Having been in the trade show display industry for a decade, we’ve seen the market evolve. In many ways, the industry has stayed the same. But there have also been areas of radical change. When we got into this industry, the trade show market was dominated by two rather radical extremes. On the high end, companies offered custom built display solutions. These companies were starkly contrasted by printers who offered generic portable solutions. In terms of the categories, not much has changed. Both economical and even cheap portable displays are widely sold and used along with custom built backdrops and towers. What has changed is the emergence of more mid range modular solutions that offer both flexibility and affordability.
In large part this is in thanks to the replacement of truss style towers, backdrops and displays with units often terms hop-up, pop-up or expand backdrops. These units were adopted early on by custom trade show display providers because they allowed for reconfiguration without welding and offered the added benefit of being extremely portable. They could now market themselves as suppliers of portable trade show displays and compete with the more economical providers. Not surprisingly, the trend worked both ways, with printers quickly adopting these displays and marketing them.
Today the trade show market is a unique mixture of marketing display providers who offer modular solutions on a variety of materials. The progression has increasingly been a move towards fabric displays, which can wrap and form to displays in a much more fluid way.