Tips for Terrific Tabletop Displays

A tabletop display may be one of the smaller display options, but it is a powerful trade show marketing tool. For many companies, it’s the only exhibit they need. 

There are many advantages to tabletop displays. Because most units are around six feet in width, tabletop displays arelight and easy to transport from show to show. Their wheeled carrying cases are small enough to fit in a car’s trunk and sturdy enough to withstand the care of a typical airline baggage handler. For most units, it takes about 10 minutes for a single person to set up the display – and taking it down is even faster. 

However, those advantages also mean that you don’t have a lot of available graphic real estate. To create the biggest impression with your tabletop display, focus, getinspired – and be willing to edit. 

Check out thesefive tips to help you design the most impactful tabletop display.  

Tip #1: Use a single image 

A tabletop display is similar to a billboard. Just as someone driving along a freeway at 90 mph needs just a glance to understand a billboard’s message, a distracted trade show attendee must grasp the nature of your companyas they whip throughan aisle. 

The six-foot width of atabletop display is big enough to make an impression even from a distance. However, two feet is not. Meaning, you do not want to cram several small images onto tabletopexhibit graphics. By doing so, you dilutetheir potential impact and create a messy, confusing feeling. 

You do not have a lot of time to grab the attention of a passing trade show attendee – mere seconds. If they glance your way and cannot immediately comprehend your company, they’ll move on – and won’t return.  

Tip #2: Quality counts 

A big mistake that many trade show exhibitors make is using low-quality images in their displays. 

You may think a low-resolution image looks fine from a distance (btw – it probably doesn’t), but remember that once you get an attendee’s attention, they will approach your booth. Since your display rests comfortably on a table, those attendeesstandright in front of it,and every flaw and pixilated image are clearly visible. 

At trade shows, you need to be at the top of your game. Any misstep on your part could send potential clients scurrying toward your competition. A poorly designed display is a mistake that reflects badly on your company. It sends a message that you don’t care about your presentation, which is work you do for yourself. So, why should potential clients believe that you care about the work you do for them?  

Tip #3: Edit your text 

We know there are several amazing aspects to your company, and trade show attendees need to know about each one of them. Don’t worry; they will if you get them to stop by your display so that you can tell them. 

That will not happen with a tabletop display cluttered with text. Similar to having too many images, too much text is confusing and messy. Plus, because you’ll either have to use a small font or crowd large letters together, it’s impossible to read from a distance. 

Remember: billboard. The only job of your tabletop display is to encourage visitors to stop at your booth. Your display should not – and cannot – try to convey everything about your business (that’s the booth staff’s job). Plus, attendees won’t read a lot of text, anyway. So, not only is a tabletop display filled with text ineffective, but it’s a waste of effort, too. 

Your logo, business name, and a short motto or bullet points (about ten words in total) are all the text you need.  

Tip #4: Include lights 

Have you ever been inside an empty convention center? Would you describe the atmosphere as warm and inviting or cool and businesslike? 

It’s cool and businesslike. While rows and rows of exhibits and an energetic crowd dramatically change the room’s vibe, there’s one thing they cannot affect: the lighting. Convention center lights have one job, and it’s not to make your display look appealing. It’s to provide light to a vast amount of space. 

Stand out from the gloom by adding lights to your tabletop display. The lights create a warm glow, makingyour exhibit stand apart from the cool haze surrounding it. Your display pops, and the warm lighting pulls attention toward your booth. 

You can use spotlights that clip to the top of your display; two is usually enough. Another possibility is securing spotlights to your table and shining light up the display. Both options are affordable and subtle enough that attendees will only notice the glow they provide.  

Tip #5: Accessorize 

The venue-supplied table where your elegantly designed display rests is likely a ratty, wobbly, time-worn relic from the Regan years. To mask this, show organizers hide these monstrosities under reams of generic drape cloth spread throughout the venue. They also tape a sign with your company’s name on it to the front. They’re trying to be nice, but it looks pretty cheesy. 

Immediately get rid of that sign – you want attendees looking at yourtabletop display. However, you should really junk that drape, too. After all, you don’t want your brand lost among rows of tables that all look the same. But trading the cheesy drape for a shabby, dilapidated table isn’t an acceptable alternative. 

The solution is a brandedtable cover. Not only will atable throwhelp separate you from the crowded trade show floor, but now your table matches your display and reinforces your branding. 

It’s also possible to extend your exhibit out from the table withbanner stands. These accessories deliver another opportunity to catch the eye of passersby, and you can include some of that text you removed from the tabletop display (not too much, though). 

There are two styles of banner stands. The first is aretractable banner stand, where the banner rests within the unit’s base and unrolls like a window shade. The second is a non-retractable banner stand, which comes in two pieces – the stand and the banner. Althoughnon-retractable banner stands require a bit more assembly, it’s nothing strenuous, and both styles are out of their cases and ready to display in a matter of minutes. 

With these tips, a tabletop display may become your trade show secret weapon. To learn more about your options for tabletop displays – lighting and accessories, too – giveExhibit Storea call at800-343-2005orcontact us here

Tabletop displays may be small, but they create a massiveimpression on a trade show floor – once you know the secrets to making them as engaging and eye-catching as possible. Don’t worry; as long as you continue reading, you will!