Should I Backlight my Trade Show Display?

How Can Backlighting Improve a Trade Show Display?Backlit Trade Show Display Examples

Your trade show display is responsible for not just attracting attention and improving brand recognition, but also solidifying attendees’ perceptions of your brand and keeping them interested at your booth. A powerful, unique, and memorable display could easily double your return on investment (ROI) for the entire event.

These days, it’s possible to use backlighting to enhance your tradeshow display, but is this an effective option for trade show attendees? And is it right for your brand?

How Trade Show Display Backlighting Works

There are many different kinds of backlit trade show displays, but they all have some features in common. They rely on a structural framework of LED light bars or fluorescent light tubs, serving as a lighting kit that rests behind your fabric, printed display. If you get your backlit display from a quality manufacturer, you can rest assured the backlighting will provide smooth, even lighting across your entire display—in other words, there won’t be “hot spots” where the lighting is disproportionately visible.

If you’re starting from scratch, you can purchase a custom fabric display with a backlighting unit that fits it perfectly. If you already have a fabric or similar trade show display, you can purchase a custom-designed and custom-fitted lighting unit for it.

The Advantages of a Backlit Trade Show Display

So why would you choose a backlit trade show display over a traditional one?

  • Higher visibility. This is the biggest advantage, and the most important one to consider. You’re going to be competing with dozens, or possibly hundreds of other trade show attendees, each with their own signage and their own ways of attracting attention. If your signage blends into the background, people aren’t going to visit your booth—in fact, they might not even see or remember your brand name. Installing backlighting will make your display radiate with brightness, making it stand out even in a well-lit environment. Ultimately, this is going to attract more people to your brand.
  • Differentiation. Most brands attending tradeshows don’t have backlit displays, and it’s obvious even to non-experts when backlighting is present. If you install backlighting on your displays, you’ll instantly have a new way to differentiate your brand from the brands of your competitors. People will notice that your signs seem to be brighter, better illuminated, and more professional, which could give you the edge you need in securing more sales.
  • Design enhancement. Remember, much of the power of your display depends on how it’s been graphically designed. Your designers invested many hours into making sure your display included just the right words, the right colors, the right photos, and the right balance. Without lighting, this will probably look good, but with lighting, everything’s going to pop. The colors are going to appear as they were intended to appear, and even the fringe design elements are going to be visible.
  • Textural improvements. Backlit trade show displays make use of a unique fabric printing, so the light can penetrate through evenly. This adds a unique texture to your entire display, differentiating it from classic vinyl or similarly glossy displays. Depending on your design and the image you want your brand to present, this can greatly improve how your display is received.

Common Points of Concern: Backlit Trade Show Displays

That said, not everyone is immediately sold on backlighting for their trade show display. These are some of the most common points of concern trade show attendees mention:

  • Cost. Some people believe installing backlighting on their trade show display is going to skyrocket their overall costs, but depending on the options you get, this is usually quite affordable. You’re probably going to pay several hundred to a few thousand dollars for an effective, custom trade show display, and backlighting is only going to add a few hundred dollars to that. You may even be able to recycle an existing display for backlighting purposes, saving you even more money.
  • Ease of setup. Because it incorporates lighting and electricity, some tradeshow attendees falsely believe that backlighting will be difficult to set up properly. However, most backlighting units are designed to fit your normal display like a glove, and they feature a unique, unfolding design that makes them easy even for amateurs to get working properly.
  • Fit. Speaking of fit, you won’t have to worry about dealing with overlapping parts, or having to manage ill-fitting components. Buying a backlit display outright will ensure these components fit perfectly; and if you try to backlight a display you already have, as long as you get exact measurements, you can get backlighting that fits it perfectly.
  • Power outages. What happens if the power goes out during the tradeshow? Your lighting display will no longer receive electricity, but that’s not a deal breaker; you’ll still have a fully functioning traditional display to attract customers to your booth.
  • Longevity. You may also be concerned that your backlighting will burn out, forcing you to change the bulbs, or worse, invest in a whole new display. However, tradeshow backlighting units are built to last. If they incorporate LEDs, you can expect to get about 50,000 hours of continuous use out of them.

Are Backlit Trade Show Displays Worth It?

Overall, are backlit trade show displays worth it? You won’t be paying much more for a backlit display than you would for a traditional display, and the benefits are numerous and multifaceted. You’ll make your brand more visible, improve your design elements, and differentiate yourself at the same time. Plus, you won’t have to deal with much additional setup, and you can count on this display to last for years. For most brands, they’re well worth the investment.

If you’re interested in learning more about backlit trade show displays make sure to check out our full selection of products! If you’re not sure if backlit trade show displays are right for you, or if you’re just getting started brainstorming your next trade show strategy, contact us today and get in touch with a live representative who can help!


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