Nine Different Types of Trade Show Displays for Your Next Exhibit

by Retail 03 July 2024

types of trade show

Frequent exhibits are paramount for product retail brands. In the US, approximately 13000 trade shows take place every year. 

Hence, these exhibits are effective means of retail marketing and promotions. 

Statista says there will be 4678 retail department stores in the US by 2025. Resorting to unique means of promoting your brand and products is imperative to sustain the competition.

Other than trade shows, retail department stores also host business conferences and conventions worldwide. However, the popularity of trade shows is peaking. So, let’s emphasize their value in the retail department store business. 

Exploring deeper, we may discuss the benefits of the popular types of trade shows. That may help you identify the most suitable types of trade shows for your store. 

You may also explore readymade trade show templates here:

Nine Types of Trade Shows that Can Double Your Store Income

Nine Types of Trade Shows that Can Double Your Store Income

I found the 9 best types of trade shows for your retail department store business. Let me also share some pro tips for hosting trade shows. 

Not many will tell you this. But I’m here to share tips to charm your audience through trade shows. 

Firstly, host your event in an open space. You might be able to create a mass appeal through a clever confluence of brands and product types. Also, think about spacing, positioning of brands, and pricing keenly. 

If you follow the steps, your exhibitions will stand out above the rest. Choosing the correct trade show display is vital to creating an open, inviting space that makes your company, brand, and exhibit stand out. 

Keep reading, and know how you can use these tricks for the nine trade shows that I will discuss. 

Therefore, you need to understand the main types of trade show displays available in the market. 

Pop-Up Displays 

Pop-up displays have become the standard trade show display owing to their unique eye-catching properties. As the name suggests, they are designed to pop into place and can be retracted quickly once the event ends. 

You can also quickly change the graphics on a pop-up display, making them useful in booths 10×10 or 10×20.

Pop-up displays facilitate portability, are quick to set up, and are also very affordable. Pop-up displays incorporate an accordion-style frame, which provides an excellent structure for mounting graphic panels to create an image wall. 

You can also add options like monitor holders, shelves, lights, and more to enhance the appeal.

How can You Use Pop-ups To Increase Store Sales Overnight?

Roughly 20% of Americans like buying goods from popup displays in various department stores. Since the pandemic, the number has grown exponentially. 

Most department stores now use pop-up stores, from Walmart to Target. 

Above all, you may find the most unique products there. The pop-up displays also offer an immersive shopping experience that family shoppers like.

Banner Display Stand

Banner display stands are ideal for limited-space trade show floors. Despite being compact, they allow you to increase your visual branding. They are retractable, so they are very convenient and portable. You can roll them out when needed and back in once the event ends.

Banner stands are handy for marketing at a trade show. Depending on your needs, you can choose from retractable banner stands, telescopic banner stands, tension banner stands, and much more. You can also use multiple banner stands and create a graphic wall to garner attention to your booth.

A Shoutout to the New Products Onboard

Are you giving flat 50% off on select product ranges to customers for a limited period? Please allow more people to know that. 

If you are wondering how to attract customers with your deal, display stands are your thing. 

The banners increase visibility. So, if you’re skeptical about the success of your campaign, you may try banner displays. 

Tension fabric Display

Tension fabric displays, fabric exhibition stands, or wave tubes use snap-and-click poles. They can be locked into a place within a couple of minutes. They are flexible and can accommodate different sizes, shapes, and graphics on a fully interchangeable interface.

The poles and extrusions in a tension fabric display are usually aluminum, making them weightier. 

You can also use different mounts, shelves, lights, and many different systems with a tension fabric. While easy to ship and set up, tension fabric displays can give your booth a unique appearance.

Host A Quick Show to Amaze Your Customers 

If you plan to host a quick demo, illustration, or a lean trade show, tension fabric displays can help. 

The Walmart Supercentre at Secaucus, NJ, has a vast tension display. However, all small department stores now use such displays for mini-sales events or trade shows. 

Panel Exhibits

Panel systems are similar to pop-ups and provide a solid backdrop to the exhibition booth. Since they are structural, they can accommodate more things like product displays, backlighting, bridges, counters, etc.

