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How to Build a Great Tabletop Display for Your Next Trade Show


A great trade show booth comes in many shapes and sizes, and an important one is the tabletop display. These may seem insignificant, but they shouldn’t be overlooked! When it comes to attracting customer’s attention, a tabletop display is small but mighty, so don’t feel defeated or inferior just because you’re using one. Use these simple considerations to make your booth stand apart from the crowd.

Adjust Your Materials for Each Trade Show

It’s tempting to just make one generic tabletop display to take to each event, but don’t fall into that trap! Every trade show will have a slightly different focus, and it’s best to redo your promotional materials accordingly. If you alter your display to fit in the context of that specific show rather than using the same materials every time, you’ll have a much better chance of standing out from the crowd.

Make the Text Match the Headline

Don’t forget that the text has to back up the headline. If the headline on your company’s tabletop display says that you’re an award-winning business, then you’d better include the names and logos of the specific awards you’ve won. Without the evidence to support your main statement, it becomes meaningless and your clients may not believe you.

Keep the Tabletop Display Simple

Don’t go overboard on the graphics. Keep in mind that you only have a few seconds to attract the attention of someone walking past your booth. If your materials are too cluttered up with pictures, they won’t be able to see your message quickly and easily, and they’ll just walk on by. Keep it to just one or maybe two large pictures that clearly convey your message and you’ll have a much better chance of drawing in potential clients. Remember that when you’re trying to attract an audience, keep it simple. Don’t go overboard with the number of words you use. Less is more! Use only the phrases or bullet points necessary to convey your message, then do the rest of the talking once the attendee has stepped into your booth.

Customize the Table Cover

Most convention centers provide table covers to trade show exhibitors. This is certainly a money-saver, but there are some drawbacks too. For one thing, those covers have been used over and over again and may be worn out or dirty. More importantly, they’re exactly the same as everybody else’s! Consider having a customized table cover made with your company’s colors and logo to attract attention. Use your own customization to help you stand out from the others.

Hire A Proofreader!

Many marketing professionals are confident in their grammar and spelling skills, but it’s always a good idea to have a second pair of eyes look over your display. An embarrassing typographical error or misspelled word could ruin all your hard design work. Ask a colleague to look it over or, better yet, hire a professional editor to take a look at it. Not only will they catch any mistakes, but they may even be able to add some flair to your work as well.

After all the hard work you’ve put into designing your trade show booth, don’t forget the little details that go into a great tabletop display. It may seem insignificant, but it deserves your attention if you want to make it the best it can be.

tabletopCheck out our brochure to see the features and benefits of our 5 tabletop display systems, from pop-ups to banner stands to panel systems and more. Click here to request your free copy.

About the Author

Bob Watson has been helping clients in the New York region dominate trade show marketing events for over 30 years. As President of Skyline New York, a leading trade show marketing resource known for customized exhibit innovations, Bob helps his partners use distinctive modular components to create New York trade show displays and complementing banner stands that captivate and compel crowds while effectively broadening brand exposure and reach. For more information on trade show displays, trade show booths, and trade show exhibits in New York, please visit

2 responses to “How to Build a Great Tabletop Display for Your Next Trade Show

  1. Great post!

    This is somewhat off topic, but I remember being shown that same picture you used on this post of the Heritage Collectibles booth when I was shopping for a tabletop pop-up a few years back. This one and the Big Bear example made me decide to go with a Mirage.

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