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Trade show graphics Vancouver Archives | Specialty Graphic Solutions

Eye-Grabbing Trade Show Display for Swanson Bark & Wood!

By | Trade Show Displays, Trade Show Graphics | No Comments

You only have three to six seconds to draw attendees in for a closer look at trade shows. You could try training dolphins to juggle fire. People are sure to be interested in that. But, chances are you don’t have the budget or patience for that. The next best option is breathtaking trade show graphics. Swanson realized this, so they contacted the mighty sign makers at Specialty Graphic Solutions for trade show displays in Vancouver, WA.

We’re Not Talking TV Dinners

The “Swanson,” in this case, is Swanson Bark & Wood, and they aren’t one of those lumber businesses that supplies wood products at the expense of their workers and Mother Nature. Instead, from their headquarters on Tennant Way in Longview, they’re more focused on safety, quality, and sustainability. They’ve delivered wood products throughout the country and beyond for over 85 years. They offer biomass, rock, custom soil blends, mulch, and more.

We were more than happy to provide assistance when a company that has been providing work to the area for so long came to us for trade show graphics in Vancouver, WA. This wasn’t our first time working with Swanson. Back in May, we produced a lobby sign featuring their new branding. This time, they needed to update the look of an existing display in time for a big upcoming trade show. They knew they could count on us.

Our Trade Show Displays Are Anything but Conventional

Swanson already had a sturdy, solid tabletop display that they really liked, but the graphic panels were tired and old. Rather than producing a totally new exhibit for them, we thought we’d save them money by producing new graphics on new panels to show off their new look. They had their design firm provide us with the new graphics files. We then sat down with Executive Administrator Kris Burstall to figure out which materials would be best to make this display practical to use and visually effective.

Based on the consultation, we produced the new panels on .030 styrene. We added full-color digital prints and a protective matte laminate face. The laminate minimizes scratching, which is a must since these graphic panels travel around a lot and also sit in storage. We chose a laminate with a matte finish to avoid reflection from the bright lights of the convention centers and exhibit halls detracting from the overall appearance of the exhibit. Finally, to allow for easy mounting of the fabric face display system, we incorporated Velcro.

The original display featured a top center panel on a different material that had a translucent print to allow for backlighting. We suggested they move away from this and just use the same opaque styrene for all three of the top panels since it was going to have the same image across the top and would look funny with ambient light shining through the center panel and not the others. Kris agreed with our assessment.

In the end, we produced a nice, sleek look for the whole booth. And, we got a report from Kris that everything fit perfectly and went up smoothly. They really loved the new display appearance, and the panels are carefully stored away until the next show.

If you want your next trade show to be successful, contact SGS today for trade show graphics!



Questions? Drop us a line at hello@SGSgraphic.com or call us at (360) 635-5556 and unless we’re up to our elbows in alligators, a live person will answer. If you leave a message we will call you back pronto.

Budgeting Tips for Your Next Trade Show

By | Pull Up Banners, Trade Show Displays | No Comments

The cost of buying an exhibit space at a trade show is just one of many expenses when it comes to attending a convention. There’s also travel and lodging, show services, exhibit design and construction, exhibit shipping, and the price of enough Frappuccinos to keep you on your feet and engaging prospective leads from the time the doors open until they close.

We recently came across a “Budgeting for Dummies” article in EXHIBITOR Magazine that included a lot of great information for figuring out how expensive your next trade show experience will cost you. We encourage you to read the entire article, but for those of you who are time strapped, here’s our tl;dr (“too long; didn’t read”) collection of budgeting tips for trade shows.

Three Main Budgeting Strategies

When you need to make a quick ballpark estimate of how much to budget for a trade show, use one of these three strategies:

  1. Cost-per-Square Foot Calculation – Average your past exhibiting costs to get an idea of future costs. To do this, you add up the costs associated with each of the previous year’s shows and divide each by the booths’ square footage. You then multiply this average by the number of square feet you will have at the upcoming show.
  2. Cost-per-Lead Calculation – Average the cost per lead from past shows to get your future expenses. You do this by dividing the costs of past events by the number of leads they generated. You then multiply this number by how many leads you expect at the upcoming show.
  3. Space-Cost Calculation – One of the fastest and least scientific ways to determine how much you can expect to spend is to multiple the exhibit space cost by three. Why’s that? Industry surveys show that the typical exhibitor spends three times the space cost for the entire event.

Some Rules of Thumb

For every 50 square feet of open exhibit space, you should plan on having one exhibit staffer. If you have specific spots that need nonstop coverage, you need extra staff. This includes presentation areas, a reception counter, hospitality areas, and demo stations. You may also need added coverage for competitor analysis, breaks, client meetings, and conference sessions. To cover the costs of Internet, hotel, air travel, miscellaneous tips, food, and ground transportation for a three day event, budget between $2,000 and $2,500 per employee.

Installation generally takes twice as long as dismantling your booth. That said, estimate two hours of setup for every ten linear feet of a custom or modular exhibit and an hour for every ten feet of a linear booth with a pop-up or banner stands. And, estimate one hour total installation and dismantle time for every eight square feet for a large, complex island or peninsula exhibit.

Of course, when it comes to creating a booth that is simple to assemble, you can rely on the mighty sign makers at SGS. We’ve been known to travel to local trade shows to setup clients’ displays for them. If you’re interested in learning more about how to budget for your trade show displays, contact us today for a free consultation and estimate! We might even be able to tell you how many Frappuccinos to order!



Questions? Drop us a line at hello@SGSgraphic.com or call us at (360) 635-5556 and unless we’re up to our elbows in alligators, a live person will answer. If you leave a message we will call you back pronto.

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