How to Select a Trade Show Display

How to Select a Trade Show Display

Sep 22nd 2023

How to Select a Trade Show Display

So, you’ve got a trade show coming up. Or, it might be another event, anywhere where you have the chance to make your branding or designs stand out: a festival, an event, a fundraiser, you name it. But what’s gonna get the job done?

What is a Trade Show Display?

Trade show displays are built to draw attention to your branding at an event—usually that’s a trade show, but it can be any environment. They usually consist of custom-printed graphics tailored to your brand and its designs, which are often stretched over tables, printed onto backwalls, or attached to other display elements.

These displays don’t just have to look good though—often, they need to have some functionality too. That’s where accessories come in, ranging from monitor mounts, product shelves, and tons of other options.

The Process of Choosing a Trade Show Display

But with so much to choose from, where do you begin? To start with, we’ll give you a brief overview of the different parts of a display that you should consider: what they’re made of, how they’re assembled and arranged, what sort of features they come with, and lastly, what things you need to consider for your unique needs. In short, the selection process can be broken down into these simple steps:

  1. Select a Display Frame Style
  2. Pick a Design & Arrangement
  3. Choose Additional Features
  4. Note any Logistical Concerns
  5. Pick Your Display!

Types of Trade Show Display Frames

The frame of a display is its backbone—it’s what gives your display’s branding actual structure. It’s also usually the heaviest and most cumbersome part of your display, so a good display design will include a frame that’s as lightweight and efficient as possible, without sacrificing structure and durability.

These can range from basic frames, like those of a trade show pop-up display, to more technically complex frames like an aluminum box-style frame. Let’s check each of these out below:


These are the fastest, most affordable, and easiest way to get your brand out there at a moment’s notice. A pop-up trade show display frame utilizes accordion hinges to make compressing and expanding the frame easy and quick—it’s easily done by one person, and no tools are required! Once fully extended, these frames lock into place to create a sturdy backwall for your custom-printed graphics.

If you’re displaying on a budget, check out our Quick-Up display as the most budget-friendly example of this style. If you’re hoping for some added functionality and visual appeal, though, our Graffiti displays also have a pop-up style frame, but include additional kit options and can even be backlit to add extra visibility and allure to your visuals.

Tube Frame

If you’re looking for a display designed for a little extra versatility and stability, without sacrificing on ease-of-use, then a tube frame may be the perfect fit for you. These frames are a little more durable and rigid than an accordion-style pop-up frame and use a series of interlocking aluminum tubes to help you construct a stunning, sturdy display without using any tools.

With their interlocking design, tube-style frames also include lots of options for modular elements, attachments, and add-ons, which make these frames quite versatile. For those reasons, tube frame displays end up being great for anyone looking to mix and match display elements or add features like monitor mounts, display counters, and other add-ons to their display.

If you’re looking for a tube frame display, products in our Ensemble and Helium by Ensemble product lines are excellent examples. These displays can be purchased as individual backwalls and banner stands or in full-featured kits that come with additional counters, tables, and other optional display elements.

Aluminum Box Shaped Frame

For those looking for a premium display frame with top-of-the-line durability and build quality that’s still easy to assemble and transport, an aluminum box frame is an ideal solution. These frames

These frames consist of solid aluminum frames that provide additional rigidity to your branded designs and often incorporate backlighting. Even with the frames’ added strength, our aluminum box-style frames still have tool-free designs that make assembling them easy.

Looking for these premium frame styles? Our Prism product line includes these frames, all backlit, and packaged into kits that include several display elements, making rearranging your display easy!

Additional Display Frame Types

The display frames listed above are all designed with easy assembly in mind, including tool-free assembly processes that even a single person can finish in minutes.

If you’re looking for display frame styles that are more intensive and might require technical expertise and tools to set up, a more advanced rental display, like those offered by our High Impact Displays brand, might be the solution for you.

Choosing the Right Display Elements

After figuring out what frame style you’re looking for, the next step in selecting a display is selecting the specific elements you’d like to include in your exhibit. When we say ‘elements’, we’re referring to distinct parts of a display that can be included in kits, bought standalone, or can be bought with additional features and accessories (which we’ll dive more into below!).

What Makes Up a Trade Show Display?

