Nimlok Michigan | Custom Trade Show Display FAQ
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Custom Trade Show Display FAQ

The trade show display experts at Nimlok Michigan know firsthand that customers can be overwhelmed by the myriad of choices, options and decisions that must be made when planning for a trade show. In order to make this process easier and less complex, we have provided answers below to some of the most common questions we are asked.

Click on any of the links below to learn the basics about trade show displays:


What are modular trade show displays?

Modular trade show displays are built using standardized pieces that allow for an exhibit that meets your needs but still remains flexible for additional modifications such as reconfigurations, scaling, accessory additions and more.

Nimlok Michigan offers over 50 off-the-shelf modular trade show displays as well as limitless customized modular exhibits, so you’ll be sure to find a design that fits both your budget and your brand. To learn more about Nimlok Michigan’s modular display capabilities, download our free modular exhibit brochure.


Why should I choose a modular trade show display?

Since modular trade show displays are built using standardized pieces, they are easy to modify from show-to-show, making them a good option for the multi-show exhibitor.

Other advantages of modular displays:

  • Cost-effective alternative to custom trade show exhibits
  • Built using quality, ecofriendly, recyclable aluminum, maximizing the life of the display
  • Can be accessorized and updated to meet the evolving needs of an exhibitor


How are modular displays used?

Modular trade show displays are commonly used at trade shows and conferences, but can also be adopted for use in retail environments, museums, award ceremonies and other face-to-face environments.


What accessories can I pair with my modular display?

Accessorizing a modular trade show display can add the finishing touches to any exhibit. Modular trade show displays can be equipped with a wide variety of accessories including stand-alone kiosks, literature racks, display lighting, counters and iPad stands.


How do I care for my modular trade show display?

Modular trade show displays are durable and designed to weather the rigors of regular transport, setup and dismantling. That said, exhibitors can take steps to ensure they extend the life of their modular trade show display.

Tips for maintenance and upkeep:

  • Follow assembly and disassembly instructions provided with your display
  • Follow packaging instructions when transporting and storing your display
  • Be careful when cleaning laminate graphics, dampening the edges can cause pealing
  • Avoid attaching post-it notes, tape and other adhesive-based product to display graphics


What are rental trade show displays?

Rental trade show displays are displays comprised entirely or partially of rental hardware components. Rental displays are generally a third of the cost of purchasing an exhibit and allow exhibitors the opportunity to experience different types of displays without having to purchase, store and maintain one.


What’s the difference between custom and standard rentals?

Custom rental exhibits are designed by expert exhibit designers and give exhibitors in need of a custom exhibit a more cost-effective option. Exhibitors sometimes choose custom rental solutions to augment their current exhibit assets. For example, if you own 20’ x 20’ exhibit, adding rental components can expand the exhibit without requiring additional storage or maintenance costs.

Off-the-shelf rental exhibit are pre-built, time-saving, cost-effective and perfect for exhibitors looking for a fast rental trade show display solution. Renters choose from a selection of rental exhibit kits to find the right fit for their needs.


How do I rent a trade show display?

The process of renting a trade show display depends on whether or not you are renting an off-the-shelf kit or a custom rental exhibit.

If you are looking to rent an off-the-shelf kit, first consult with an expert Nimlok dealer to choose the right rental display for your exhibiting needs. After you have selected a rental kit, design and purchase graphics for your display. Once you have finalized your selection, your rental hardware and purchased graphics will be shipped to your event. After your event is over, remove your purchased graphics from the rental hardware, disassemble your rental kit and return rental components.

Renting a custom exhibit is a similar but more consultative process. Instead of choosing a pre-built kit, Nimlok’s team of experienced exhibit designers work with you to design an exhibit that incorporates a broad range of extrusion and laminate components. Custom rental exhibits may also include purchased components, depending on the needs of the exhibitor.

