Surviving exhibition stands: trade fair stand assembly guide /1

Trade shows are one of the most stressful activities in the business world. Surviving a fair means finishing it without suffering major setbacks. If you are preparing your first fair or want to improve after having suffered them... this guide can help you.

Welcome to the trade show booth survival guide


My name is Matias Valenzuela and I have created this completely free guide guide to lend a hand to anyone who faces the challenge of exhibiting at a fair. Throughout a large number of juicy articles I try to unravel the process of both hiring a stand and controlling its production. Although it is not a course, I believe that it contains a fundamental part of the know-how that I have accumulated during more than 25 years as a designer and builder of stands.  I hope this guide helps you avoid mistakes and you can face the assembly of your stand with greater confidence and relaxation. .

You can go through the guide from beginning to end or go to each specific chapter. I'm sure you'll find something to help you.

exhibition stand with a lot of people, blue tinted
Trade shows are one of the most stressful activities in the business world

Check out why this guide will help you improve your stands, save money and avoid problems:

Chapter 1:
Booth Survival Guide: Become the King of the Trade Show Booth Jungle

Do not waste time, if you already have many fairs behind you, this guide may not be for you. Anyway... I'm sure you'll learn something new by reading these posts. What you can do in any case is share it with your colleagues, surely someone can take advantage of all this know-how and avoid falling into the most common mistakes 🙂

pig and key over a trade show background

Episode 2:
Turnkey vs. separate contracting

Is it worth hiring the services on your own, or is it always better to hire a turnkey stand and forget about paperwork and problems? in this post I will tell you how many $ you can save, if it is really justified, and what problems can be caused by "not worrying" about the stand until you get to the fair.

stand builders with a trade show background

Chapter 3:
How to survive the booth builders

You have chosen a supplier because their stands are very beautiful and you have done a project for them at a very good price. What can go wrong? Many things: We help you evaluate suppliers no longer fall into the mirage of photos and renders.
There are many aspects to take into account when deciding on a stand builder for your company. Trust me, I'm a stand builder and I know what I'm talking about 🙂

magnifying glass over a trade show blurred background

Chapter 4:
How to survive international fairs

There is a different way of approaching each type of fair in which your company participates. International fairs, with their suppliers and their problems, require special care when hiring. We help you clarify this issue

Color exhibition stand among others in greyscale

Chapter 5:
How to choose the space for your stand

You have participated in a fair and a lot of money has been spent, but you have not obtained the potential clients or the results that you expected. Your booth location may be responsible. We explain how to choose it.

octanorm modular system profiles and sustainable cube

Chapter 6:
Modular stands: the new era of modular sustainability

You have participated in a fair with few days of assembly and the result has been disastrous... maybe you should start thinking about modular systems. We explain all the types, their pros and cons.

fair stands design -Leche Pascual

Chapter 7:
A pocket bible in the finishing stands

The custom-made stand looks very nice from a distance, but from the outside it's better not to look at it. How to get the finishes to be as good as the design you have approved? We explain everything you need to know to understand what finishes you will finally have when the stand is delivered to you.

euro bills over a trade show booth render background

Chapter 8:
How much does an exhibition stand cost?

This is the million dollar question, especially in these turbulent times of raw material cost overruns. Have you paid too much for your stand? Have you been made a reckless offer? We give you an overview of the prices (yes, real budgets) so that I can better guide you when accepting a quote.

hand with a smartwatch with an exhibition booth as background

Chapter 9:
Control the stand assembly process and its times

Have you ever participated in a fair and felt that your stand was not moving for a few days? Or maybe the opposite... did they do it too fast and now there's no one to finish it? Both cases may represent that your suppliers are working in other stands that are not yours. We teach you to manage the times of a typical stand, so you know if they are doing things right.

truss with lighting

Chapter 10:
Stand lighting: Shine at the fair!

You look at the renders of the project that you have been sold... and it doesn't look much like the booth you just received, what happened? It is quite possible that lighting is responsible for this mismatch. Read this post to learn how to make your stand shine the same in the exhibition as in the renders.

sign plotter

Chapter 11:
All about signage of stands

Why do your booth graphics look so bad? If you have contracted a turnkey stand, there is a first person responsible: the builder. Could you have intervened in the process to prevent this from happening? It is very possible... but for this you need to know what to do and what to demand. I teach you everything you need to know about the graphics of stands for fairs

chairs of different pastel colors

Chapter 12:
Furniture for fair stands

You have accepted the furniture offered by your turnkey supplier and after 4 days of the fair... your body asks you to do something for the next one. In this post we talk about the best furniture models for your stand and how to ensure that both the image of your stand and your stand benefit from the choice.

Chapter 13:
Master the contracting of services

Have you forgotten to hire a service? Did you miss the deadline and have you paid a surcharge? Your supplier does not help you with the contracting and you are lost? Here we unravel the maze of services, a very useful read before facing this tedious task.

man holding a magnifying glass over a booth plan background

Chapter 14:
How to avoid the worst scenario in a montage

In the worst case: A foreign company has finished badly your stand and you want to claim... is it worth it? An assembler has had an accident at his stand... and the accident involves you or your company. Many things can go wrong if you are not covered. in this post we take a look at what you can do to protect yourself.

euro symbol over a trade show blue tinted background

Chapter 15:
All about the cost of a trade show

Are you going to participate in a fair and want to know how much it will cost your company? There are many variables to take into account when calculating the cost of a fair. in this post I'll tell you everything you need to know so you don't get scared when the time comes to do the math.

man drawing exhibition stand plan

Chapter 16:
How to design a creative stand?

Do you need to design a stand? You have found the correct post. Here we are going to review all the steps that lead you to achieve a stand design, if it is not "groundbreaking" at least "decent" which is saying a lot...if you don't know anything about the subject yet 🙂

Looking for something else?

This is a series of articles that aim to give a complete vision of the assembly of trade fair stands. Here you can see the links to the topics that I touch on, I assure you that you will not regret taking a look: 

About the Author

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Consult the content of our Survival Manual for fair stands

Man with helmet and reflective vest