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Rena PattonAug 16, 2022 7:00:00 AM3 min read

How to Choose the Right Material to Build Your Trade Show Booth

Inspiration? Check! Design drafted? Check! Now what?

After you've nailed down your booth design, it’s time to start sourcing materials to build your trade show booth! A wide range of materials are used for fabrication and manufacturing, such as aluminum, steel, metal, paint, wood, laminate, acrylic, and all varieties of lighting and fabrics.

While there are many components and factors to consider when choosing raw materials to create your booth, we’re here to help if you're unsure where to start.


Raw Materials for Your Trade Show Booth

When determining which raw materials are suitable for your booth, first consider what type of booth you’d like to have: Inline Booth or Portable Booths, Peninsula Booth or Split Island Booth, or Island Booth or Two Story Booths. From there, you can start with the basic materials such as wood, metal, hard plastic, and fabric to build your booth’s skeleton, table tops, and walls.

Next, it’s time for the fun part — adding design elements such as lighting, graphics, flooring, and technology. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. LIGHTING: Use proper lighting to set the mood for your booth and (most importantly) call attention to your signage and other branding elements.

  2. GRAPHICS: Design graphics that are attention-grabbing, clear to understand, and true to your brand messaging.

  3. FLOORING: Determine what type of flooring is right for you and how it will enhance the experience of your visitors.

  4. TECHNOLOGY: Put the final touches on your booth with LED screens, iPad Stands, charging stations, and A/V equipment as needed to help showcase your products and services.

Shipping, Handling, and Other Factors to Consider

Shipping and handling your trade show booth from one location to another are important factors to consider even before construction begins. First, determine if you want to ship your booth in shipping containers or custom-shaped crates, all the while considering which option is most cost-effective for your business.

Next, you must plan ahead for post-show logistics, such as how easy it will be to clean your booth, break it down, and where to store it while you wait for the next trade show. Here are some questions to consider:

  • What are the costs associated with your desired booth size and shape?
Bigger booths can often make a stronger impression but may require a premium trade show space in order to stand out — and it will typically come at a premium price as well. Ask yourself whether or not this additional cost is really necessary to achieve a more successful overall experience.
  • How will you transport and store your booth?
Depending on your booth size and structure, you might need to find a custom-shaped crate or shipping container for transportation. Also, consider the cost of finding a storage unit that will accommodate your booth and any other materials you'll want to store in between trade shows.
  • What are drayage fees, and how do they impact your trade show booth budget?
Drayage is the transportation of your booth materials across the exhibit floor to your booth space, which can be hefty depending on how many components you have in your booth. Remember, always budget for drayage fees, so you don't incur additional costs that you weren't initially expecting.
  • How much staffing do you need to manage your booth?
Give some thought to how many people you’ll need to operate your booth and factor their presence into your overall trade show budget. When it comes to budgeting, be sure to take every single cost into account so that you have a more accurate idea of how much money you'll have to spend for a successful trade show experience.

For more information on raw materials, cost, and the planning process of your booth, be sure to check out our Trade Show Booth Design Guidelines.


Work with an Experienced Exhibit House

Working with a skilled and experienced turn-key exhibit house can help you craft exhibits that make an impact and meet your trade show objectives. Incorporating an array of styles, textures, technology, and sensory elements will allow you to effectively convey your message to attendees and help you achieve the type of results you're looking for.

Exhibit Options doesn’t outsource a single step of the fabrication process. This means everything is created to perfectly match our rendering, with no compromises along the way. To partner with us on your next trade show build, reach out to our team today to get started.