Do you even exhibit? Yeah, I’m sure you do and that’s why you’re reading this but how good is your trade show game? Is that exhibit just getting your brand by or are you using all the exhibit fabrications possible to compete with the big boys? To ensure you are exhibiting at a competitive level we put together a few of the following exhibit fabrication methods whose powers combined, will ensure you have one solid kick-@#$ exhibit…Bro!
Entire booths can, and have been built using wood. With the skill of woodworkers today the results can be astounding but as you may have guessed, the one drawback is obviously weight. When considering costs like drayage and shipping, the cost of 100% wood exhibits starts to become debatable. Work arounds do exist in the form of lightweight alternatives like balsa and particle board but those come with the trade off of strength and cost.
As a result, wood is most commonly used as a supplementary trade show material. Usually for display cases, headers, borders, support structures and decorative accents. (Solid) Wood is, however, one of the more durable exhibit materials. That is of course, depending on whom you use for show labor and shipping.
Pros: Highly skilled/talented profession. Unique results. Considerably durable, High structural integrity.
Cons: Heavy. Higher cost to ship/store. Usually needs some type of finish.
Old faithful. The days of the cookie-cutter modular exhibits have ended but fortunately, the exhibition stand fabrication industry has evolved along with the times. Lightweight aluminum extrusion has been engineered to wrap, bend, twist and turn to fit any trade show exhibit booth design and the best part? It doesn’t get much more durable than steel and aluminum.
Metal extrusion can take a tremendous amount of abuse while simultaneously offering a savings on shipping, storage and labor assembly times. Very commonly wood and metal extrusion are combined to fit any trade show exhibit booth design application, affordably.
Pros: Lightweight, durable and compact. Multiple applications, sizes and shapes available. Easy assembly.
Cons: Finished product is difficult to alter without skilled metal exhibit fabricators or welders.
Plexi is mainly used for display cases, 3d logos/letters and transparent paneling but we have used it for full feature walls with graphic overlays and backlighting. Illuminating acrylic (edgelit displays) can also be used but carry hefty price tag so they are typically used solely in greeting counters and logos.
The results really are show-stopping. We’re guessing it will be an integral part of the future of exhibiting as technology progresses and pricing levels out. Plexiglass and acrylic is much more durable and lighter than regular glass but is still relatively fragile and easily scratches. So, again, keep a close eye on that labor!
Pros: Mind-blowing applications. Lighter than glass.
Cons: Relatively fragile, Not cheap.easy to work with.
Description of uses: Why have ugly breaks, seams and splits across your exhibit graphics when you can transverse multiple spans of walls, ceilings and banners? Fabric SEG (Silicon Edge Graphics) have really liberated the creativity for exhibit booth designers.
Covering curved structures used to be a huge headache but they can now not only be wrapped seamlessly but also be printed in multiple finishes, illuminated from within to create lightboxes and even display video using projection mapping technology. Fabric is also light, durable and super fast/easy to install saving on labor times.
Pros: Lightweight, Cool applications and uses, The new standard.
Cons: Still slightly more costly than traditional paneling.
Plastics & Foam:
There’s a reason Amazon, FedEx and UPS use packing peanuts and it’s the same reason it’s high on our list of exhibit fabrication materials. It’s @$%^ light! But also ridiculously easy to work with. Main uses are 3D letters, statues/characters and of course that stuff under the carpet tending to your throbbing feet.
Numerous faux panels like fake rock and brick are manufactured using foam and plastic. It’s a cost effective way to add a little pop to any exhibit booth. Delicate is an understatement so make sure your investment is being well cared for during I&D, shipping and storage.
Pros: LIGHT! Molded into any shape.
Cons: Susceptible to damage due to carelessness. Very precise manufacturing.
I know what you’re saying, “Great now I know all the materials I can use but what brings my exhibit to the next level?”. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out from the title, it’s combing the ingredients into one ultimate energy boosting, mind altering exhibit smoothie.
All jokes aside, We really have created some amazing booths by strategically cherry picking each of these materials. They all have their perks and drawbacks but when an exhibit is approached carefully and thoroughly you can wind up with a better exhibit at a better price whilst leaving the competition in awe of your exhibit game…bro (or sis).
Need a Little More Inspiration?
Try browsing the guide below for some more great trade show booth ideas!