the sheet at a glacial pace.

You can also incorporate tech in a variety of fresh and fun ways. Technology can also help you stand out from a sea of – let’s face it- very similar looking displays. Use digital signage, touch screens or even go a step further and produce your own app that can be downloaded at the booth.


Kristen Klingensmith is the Content & Marketing Director for 858 Graphics, a dynamic printing, and design company based out of San Diego, California. The team at 858 Graphics and Nonstop Signs loves to share tips and lessons learned from experience with other business owners in the realms of entrepreneurship, marketing business, finance and more.