You can include product displays, graphics, backlighting, bridges, counters, and many other accessories to enhance your booth’s presence. A panel system can also be covered with receptive fabric and laminates. 

However, some panel structures with complex designs can be a bit difficult to set up. 

Panel exhibits grab customers’ attention. They are pretty cost-effective, too. The average cost per square foot is $300. 

Tabletop Displays

Many trade shows only give a single table to the exhibitors, and a tabletop display is the best choice for such scenarios. They can communicate your message to the visitors in a very concise space. 

Using a branded fabric display and tabletop display can help you break the limitations of constrained exhibition space.

Sure Winners for Small Department Stores 

If you’ve opened a department store lately, I recommend using tabletop displays for promotions. Basic tabletop displays cost as low as $25. But you can use features like backlighting to pin users’ attention. 

Hybrid Exhibit Displays

With dye-cut panels, metal extrusions, graphics, and many other elements, hybrid displays can make your booth look up-to-date and modern. Besides, they are portable and quick to set up, making them a good choice for frequent booth removal and installation.

Hybrid exhibits can offer excellent customization and thus make your company stand out from the rest of the participants in a trade show. Although setting up a hybrid display is not as convenient as a pop-up display, it isn’t tough either.

Hanging Displays

Hanging displays use different shapes, like squares, pyramids, rings, etc., to fit inside a small carry case and can be easily set up and removed as and when required. However, hanging them from the ceiling of the exhibition hall may need additional help.

Using a hanging display, which utilizes a pillowcase graphic attachment, you can lift your message or logo high in the air. These displays can command attention and help you use the underused space above your booth.

A Game Changer for In-Store Promotions

Bigger stores like Walmart use hanging displays profusely. In 2023, Walmart remodeled 6 stores in the US with hanging displays. They are better than other types of trade shows. 

Weekly or monthly bumper offers at Walmart are promoted using hanging displays.


Truss is an excellent option for those looking for a dynamic trade show display that can accommodate different graphics, shelves, counters, displays, podiums, chairs, etc. It is also an excellent choice for those needing a massive graphics structure. 

Moreover, a truss can create any exhibit shape, such as a standard perimeter, hanging display, custom kiosk, etc. Truss trade show displays are handy in expos where the huge booth space requires substantial lighting.

Graphic Tent Canopies

Graphic tent canopies are the most commonly used displays, and they can be used to promote different offers, special events, festivals, etc. They can offer back and side walls while also letting you use valance.

Due to their ease of installation and removal, graphic tents and canopies are easily found at places like grocery stores, special events, festivals, and trade shows. They also facilitate the display of messages and graphics on the valance and walls of the tent.

Canopy tents are compelling pop-up shows. But they are movable. In early 2024, Walmart tested two popup canopy stores in California. Sales whipped up 30% through these campaigns. 

Pipe and Drapes

Pipes and drapes are among the most readily available trade show display options. They have a simple framework of pipes and fabrics that can be easily assembled and removed as needed. 

They also provide back walls and side rails to hang your brand’s banners and graphics.

Pipe and drape displays can accommodate varied space requirements. Moreover, you can print your own drapes for a trade show or hang your brand graphics on the walls and side rails of the booth to create a custom look.

While various trade show display options are available in the market, you need to choose one based on the trade show rules, space, and the requirements of your brand and products. 

However, irrespective of the type of trade show display you need, you should always buy one from a trusted and reliable source.

Wrapping Up…………

You may consider any of these popular types of trade shows. I recommend frequently changing the trade displays to spice up your exhibitions. After all, 84% of retail customers want pleasant and engaging shopping customers. 

From pop-ups to hanging displays and tents, visual illustration gets customers from your store. Therefore, you need to read how these nine designs can help your business. 

You may set up a trade show from scratch. However, readymade trade show exhibit modules can also help you create sparks for customers!

Read Also:

Ankita Tripathy loves to write about food and the Hallyu Wave in particular. During her free time, she enjoys looking at the sky or reading books while sipping a cup of hot coffee. Her favourite niches are food, music, lifestyle, travel, and Korean Pop music and drama.

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