5 Things to Look For in a Trade Show Company

Written By:

Kathryn Mittelstadt

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trade show attendees reviewing trade show booths

Are you searching for an exhibit company but don’t know what to look for? Finding and deciding on the right trade show company can be daunting, stressful, and discouraging. 

Maybe this is your first trade show and you’re not sure where to start. Or perhaps you’ve done trade shows but you’ve got too much on your plate to worry about all the nitty-gritty details. 

With over 25 years of experience, Showcraft uses empathy to make trade shows and live events effective and stress-free for you and your team. 

Offering a variety of services, we know all the questions you’ll ask, and several you should ask but might not already know. Plus all of the details to look for when selecting the right trade show company for you.  

This article covers types of services to pay attention to, day of details to plan for, and how your trade show is affecting the environment. 

By the end of this article, you'll know the right things to look for in a trade show company and be ready to schedule a consultation.

5 Things to Look for In a Trade Show Company

1. Types of Products and Services 


When searching for a trade show company, you’re looking for someone who can showcase your unique product or offering. However, there are many different details that go into a successful trade show. 

The three main types of exhibits are:

  • Portable - lightweight, easily condensed, and can be carried on a plane
  • Rental - an actual structure that can include tables, counters, graphics, and electronics
  • Custom - built to spec, can be any size or shape necessary

Which type of exhibit are you looking for? Some companies may specialize in only one while others carry all three. 

The next piece to consider is the services themselves. Some companies offer a la carte, meaning just design, just production, or just on-site management. 

A design company would only focus on creating what your booth looks like- graphics, size, shape, etc. 

A production company would specialize in bringing the design to life, constructing the booth, and shipping the materials. 

Lastly, a management service would oversee the assembly of the booth on the day of the show. 

Other companies, like Showcraft, offer an end-to-end service that includes all of these things. We’ll even assemble your booth in our warehouse and test all the features before breaking it back down to ship, to ensure everything looks and works the way it should. 

Be sure to assess your own needs before inquiring about the offerings of your exhibit company, so that you know exactly what boxes you need to check before your big show.  

2. Assembly and On Site 

On the morning of your trade show, things can get chaotic. But they don’t have to be. 

In many cases, exhibits are erected by unionized labor. In an ideal world, this would mean when your sales rep arrives the booth would be perfectly assembled and they should immediately be ready to start the show. 

However, this is not an ideal world! Sometimes things happen. Booths get assembled wrong, the exhibit doesn’t look the way it should, or maybe a piece is missing. 

Another question to keep in mind is will your prospective company provide management to oversee the assembly or will you leave your sales team responsible for cleaning up the mess? 

3. Customer Satisfaction 

Whether it’s trade shows or deep dish pizza, the reviews are always important.

Here are some questions to consider: is the exhibit company you’re considering reputable? Do they have good reviews? What are other people saying about them? 

Going hand in hand with customer satisfaction is years of experience. Having the most years in the industry doesn’t always mean the best, but it does indicate that they’re doing something right. 

In an industry where lots of your money is on the line, trust is extremely important. You need someone with experience and expertise that you can rely on before, during, and after your trade show. So be sure to look at Google Reviews before you book your trade show company. 

4. Location 


For some business owners, location also plays a role. Is it important that your trade show company is in your region? 

For example, if you’re a local soap maker and want a booth at a trade show, you probably want to stick close to home. Or, if your business has international reach, you may want to book a venue overseas. 

Each business is different, determine if your needs are regional, national or global.  

Almost all exhibit houses will be able to accommodate nationally, but if you’re only hosting within your region, you might prefer a local partner who knows the area. 

If your company exhibits at multiple events across the country throughout the year, a national option would be a great choice. 

Accommodating internationally is not as common and will be something you’ll need to specifically inquire about when choosing a trade show company. 

Whether you're hosting locally, or across the Atlantic, make sure your exhibit house has suppliers where you need them. 

5. Sustainability 


A topic not often associated positively with trade shows is sustainability. Every year it’s estimated the trade show industry generates more than 600,000 tons of waste. 

Your business doesn’t need to be a contributor. When seeking a trade show company, make note of ones actively trying to reduce their eco-footprint. 

Some exhibit companies even have their B-corp certification. This means social good is written in their by-laws. Social good can take many forms, and when these companies become certified they are held accountable.

Every year they are required to write an impact report, these documents are public and available to anyone. If sustainability is a core focus of your business, your exhibit company’s impact report might be worth the read. 

Even if they’re not a B-corp, ask your next trade show company what measures they’re taking and in what ways you can increase your sustainability efforts when it comes to exhibits. 

Find The Right Trade Show Company for You 

Seeking out a trade show company doesn’t have to be stressful. By prioritizing your needs and knowing what to look for in an exhibit provider, you’re sure to make the right choice. 

Showcraft is an end-to-end exhibits and events company based in the Midwest. We’ve been in the industry for over 25 years and helped thousands of companies showcase their products. Our mission is to prioritize the environment while providing the best service possible to our clients. 

Download your free checklist: 4 Steps to a Stress-Free & Effective Trade Shows

If you’re interested in learning more about our specific services and offerings, schedule a consultation today! 

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