Image that shows a tension fabric display used with a pop-up tent at an outdoor event.

Alternative Trade Show Display Uses

The use of trade show displays extends far beyond the typical 10’x10’ showroom booth. In fact, the category of trade show display can be misleading; these displays are functional for a variety of purposes, no matter the size of your business or what industry you’re in. Indoor or outdoor use (and everything in between), these displays can be used as photography backdrops, retail displays, point of purchase signage, wedding decor and backdrops and much, much more. Check out some of the alternative uses of these displays in our list below!

Which Display To Use?

When we mention trade show displays, we’re referring to our tension fabric display, pop up display, and step and repeat banner. All of these are viable display options for the creative uses we will dive into below, but if there’s a specific banner that works better in a certain situation, we’ll let you know. In our blog post, “Trade Show Display Comparison” we cover the individual features of each display to help you choose the product that best meets your needs. These large banners are recommended to be used indoors as they can easily be blown over in windy conditions—that said, it is possible to rig these displays for the various uses discussed in this post.

Weddings

If there’s a need for a large, decorative display at a wedding, consider using one of our trade show displays. The large printed area is perfect for photographs and images, making for a great memory wall. Create memorable wedding photographs using a tension fabric or pop up display as a backdrop in a photo booth area. The portable nature of trade show displays means that carrying them to and from your wedding venue is easy and stress-free (an important feeling for your wedding day). These displays will work fantastically for indoor wedding venues. If you are interested in using one of these displays for an outdoor wedding, be sure to weigh it down or tie it down. Note that we don’t sell weights or guylines for outdoor use of these products, so you will have to get creative on how to tie down your display. For more ideas about wedding decor, take a look at our wedding decor blog post. Here are a few ideas for using trade show displays at any wedding:

  • Photography backdrop
  • Decorative use – photo wall, script font, welcome sign
  • Room partition – divide a room for multiple uses while still incorporating wedding colors, pictures and more on one of these displays
  • Wedding agenda – schedule of the day’s events with directions to areas of venue

Media Events

Trade show displays can be implemented as backdrops at media events and press conferences. The portability of these displays allow for use at locations outside of your normal base of operations. Design these backdrops with logos of sponsors along with your own organization’s logo. If you’re hosting a news conference to launch a product or service, use the display to show off product images in conjunction with pertinent information. If you’re an emergency service organization (police, paramedic, firefighter), trade show displays can be quickly set up at emergency locations to provide indication of secure areas and be used as a press conference backdrop. Here are a few ideas on how you can use trade show displays at any media event:

  • Interview/press conference backdrop
  • Product demonstrations
  • Red Carpet Events – use as a photo backdrop for red carpet events as celebrities or guests arrive.
  • Emergency services
  • Venue decoration and organization

Retail Displays

Whether you’re celebrating a grand opening or creating a backdrop for promoting a new product, a trade show display is excellent for retail business use. The slim design of the tension fabric banner allows it to fit in window displays—providing a surface for marketing sales and products while preventing customers from seeing into the rest of the store. Pop up displays can also be the centerpiece of any in-store display or kiosk, showing off new products and attracting customers with its impressive display size. Tension fabric displays are great for on-the-go display booths for use in malls, at community events, and for street-side vendors (in calm weather, of course). Is your business or store having a grand opening? Use a trade show display to add prominence to your storefront. Here are a few ideas on how you can use trade show displays for any retail store need:

  • Mobile sales kiosk
  • Product kiosks
  • Point of purchase displays
  • Seasonal displays

Restaurants / Food Trucks / Food Stands

Large trade show displays are perfect eye magnets for pedestrians. Utilizing these displays for food trucks and food stands is a great way to attract more customers, promote your business and increase brand awareness. Need a large, easy-to-read menu? Trade show displays have you covered. Include images of popular items to bring to life your menu and make it easy to see for those passing by your location or standing in line. Here again, make sure weather conditions are calm before setting up one of these large displays outdoors or have a plan for securing it so it won’t blow away. Here are a few ideas on how you can use trade show displays at your restaurant, food truck, or food stand:

  • Promotional displays – logos, popular items, schedule
  • Menus
  • Mobile advertising

Schools & Universities

There are plenty of ways that trade show displays can be used by schools. Colleges and universities can implement displays on recruiting tours or use them to present information about their campus and degrees. These displays are excellent for presenting at academic fairs such as job fairs or grad fairs. Besides a recruiting tool, trade show displays can be used as on-campus promotional displays; events, important academic deadlines, and campus directories are all possible display options. Dorms can utilize trade show displays for floor plans, logos, or decoration. Here are a few ideas on how you can use trade show displays at your school or university:

  • Recruitment displays
  • On-campus display – advertising, campus directory, notices
  • Event decoration – homecoming, sporting events, dances

Community Fairs & Farmer’s Markets

Similar to trade show use, community fairs and farmer’s markets are great occasions to use these displays when the weather is good. Displays can be set up to advertise your brand, business, or organization. Fair coordinators can use them at entry points to welcome guests and provide directional signage. Setting up a branded step & repeat backdrop display in the back of your both ads to the ambiance of your pop-up shop—and provides great shade as well. You can also set up a hanging vinyl banner, retractable banner or feather banner to make your market booth attract customers. When considering use at community fairs or farmer’s markets, it’s important that these displays are only used in fair weather conditions (no wind, rain, etc.). Here are a few ideas on how you can use trade show displays at your community fair or farmer’s market:

  • Registration station
  • Welcome sign
  • Booth displays
  • Organization advertising

Events

Looking for the perfect way to direct people to the registration table, food tents, or vendor area at your event? Look no further! A trade show display is big enough to stand out and help guests and participants find their way. A big event like a race, concert, fundraiser, or reunion means that providing clear and easy wayfinding is vital for creating world-class guest experiences. Set up one of our backdrops behind your table with the event branding and a large-text station identifier such as “Check In” or “Registration”. Whether your event venue is indoors or outdoors, trade show displays are a versatile way to help people locate important areas at the event. Here are a few ideas on how you can use trade show displays at your event:

  • Registration
  • Check In
  • Packet Pick-up
  • First Aid
  • Information Desk

As you can see there are several uses for large format displays. If you have any questions about the materials, set-up, or printing options with these displays don’t hesitate to take a look at our product descriptions from the Trade Show Display Comparison post mentioned above. If you found this post helpful or if you have any questions about trade show displays, please leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you!

Michael Peterson

Michael is a digital marketing specialist at Signs.com. He received an MBA from Utah Valley University and has worked in multiple fields including construction, aviation, and recreation. When he's not in the office you'll find him on his bike or on a hike with his family.