4 Tips for Executing a Seamless Exhibit Setup

By August 21, 2020 No Comments

Moving day is a chore… literally. You are excited to showcase your products and services to the world, but building a trade show booth entails extensive installation and dismantling prowess. If you have ever struggled with a personal move, multiply that by “Ugh!” and you’ll have an idea of how difficult I&D truly is.

But don’t ditch your dreams just yet. 

The right partner can execute your installation and dismantle processes with ease. Be ready to convey your wishes and seek out a professional to bring them to fruition. The following tips may prove handy as you explore your options and set up your next exhibit. 


You built your organization into a thriving entity, so why can’t you do the same with your trade show booth? We believe in you, but we also want to warn you about the pitfalls of DIY I&D.

Every expo venue has its own rules and limitations. You are given a finite amount of time to load in your elements, assemble them cohesively, and break it all down before the next show gears up. In other words: this is someone else’s playground, and you need to observe their boundaries.

The uncertainties begin from the ground up. Do you know how to anchor your booth to the floor? You need to plan ahead and understand how your exhibit will mesh with the surroundings. Is the foundation vinyl, wood, or something entirely unexpected? While it is important to design with your head in the clouds, you must keep your feet – and booth – firmly planted for safety.

It is vital to have an expert help you navigate the trade show floor well before the date of your installation. Walk the parameters, take photos of the fixtures, and mentally map out your exhibit. Do a dry run back home, replicating the conditions of the venue. Time yourself on how quickly you can set up your booth… now imagine dozens of other organizations clamoring for time and space all around you.


This brings us to an important consideration: elbow room. You are not merely swooping in and installing your exhibit in isolation. You must confine yourself to your assigned area throughout the I&D process. The process is akin to building a ship in a bottle, and then dismantling it in half the time it took to construct.

To add another complication into the mix, you must give ample breathing room to those around you without the proper experience to know their boundaries. Over 50% of trade show visitors are there for the first time. These newbies may not understand the delicate dance required to safely navigate the confines of an assigned plot while setting up and breaking down a booth.

Breathe, acknowledge, and be patient.

Those rookies in the adjacent space may be your future clients, so do not lose your cool. Allow yourself enough time in the schedule to accommodate mistakes, not only on your part, but also courtesy of your neighbors. Installation and dismantle is a precise discipline. It takes years to perfect, so newcomers to the trade show world will invariably fail. Do not get caught up in their incompetence and budget plenty of wiggle room to work around the many stumbling blocks that will emerge all around you.


One important factor to keep in mind as you maneuver the mayhem of the crowds: how big is your vision? Sketching out the dimensions of your booth is a great first start, but blueprints are much more manageable than actual planks and beams. 

Where is the load-in entrance to the venue hall? All strategies begin and end at this threshold. Measure the most cumbersome elements of your booth and make sure they fit through the door. This may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised how easily you forget the simple stuff as you juggle the various complications of your campaign.

Now that you’ve gotten your foot in the door, what’s your next step? It is essential to coordinate your installation schedule with your fellow attendees to avoid calamity. If you and your neighbor are both behind schedule, treachery awaits. Stand back, let safety be your compass, and give everyone enough berth to dock their exhibits securely.


To execute the move-in and move-out process smoothly, you will need strong, steady hands. You may have a trusty crew to lean on back at headquarters, but how will they fare in the untested waters of your next venue hall?

It is important to brush up on the labor laws in the locality of your upcoming trade show. Is it a union event? Are you required to rest your crew every four hours, or do they need more frequent breaks? Is your local team authorized to perform manual labor on the trade show floor? These are important questions to answer before any equipment changes hands to ensure you have the right squad for the job


The common thread woven throughout the tips detailed above is the importance of planning ahead. You can achieve the impossible with enough time and forethought. In the spirit of advanced preparation, plug this date into your calendar: January of 2021.

If you book a trade show with Patriot before the first month of 2021, you will receive 15% off labor fees for the installation and dismantle process. We live and breathe efficiency, and we want to pass our expertise on to you. Contact our dedicated, knowledgeable staff, and let’s get you set up for success!

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