How to create the perfect trade show table

trade show table display

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 standard-size tables or other types? What areas will give your logo the most exposure, the front, sides or top? Do you need extra protection from spills?

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 at your trade show booth or corporate event, we recommend our 6-foot Throw Style Table Cover. 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.

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

Advantages of 3-sided table covers

Three-sided table covers — 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

spectrum trade show table runner

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 are as low as $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 Totally Account Representative, or get in touch with our Customer Service staff at 1-866-795-4657 or

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.

Hint: Upgrade your table cover to liquid-repellent material if you will be demonstrating with liquids or if there is a possibility of spillage during the event.

The durable polyester fabric of our table covers is wrinkle-resistant but is not wrinkle-free. We suggest you roll them, not fold them, before storing to prevent wrinkles. 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.

4. Complete the display with merchandising techniques

trade show table merchandising

The spotlight won’t be on you if you don’t have enough lighting! 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. 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 that can hold smaller items. Place giveaways near you to increase your opportunity for a face-to-face discussion. It’s also wise to place your customized swag 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.

Get ready, go!

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.

Order your table cover now, use our expert advice and you’ll rock your next event!

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