Once you have finalized your custom design, your rental assets and purchased graphics will be shipped to you. We recommend that you hire an Installation & Dismantle team experienced with custom exhibit assembly and disassembly to handle your rental exhibit on the show floor. After your event is over, return components before the return deadline.


What are the advantages of renting a trade show display?

Rental trade show displays are a cost-effective and risk-free way to try different exhibit types until you find one that works for you. Display rentals are also time-saving options for exhibitors looking for a fast face-to-face marketing solution.

Other advantages of rental trade show displays:

  • Reduces overall exhibit cost, as the exhibit is rented
  • Faster turnaround times because rental components are standardized
  • Reduces storage costs as rental components are returned after use
  • Perfect for first-time exhibitors unfamiliar with exhibit design options
  • Good for the infrequent exhibitors in need of a onetime display
  • Ideal for companies with exhibit needs that change from show to show


How many times can I rent the same trade show display?

The cost of renting a trade show display is roughly a third of the cost of purchasing. If you plan to use a rental display more than three times, it may be more cost effective to purchase. However, rental trade show displays reduce need for storage and maintenance. For this reason, some companies may rent more than three times. Evaluate your needs and resources to determine how many times you should rent.


How do I care for my rental trade show display?

It is important to take good care of you rental trade show display because you are liable for all damaged or lost rental parts.

Tips for maintenance and upkeep:

  • Follow assembly and disassembly instructions provided with your rental display
  • Follow packaging instructions when transporting and storing your rental display
  • Wipe down surfaces and remove purchased components and graphics from rental items
  • Closely inspect display hardware for scratches, dents and blemishes
  • Make sure you account for every rental piece before returning your display


What are custom trade show exhibits?

Custom trade show exhibits are made-to-order exhibits that are built to meet the specialized design needs and requirements of an exhibitor. Each exhibit is unique and includes a wide variety of custom fabricated materials such as wood, fabric, laminates, glass and plastics. Since custom exhibits are made-to-order, they can be any size, from smaller 10’ x 10’ designs to larger-scale exhibits.


How long does it take to build a custom trade show exhibit?

The length of time it takes to build a custom trade show exhibit varies based on size and the needs of the exhibitor. It is advised that you commission your exhibit at least 90 days or more before your trade show for exhibit sizes of 20’ x 20’or smaller. Allow more time for larger exhibits.


Why should I choose a custom trade show exhibit?

Because custom trade show exhibits are custom-built, they offer exhibitors a chance to design a highly-personalized exhibit unique to their brand. Custom trade show exhibits typically require a larger budget than custom modular exhibits, but are invaluable for exhibitors looking to make a statement on the trade show floor with an eye-catching, one-of-a-kind exhibit.

Other advantages of custom trade show exhibits:

  • Opportunity for highly-creative product displays and exhibits, accents and environments
  • Cabpable of uniquely displaying products on the trade show floor
  • Ideal for large-scale exhibits or exhibits with special needs, such as being multi-storied or needing spaces for food preparation and storage or stage-like presentation areas


How do you set up a custom trade show exhibit?

Because of the scale and complexity of a custom exhibit, its assembly requires experienced installation and dismantle (I&D) professionals. Read more about exhibit installation and dismantle services.


How do I care for my custom trade show exhibit?

Custom trade show exhibits are an investment, so making sure that they are properly cared for is extremely important.

Tips for maintenance and upkeep:

  • Contract an experienced and reputable I&D team familiar with custom exhibits
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaning materials on graphics, counters and other surfaces
  • Make sure all components and parts are accounted for before packing the exhibit
  • Follow packaging instructions when transporting and storing your custom display

Store your custom trade show exhibit in a temperature controlled, secure place or with a reputable exhibit storage services company.

For more information about custom, modular or rental trade show displays, or to request an estimate for your upcoming event, please contact us here or call us directly at 616.233.9401.

Nimlok’s team was collaborative, easy to work with, gave us a great design and stayed within our budget — all the other positives were just icing on the cake.

– Amy Spencer, Marketing Director, DATRON

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