8 Things to Consider When Choosing a Portable
Hint: They’re Supposed to Make Life Easier!
Portable displays are a great option for new businesses exhibiting for the first time or for larger companies looking for an exhibit that can be easily shipped to regional events. There are a lot of attractive portable options to choose from but looks alone can be deceiving!
1. Minimal number of parts
The first question to ask before purchasing a portable display is how many parts are there in the display? If you end up with a million little screws and feel like you are putting together some impossible Ikea puzzle, you’re in trouble. The more parts, particularly little ones, the more likely something will get lost during the set up or take down of your display. Better portable displays will have their parts bungeed together for easy and fast set up – they are cleverly designed so that matching parts are bundled together to keep the guess work out of the set up.
2. No tools required
When looking at a display, ask to see the assembly instructions. If there are more than 3 or 4 pages, run. Why? Because it’s a good indication you are going to need tools to put this thing together. And guess what? Your display should not need any tools in order to set it up or take it down. That’s right – zero tools! Choose a portable display that you can easily set up by yourself in less than 30 minutes. Otherwise, you could be looking at the added expense of hiring labor to set up your booth at the show.
- Before you purchase a display, see if there is an online video that shows how it is assembled.
Virtually all of today’s portables can be shipped via an overnight carrier. But make sure you check the weight of your display, as the weight will directly affect the shipping and material handling cost when sending your portable to and from each show. A booth that weighs 150 pounds could cost twice as much to ship as one that weights 75 pounds. Shipping and material costs really add up quickly, particularly when you have multiple trade shows each year.
4. Durable Materials
In addition to being lightweight, trade show displays have to be able to stand up to a lot of wear and tear. Quality tension fabric displays where the fabric is held taunt, will maintain their shape better, be easy to clean and appear wrinkle free. Be sure that the metal frame is also of a sufficiently high-grade material so that it does not bend over time. The better portable display manufacturers will often warranty the materials for the life of the display.
5. Ability to change graphics
Smart portables help you stay flexible. Chances are you are going to want to modify your company message depending on the show you are attending. Whether you want an entirely new design or just to change part of your message for a specific industry or vertical, you have options. Multi-panel displays allow you to mix and match a variety of graphics and change only specific aspects of your booth so you can match the message with the market every time.
6. Options and accessories
Some of the newer portable displays offer a variety of options and accessories. This gives you greater flexibility to customize your space. Popular options include monitor holders, placards, or shelving and reception counters.
7. Don’t forget the lights
A well-lit booth will draw a larger audience by making your space look more open and inviting. Booths without lights can look like they are closed for business, especially if they are surrounded by other well-lit booths on the trade show floor. There are all kinds of ways to light a portable booth, from display lighting to halo lights designed to highlight a specific area. Lighting can even be built-in to a portable to create a full back-lit affect for real drama and dimension.
If possible, work with a local company that specializes in exhibit displays. This way you’ll be able to see exactly what you are getting. In addition, you’ll have someone who can help you make sure your graphics are properly sized. And, they can provide a hands-on demonstration explaining how to set up and take down your display. While you may save a couple of dollars purchasing a display online, if something goes wrong or isn’t what you expected, it will cost you more in the long term.
- A reputable exhibit house can also make sure you graphics are perfectly sized for your display.