When you’re somewhere new and trying to find your way, where do you look for information? Have you considered looking up?
At a busy, crowded trade show, hanging signs and structures can help people locate your booth and make their way over to you. A hanging sign won’t replace other features of a trade show display, such as wall graphics, table display items and floor graphics, but it can play an essential role in helping people find your booth and helping your exhibition stand out in a crowded convention center.
What Are Hanging Signs and Structures for Trade Shows?
Overhead trade show signs will hang from the ceiling directly over your company’s exhibit or booth. Hanging signs come in a range of shapes and sizes, so you can choose an option that works best with the size of your company’s exhibit and that coordinates well with the other design and graphic elements of your booth.
Hanging signs can be either two-dimensional or three-dimensional. They often feature a structure made from aluminum tubing, and the structure is usually covered with a printed fabric. The fabric typically stretches over the structure similar to the way a pillowcase stretches over and covers a pillow. Then, a zippered closure helps to hold the material securely in place over the aluminum structure.
What Type of Overhead Trade Show Signs Are Available?
Along with being available in either two-dimensional or three-dimensional formats, hanging signs for trade shows come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Take a look at what’s available.
1. Round Hanging Displays
A round hanging display, or ring-shaped display, is available in several sizes, ranging from 8 up to 20 feet in diameter. These signs can be either three or 4 feet in height.
When you rent a circular hanging display structure, you’ll have the option of renting a plain white fabric cover or purchasing a printed one. The printed fabric can have graphics on one side or two sides. There’s also the option of choosing a material with a graphic printed on the bottom so that your company’s name or logo is visible to people standing directly underneath the hanging display and looking up. The bottom graphic option is only available for displays measuring up to 14 feet in diameter.
2. Square Hanging Displays
Like the ring-shaped or round hanging displays, square hanging displays come in a variety of sizes, from 8 up to 20 feet in width. They can be either 3 or 4 feet tall. Also, like the ring-shaped displays, you have the option of purchasing a custom-printed fabric cover for the display or renting a plain white cover. You can choose a fabric with graphics printed on one or two sides or fabric with a bottom-printed graphic, as long as the display itself is less than 14 feet in width.
3. Triangle Hanging Displays
Triangle hanging displays are three-sided overhead signs that are available in three sizes:
- 10 feet across by 4 feet high
- 14 feet across by 4 feet high
- 20 feet across by 4 feet high
If you want a custom-printed hanging display, you can purchase a fabric cover with graphics on one to two sides. If you decide to rent a 10-foot or 14-foot hanging display, you can also choose to buy fabric with a graphic printed on the bottom. If you prefer to rent everything, you can rent a plain white fabric cover.
4. Pinwheel Hanging Displays
Pinwheel hanging displays feature three separate sections of aluminum tubing that join together to create an attractive shape. Another way to look at a pinwheel overhead sign is like a triangle hanging display, except that instead of three straight sides, each of the sides is curved.
Like the triangle hanging displays, the pinwheel-shaped displays come in three sizes: 10 feet, 14 feet and 20 feet. Each option is 4 feet high.
You can purchase printed fabric covers for the displays and place graphics on either one or two sides. There’s no option for a bottom-printed graphic with the pinwheel shape.
5. Curve Hanging Displays
While the round, square, triangle and pinwheel displays all produce a three-dimensional shape, the curve hanging display is more two-dimensional. One way to think of this display is like a standard, flat sign that someone gently bent.
The curve displays are available in three sizes: 10 feet across, 14 feet across or 20 feet across. Each display measures 4 feet in height. You can purchase one- or two-side printed fabric or rent plain white fabric to cover the display structure.
6. S-Curve Hanging Displays
An S-curve hanging display is similar to a curve hanging display, but it has two curves along its length, not just one (similar to an “S” shape). S-curve displays come in three lengths: 10 feet, 14 feet and 20 feet. They’re 4 feet tall. As with the curve hanging display, you can cover the S-curve displays with a piece of printed fabric or a plain white cloth. The printed material can have graphics on one or two sides. Only the white fabric is available as a rental.
Should You Rent or Buy Hanging Signs?
When it comes to custom hanging trade show signs, are you better off renting the structures or purchasing them to use over and over again? The answer depends on a few things.
One thing to consider when you’re deciding whether or not to rent or buy a hanging structure is how frequently your business goes to trade shows. If you’re setting up shop at a new event or new trade show almost every week, it may make financial sense to purchase a hanging structure and use it over and over again. But if trade shows are a rare occurrence for your brand and you only set up a booth once or twice a year if that, it might make more sense to rent your structure.
Renting a hanging structure also gives you more choice and freedom and the ability to adjust your display and signage based on the demands of the trade show. For example, you might be exhibiting at a trade show with small booths or small exhibition areas this month. You can only fit an 8-foot, or at most, a 10-foot display in the space. But next month, you’re headed to an event where your display area is more than double the size of the trade show this month. You can comfortably hang a 14- or even 20-foot sign. If you buy an 8- or 10-foot display, you’ll most likely use it at both events even though the bigger exhibition area will dwarf the smaller sign.
