Reasons to get a Custom Trade Show Hanging Sign
There is still no better way of getting your brand up high especially from all sides of the booth than a Trade Show Hanging Sign. But the process between getting a standard size sign and having a monster size hanging sign above your booth can be different…sometimes VERY different.
That is because there are numerous factors involved. From the Convention Center, to the show contractor, your sign builder and more. It can all seem a little daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Sure, there is a bit more leg work involved in the first go-around since you are having the hanging sign made for the first time and with any custom project this one needs to have all the details in place to make sure it turns out just right.
Why a Custom Trade Show Hanging Sign?
Let’s start out with some basics. Why would you want to go through the extra expense and time of getting a custom trade show hanging sign when you have so many great options in the standard sizes and shapes (we’ll call these up to 20′ wide)? Just like anything else, some companies want to take it to a whole new level and have the biggest impact possible.
Another reason is larger companies (in general) have larger booth spaces. I know this isn’t ALWAYS the case, but we’re speaking generally here. Having a 15′ wide square Hanging Sign at a 20X20′ Island Booth Space is proportional, but having that same 15′ sign over a 40X60′ Booth Space will do more to detract from the booth’s overall impact rather than contributing to it.
So yes, these larger booths need to be “kicked up a notch” like Emeril Legasse would say. Bam!!
So, let’s talk a bit more about these beast of a signs. Let’s go big. REALLY big!
Some shows will have Trade Show Hanging Signs that are 40′, 50′, 60′ and even bigger! Sky is the limit (sort of). Really the only limit is whatever the show is comfortable rigging and the size of the Convention Ceiling. But getting down to business there are some logistics to consider. Let’s jump right in.
Design and Planning for a Custom Trade Show Hanging Sign
I wanted to make this a resource page for Trade Show Hanging Signs since there are so many in-and-outs that really need to be jotted down on paper (or blog posts). The process for most of these signs is generally the same and so I wanted to take some of the consistent items that come up again and again and list them so you can get a better sense for what the process is like. Hopefully it will help illustrate it’s not as big and scary as it may seem.
Here are a few important details as you design and plan before your next show:
#1 Give Yourself Plenty of Time
Sure, this may seem obvious, but how much time? It can depend, but for comparisson’s sake, a standard size hanging sign (again 20ft or under) has a typical production time of 7-10 business days for production before it’s ready to ship. So, if your artwork is ready to go, you can expect to have a trade show hanging sign produced and delivered in under 2-3 weeks or less.
By contrast a 50ft hanging sign (assuming same industry standard frame and materials) will usually have a 3-4 week production time + shipping. That’s another couple weeks of additional time when compared to standard sizes and it can go up from there depending on complexity and size.
Who to Make Your First Phone Call To
The first person to reach out to should be the general contractor for your show. Assuming you and your team have already discussed the type, shape and size of hanging sign you are looking for, the next step is to send an email or phone call to the show contractor to discuss (email by the way is great since it’s always nice to have a history of the conversation).
Finding the right person (and by this I mean person-in-charge, the big cheese, etc) will be hugely beneficial so that you can get the required forms, determine if you have pre-approval, etc. You will want to give your booth number and any other information so they can look up your booth to determine if there are obstructions (like columns that support the Convention Center, etc) so that you can plan around it (literally).
Here is a list of items to give the show:
- Your booth number
- Your booth size
- Brief description of what you would like done
- A rough sketch or rendering with dimensions to give them a visual
- General list of materials (what is your sign made out of. I.E. Aluminum Frame & Fabric Graphics)
- Rough estimate of weight (will determine if it needs a special lift like a chain lift, truss support or if standard cables are fine)
- Fire Retardant Certificate
They can then send you the following important information:
- Rough estimate cost for I&D (installation & dismantle of sign) and Rigging Fees
- Any Site Line Restrictions such as how high it can go
- Pre-Approval of planned sign (get this in writing!)
- Any obstructions that could impede rigging
Will I Need an Engineer Stamp for my Trade Show Hanging Sign?
Some Exhibitors will ask if they need an Engineer Stamp for the structural integrity before the show will approve it. The answer is: It depends. If your sign is made out of traditional materials that the show is familiar with like aluminum tube framing and fabric printed banners, chances are you won’t need an engineer stamp even if it is a really big sign (make sure to double-check with the show).
If however you are planning on suspending a custom sign (maybe one you built yourself or one that is unique, heavy, etc), then chances are you will need to pay a local engineering firm to come out and inspect the sign (costs range about $450+).
For example, let’s say your company supplies sheet metal and you want to hang some metal art above your booth space. This would fall into the category of needing a structural integrity statement signed off by an Engineering company. They will come out and determine the strength of the material, the weight per rigging point, how well it’s made, etc. You can then provide this information to the show where they will make a final determination on if this is acceptable and meets the safety and structural standards for rigging from the convention ceiling.
Trade Show Hanging Sign Shipping & Logistics
A custom built trade show hanging sign usually mean’s it’s going to be a BIG sign. That means special attention needs to be made for shipping and/ or freight. Shipping one small box for a banner stand is one thing, but shipping a multi-box exhibit can spell disaster if just one box gets lost. Without that one box, the whole sign is useless.
Ship on a pallet or in a crate:
The best way to prevent this disaster of one box not showing up is to use a pallet or crate so that all packages stay together like this:
Check out our 9 Trade Show Freight Tips post that will give some other important shipping recommendations for your next show along with a checklist of import items to remember that will leave you well-prepared.
Other Trade Show Hanging Sign Resources:
Hopefully this post gives you a head start as to what to expect as you plan your custom trade show hanging sign. Here is a list of some other helpful posts for Trade Show Hanging Signs for more information: