A professional-looking trade show table will entice visitors and create a positive impression of your business.

To achieve this you need to start with a great foundation — a trade show table cover that engages potential clients and makes everything in your booth look good, including you!

1. Start with the right custom table cover

trade show table sizes

Table covers come in many sizes and styles. Before you start browsing, ask yourself a few questions about how you plan to use your custom table cover. Will it mainly be draped on a standard-size table or other types? What areas will give your logo the most exposure: the front, sides or top?

Keeping in mind how your table cover will be used is crucial when choosing one that will serve all your needs.

Select a size that gives you options

If you’re not sure what size table will be available for your trade show booth or corporate event, we recommend our custom 6-ft. throw style table ccover. It looks great on a 6-foot and an 8-foot table. On a 6-foot table, it will hang to the floor on all four sides. On an 8-foot table, it will reach to the floor in the front and back, with a 12-inch shortage on each side.

The premium polyester poplin material smoothly drapes across the table for easy setup.

Advantages of 3-sided table covers

Custom 3-sided tablecloths — also known as open-back tablecloths — give you easy access to items you can hide beneath the table. It also provides an open area where you can sit comfortably while greeting visitors. Similar to other table covers, you can feature your name and logo in the front, sides or on top.

Budget-friendly table cover options

trade show booth display with a custom table runner and personalized promotional giveaways

If your trade show budget is a bit tight you might consider using a blank table cover with a custom table runner. Personalized table runners start at about $20 each and still give you a rich, customized look.

Other lower-cost options for unique table sizes include our 4-foot demo tablecloths and our bar/counter height table covers. All of these can be customized in the colors of your choice to showcase your company name and logo.

2. Create a stunning table cover design

Design your table cover with branding in mind. Visitors should be able to recognize who you are from a distance by the colors and design. If you use specific colors and shapes for your brand identity when marketing, be sure to include those.

Table cover design tips

  • Choose a background color with enough contrast to allow your logo to “pop.”
  • Furnish a high-resolution vector artwork file, if possible, to create the best imprint. EPS, AI and PDF formats are preferred. Totally Promotional can accept raster files, such as JPG, PNG and PSD and PDF if they are full-size and at 150 dots per inch for the best possible print.
  • Convert your font to outlines, which turns your text into a graphic image.
  • Be sure the letters in your logo are big enough to read from at least 10 feet away. We recommend the letters in your logo/name be 2 to 3 inches tall on a 6-foot table cover.
  • Add your tagline, if you have one. It’s another great way to increase branding!
  • Use the helpful artwork template that is available in the online ordering process when customizing your table cover. It provides the dimensions, seams, imprint area and other information that can help guide you.
  • Do not use copyrighted artwork or material for your imprint if you do not have permission. Totally Promotional never knowingly reproduces/prints any copyrighted material without proper permission from the owner(s).
  • Keep the design simple without too many details. Most people will look at it for only a few seconds; a busy design won’t stick in their memory.
  • Ask us! Our graphic designers have the experience to help you with your artwork. Contact your account representative, or get in touch with our Customer Service staff at 1-866-795-4657 or [email protected].

3. Keep your table cover looking great

trade show table cover storage

Proper table cover care will ensure you get long-lasting value for your investment. Our table covers can be machine washed separately in cold water on gentle cycle. Small stains can often be removed by blotting with soap and water. You can place them in the dryer on low or air-dry them to preserve their colors. Do not dry clean your table cover.

The durable polyester fabric of our table covers is wrinkle-resistant but is not wrinkle-free. If some wrinkling does occur, our table covers can be gently ironed on low heat or steamed.

Each table cover comes with a drawstring bag that is perfect for storing and carrying to events. The bag will also help keep your table cover looking fantastic!

4. Consider a few trade show booth techniques

trade show table merchandising
  • The spotlight won’t be on you if you don’t have enough lighting at your trade show booth! LED lights are great for accenting graphics without creating glare. Soft halogen lights are best for illuminating people; choose cooler display lights for featuring products.
  • Colorful and intriguing signage can lure people to your booth. Use banners and retractable banner stands to inform and entertain. Tip: Receive a free custom banner with any table cover purchase of $130 or more!
  • A hot trend is to ask interesting trivia questions that relate to your products or services and give customized giveaways to those who answer correctly.
  • Don’t overwhelm visitors with flyers they won’t read. Keep your table neat and organized with baskets or other clean containers for practical handouts. Place those giveaways near you to increase the opportunity for a face-to-face discussion. It’s also wise to place your customized trade show giveaways in two different areas to avoid traffic congestion.
  • People like games. Hold a contest, add a wheel to spin or some other hands-on activity that keeps attendees at your booth longer.
  • Do a mockup of your trade show booth before the show to see how it looks. Let others view it and make suggestions.
  • Take photos when you’re finished so you can use them to set it up quickly the day of the event.
  • Give tasks to everyone who will be manning the booth to keep your trade show table looking its best.

More trade show marketing tips from experts

Get out of the booth!

Nathan Kontny

” I can’t believe how many vendors pay for and set up these elaborate booths and then just sit inside their little area and hope people visit. Take a little freebie and step into the aisle of foot traffic and hand them out. The handouts start a conversation.” — Nathan Kontny, creator of vlogs on business and family topics

Serve some suds

Josh Rubin

“We’ve seen our clients who offer beer at their booth (stay) busier than all the others. Remember, trade shows are great for educational materials and information, but most visitors look at it as a way to get out of the office and still ‘work.’ So help them relax and offer a beer in a branded glass! They’re more likely to engage with you and take home a glass with your logo.” — Josh Rubin of Post Modern Marketing

Practice makes perfect

Trevor Lamson

“Role play the trade show and practice! As with anything, the success of your trade show is dependent upon having a nice booth. However, the engagement is what you are striving for. Set up your booth and have five to 10 people (friends, colleagues) walk through it. Practice chatting with them, talking about your product, your company, yourself. If your booth staff is not top-notch, then all the bells and whistles in the world will not sell your products.” — Trevor Lamson of Connected Recruiting

Dress to impress

Brendan Dooley

“A vendor should dress clean and professionally. That doesn’t always mean a suit and tie. Attire should match your brand image and fit the audience you are meeting. I was at a show recently where the staff all wore custom orange sneakers that matched their brand colors. This conveyed themselves as fun, approachable, and most importantly, as a united team.” — Brendan Dooley, design director for MC²

Draw traffic with giveaways

Brian Sheehan

“We offer giveaways (i.e., sponsored or branded products from current customers such as iPads, TVs, etc.) to attract people by requesting business cards and then holding a raffle at the end of the event. People need to be present to win, which means they will have another impression of our booth by the end of the event.” — Brian Sheehan, marketing and sales manager of Hollingsworth

Start a chat with java

Kunal Sampat

“We had Nespresso coffee at our booth. This brought a ton of visitors. While sipping coffee they happened to ask questions about our product and company.” — Kunal Sampat of Sampat Jewlers

Get ready, go!

Now that you’re armed with all the information you need for the perfect trade show table, get going! You’re going to wow the competition, especially if your company name and logo are front and center.

Use our expert advice to design and order your customized tablecloth to rock your next event!

draw attention to your brand with trade show pens

Shelley Grieshop is a former newspaper journalist who earned more than a dozen Associated Press awards for her in-depth research and writing skills. In May 2016, she joined Totally Promotional as a creative writer. She currently writes company blogs about branding, marketing, logos, wedding planning and much more. One of her life goals is to teach people when to use hyphens and apostrophes.

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