Monthly Archives: December 2013

Finding the Right Custom Exhibit House

The creation of a custom trade show display is an important element in your marketing strategy.  Attention needs to be paid to functionality, modularity and aesthetics. Ensuring your booth is the right balance between innovation and practicality is key.  Finding the right exhibit design and fabrication company for the task is just as important.  With so many options out there, below are some tips to finding the right company for you.

  • Location, Location, Location: The internet has allowed companies across the globe to work together seamlessly.  The exhibit design and fabrication of a custom trade show exhibit however, is a situation where accessibility to your exhibit house is ideal.  Design input meetings, progress meetings, and booth previews are vital components to ensuring you are getting the exhibit you envision.  A trade show exhibit house within a few hour’s drive is a perfect scenario.
Loran Associates fabrication shop
  • Research:  Perform a Google search and research tradeshow exhibit companies.  Look at examples of their work, and find past builds that appeals to you.  Most importantly, find a company that has custom trade show booth experience with various booth sizes and configurations that span many industries.  You want to ensure the company builds custom trade show exhibits in-house, and does not sub out to other companies.  This will keep costs low, and ensure you are getting what you are paying for.
Fabrication work in progress
  • Industry Associations:  While you’re online, check out some industry associations, many have supplier directories to help narrow down some of your choices.  Here are a few to get you started:
  • Show Floor:  By far the best place to find a good tradeshow exhibit company is right on the show floor.  Walking the halls pre-show and talking to people whose booths you like is the perfect way to kill many birds with one stone.  In most cases, you can speak to a representative of the exhibit company right there, and can get a firsthand account of their services.
Completed projects on the show floor
  • Word Of Mouth:  Talk to people in the industry and find out their experiences.  Find associations in your industry that cover exhibit and event management (HCEA, for instance, is ideal for those in the Healthcare industry), and participate in their annual vendor showcases.
An exhibit with meeting area

Once you have narrowed down your choices, create an RFP to select the right company for you.  Many RFPs involve the company coming to your facility to present.  I, however, feel it’s vastly more important to visit the vendor location.  Ensure they have the man-power and facility to handle your exhibit program.  This will create a level of comfort that is intangible in this industry, and essential in ensuring a successful trade show exhibit experience.

Purchasing a new trade show exhibit can seem like a daunting task, but finding the right exhibit company should make your experience seem not only easy, but fun as well.  Loran Associates has been providing exhibit design and fabrication for more than 20 years to hundreds of clients nationwide.  Check out their portfolio to see the quality work Loran has done, and to get an idea of the incredible things they can do for you.

Getting Graphic – Which Materials Are Best for your Display?

Even the most amazing trade show exhibit build isn’t going to have an impact if the graphics are dull. Killer graphics are what grabs people’s attention and draws them to trade show displays. Even with an existing booth, changing out graphics can give it a whole new look and a new life.


Recent developments in printing technology and materials are providing more ways to create interesting, compelling and effective graphics. So what is the best choice for your graphics? The info below will help you determine what will work for your custom trade show exhibit. 

Rigid Panels

Using rigid panels with printed graphics for your display gives you the most flexibility. Because there is such an extensive range available, you will be able to find a material that suits your needs.

Surface materials

  • Photobase paper is an excellent choice for detailed graphics or photographs. Available in a variety of finishes from glossy to matte, it is suitable for a number of printing methods such as ink jet or screen-printing.
  • Canvas paper is a heavyweight paper with a coated, textured surface that resembles canvas for an upscale look. It also lends itself to a variety of printing methods.
  • Vinyl is a very durable material that does not need to be mounted on a base material. The applications for vinyl are endless and it is the best option for outdoor displays.

Base Materials

  • Laminated panels are available in a range of thicknesses. A thicker panel will increase durability. They attach to the exhibit with magnetic or hook and eye tape
  • PVC sheeting is lightweight and has a satin finish. It’s easy to cut and bend and is good for outdoor applications.
  • Foam board is another lightweight option. A thicker board can be very sturdy without being heavy.  

Fabric Panels

Newer printing technology has made fabric a viable option for trade show displays. Fabric delivers an elegant appearance and can be washed and ironed making it a good choice for graphics that will be used more than once. Lightweight and compressible, fabric can also reduce shipping costs.  Graphics can be printed and attached by different methods.

Printing Methods

  • Dye sublimation involves ink bonded to fibers via heat transfer and is an excellent application for photographs. This process is only possible on polyester fabric.
  • Direct printing embeds ink into fabric with steam delivering crisp and clear graphics. Not limited to polyester, fabrics such as cotton or silk can be used as well.

Attachment Methods

  • SEG (silicone edge graphics) have a band of flexible silicone sewn into the edge of the graphic. This edge is then pressed into a narrow channel in an aluminum frame.
  • Edge bead is similar to SEG but with a flexible tube sewn into the fabric.
  • Pole pockets consist of a continuous pocket sewn into the top of the graphic. A pole is inserted through it and the bottom edge is secured with another pole pocket or weighted.
  • Hook and loop fabric can be used to adhere the fabric directly to a display.

With so many options for graphics printing, it can be overwhelming.  The experienced staff at Loran Associates has been providing exhibit design and fabrication for more than 20 years to hundreds of clients nationwide. Let Loran’s portfolio inspire you and contact us to discuss creating incredible graphics for your trade show display.