Another benefit of renting hanging displays is that doing so will allow you to switch shapes as well as sizes. For example, you may have thought a round hanging display was going to work best with the other elements of your exhibit, but it turned out that the round shape didn’t work for you. You’d like to try a square shape or a curved sign next time, and with a rental, that option is available.
There’s one thing worth pointing out when it comes to renting hanging displays. While you can rent the structures and unprinted fabric covers, if you want any customization or graphics, you’ll need to purchase the printed fabric covers. Even purchasing custom printed graphic covers and renting the aluminum structure usually works out to be more cost-friendly and cost-conscious than purchasing everything outright.
What to Know About Hanging Structure Rentals
Before you rent hanging displays and other components of a trade show display, it’s essential to understand the terms of the rental agreement and what’s involved in it. You don’t want to accidentally forfeit a deposit or cause damage to the structures you’re renting because you aren’t sure how they go together. A few factors to verify when you’re renting signage include:
- The items you can rent: Usually, you can rent structures and anything that can be used by another renter at a later date. Typically, anything with custom graphics isn’t rentable and needs to be purchased.
- What your rental options are: Can you pick and choose the structures you rent, such as a hanging display and a backdrop, or does the company offer only pre-set packages?
- How long you can keep the rentals: You want to know the deadline for returning the rented items and what consequences or fees are involved if you don’t return them on time. Does the company charge a daily late fee, a weekly fee or a percentage of the total rental price?
- What shipping costs: If you’re having the structures shipped to your business rather than picking them up, who’s responsible for the cost of shipping? When you return the items to the vendor, do you need to cover return shipping?
- If a “rent to own” option is available: You rented a hanging display because you weren’t sure how it would work for you. Now, you’ve found that you love it and you want to keep it. Some vendors will let you convert a rental to a purchase and might discount the purchase price based on what you’ve already paid toward the rental.
- Whether there’s an option to store your graphics: While you do have to purchase custom printed graphics, you might not have a lot of space to store them at your place of business. Some vendors will store your graphics for you so that they’re ready to go the next time you rent a display structure.
What Are the Benefits of Using Overhead Trade Show Signs?
Why incorporate hanging signs into your next trade show display? Overhead signs offer several benefits, including the following:
- They’re eye-catching: When you’re walking around at a trade show, it’s easy to get sign and display fatigue. The rows and rows of similar-looking booths all start to blend in with one another after a while. But an overhead sign makes you look up (literally) and take notice. When you hang a sign over your booth or exhibit, you’ll make your presentation more visible and easier to notice from across a crowded room.
- They make use of unused space: Another benefit of overhead trade show signs is that they make use of otherwise unused space. One way to think of using your hanging displays is as taking advantage of the “air space” above your booth. You’re giving yourself a chance to maximize your brand’s exposure by making use of what’s available to you.
- They’re budget-friendly: Since you can rent overhead structures, you’re likely to find that these signs are easy to make work with your budget. The option to rent the signs instead of buying them means there’s little to no commitment on your part if you end up not liking them.
- You can fully customize them: The world is your oyster when it comes to choosing a hanging sign for a trade show. You can pick a smaller, three-dimensional sign, such as an 8-foot round or square one, or you can choose a large, 20-foot S-curved sign. Since you can also design the graphics for an overhead sign, you’ll have pretty much unlimited say when it comes to how they look.
What to Consider When Choosing a Hanging Sign for a Trade Show
Now that you have an idea of what types of hanging signs are available and what the benefits of using them are, how do you go about picking the type of sign that will best meet your needs? Here are some things to keep in mind:
- The size of your exhibition space: How much space you have in your booth will influence the overall size of your hanging display. If your booth is 10 feet by 10 feet, a 20-foot-diameter sign isn’t going to fit. That said, if you have a much larger area to fill, a smaller display will look out of place.
- Whether you want a bottom-printed graphic: Bottom graphics are usually only available on smaller hanging displays. It’s up to you to decide if bottom graphic or no bottom graphic is a deal breaker.
- The rules of the convention or event center: Every convention or event center is likely to have its own set of rules when it comes to what you can hang from the ceiling and how you can hang it. Be sure your overhead sign follows the rules, and double check to make sure you follow any rules and guidelines when you hang up the displays. For example, some convention centers might require you to use their staff and hardware for suspending anything from the ceiling. The center might also have limits when it comes to the size and weight of your hanging display.
- The shape of the display: Although hanging displays tend to be eye-catching in general, some forms might stand out more than others. You might consider a triangle or pinwheel-shaped display to make your booth even more noticeable.
Partner With SpeedPro for All Your Trade Show Sign Rental Needs
If you’ve got a trade show coming up and are looking for a way to make your exhibit or booth pop, consider renting a hanging display to attract visitors. The team at your local SpeedPro studio can help you choose the structure that best meets your needs, and we’ll work with you to create attention-grabbing, attractive graphics that you can use over and over again. To learn more, contact your local SpeedPro studio today.