ClickCease Buying a trade show exhibit: what you need to know & the expected timeline | Godfrey Group


If you’re planning to attend at least three or more trade show exhibits in a year, it’s time to consider investing in your trade show exhibit. We understand the process can seem a bit daunting if you don’t know what to expect. So we’ve broken everything down so you can go into the buying process with confidence.

Buying a trade show exhibit: what you need to know

Before you buy there are a few things you’ll need to determine that will help guide your buying decisions. 

  • What are your goals for your trade show presence? 
  • What is your budget?
  • What size exhibit space do you plan to use?
  • What do you plan to do in your booth to market your products and/or services?

Once you have those key components established, you should be better equipped to determine if a standard display or a custom display will best suit your needs.

A standard display is a classic, stocked product with a prefabricated framed structure to which custom printed graphics are added. 

A custom display is unique and designed from scratch specifically with your product or service in mind.

We’d recommend browsing the different types of display components to determine which you’d like to include in your exhibit.

Designing your marketing display

Whether you opt for a standard display or a custom exhibit, you’ll have the opportunity to design graphics that pack a punch. In order to do this, we’d recommend the following to ensure your display conveys your message and captures attention:

  • Consider your target audience and make sure to draw them in, provide the information that’s important to them and present your solution to their problem(s).
  • Place your contact information where it’s easy for your customers to take notice. 
  • Don’t go overboard with an intricate design. We recommend keeping things simple.
  • Use easy-to-read fonts.
  • Use high-quality, professional images.

You can find more detailed information about designing an eye-catching marketing display here.

Purchasing a trade show exhibit: the process & timeline


Step 1: Select a design that meets your needs. 

Timeline: This step usually only takes a couple of days. It typically involves merely perusing our website and discussing the various designs and your needs with our team. We’re prepared to help you determine the best product for your marketing needs.

Step 2: Create the graphic files for the printed graphics. If you have an agency or an in-house designer, you can have them create the files for you and simply submit them here. If you don’t have anyone in-house, we have on-staff designers who are happy to help you create your graphics. This service is $85/hour and the hours required to complete the job vary depending on the complexity of your files. However, for a frame of reference, most graphic design jobs can be completed within two to four hours.

Timeline: The timeline for this step varies as it depends entirely on the turn-around time of your designer(s). When you work with one of our on-staff designers, the design job typically takes two to four hours to complete, however, turn-around time can vary depending on our designer’s workload.

Step 3: Excitedly wait for your standard display to arrive.

Timeline: Most of our standard, portable trade show displays can ship within three to seven days from the receipt of the graphic files.


Step 1: You’ll have a meeting with the Godfrey Group design team where we’ll discuss your booth space, how you envision interacting with potential customers within the space and your specific goals for your trade show display.

Step 2: 3D rendering presentation. Once we have the basic information from you, we get to work creating a custom 3D rendering that features your colors and branding. This process typically includes a period of time in which we revise and rework the renderings a couple of times in order to fine-tune the exhibit design specifically to your liking.

Step 3: Estimating. This step takes place once we arrive at the final design.

Timeline: This step typically takes a little less than a week.

Step 4: Production. This step takes place after you’ve purchased the display.

Timeline: The production phase for a custom exhibit tends to take two to six weeks to complete depending on the complexity of the design and the time of year.