At Displayit, our displays are usually made up of the following elements, which you can purchase as single display items that make it easy and efficient for you to get your brand out there with low startup cost:

  • Table Covers: A custom trade show table cover, with either rigid or tension fabric, can easily add a branded feel to your next tabling event
  • Towers: Towers with your brand designs are a unique and simple way to increase your brand’s visibility, even from a long way off
  • Monitor Stands: Monitor stands provide a great balance of visuals and functionality, with space for custom branding and mounts you can display digital media with
  • Table-Top Displays: Add a pop-up tabletop display to your table to uniquely display your collateral without a heavy investment
  • Counters: Counters are included with many of our display kits thanks to their aesthetic potential, added storage, and counter space—they can also be purchased on their own
  • Banner Stands: Banner stands are a classic display solution that can get you up and running at an event for a low price—they can include accessories and even be backlit
  • Backwalls: A backwall is an industry standard for trade show displays, giving you plenty of surface area to show off your branding and take up a lot of visual space

Display Kits

If you know you need more than one display element for your next trade show or event, a display kit is probably the easiest, most effective way to go. Our display kits combine the single display items listed above, but also include additional, kit-exclusive elements that you can’t get on their own. With a display kit, you’ll have the option to rearrange your display for every event and need, giving your booth a different feel without spending a lot of time and energy.

Check out the kits sold as part of our cost-efficient Graffiti display line, our modular Ensemble series, or our premium Prism kits to see all the options and elements we have for sale!

Trade Show Display Accessories & Options

Once you’ve decided on what sort of frame your display needs and settled on the display elements you want to include, you can choose additional accessories or features that can give your display some added impact.

These can range from purely aesthetic additions, like backlighting, or functional add-ons like counters, mounts, storage cabinets, and more. Some of the display frames listed above are designed for more advanced accessories—like monitor mounts and shelving that seamlessly attaches to a tube-style display frame—while others won’t have as many accessory options, so that’s always something to consider.

Lighting Options

One of the easiest and most effective ways to get more eyes on your display is through lighting. Overhead lights, like stem lights for our Quick-Up and Graffiti display line, will illuminate your branding from above and are super easy to set up.

The more advanced lighting option, though, is backlighting. With a backlit trade show display, LED lights are integrated directly into your display’s frame, and the result is a soft, even glow that illuminates your branding from within. When you’re going for a premium look, a backlit display is the gold standard. To see displays with backlighting, check out backlit options from our pop-up Graffiti line, our tube-frame Ensemble product line, or our premium aluminum frame Prism line, which has backlighting for all its display kits.

Functional Add-Ons

There are tons of optional accessories that can add extra functionality to your trade show displays, going beyond mere aesthetics to make your display more useful and dynamic. Since there are so many of these available to you, here’s a quick breakdown of each accessory we offer and what they add to your display:

  • Monitor Mounts: These add a mount directly onto your display, allowing you to attach a monitor that can play through your digital brand material or even be used to facilitate interactive display elements. A great idea for adding versatility to your trade show booth!
  • Product Shelves: If you have physical marketing collateral, or if your brand centers around a specific product, then adding product shelves to your display could be a good option for you. Attach these to your display’s backwall, and you’ll have plenty more space to showcase whatever makes you and your brand unique.
  • Counters: Many of our display kits come with counters, but if you’re looking at a display that doesn’t come with one already, you may be able to add a counter to your purchase. Counters serve a variety of functions—with our products, they include tension fabric graphics that are custom printed with your brand’s designs, increasing your visibility, but also provide valuable storage and display space.

Final Considerations: Logistics, Visuals, & Functionality

Now that you’ve got an idea of the different display products that are out there, the last step to selecting the perfect display is comparing each product’s features to your own unique needs and goals.


If you’re planning on displaying at trade shows or events regularly, you’ll need something super easy to assemble and transport, but that still has the durability to withstand lots of regular use and travel.

Most of our displays can be purchased with soft carrying cases or hard cases that simplify transport. On top of that, all the products mentioned in this article are built with a tool-free assembly design, making even the largest display elements a breeze to set up, even for a single person! So if you don’t have a full-scale installation and dismantling (I&D) crew, don’t fear—you can still carry and assemble our displays with ease.


When it comes to a display’s visuals, you want something that’s going to stand out and draw people in, even in a crowded environment, so you can show off what really makes you and your brand exceptional. We highly recommend checking out past photos of the event you’ll be attending to see what your display will need to look like to avoid getting lost in the crowd.

If you think you need to add visual impact to your display, choose a kit with lots of display elements that can be rearranged for any given space, and consider adding backlighting to make your display easily visible, even on the busiest event floor.


For brands that center around physical products and media, you probably want to consider adding counters and product shelving to your display purchase. The easiest way to get all these add-ons at once, of course, is through a display kit, which provides all the features you’ll need in one convenient package.

Ready to Choose?

Now that you’ve seen all the different display products that are out there, hopefully you have a better idea of what display products might be the best option for you. With so many different options—from frame types, to elements, to accessories—it might seem a little overwhelming at first, but we’re sure you’ll be able to find something that’ll meet your exact needs for your next trade show or event.

If you’re ready to take a look at some of the display styles we’ve talked about in this article, check out our shop to see how they look in action, compare prices, and more!